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ET at Universal Orlando - Underrated?

Universal Orlando: Is ET the most under-rated dark ride ever?

From Michael Smith
Posted April 10, 2010 at 10:19 AM
I recently recieved a survey from Universal that asked about all of their rides, then focused on ET, Twister, and Disaster. It got me thinking about ET. Mr. Niles recent article on dark rides fueled the thoughts even more.

What is wrong with ET? In my opinion it is one of the most immersive and beautiful dark rides around. The queue atmostphere is amazing. This ride seems to get no respect or praise ever though. I told Universal I thought it was because of the way they hold people outside instead of in the beautiful queue, and also the way ride is loaded. It seems like a lot of hassle to sometimes almost hear ET say your name at the end.

Anyone else have any thoughts on ET and think it is underrated like me? Or is it ignored for good reasons? Please share...


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Manny Barron
Posted April 10, 2010 at 6:18 PM
ET is one of my favorite rides in Orlando. The forest queue area is wonderful and the ride it self captures the joy of the great movie its based on. The ride vehicles are also unique. I'm still bummed out that they took out the version in Hollywood(even the Japan version has been retired). Hopefully they decide to keep this ride in Orlando for many more years. It really is a Universal classic. But so was Back to the Future:(

From Mark Fairleigh
Posted April 11, 2010 at 8:45 PM
My wife and I absolutely love ET! We would cry buckets if Orlando ever got rid of it...hate to even think about it...getting verklempt now.

We always joke about how we'd love to stow away in the forest queue and do a sleepover.

The ride itself may not be the most technologically advanced these days, but it still holds a ton of charm for us.

Love ET!!

From Rob P
Posted April 12, 2010 at 3:30 AM
I agree. If ET ever went home it would be a sad day indeed.
We love this ride and it still draws big crowds on busy days at the Park. I suspect that there a lot of "cool dudes" out there who also love ET but won't admit to it.

It's gentle , imaginative, visually exciting and well.......nice.

And being nice is a good thing isn't it ?

From steve lee
Posted April 12, 2010 at 2:01 PM
Hey, I love ET. But I would love it more if they'd spend a little money getting the human animatronics looking a little more...well, human. They look like the sort of characters you'd see in an amusement park funhouse, not a Universal Orlando dark ride.

From Joshua Counsil
Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:04 AM
I would not say it's underrated in the slightest. The ride still draws large crowds, and usually has one of the longest queue times at Universal.

The ride is an improvement on its Peter Pan counterpart at Magic Kingdom and I really enjoy the scene over London the city, but I'm frustrated at the unreliability of the attraction. It seems to break down far too often. In addition, the ride opens later than most of the other attractions in the park, causing even larger queues.

One of the underwhelming components of the attraction is E.T.'s goodbye. It's neat, but all of the voices are prerecorded, so many names aren't even available in the system. Now, if E.T. used a type-to-voice recognition system, it would be much more impressive.

From steve lee
Posted April 12, 2010 at 2:39 PM
Josh, ET opens later now? That used to always be our first ride of the day after cutting through the locker area (bypassing all the photographers and clutter at the first intersection) and the Garden of Allah area (there's a great cut-through there if you look for it).

I'm gonna hafta work up a new touring plan.

From ERIC WILLIAMS
Posted April 12, 2010 at 7:19 PM
I disagree completely. We just returned from Universal this week. ET was one of my families most anticipated rides and by far the biggest disappointment of the park.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted April 12, 2010 at 8:28 PM
It is very underrated. I still get chills when ET says my name.

From Don Neal
Posted April 13, 2010 at 5:22 AM
I have to agree with Eric. I think this ride when it first debuted really amazed a lot of folks but is showing it's age. I rode it for the first time in 2005 (completely ignored it in 2000) and was extremely disappointed. I am sure it has nostalgic value for many but I don't see it as underrated. I can't say it's a terrible ride just wasn't as good as I had expected.

I also think the characters could use an update as well if not the whole ride.

From Joshua Counsil
Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:05 AM
The last two times I visited Universal, it opened later than the rest of the park. Much later, in fact; I believe it opened after noon.

To be fair, I visit during the off-season.

From luis gonzalez
Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM
the ride is pretty much old and crappy, but the queue is still one of the best. Id be a little sad to see it go but i think its time, the movie is not relevant and the ride is old. this building could be used for some thing really exciting.

word!!!!!!!!!!!

From Squid McGlamery
Posted April 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM
Really didn't expect there to be as much support as this ride has garnered.
I'd say it is somewhere near my least favorite ride of any kind in the entire Orlando area. It looks really old; many of the effects don't work or don't work correctly; and the name calling at the end.. ? A mangled & garbled mess every time!

I took a friend who had never been to the park last November, and suffered through the ride for hopefully my last time ever!!

From Thomas Grimme
Posted April 14, 2010 at 7:23 AM
Don't miss the biggest point of all.... My kids LOVE it!!!! As painful and outdated as the ride is I suffer through it every time at least 5 times in a 2 day timeframe because my kids love it. Maybe a face lift with new computer graphics would liven things up. To my wife and I, we just cannot stop giggling with some of the cheesy sounds and actions those old manikins do. Overall it is what it is a kid’s ride. Lighten up.

From Tyler Bell
Posted April 14, 2010 at 9:56 AM
They should do an updated version

From Kathryn Leigh
Posted May 24, 2010 at 9:32 AM
I think the old crappiness of the ride is the most charming part! And I can't believe nobody has mentioned the smell of the queue...definitely one of the only reasons I paid for a year-long pass.

From charles henderson
Posted May 26, 2010 at 4:48 PM
Sir your answers are right in front of you. Count how many people will even respond.

From Eric Malone
Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:54 PM
I enjoy the ride. The queue is interesting - and the smell is what everyone seems to remember about it - and while the ride itself is kinda cheesy, it's still got its charm.

From Tim Chatlos
Posted May 26, 2010 at 8:34 PM
Any word on if the Transformers ride will be coming to Orlando soon? If so, that could make E.T.'s ride building a prime candidate for the new ride's location (like Kongfrontation for Revenge of the Mummy).

It would, of course, be extremely sad to lose the last E.T. Adventure out there. So unique, and easily my family's favorite ride at Universal Studios Florida. It's not a complete trip until we walk through that forest.

From April C
Posted May 27, 2010 at 2:39 AM
The Transformer ride is supposed to be extremely similar to Spiderman, so I don't think we'll be getting it.

It wouldn't really fit in at E.T.'s location anyways, though we know how Universal is with that stuff.

I love E.T. very much. Holds a lot of childhood memories for me.

From Eric Malone
Posted May 27, 2010 at 6:44 AM
Nothing a wrecking ball can't fix, as far as I'm concerned. I agree that it would be a shame to lose E.T., but I thought BTTF was sacred ground, and look where that wound up.

From Mark Sajowitz
Posted June 9, 2010 at 6:55 AM
The E.T. ride is great for the families with young kids as it is a ride that everyone can enjoy together. I think a lot of people who are complaining about the ride are the ones who want more "thrill" rides such as another ROTM.

I think the forest queue is absolutely amazing and one of the best that I've been in. I think the ride itself is in need of an update (ET sometimes doesn't say names, some of the animatronics don't work, etc.

I could see Universal replacing this ride in 10-15 years....maybe to a franchise that will be more well known

From Tammy T
Posted June 15, 2010 at 11:32 AM
I dont mind the ride, it does look dated but is still an improvement over WDW rides from the same period. But it was very confusing to my children who didn't grow up with ET. In fact for my husband and I (who did watch ET) it was a little confusing.

From Ali Salem
Posted June 15, 2010 at 5:05 PM
Being a long time Disney fan and finally visiting Universal back in '06 I have to say the ET adventure impressed. I'm a big ET fan but even so this was a great dark ride. I say definitely keep it but when I rode it was in sore need of a refurb!

From Andy Milio
Posted June 16, 2010 at 2:14 PM
E.T is great, even if it is called "childish" or something like that. I love it.

From Sam Horn
Posted June 17, 2010 at 2:21 PM
Is the still open. i am going in early October and I'd love to see it? thanks in advance.

Cheers.

sam

From April C
Posted June 17, 2010 at 3:44 PM
It's still open.

From Tony Duda
Posted June 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM
I rode ET last Saturday for the first time in a few years and forgot how detailed and animatronic it was. It is as visually exciting as any ride of that type. ET the movie is almost 30 years old now and few of today's kids have seen it. It really is a great ride and very under appreciated.

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