Does USF’s E.T. Adventure DESERVE an Upgrade?

Edited: January 14, 2019, 11:58 AM

Universal Creative has been insistent about adding new attractions yearly to UOR, and after the new Harry Potter coaster opens later this year in 2019 and the Terminator replacement attraction and Jurassic World coaster opens in 2020, the door is pretty much wide open in 2021 and 2022. Chances are Universal’s Fantastic Worlds will not open until 2023 or later. Pokémon and Zelda attractions have been rumored to be on the way to the parks but have recently been put on hold until Super Nintendo World opens and the successes and failures of the land can be evaluated. Universal’s recent additions of screen based attractions at UOR have been less than stellar. Outside of Harry Potter, Universal Creative needs a “win” that will lead into the opening of UFW.

Would an extensive upgrade to USF’s E.T. Adventure be a smart move for UC?
Does E.T. even deserve to be upgraded?

It’s a dated IP, though the attraction is beloved and a newly upgraded E.T. Adventure could certainly fill in as a new attraction for 2021 and also offer UC a warm-up to the practical set attractions that Universal needs to get back to and excel in at UFW.

Replies (7)

January 15, 2019, 9:17 AM

E.T. is so far out of the public consciousness that I think they would be foolish to pump a bunch of money into an upgrade. I don't have any of the sales data, but my impression is that the recent anniversary editions of the movie have not sold well (lots of copies on shelves). Even pop culture has moved on from the glorification of the 80's (and onto doing the same with the 90's - YUK), meaning the movie will continue to fade.

I love E.T., and was a kid when it came out (target audience), but I just don't feel that it carries enough weight in the pop culture landscape to warrant further exploration. Unless Spielberg wants to make a sequel (PLEASE NO), Universal should allow the ride to die gracefully, and find a replacement when it becomes too expensive to maintain.

January 21, 2019, 7:52 PM

Unless Spielberg says to Universal, “Don’t touch my prized E.T. attraction unless you upgrade it.” He’s got a little bit of pull over there. But if that’s the case, Russell, why does it still remain?

January 22, 2019, 7:38 AM

It remains because Universal doesn't have the resources or desire to replace it right now. Like Carousel of Progress, Stitch, and other "overflow" attractions, E.T. exists as a way to give guests something to do that has a short wait even on the busiest of days. It doesn't cost the park a lot of money to run the ride, yet it provides valuable capacity for the park during peak crowd days.

Pumping money into the attraction for an upgrade would essentially be saying that they expect it to last another decade, and I don't think UC is ready to make that commitment. My guess is that they're still trying to decide what they're going to do with this part of the park now that the rumored Nintendo land is likely going to end up in the new theme park. Things change, and I wouldn't be surprised that UC is keeping E.T. in a holding pattern until they can figure out what is happening, and don't want to hastily invest money into an upgrade that will not yield them any benefits.

January 22, 2019, 12:31 PM

It’s a beautiful ride, and it deserves a refurb/upgrade.

However, given that it is a stale IP it would likely be hard to justify financially.

February 7, 2019, 5:59 PM

I hope that Sonic the Hedgehog make a cameo in this one. I'm fine.

February 8, 2019, 8:23 AM

ET upgrade? Sure

February 8, 2019, 8:23 AM

ET upgrade? Sure

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