Go Wayback for the First Ride on Universal's Men in Black

March 20, 2021, 12:49 PM · Ever wished you could have taken the first ride on a classic attraction?

I'm not talking about the first ride on the day it opened to the public. Or even the first media preview. I'm talking about the very first ride - the first time anyone sat in the vehicle and an operator hit the dispatch button.

You've pretty much got to be on the design team to get that kind of opportunity. But designers rarely share those experiences with other theme park fans.

Until now.

One of our long-time industry insider friends here on Theme Park Insider just shared a rare look at the first ride on a classic attraction. Dave Cobb this week uploaded the long-buried video of his team's first test run through Men in Black: Alien Attack at Universal Studios Florida.

We talked with Dave years ago about his experience leading the design team on what many fans still consider the best shooter ride in the theme park business. If you've never read our interview with Dave about the ride, check out our An Insider's Q&A with 'Men in Black Alien Attack' Creative Director Dave Cobb.

Dave also hosted an online reunion of his creative team to celebrate the ride 20th anniversary last spring. That video is still up and offers more great insight and stories about the creation of this enduring fan favorite: Celebrate 20 Years of Universal's Men in Black: Alien Attack.

It's fascinating to see how theme park attractions come together. On the video above, not only are the work lights on, the show scenery remains to be finished, the audio is a temp track, and the ride vehicles' spinning and positioning hasn't yet been programmed. Even the guns aren't all working yet.

But you can see the heart of what would become the Men in Black ride even at this early stage. I can't speak for others, but for me, inside looks like this one only increase my appreciation for the work that creators do to bring theme park attractions to life. Making magic takes great effort, and seeing magicians at work just helps me love their show even more.

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If now you're in the mood for a ride on Men in Black: Alien Attack, our travel partner has discounted tickets to the park on its Universal Orlando tickets.

We also wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that - and our approach to covering theme park news - please sign up for our free, twice-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.

Replies (3)

March 21, 2021 at 12:45 PM


March 23, 2021 at 12:49 PM

That was pretty awesome to see and realize how much work goes into building a ride like MIB. For re-rideability, it is my favorite ride at Universal. Whenever I am there I will ride it up to three times in a row. It's always different because of which track you are seated on and how capable your fellow recruits are at wielding their weapons.

March 23, 2021 at 4:25 PM

Thanks for the share, Robert! :)

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