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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 611: Full Halloween Horror Nights 2021 lineup revealed!

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I’ll never forget my first phone call from Universal Creative when I joined the company as a creative director last year. The executive producer was calling me with my first assignment. I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say!


Which blockbuster film franchise would be featured in my very first Universal project?


“Jimmy Fallon,” he said.


“What about him?” I asked.


“He’s getting his own ride, and you guys need to figure it out,” he said.


“We’re gonna do what, now?” I asked.


In all seriousness, I was equally surprised and delighted. Jimmy had just taken the world by storm with the new incarnation of The Tonight Show. He was already sitting comfortably atop the ratings heap and fast becoming a viral sensation.


Plus, I’ve been a late night fan my entire life. I was even lucky enough to attend tapings of The Tonight Show when the previous two hosts sat behind the fabled desk. I was in my element.


But what kind of story would we tell? How could we create a compelling guest experience that emerged organically from the world of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon? That was the challenge facing the entire Universal Creative team, but considering their track record, I was pretty sure I was surrounded by the people who could crack it.


Jimmy wanted a fun and hilarious adventure that was also a valentine to his hometown of New York City—and that’s exactly what you’re going to experience when “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” opens at Universal Studios Florida in 2017.


So, what’s the attraction going to be like? I can’t tell you everything, but I can tell you our team found inspiration in the outrageous celebrity races that have become one of the most popular segments of Jimmy’s Tonight Show. The source material already features a wild and crazy ride almost every week! And since Universal Studios Florida has long been famous for placing guests in the middle of their favorite movies and TV shows, we thought it was a perfect fit.


Soon, you will get the full Tonight Show experience as you make your way to the fabled Studio 6B for a very special taping in which Jimmy challenges his studio audience to the ultimate race through the greatest city on earth.


You’ll rocket through the streets—and skies—of New York City, from the deepest subway tunnels to the tallest skyscrapers, encountering colorful characters, famous landmarks and anything else that comes to Jimmy’s mind—and “that is some weird, wild stuff,” to quote an iconic previous host.


Our Universal Creative team has had an amazing experience collaborating with Jimmy and his staff of veteran comedy writers to create an unforgettable adventure that will bring The Tonight Show and New York City to life for our guests like never before. And our creative adventure is just beginning.


As you can probably imagine, Jimmy’s full of surprises and even we are never quite sure what’s going to happen next – just like on The Tonight Show!


To make way for this new experience, Twister…Ride It Out will close on November 2.

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Kinda funny calling this a refurbishment when it's more a complete replacing of the entire ride. My curiosity is definitely peaked as to what the layout will be like when they begin the rebuild.


I Imagine they would be ripping out footers already too if major layout changes were planned.

My thoughts exactly, plus surely we would have heard about a new layout before the refurb happened, just like we heard about the launch and new trains. I think it will be basically the same layout, just tamed down a bit so that it ages better and is smoother. The big mystery for me though is where is the track because it hasn't been seen at Clermont, right?

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I know Twister is getting old and outdated, but this doesn't interest me at all and I actually watch The Tonight Show every once in a while. I'd much rather them do something with the space like bring back the Ghostbusters show there with the new cast or some other newer movie that will appeal to a wider variety of people. Was this pitched as a joke and some higher up didn't realize it?? And what about Bill Paxton, where will he go, what will he do, and how will we remember who he is!

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Our Universal Creative team has had an amazing experience collaborating with Jimmy and his staff of veteran comedy writers to create an unforgettable adventure that will bring The Tonight Show and New York City to life for our guests like never before. And our creative adventure is just beginning.

Since when does Fallon have a staff of comedy writers?

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With them specifically mentioning "the skies of New York", I have a feeling this is going to be like Soarin', but through NYC with narration featuring jokes from Jimmy.


I really like Fallon and his show, and even though this isn't going to drive me to return to Orlando for this attraction, specifically, I do think it will be a fun addition to the park.

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This ride sounds like Soarin over NYC. Come on Universal Orlando, I had you so high on my pedestal. Enough of the 3D rides. I hope I'm wrong here and out of Kong, fast n furious or Jimmy we get one decent ride. I'm just not going to book a vacation to see more 3D screens. Besides, Universal had a great ride with Jimmy they advertised all last summer.



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The Fallon ride is interesting, for some reason I wouldn't be surprised if this thing turns out to be more fun than people think it will be.


With no real details about the ride system all we can do at this point is speculate but wasn't there something a few years back at IAAPA that was essentially a stand up simulator? Where you stood on a platform that was on a motion base system of some sort? Looked like a cool concept at least, not sure how it would translate to this project but we'll see. Also, depending on what the actual ride is like, it seems like with the technology that exists these days that they could constantly update whatever the pre-show experience is with fresh new content from Fallon to keep it interesting.


Anyways, Twister was a cool attraction but, like Disaster, I honestly haven't been on it in years so hopefully whatever this Fallon project is will be fun replacement.

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It is pretty impressive that Universal is on quite a roll with improving the parks. Glad to see they really haven't put on the brakes when it comes to improving the parks there in FL.

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Had to take a quick trip out to USF/IOA to document Twister before she leaves us.


Also got some shots of Skull Island and what's left of the Hulk.


And here is a video of Twister's finale room







Oh...and since it's almost Halloween, feel free to download my musical:


Halloween: The Musical​

Just $4.99 download


















No more Twister merch. Just HHN stuff.












1st time doing the Raptor meet and greet!









Oct 28th means Christmas trees up!










The queue line is stripped of decor on the outside








Edited by pianojohn
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Great pictures! With all the focus on the Hulk refurb, I had completely forgotten about the King Kong ride.


The Twister ride I don't consider not a big loss, although doing the control room was quite fun. As for it's replacement I'll withold my judgement until we know some more details. Will be interesting to see if it will be "just another simulator" or if it will provide a more unique experience...

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  • coasterbill changed the title to Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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