E.T. Adventure originally opened at Universal Studios Florida in 1990. One year later, the attraction opened in Universal Studios Hollywood. In 2001, the third installation of this attraction was opened in Universal Studios Japan. On March 14, 2003, the Hollywood version was closed and later replaced by Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride. More recently, on May 10, 2009, the Japan version was closed and later replaced by Space Fantasy: The Ride. E.T. Adventure is expected to open at Universal Studios South Korea and Universal Studios Dubailand in the near future.
The attraction at Universal Studios Florida originally featured a different pre-show which ran from 1990-2002. During this pre-show, Steven Spielberg is in a movie theater watching E.T, munching on popcorn and informs us that we have volunteered to be actors in a sequel to the film. The original pre-show was discontinued, because Spielberg wanted to change it for the 20th Anniversary.
The exterior queue is themed to a sound stage where E.T. is being filmed. TV monitors above guests' heads display the filmmakers discussing their experiences on creating the film as well as E.T. trivia. There are also E.T. posters from the film's 20th Anniversary re-release on display near the end of the queue, in English and various other languages. Guests are then ushered into the pre-show room.
Before going into the interior queue, Steven Spielberg appears on TV screens above the guests and tells them that E.T.'s teacher Botanicus needs E.T. to come back to his home world, "The Green Planet", because the planet is dying. Only E.T.'s magical healing touch can save the planet and its inhabitants, so it is up to the guests to bring him home. He also tells the guests that they'll make their journey on bikes and that they'll need an "Interplanetary Passport" to get there. The guests then enter a second room where they give their name to one of "Spielberg's assistants" which is programmed into a card that is used later in the ride.
The interior queue is a forest setting where it is established that the police are looking for E.T. and the guests. In the interior queue, Botanicus is seen beaming down from his ship every few minutes, pleading for E.T.'s return. On the way, the guests pass by a Speak & Spell seen in the movie, while the letters H-E-L-P E-T come onto the screen of it while its signature loud clacking is heard, then the letters erase and ad lib. A hare from the film pops up every few seconds. The guests then board the ride vehicles. There was also a customized "pine fresh" scent created by scent marketing company, ScentAir.
Each individual seat is a bicycle, whose handles come down as the lap bars. The bike in the middle of the front row contains E.T.
The vehicles travel past NASA and police officials who give chase and try to arrest the riders and capture E.T. As they are about to be caught, a police car appears out of nowhere and just as they are about to hit it, the bicycles begin to fly over the city and then into outer space. From on their bikes, the guests can see a miniature city below, including real moving cars and even a football stadium.
The bikes are then transported to a kind of portal area with flashing lights which, when finally turned around, arrives at the Green Planet. The guests then encounter Botanicus, who urges the visitors to save E.T.'s friends.
E.T.'s healing touch travels through the Green Planet, reviving his friends and beginning a celebration with numerous baby E.T.s frolicking and playing. This lasts for about 3 minutes and is a huge contrast to the beginning; the beginning is dark and scary while this part of the ride is light and colorful, with spurting water and singing. At the end, the guests pass an animatronic E.T. who thanks them all by the names that they gave to the travel agents/Spielberg's Assistants.