Twister...Ride it Out

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Twister...Ride It Out
Logo-twister.png
Twisteride.jpg
Universal Studios Florida
Area New York
Coordinates 28°28′32.46″N 81°28′10.02″W / 28.4756833°N 81.4694500°W / 28.4756833; -81.4694500Coordinates: 28°28′32.46″N 81°28′10.02″W / 28.4756833°N 81.4694500°W / 28.4756833; -81.4694500
Status Operating
Opening date May 4, 1998 (1998-05-04)
Replaced Ghostbusters Spooktacular
(1990–1996)
General statistics
Theme Twister
Vehicle type Deck
Rows 3
Duration 12
Parental Rating PG-13
Pre-Show Hosts Bill Paxton
Helen Hunt
Closed captioning available

Twister... Ride It Out is a special effects simulation attraction located at Universal Studios Florida, based on the 1996 film Twister. It was announced in 1997 and replaced the Ghostbusters Spooktacular attraction in the New York area of the park. The attraction is hosted by actors Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, who starred in the original film.

Ride Summary[edit]

Queue[edit]

The attraction takes guests to a small mock-up of the Oklahoma town of Wakita. Video monitors show home movies of tornadoes and signs carry information about the Fujita Scale.

Pre-Show[edit]

As guests walk into the "Twister filming center", the opening scene from the film is shown on a video screen. When the scene ends, Twister stars Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt appear to talk about their experiences filming the movie. Guests next walk into a new room which is a model of Aunt Meg's damaged house after the twister. As guests walk into the kitchen, televisions are seen impaled into the wall, as if by tremendous force. Paxton and Hunt appear on the televisions and talk about what is ahead. The moment they finish, the televisions start to static, and after the static, the channel changes to Channel 5, with a weather anchor issuing a tornado warning in the area the guests are in. They are finally led onto a set resembling the drive-in theater scene in the movie.

Main Show[edit]

The guests line up on a tiered observation platform under a corrugated metal roof, overlooking a simulated outdoor scene featuring a view of a rural drive-in theater and a diner at dusk as dark clouds roll overhead. Suddenly, a tree gets struck by lightning, scenes from The People Under the Stairs appear on the movie screen, sirens sound briefly, and winds in the room get stronger. A small light can be seen inside a house in the distance, as well as voices of a family getting into their storm cellar. A simulated tornado drops from the sky, and rain begins to fall. Guests are squirted with water from above. The tornado wrecks the drive-in screen, the diner, and a car, which causes a fireball to erupt. The roof of the observation platform also threatens to tear off. A cow, lifted by the wind, flies past the spectators. As the "storm" dies, the floor of the standing area lurches with a sudden drop, giving guests a final scare. Participants are then directed to exit through the "Aftermath" gift shop.

Ride history and development[edit]

Twister Ride it Out 08.jpg

To accurately simulate a tornado, Universal Parks & Resorts entered talks with tornado meteorologists to discover the actual sights, sound, and feel of the experience. Universal originally planned to open the attraction in March, 1998; however, in the weeks just preceding, several large tornadoes occurred in central Florida, killing many people.[1] Due to this,[2] the opening was delayed until May 4, 1998.

During summer of 2008, the queue was pushed outside due to construction of Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit, where the roller coaster blasts through the firehouse façade. The ride involved the closure of the Boneyard in September 2008, and the moving of the Blue Man Group pathway in November 2008. This was to make room for The Universal Music Plaza Stage and the entrance of Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit.

On February 16, 2009, the attraction began operating only during peak seasons.[3] However, it was re-opened by Universal on March 9, 2009 due to guest demand.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Tornado Project. "US Killer Tornadoes of 1998". Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  2. ^ Author Unknown (June 7, 1998). "Virtual Twisters Are Swirling in Orlando". http://www.newyorktimes.com (New York Times). Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  3. ^ "Universal Shuts Down Another Attraction". WESH Orlando. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  4. ^ Jason Garcia (2009-03-09). "Universal reopens Twister". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 

External links[edit]