Backdraft (attraction)

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Backdraft Universal Studios Hollywood.jpg
Backdraft at Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Japan
AreaSan Francisco
Opening dateMarch 31, 2001 (2001-03-31)
Universal Studios Hollywood
AreaLower Lot
Opening dateJune 1992 (1992-06)
Closing dateApril 11, 2010 (2010-04-11)
Replaced byTransformers: The Ride 3D
General statistics
Attraction typeFire Effects Show
ManufacturerUniversal Creative

Backdraft is a fire special effects show at Universal Studios Japan, and formerly Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. The show is based on the film of the same name. Visitors can learn how the pyrotechnic effects were created and experience some of them first hand. The Hollywood attraction was supposed to officially close after Labor Day 2009 to be replaced by Transformers: The Ride 3D in 2011 but remained open to appease the temporary closures of other attractions for annual refurbishment. The Hollywood attraction officially closed on April 11, 2010. The attraction remains part of the Osaka park. A similar styled show demonstrating storm effects, Lights! Camera! Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg, opened in Universal Studios Singapore in 2010.


The show at Universal Studios Hollywood has guests begin by entering a sound stage. Some elements of this description may not be accurate for the Japan version of the attraction.


For the Hollywood version, guests entered a soundstage where Backdraft was being filmed. For the Japan version, guests enter a San Francisco building facade and into a soundstage where Backdraft is being filmed.


As guests walk into the "Backdraft filming center", Ron Howard appears on a video screen and talks to the guests about making Backdraft. For the Hollywood version, guests enter another soundstage. For the Japan version, guests enter a set of a city alley, where the fire is burning the building. The stars from the film, Scott Glenn and Kurt Russell appear on the video screen and talk about the fire. The moment they finish, the fire surprises the guests. They are finally led onto a set resembling the warehouse scene in the movie.

Main show[edit]

The guests line up on a tiered observation platform, overlooking a simulated warehouse scene. The main show begins with a narration, "There is a fire in the center office. It burned up everything in the room, until it ran out of oxygen. Oh, it may look quiet now, but that is its deception...for hiding inside are unburned, natural gases. Waiting...for a breath of fresh air..." Suddenly, the fire burns the warehouse, causing a Backdraft. The explosions makes more fire. As the "fire" dies, the dying fire makes a final explosion, giving guests a final scare. Participants are then directed to exit through the building. An interesting note: the fire is actually created by gas flame, which is nearly silent. Without the fire audio track, the only fire sound you hear in real life is the sound of gas jets turning on and off. The sound of the fire is actually an audio recording, which includes all the sounds you hear while inside the attraction show building.

In popular culture[edit]

The warehouse set was prominently featured in the television show Sliders, in the third-season episode titled "The Fire Within".