From the main queue line, guests are directed to one of 3 smaller lines which lead to 3 separate rows in the pre-show room. Once inside, Steven Spielberg, appearing on a video projection screen, gives a brief introduction to the use of sound stages and special effects in movies. A video montage showcasing special effects from various films is then shown, after which the audience is then briefed by Spielberg about the scene they will see in the main sound stage .
After the pre-show, the audience, still keeping to their 3 separate rows, enter the main sound stage, which is modeled after the interior of a boathouse in New York City. Once the command to roll cameras has been given, the sky (a projection of the NYC skyline outside the boathouse windows) darkens, thunder and lightning fill the room, heavy rain pours through the ceiling, and the audience is immersed in various effects such as strong wind, intense fire, signboards crashing through the roof, the boathouse windows blowing away, movement of the platform they are standing on, and a huge cargo ship slamming through the boathouse entrance. This part of the show lasts approximately 3 minutes. Once the show is over, the audience exit the sound stage and emerge into the New York zone of the theme park.