Twister...Ride it Out

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Twister...Ride It Out
Twister Ride it Out 01.jpg
Universal Studios Florida
AreaNew York City
Coordinates28°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
Opening dateMay 4, 1998; 21 years ago (1998-05-04)
Closing dateNovember 2, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-11-02)
ReplacedGhostbusters Spooktacular
Replaced byRace Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon (2017)
General statistics
Vehicle typeDeck
Parental RatingPG-13
Pre-Show HostsBill Paxton
Helen Hunt
Vehicle NamesObservation Platforms
Closed captioning available

Twister...Ride It Out was a special effects attraction located at Universal Studios Florida, based on the 1996 film Twister. It opened on May 4, 1998, replacing the Ghostbusters Spooktacular attraction in the New York area of the park. The attraction was hosted by actors Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, who starred in the original film. The attraction closed on November 2, 2015 and was subsequently replaced with Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, which opened on April 6, 2017.

Attraction summary[edit]


The attraction took 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.


As guests walked into Soundstage 50, the opening scene from the film was shown on a video screen. When the scene ended, Twister stars Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt appeared on television to talk about their experiences filming the movie.

Scene 1[edit]

Guests next walked into a new room which was a model of Aunt Meg's damaged house after the twister. As guests walked 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 started 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. Staff members with red emergency lights will then move the lights to now opening doors while a message is playing telling you to get out of the house, and at the same time sirens can be heard. They are finally led onto a set resembling the drive-in theater scene in the movie.

Scene 2: Main Show[edit]

The guests line up on a tiered observation platform under a corrugated metal roof, overlooking a real sound stage outdoor scene featuring a view of a rural drive-in theater and the rocket hamburgers 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! As well as rain falling from the sky. A small flash light can be seen inside the rocket hamburgers a couple of feet away, as well as voices of family within the restaurant screaming to get in. A projected tornado drops from the sky in the background. As it fully forms getting closer, the tornado turns and destroys the drive-in theater. Then another tornado would appear on stage five stories tall and twelve feet wide, the glass on the rocket Hamburgers window shatters as the guests would be squirted with water from behind. Dorothy flies by as lightning flashes the Galaxy rips away and crashes inside Eric's garage. After that happens a cow flies by the guests, as this couldn't get any worse the roof of the observation platform also threatens to tear off being pulled upwards. As the Dodge Ram slides towards the gas tanks with the force of the tornado pulling it hits one of the gas tanks as gasoline liquid drains out as well as sparks, fire forms up reaching the tornado which causes a fireball three stories high to erupt. As the twister dies out, the roof falls down above the guests and the floor also gives a sudden drop, giving guests a final scare. Bill Paxton thanks everyone for surviving twister directing them to exit to their left through the "Aftermath" gift shop.

Ride history and development[edit]

The entrance of the ride in its last year (2015)
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; but in the weeks just preceding, several large and killer 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]

On October 27, 2015, it was announced that Twister...Ride it Out would be closing on November 1, 2015 to make room for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "US Killer Tornadoes of 1998". The Tornado Project. Archived from the original on October 4, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  2. ^ "Virtual Twisters Are Swirling in Orlando". New York Times. June 7, 1998. Retrieved September 14, 2008.
  3. ^ "Universal Shuts Down Another Attraction". WESH. Retrieved February 11, 2009.
  4. ^ Jason Garcia (March 9, 2009). "Universal reopens Twister". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  5. ^ Surrel, Jason (October 27, 2015). "Jimmy Fallon to Get His Own Ride at Universal Orlando Resort in 2017". Universal Orlando Resort. Retrieved October 28, 2015.

External links[edit]