No I am not talking about the run away debt disaster in the US, EU, and Japan, but the fun all the way Disaster attraction at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. A couple of weeks ago we visited Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. It was our fourth visit to the Universal Studios theme parks and this time we came with friends from Ohio. One of the attractions we all did was Disaster. Disaster is both a show and a ride. It is not the most exciting attraction at Universal Studios but some aspects of it were really well made.
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Disaster at Universal Studios
Disaster is a ride and a motion picture attraction starring the audience. It is located at the Universal Studios Theme Park in the San Francisco/Amity section between the Jaws ride and Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue.
First you assemble in a big room where you are given instruction and a few people are picked out for special roles (a hero, three villains, a screaming victim, a lady, and a kid). Next you enter a room where the assistant director introduces the director Frank Kincaid played by Christopher Walken. It is a projection of Christopher Walken. However, it is so well presented that I thought the whole time that it was an actor made up to look exactly like Christopher Walken and act like him. It really looked like a person walking on the stage. I was told the truth later. Anyway, Christopher Walken explains about expensive and difficult Hollywood actors and why he wants to use amateurs for his low budget films. They also shoot a few scenes with the selected actors at this point. Then we move onto the ride.
The ride is basically a subway train during an Earthquake and there is fire, explosions, a gasoline truck falls through the roof, pieces of the ceiling is falling, and water pouring out from broken pipes, and you are supposed to scream and act upset as all of this happens. Then they show you the film they got from this. Not just the selected actors but everyone on the ride is part of final film called "Mutha Nature". It is better than you'd expect, but I am not sure I would pay to see it.
I can add that Disaster accommodates wheelchairs and it takes Universal VIP Express Passes. Personally I think the Universal VIP Express Passes are great, at least for long distance visitors who visit only for a short time and have to pay for hotels and airline tickets. The Universal VIP Express Passes allows you to bypass the line at all the rides that accept the VIP Express Passes and the Universal VIP Express Pass can be used as many times as you wish and at any time. This is in stark contrast to Disney World's Fast Passes, which are very restrictive and require that you first show up at the ride that you want a fast pass for.
Opinion on Disaster at Universal Studios
I was especially impressed by the projection of Christopher Walken and I at first had a hard time believing it was a projection. I never noticed it was not a real person on the stage. Add the fact the person we met outside (assistant director) in flesh and blood interacted with the projection on stage as if they were two people. It turns out that they employed a new technology called "Musion Eyeliner". HD LED Screens are used to create a stage illusion called "Pepper's Ghost", but a modern version of it. This I found quite amazing and I think I have to back you see how I got fooled.
Listening to Christopher Walken is always entertaining, he such an odd but funny character. The only thing that annoyed me a little during this part of the show was that we all had to stand. You definitely walk and stand too much at Universal Studios as it is so any seating is appreciated by me. The ride (sit down) was entertaining but could me slightly scary to smaller kids, and the final result, the movie was fun to see.
The ride compares in some respects to the back stage tour at Hollywood Studios, Disney World, except the backstage tour is a tour and the film making and the disaster aspect is just a small part of it. However, I remember a tour at the old Universal Studios in California and I think that Universal Studios really should have something like that, and Disaster come the closest to that.
Overall I think that Disaster is a fun and impressive attraction but there are several rides and attractions I would do before this one at the Universal Studios the parks, including the Jurassic Park ride, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Spiderman, ET, Men in Black, the Hulk if you like roller coasters, and also Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls. That places Disaster somewhere in the middle among the attractions at Universal Studios, which still means that it is a great attraction that I recommend.
Finally I would like to say thank you to Di (SURGRN911) lead in travel for adding this entry to the epinions data base.
Best Suited For: Families
Best Time to Travel Here: Sep - Nov