E.T. Adventure is a dark ride featured at Universal Studios Florida in the Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone area and formerly, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Japan theme parks. The ride is based on the movie E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. It will also open at Universal Studios Singapore in 2010 and Universal Studios South Korea and Universal Studios Dubailand in 2012. The Hollywood version closed March 14, 2003 and the Japan version closed May 10, 2009.
The current ride, at Universal Studios Florida, has guests begin by entering a sound stage.
The exterior queue is themed to a sound stage where E.T. is being filmed. TV monitors above guests' heads display the filmmakers discussing their experience on creating the film as well as E.T. trivia. There are also E.T. posters from the film's 20th Anniversary re-release on display near the end of the queue. Not all posters are in English, they are posters from all around the world. Guests are then ushered into the pre-show room.
Before going into the interior queue, Steven Spielberg appears on TV screens above us and tells us that E.T.'s teacher Botanicus needs E.T. to come to his home world, "The Green Planet" because the planet is dying. Only E.T.'s magical healing touch can save the planet, so it is up to the guests to bring him home. He also tells the guests that they make their journey on bikes, and that you need a "Interplanetary Passport" to get there. The guests then enter a second room where they give their name to one of Spielberg's assistants which is programmed into a card that is used later in the ride. People that have been on this ride before sometimes fake their name to see how E.T. says it at the end.
The interior queue is a forest setting where it is established that the police are looking for the guests in the line. In the interior queue, Botanicus, E.T.'s teacher, is seen popping up out of a rock every few minutes pleading for E.T.'s return, and on the way the guests pass by a Speak & Spell seen in the movie, while the letters H-E-L-P E-T come onto the screen of it while its signature loud clacking is heard, and then the letters erase, and ad lib. The guests then board the ride vehicle.
Each individual seat is a bicycle, whose handles come down as the lap bar. The bike in the middle of the front row contains E.T. The vehicles travel past NASA and police officials who give chase and try to arrest the riders. As they are about to be caught, a police car appears out of no where and just as they are about to hit it, the bicycles begin to fly over the city and then into outer space. From on their bikes, they can see the miniature city below, including real moving cars and even a football stadium. The bike is then transported to a kind of portal area with flashing lights which, when finally turned around, arrives at the Green Planet. Then guests encounter Botanicus who urges the visitors to save E.T.'s friends. E.T.'s healing touch travels through the planet, reviving his friends and beginning a celebration with baby E.T.s. This lasts for about 3 minutes, and is a huge contrast to the beginning; the beginning was dark and scary, and this party of the ride is light and colourful, with spurting water and singing. At the end, guests pass an animatronic E.T. who thanks them all by the name they gave to the travel agents.
The ride at Universal Studios Florida which opened with the park on June 7, 1990, is still in operation and is located in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone. The ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, which opened on June 12, 1991, was closed March 14, 2003 to make room for Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride. The Ride at Universal Studios Japan closed on May 10, 2009. For a short time, an unauthorized golden E.T. statue was placed by a crew member in the treasure room of the Revenge of the Mummy attraction as a tribute to the former tenant of the building at Universal Studios Hollywood. This did not last long. After the closing of the Hollywood ride, Steven Spielberg informed Universal that they were not permitted to close the Florida and Japan versions. On May 10, 2009, however, the Japan version was closed anyway. However, Spileberg still insists that Universal not close the original Florida version. The ride has been confirmed to appear in the upcoming Universal Studios Singapore park when completed in 2010. The Ride will also be appearing in Universal Studios Dubailand and Universal Studios South Korea opening in 2012.
In November 2004 on the attraction at Universal Studios Japan, a 35-year-old woman from Osaka Prefecture, Japan suffered nerve damage in her right wrist, resulting in the loss of use of two of her fingers and ultimately losing her job. This occurred when her hand got stuck in a safety bar as an employee pulled it down to secure it. The woman sued the park and received $142,814 in an out-of-court settlement.
The attraction at Universal Studios Florida originally featured a different pre-show which ran from 1990-2002. During this pre-show, Steven Spielberg is in a movie theater watching E.T. and informs the riders that we have volunteered to be actors in a sequel to the film. The original pre-show was discontinued, because Spielberg wanted to change it for the 20th Anniversary. It should also be noted that the original pre-show was projected onto a large single screen, while the current one is shown on multiple TV monitors.
Original music for the ride was composed and conducted by John Williams.