Ride / E.T. Adventure


"Fly! Hoooommee!"

E.T. Adventure is a suspended dark ride that can be found at Universal Studios Florida, with it formerly existing at the Universal Studios parks in Hollywood and Japan. Following the events of the film, the attraction has E.T. once again being trapped on Earth, and this time enlisting the guests' help in returning him back to his planet.

The attraction begins with Steven Spielberg appearing as himself over a television monitor, explaining to guests the entirety of the situation. He explains that E.T.'s homeworld, the Green Planet, is dying of an unknown sickness and that E.T. is the only one that can stop its destruction with his healing touch; mentioning specifically that E.T.'s friends, Tikli, Orbidon and Magdol need to be healed in order to save the planet and that the guests will ride in bicycles with E.T. in order to bring him home. On top of all that, he also brings up that before the guests leave with E.T., they'll need "Interplanetary Passports". note 

From there, guests find themselves in the middle of the forest as seen in the film; where at times E.T.'s mentor, Botanicus, will send down a message warning of the planet's destruction and desperately asking for E.T. to return. Guests then board the "bicycles" to embark on the journey to Green Planet, where they are at first faced against the police and NASA, who are once again out to capture E.T. for research. This leads to E.T., as in the film, making the bicycles "fly" in order to evade the authorities. After soaring high above the city, the guests are then taken into hyperspace towards the Green Planet.

When the attraction first opened, its storyline was originally that the guests were the "actors" in an E.T. sequel that Steven Spielberg was filming and the "Interplanetary Passports" were instead called "Backstage Passes"; but this would later be changed into what it is today in order to make the experience feel more "real".

The ride first opened with Universal Studios Florida on June 7th, 1990 and continues to remain in operation. At Universal Studios Hollywood, it opened on June 12th, 1991 and closed on March 31st, 2003 to make way for Revenge of the Mummy. At Universal Studios Japan, it opened with the park on March 31st, 2001 but closed on May 10, 2009 and was later replaced with Space Fantasy: The Ride.

E.T. Adventure provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Elliot, Michael, and Gertie are completely absent from the ride's storyline, though you could argue that Elliot is in there "in spirit", since the riders are essentially assuming his role.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In a sense, as the Hollywood and Japan versions of the ride expanded slightly on Florida's, featuring much bigger and grander sets.
  • Aliens Speaking English: All of the Green Planet aliens do, which is odd considering that E.T. had to learn how to speak English in the film.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: It's basically Universal's equivalent of Peter Pan's Flight.
  • Always with You: E.T.'s legendary goodbye line can be heard echoing through the exit halls.
  • Author Avatar: Steven Spielberg appears directly in the pre-show to explain everything that's going on and what the guests need to do.
  • But Now I Must Go: A slight variation of this trope, as in this case it's "But Now You Must Go", as E.T. says his goodbyes to the riders before teleporting them back to earth.
  • Cloudcuckooland: The Green Planet, which is a bright and colorful planet that's extremely festive, friendly, and always curious.
  • Continuity Nod: The makeshift-communicator from the film reappears in the forest queue line, where it is now showing messages that are coming from E.T.'s planet.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: It apparently only takes about 3 seconds when in lightspeed to reach the Green Planet.
  • Distress Call: In the queue line, Botanicus appears in a projection, where he pleads for the guests to return E.T. to the Green Planet and save E.T.'s friends along with the planet itself.
  • Easter Egg:
    • There's an almost-impossible to see sign in the forest queue line that says: "Remove nothing from the forest except nourishment for the soul, consolation for the heart, and inspiration for the mind."
    • Also in the queue line, there's an animatronic rabbit hidden in one of the bushes; a nod to how there's a brief shot of a rabbit in the opening scene of the film.
  • Expanded Universe: We now get to see what E.T.'s homeworld looks like, as well as more of his own species.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: After evading the police and heading up into the sky, E.T. sends the bicycles into hyperspace towards his planet.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: As he is saying his farewells, E.T. addresses each of the riders by name. Though of course this is a much friendlier version of this trope.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: The silhouettes of the riders are seen going across the moon.
  • The Full Name Adventures: Speaks for itself.
  • Innocent Aliens: The aliens of the Green Planet are just as cute and harmless as E.T. is.
  • Instructional Dialogue: From Spielberg to the guests in the pre-show.
  • Jump Scare: The police cars that drive right up to the bicycles tend to catch first-time riders off-guard.
  • Magic Staff: Bontanicus carries one, though it's not shown what it does.
  • Miniature Effects: A miniature city model is used to give the illusion of the riders being high up in the air.
  • Mood Whiplash: When you first arrive on the Green Planet, everything is shown to be in a bleak state of decay and darkness. Less than 30 seconds later, E.T.'s magic touch instantly restores life and color to the planet.
  • Mr. Exposition: Steven Spielberg serves this role to an almost overwhelming extent.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: E.T. has now gained the ability to make the bicycles go lightspeed towards his planet and the ability to teleport the riders back to Earth, which of course begs the question as to why he didn't use these abilities in film...
  • The Only One: E.T.'s healing touch is the only thing that can save the Green Planet.
  • The "The" Title Confusion: Despite always being marketed as E.T. Adventure, the queue line videos as well as the pre-show has Spielberg exclusively referring to the ride as The E.T. Adventure.
  • Plant Aliens: Several of the aliens on the Green Planet take on a plant-like appearance, for instance, Orbidon resembles a mushroom and Magdol resembles a bunch of flowers.
  • Scenery Porn: The forest queue line is among the most detailed in the park.
  • Tagline: "Experience the ride of a lifetime."
  • Updated Re Release: The pre-show has been altered three times over the attraction's existence; most particularly when the movie celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2002. The ride itself also received a touch-up with new animatronics being added in during the 20th anniversary.