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"It ain't nice to mess... with Mutha Nature."

Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You was a part-ride/part-show special effects attraction at Universal Studios Florida. Opening in place of Earthquake: The Big One on January 17, 2008; the attraction reused the technology and ride portion of its predecessor, though outside that it was in fact much different in every way. Rather than just focusing on earthquakes, Disaster! served as a big parody of the b-movie genre altogether and the tropes they contain.

The attraction was one of the few things at Universal Studios to not be based off of any movie or television show; instead, the ride was about a fictitious film company, called "Disaster Studios", that specializes in making big summer blockbuster epics, such as "Apocageddon", "Das Schurke", "Baboon!", and "300 Knots Landing". The story was that the studio was inviting people off the streets to be cast as extras in their latest movie, "Mutha Nature".

Guests were first introduced to Lonnie, who started off by discussing the studio's history and the man running it, Frank Kincaid (played by Christopher Walken). In the next pre-show, guests would get to see Frank Kincaid himself note , who elaborates about how passionate he is about the disaster and action genres, so much so that he keeps a book of tropes found in the genres that he studies as a "recipe". Here, the guests would also be introduced to Mikey, another part of the crew helping out with the production. The third and final pre-show featured select guest participants being filmed for bits that would later be used in "Mutha Nature", with it ending in Frank Kincaid deciding to cast all of the guests as extras. This led into the attraction's finale: a ride aboard a subway train through a massive earthquake. While on the ride, Mikey would appear on screen to give the riders "directions" on how to react to each part of the experience. At the end, a trailer for "Mutha Nature" was played, which showed the filmed bits of the guests appearing in the movie, along with showing clips of the film's hero (played by Dwayne Johnson).

The attraction operated until September 8, 2015; where it was then quietly closed. It would later be replaced with Fast & Furious: Supercharged, which opened in 2018.

Tropes used in Disaster! include:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes concerning the attraction itself 

  • Accidental Misnaming: Frank Kincaid refers to Lonnie as "Ronnie" and "Donnie" multiple times.
  • Affectionate Parody: The attraction was altogether a big homage/parody of cheesy disaster movies.
  • Audience Participation: Guests would volunteer to play the different roles in the "Mutha Nature" movie, with the rest of the audience serving as extras.
  • Bait-and-Switch: During the casting process Lonnie would say that he/she needs "a sweet real live, beautiful, sexy...gardening grandmother-type."
  • Big Entrance: Frank Kincaid attempts to do this by appearing right after an explosion, but it doesn't work as he had planned.
  • The Big Guy: Lonnie would cast one of the guest volunteers in this part.
  • The Cassandra: Rule #22 in Frank Kincaid's book is, "Only one person knows how to avert a disaster, but nobody ever believes them."
  • Catchphrase: For when moving into the next part of production, Lonnie would start by saying, "And we are...", and then have the audience finish with, "...moving on!"
  • Chroma Key: Used in the second pre-show, which later on makes it look as if one of the guest participants is in the middle of a giant flood.
  • Cliché Storm: invoked Parodied with regards to disaster movies. Frank Kincaid has written an entire book of disaster flick cliches that he relies on as a guide to screenwriting and directing, referring to it as "not a formula, but a recipe."
  • Copiously Credited Creator: In-Universe. Lonnie refers to Frank Kincaid as the CEO, CFO, founder, writer, director, producer, and president of Disaster Studios.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Was used in the subway scene, as the earthquake strikes the area.
  • End of an Age: Disaster! was the last vestige of Universal Studios Florida's original theming of having rides that revolved around teaching guests about movie production and casting the riders as "actors" going through a scene.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In the main ride, a tank truck would explode upon hitting a subway column.
  • Evil Laugh: For filming practice, Lonnie would have the three guests volunteering as villains do one.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The pre-show host's name was a gender-neutral "Lonnie", so the role could be played by either a male or female team member.
  • Global Warming: Frank Kincaid mentions that the events of the Mutha Nature film are caused by this.
  • Go into the Light: When giving acting commands to the woman playing the gardener, Lonnie gestures towards a studio light, mentioning, "Now look at the light, but don't go into it."
  • Hand Rubbing: This was another thing Lonnie would have the "villains" do for filming practice.
  • Holy Backlight: As a Running Gag in the first pre-show, every time Frank Kincaid's name is said, a heavenly-looking light is projected onto his portrait while an angelic choir plays.
  • Kick the Dog: The literal application of this trope is defied. Rule #32 in Frank Kincaid's book is, "Never kill a house pet."
  • Large Ham: Frank Kincaid is this in huge doses. note 
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the previous Earthquake: The Big One attraction. Disaster! depicted earthquakes in a tongue-in-cheek B-movie manner, while Earthquake depicted them in a much more dark and serious manner.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Lonnie sees that they only have six minutes to film all of the guests' scenes, he/she would exclaim, "Mother-...nature!"
  • Man-Eating Plant: This is one of the many things Frank Kincaid promises will be in Mutha Nature.
  • Officially Shortened Title: The full title was shortened to a simple Disaster! for virtually all of the marketing.
  • One-Word Title: The normally-used shortened version of the title is this.
  • Overcrank: Rule #101 in Frank Kincaid's book is "Explosions are good, slow-motion explosions are better."
  • Overly Long Scream: Mikey tells the riders to keep on screaming throughout the ride's finale for the shoot.
  • Pec Flex: Lonnie would have the guest volunteering as The Big Guy do this as a demonstration.
  • The Plague: Frank Kincaid mentions plagues as another thing that will be in Mutha Nature.
  • Runaway Train: During the ride-portion, a derailed subway train nearly collided with guests.
  • Screaming Woman: At one point during the finale, Mikey specifically asks for only the women to scream.
  • Sequel Escalation: Earthquake was mostly just about earthquakes, while this attraction focused on every single natural disaster out there, as well as giving focus to man-made disasters.
  • Shout-Out: There were several references to the previous Earthquake attraction, such as there being a plane prop in the queue line with the codename "EQ1990" on it, Mikey referring to the disaster at the end as "The Big One", clips from the movie being used, props from the ride being on display, and so on.
  • Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle: The full title of the attraction is Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You.
  • Shrine to Self: The first pre-show room was filled with photographs of Frank Kincaid lining the walls, along with the awards he's won on display and a huge portrait of himself.
  • Special Effects Failure: In-Universe. Frank Kincaid gets frustrated at Mikey because his attempt at a Big Entrance is ruined because the explosion wasn't anywhere-near big enough.
  • Stealth Pun: During filming, a kid standing in front of the green screen was told to stare at the rock hanging from the ceiling. In the trailer, the kid stares at Dwayne Johnson.
  • Sting: Parodied. As another Running Gag, Lonnie would get the audience to say "Dun Dun DAH!" whenever something really dramatic is said.
  • Styrofoam Rocks: These were utilized during the filming of the scene where the three villains get pelted by falling building rubble.
  • Take That!: When filming the guest volunteers' scenes, Lonnie would often take jabs at real life celebrities; for instance, when commenting on the kid actor doing a blank stare, he/she would say, "That's exactly how Keanu Reeves makes a living too."
  • Take That, Scrappy!: invoked Rule #14 in Frank Kincaid's book is, "The annoying guy always dies."
  • Troubled Production: In-Universe. The Mutha Nature film is said to have been running very behind schedule, along with its actors all being sent to rehab. Frank Kincaid also mentions that he had to sell a lot of his own property in order to get the movie financed.

    Tropes concerning Disaster Studios' movies 

  • Combat Tentacles: A prop from Super Ultra Mega Atomic Chaos has a giant alien tentacle attacking a tank.
  • Coming in Hot: The poster for 300 Knots Landing, shows a severely damaged plane about to make a landing.
  • Cyborg: There's a cyborg shark in the Das Schurke film.
  • Disaster Movie: What Disaster Studios specializes in making.
  • Earth-Shattering Poster: The Apocageddon poster has a burning Earth in the background.
  • Festering Fungus: The whole central premise of Fungus: It's Among Us!.
  • Gratuitous German: Das Schurke has a German title along with (fake) German actors listed on its poster.
  • Maniac Monkeys: The poster for the movie, Baboon! depicts, as its title would suggest, a killer baboon.
  • Portmantitle: The Disaster Studios film, Apocageddon combines "Apocalypse" and "Armageddon" together.
  • Practical Effects: This is taken to an extreme extent In-Universe, where it was said that for Apocageddon, Frank Kincaid used a trebuchet to launch numerous man-made meteors onto dozens of buildings.
  • Shout-Out: Baboon! may be somewhat of a reference to Shakma (which was one of the very first movies to be filmed at Universal Studios Florida).
  • Show Within a Show: All of these movies are this.
  • Summer Blockbuster: As implied, Disaster Studios makes nothing but these.
  • Tagline:
    • 300 Knots Landing: "Mayday! Mayday! Flight 672 is falling and we can't get up!"
    • Das Schurke: "Hunter. Hunted. Horror. Help."
    • Apocageddon: "Tomorrow is the first day of the next to last day of the rest of your life."
  • Tank Goodness: A prop tank from Super Ultra Mega Atomic Chaos could be seen when first walking in.
  • Threatening Shark: Das Schurke, features a cyborg shark, which appeared as a prop.

    Tropes concerning the "Mutha Nature" trailer 

  • Apocalypse Wow: The entire trailer shows the world being ripped to pieces on an epic scale.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Every performance in the trailer is meant to be this.
  • Bee Afraid: An entire crowd is shown being attacked by bees.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: One is shown at the beginning of the trailer, and appears to be the villain of the movie.
  • Content Warnings: At the start, it's shown that the film has been rated "Blockbuster" by the "Academy of Film Review".
  • Cowboy Cop: The park ranger character is this.
  • Death as Comedy: At the end of a trailer, a gardener (usually played by an elderly woman) looks up at the sky and is comically zapped into dust by lightning.
  • Disaster Movie: The Disaster Movie, filled with every single form of nature gone wrong you can imagine.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: This happens right after the park ranger says yet another one of his one-liners.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The storyline is that Earth, now fed up with humanity, decides to fight back by triggering a Natural Disaster Cascade.
  • The Great Flood: One is shown tearing apart an entire city, with a screaming man also being whisked away by it.
  • If I Do Not Return: The park ranger character gives this speech to wife just before he goes out into the storm.
  • In a World…: The trope namer is used right at the beginning.
  • Instant Thunder: Occurs with every single lightning strike in the trailer.
  • Jump, I'll Catch You!: The park ranger ranges tells this to a little kid that's high up on a building. They both end up fine.
  • Natural Disaster Cascade: the Earth itself begins inflicting Gaia's Vengeance against humanity by triggering every kind of natural disaster: earthquakes, thunder, and a city-destroying flood.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The whole case of the trailer.
  • Scenery Gorn: Very little of the cityscape gets spared.
  • Screaming Woman: There's a whole close-up shot dedicated to one in the trailer.
  • Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: One can be seen in the background of the government agency scene.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Right towards the end with a person and the title.
  • Subways Suck: A subway train is shown getting the full effect of the earthquake.
  • Tagline: It ain't nice to mess...with Mutha Nature.
  • Title Drop: Done in the "Tagline" above.
  • Troperiffic: Purposely done with the trailer as a parody of disaster/action movie cliches.
  • Unflinching Walk: Played with. At the end, we see the park ranger character toss a grenade at a factory and then slowly walk away as if he's prepping up for the explosion to occur behind him.
  • World of Ham: There is not a single person in the trailer that isn't going over-the-top.

"And we are... moving on!"