Follow TV Tropes


Ride / E.T. Adventure

Go To
"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 7, 1990 and continues to remain in operation; the only opening-day attraction still open at that park. At Universal Studios Hollywood, it opened on June 12, 1991 and closed on March 31, 2003 to make way for Revenge of the Mummy. At Universal Studios Japan, it opened with the park on March 31, 2001 but closed on May 10, 2009 and was later replaced with Space Fantasy: The Ride.

E.T. Adventure contains examples of:

  • 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.
  • Addressing the Player: Just before you enter the forest queue line, ride attendants ask for your name and give you a card to hand the person operating the vehicles. This allows for E.T. to say your name at the end of the ride, provided you don't have an overly complex name.
  • Alien Sky: From the brief glimpse of it we get, the sky on the Green Planet is always a mixture of red, orange, and pink.
  • 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.
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: The Green Planet is just like Earth when it comes to having gravity and breathable air.
  • All There in the Manual: There were several E.T. books released in the 1980's that go more into detail about life on the Green Planet and E.T.'s relationship with his teacher, Bontanicus.
  • 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.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: The ride has guests going into outer space and then into light speed, all without wearing any gear.
  • Basso Profundo: Bontanicus' voice is extremely deep.
  • 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.
  • Canon Foreigner: All of E.T.'s friends, whom are never seen or mentioned in the original film or in any of its spin-off material.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Snarl: This ride appears to retcon the film spin-off, E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet, as the book mentioned that all of E.T.'s kind have a healing touch, while in the attraction it's said that only E.T. possesses said ability.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: It apparently only takes three or-so seconds of lightspeed to reach the Green Planet. Of course, the fact that it takes that long means you're not really at lightspeed; to a hypothetical particle traveling at the speed of light, it takes exactly zero time to go any distance, no matter how long.
  • Cool Starship: The spaceships that guests could opt to ride in the ride's early years.
  • Dance Party Ending: After E.T. saves the planet, a musical celebration is held before E.T. sends the guests back home.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: In the celebration scene, some of the Green Planet's residents can be heard in the background playing the film's main theme on their own instruments.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The trip through the Green Planet basically becomes this once E.T. cures it, with the planet sporting very trippy-colors and featuring extremely unusual-looking creatures.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: This is how Spielberg starts off the pre-show.
    Steven Spielberg: It's my pleasure to welcome you to The E.T. Adventure. But I'm afraid we don't have much time, so I'm going to cut right to the chase.
  • 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.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Along with E.T. himself, none of the beings on the Green Planet wear any sort of clothing.
  • Extra Eyes: A few of the creatures on the Green Planet sport multiple eyes all around their heads.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: After evading the police and heading up into the sky, E.T. sends the bicycles into hyperspace towards his planet.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: The silhouettes of the riders are seen going across the moon.
  • The Full Name Adventures: Speaks for itself.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Guests enter their names for an "Interplanetary Passport" before boarding; at the end of the ride, the visitors pass an animatronic E.T., who thank them by name. The potential for abuse from repeat riders should be obvious...
  • Humans by Any Other Name: Bontanicus exclusively refers to the guests as "earth people".
  • 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.
  • Matte Shot: The background sky in the final scene with E.T. is a matte painting.
  • Meaningful Name: Although this is a case of All There in the Manual, spin-off E.T. books mention that along with being a mentor to the title character, Bontanicus is also a master teacher of botany.
  • Mentor Archetype: Their history together is never explained in the attraction, but Spielberg mentions that Bontanics is E.T.'s mentor.
  • 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...
  • Ominous Owl: A creepy owl makes an appearance just before the riders dodge another truck.
  • The Only One: E.T.'s healing touch is the only thing that can save the Green Planet.
  • 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.
  • Spheroid Dropship: There used to be special vehicles for wheelchair-bound guests that were designed to look like E.T.'s mothership, however, these were later taken out at some point. The wheelchair-accessible vehicle is now designed to look like all the other bicycle vehicles.
  • Tagline:
    • "Experience the ride of a lifetime."
    • "A journey beyond the stars. An adventure beyond belief."
  • 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.
  • Treehouse of Fun: A treehouse can be seen just before the first scene of the ride, though it's not explained why it's there or who it belongs to.
  • 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.
  • Wolverine Publicity: The park featured this attraction very prominently in advertising back in the 90's, to the point that some versions of the park's logo included E.T. right on top of it.
  • Yo-Yo Plot Point: The ride's premise starts with E.T. somehow getting marooned on Earth again.