CONFIRMED: Universal Begins Demolition of E.T. Adventure as Massive New Entrance Immerges

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Split image: on the left, people ride a colorful animated roller coaster in a universal fantasy setting; on the right, an excavator works on demolishing a building amidst dust clouds.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Universal Orlando Resort has confirmed that its most iconic attraction, E.T. Adventure, has not only shut down but that a significant overhaul is on the way for this opening-day ride.

People riding the E.T. Adventure attraction at Universal Studios Florida with underwater-themed decorations including colorful coral and a character on an alien. The scene is vibrant and immersive, akin to the Universal attractions Disney World wish it had.
Credit: Discover Universal

E.T. Adventure Opening Day Attraction Survives (For Now) Almost 35 Years Later at Universal Studios Florida

The E.T. Adventure, a dark ride within Universal Studios Florida, draws inspiration from Steven Spielberg’s iconic 1982 film, “E.T. the Extra-TerExtraterrestrialits inauguration in 1990, it stands as the sole opening day attraction at the park that continues to operate to this day. Universal Parks had only a few left around the globe, with Orlando’s Universal Studios Florida having the ride. Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan shut down their rides, respectively.

In this immersive experience, guests embark on bicycle-like vehicles suspended from the ceiling, racing through the enchanting forest to facilitate E.T.’s return to his home planet. Unlike the serene journey of Peter Pan’s Flight at the Magic Kingdom, the E.T. Adventure features more exhilarating sequences, including an adrenaline-pumping chase. With The Wizarding World of Harry Potter taking over the theme parks, E.T. Adventure still has a place in the hearts of real Universal fans.

However, opinions are divided regarding the ride’s conclusion, where guests are transported to E.T.’s home planet, encountering residents conversing in English with the extraterrestrial; the ride incorporates the voices of Steven Spielberg himself, portraying his character, alongside Pat Welsh as E.T., Tickli, and Magdol, as well as Ron Knight lending his voice to characters like Botanicus, Orbidon, NASA scientist, radiation patrolman, and sheriffs.

Elliot in a red hoodie and an E.T. wrapped in a white blanket ride in the basket of a bike, with a woman running behind them through a scene from "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" movie.
Credit: Universal Pictures

Universal’s Oldest Ride To Get Major Overhaul After 33 Years

The E.T. Adventure attraction is presently undergoing a temporary closure for refurbishment, with indications suggesting the installation of new signage at its entrance. Adjacent to DreamWorks Land, an archway has been erected with ample signage space, presumably designated for the E.T. Adventure. The current entrance to the attraction lacks visibility for guests approaching DreamWorks Land, making the installation of new signage crucial in helping visitors locate the attraction effortlessly.

To delineate between DreamWorks Land and the E.T. Adventure, trees have been strategically planted along the pathway leading to the attraction, extending to the rear of Shrek’s swamp. This addition serves to organically demarcate the two themed areas, both of which are forest-themed. The newly erected archway commands attention and seamlessly integrates with the thematic elements of Shrek’s Swamp and E.T.’s forest.

New E.T. ride signage in progress at right.

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Elliot gazes at a vibrant movie poster featuring an E.T. the extraterrestrial with a glowing finger, set against a backdrop of a suburban neighborhood and a starlit sky. This image has become a classic Universal attraction.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Constructed with wooden-like posts and brackets designed to accommodate future signage, the structure exudes a cohesive aesthetic with its surroundings. Notably, a small metal fixture hangs from the underside of the wooden sign, prompting speculation about its purpose, including displaying wait times or indicating express entry options.

Frame for new E.T. ride signage. Including a frame for wait time sign, at bottom right.

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The refurbishment and installation of new signage at the E.T. Adventure entrance mark an exciting development to enhance guest experience and navigation within Universal Studios Florida’s expansive landscape.

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