Big News: E.T. Adventure at Universal Orlando Expands for the First Time Since 1990

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A digitally edited image shows the alien E.T. and a boy standing in front of the iconic Universal Studios globe in a theme park. The background features Universal's amusement park structures, including the ABC Grill restaurant. The sky is clear with a few clouds.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Universal Orlando Resort has finally upgraded and given the classic opening day attraction E.T. Adventure a proper facelift that will ignite the hearts of fans worldwide.

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

Universal Gives Classic E.T. Adventure Attraction: a Historic Expansion for the First Time Since 1990

E.T. Adventure is a dark ride at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando. This attraction was primarily designed by Universal Creative with input from Steven Spielberg and debuted to the public in 1990. Similar ride versions opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in 1991 and Universal Studios Japan in 2001, but both have since been closed.

The ride replicates the iconic flying bicycle chase scene from the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Also, it introduces riders to E.T.’s home planet, the Green Planet, as depicted in the sequel novel E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet (1985). Sally Corporation designed and manufactured many of the ride’s animatronics and exotic plant elements.

Since opening its doors to guests in 1990, the ride has seen some ups and downs, with malfunctions and constant refurbishments. The attraction was also located at several Universal theme parks, including Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan, which both have shut down over the years, leaving this attraction as the final remaining ride Steven Speilburg himself had a hand in creating.

Some additions have been made to the ride to keep it up to date and functioning correctly, but nothing like what Universal is currently working on.

People riding a dynamic simulation ride with underwater-themed decorations including colorful coral and a character on a seahorse. The scene is vibrant and immersive, akin to the Universal attractions Disney World wish it had.
Credit: Discover Universal

For those who haven’t heard, DreamWorks Land is an exciting new addition to Universal Studios Orlando Resort. This park invites guests of all ages to dive into the magical realms of popular DreamWorks franchises like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Trolls. Since its initial announcement a few months ago, much has been shared about the upcoming attractions and experiences.

In a recent video, Dean Orion, the creative director of Universal Studios Orlando, takes viewers on a park tour. Donning his hard hat, he gives a sneak peek of some of the many attractions available for families when they visit.

With the addition of this new land, many were speculating that Universal would shut down E.T. Adventure and replace it with something that fit the land better, like a DreamWorks property. Another section that does not fit into the new area opening on June 14 is the Spongebob store and meet-and-greet area where families and folks can meet Spongebob, Patrick, Gary, and Squidward himself.

But it seems that Universal has been keeping E.T. Adventure for a very long time, especially since Steven himself said that he would pull the plug on future projects with Universal if they were to shut down the iconic ride.

But now, an excellent and massive new addition to the attraction will leave guests wanting to revisit this beloved ride and get it on again and again:

SPOTTED! The NEW E.T. Adventure sign! That area of  @UniversalORL doesn’t open until 10am. – @Attractions on X

A bright sunny day at Universal Studios Florida near the E.T. Adventure attraction.
Credit: Universal Parks News Today on Twitter

In the content provided above by @Attractions on X, you can see that, like Inside The Magic previously reported, a new massive entrance sign has been installed in a new location that will give guests a chance to get in line with more scenic surroundings. Especially as they exit the attraction like shown in the photo above, trees and more have been added to the outdoor queue portions of the ride to make the location feel more grounded and authentic to the film itself.

Work continues on the new ET Adventure sign. The ride reopened today after a brief refurbishment.  @UniversalORL

@insideuniversal on X

Universal Studios Florida’s classic 1990 attraction, E.T. Adventure, is receiving significant updates, signaling Universal’s commitment to preserving and enhancing this beloved ride for the long term. The addition of a new sign, improved special effects, new scents within the ride, and a redesigned exit path are all part of this effort. Introducing a new sign for E.T. Adventure refreshes the ride’s exterior, making it more appealing and noticeable to park guests.

These updates reflect Universal’s dedication to maintaining and improving E.T. Adventure, showing that they value this classic ride and are committed to its longevity. By investing in these enhancements, Universal demonstrates that they are dedicated to blending nostalgia with modern attractions, ensuring that E.T. Adventure continues to delight guests for years.

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