The news in 2022 that Universal Studios’ Kidzone will receive a fresh overhaul renewed concern about the future of E.T. Adventure, the beloved attraction that resides within this area. E.T Adventure may indeed be safe for now, but this news has left Universal fans on tenterhooks and has reignited discussions surrounding E.T Adventure’s shelf-life.
It must be reiterated – E.T. Adventure is safe for now. However, there are many park fans (myself included) who would be devastated if the ride closed its doors for good, as it is one of Universal’s only remaining opening-day attractions and serves as somewhat of a time capsule for the theme park.
But what if, instead of eventually needing to close the attraction to make way for something new, Universal decided to upgrade E.T. Adventure? What sort of elements could be implemented in order for it to keep up with the modern day? While some of these would likely be met with a number of limitations, here are a few Blue Sky ideas for just how E.T. Adventure could receive an innovative overhaul to prevent it from ever having to close its doors!
1. New & Improved Ride Vehicles
Image: UniversalTaking away the bike aspect of E.T. Adventure would mean removing much of the charm that makes this attraction so special. Not only that but it is imperative to the story that riders hop onto bikes in order to save E.T. A fantastic way to modernize the rider experience would be through an all-new ride vehicle system on an all-new track that still mimics a pedal bike, but says goodbye to the current creaky track. This could give guests the opportunity to ride in shorter rows on longer trains, making for a more personal experience as you journey back to the green planet with E.T. in tow.
2. Upgraded Animatronics
Image: Universal While we’re at it, the in-ride characters and creatures could also get a major upgrade. The janky old-school animatronics may add to the nostalgia of E.T. Adventure, however, this would likely be the first thing Universal would have their eye on if they ever were to make some major upgrades. In recent years, the standard of animatronics at Universal has soared to new heights, so it would be awesome to see the various character animatronics you meet along the way swapped out for smoother ones while keeping them reminiscent of what came before.
3. Screens (But Wait!!! Not How You Think!)
Image: Ellie ClarkNo doubt you’re now questioning my actual affection for E.T. Adventure and thinking “Screens?! Not in E.T. Adventure!!” but hear me out. The main elements of the ride should absolutely be kept practical lest we lose the things we love most about E.T. Adventure.
However, in recent years we’ve learned that screens can sometimes complement attractions rather than removing the magic altogether, and implementing *some* screens for various background elements, which blend seamlessly with the physical elements of the ride, could help to create a much newer and more innovative feel while also maintaining the heart of the attraction. If E.T. were to undergo any major upgrades, this feels like a logical step in prolonging its tenure.
4. The End Scene
Image: Flickr/Steven Miller (License)E.T. Adventure’s final scene sees E.T. offer you a personal goodbye, calling each guest by name as they return to the loading bay. This element of the ride is adored by many and certainly offers guests a good chuckle, though it’s slightly unreliable in how often it works. Alongside an upgraded E.T. animatronic, an improved audio system could make this final moment all the more special and would ensure that the attraction consistently offers a heartwarming and lasting memory for all guests.
Of course, we’d all rather see E.T. Adventure stay exactly as it is, but would you like to see a modern version of the ride if it meant it could stay open forever?
Do you think Universal should modernize E.T Adventure at Universal Studios Florida to prevent any talk in the future of its closure? Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll below or by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.