Today I had the chance to ride Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon. I love roller coasters. I love Jimmy Fallon, I think he's super funny. I love the Tonight Show and even worked at NBC just a few feet from the Tonight Show studio in Burbank several years ago. And I love everything about the glitz, glamour and all the behind the scenes that goes into making any sort of production. In fact, my office is in the same space as James Cameron and I'm able to see back lot stuff day in and day out. I still think it's awesome!
That said, the ride...
Nutshell version: Cue was great, ride already felt like it was 20 years old.
The buildup was great. It felt like going into 30 Rock. There was a Tonight Show style theater where you could sit on the floor and watch clips while waiting to ride. The wait time for the ride didn't seem like a very long time, but all in all it did take us about 30 minutes from start to finish. It was kind of like Fast Pass, but a little more refined. And with entertainment while you are waiting.
There were interactive tables in the lobby, places to sit while waiting, etc. There weren't nearly enough interactive elements for the amount of people that were in the room. So chances are, you weren't going to have a chance to play with one of those screens.
Universal missed the mark on the theater where the clips were being shown. They could've done an exact replica of the stage and yet they just did something that is in the "style of".
And then there was the onstage entertainment. A group came out and did some lip sync. It was really fun and made the time go really fast.
But the ride, that's why we go, right? It's not cause of a cool line.
I won't give away any spoilers, but it's basically the Despicable Me ride, on a larger, singular platform and in New York. I think most other reviews have hit on more specific details, but when I got off the ride, the first thing I said to my kids, "That ride felt like it was 10 years old already and it's technically not even open yet."
My kids enjoyed it, but this is a huge miss in my book and hopefully will be a lesson to theme parks to stop with the simulator rides already. If you're a ride creator, think of it as Star Wars Episode I...yeah, CGI exists, but the use of it in a cool property doesn't mean that it's a good idea to over do it.
Have you ridden it yet? What did you think?