The Tonight Show has a long and storied existence. It started with Steve Allen in 1954, and has been through five other hosts. Now, Universal Orlando is celebrating the Tonight Show in a massive way with their all new attraction, Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon. The ride isn’t scheduled to open until April 6th, but guests at Universal Orlando were able to get an early peak at the ride, as it soft opened for technical rehearsals. What is a technical rehearsal? Basically, the ride is opened for a short amount of time to work all the bugs out of it. It’s not a scheduled opening, and it opens without warning. Because the ride isn’t fully open, it can close without warning as well.
So what is the ride like? Well, it’s actually a very interesting combination of ride and museum. We’ll take you through as much as we can.
Universal and NBC take you into the heart of New York as you step into the ride building. What they’ve done is completely recreated 30 Rock in New York City. You are invited to go to NBC Studio 6-B, where the Tonight Show is filmed. Every detail is completely recreated in perfect scale. You are walking into the Tonight Show Building.
Once you’re in, there’s tons of memorabilia from the Tonight Show, including pictures of former hosts and even props from the show. Everyone is there too, even Conan O’Brien and Triumph the Insult Dog.
The ride has a line like you’ve never seen…because it doesn’t have a line, not really. You’re still going to wait, but instead of waiting in line, you’re given a color coded card, and you wait in the lobby, and museum and everywhere around the building.
Once your color is called, you go upstairs for even more experiences in the queue. The queue is a big green room, full of stuff to look at and do. There’s interactive elements, like Jimmy’s Desk, you can send “Thank You” notes to your friends. You can also check out performance by the Ragtime Gals, and even see Jimmy’s mascot, Hashtag the Panda. It’s a really cool experience that is very unique to the theme park. What other ride has a safety video that is rapped while The Roots play? Speaking of The Roots, they have done the music for the ride, which is very cool.
There is also live entertainment in the form of the Ragtime Gals, as they sing acapella versions of popular songs. The entire queue experience is just one piece of cool.
Want to see for yourself? Check out highlights from our video below!
Watch-Enter 30 Rock at Universal Orlando as Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York Soft Opens
The ride? Well. It’s a simulator ride, and won’t be for everyone. There will be those who aren’t fans of it, but if you even remotely like Jimmy Fallon, you’ll love the ride. The ride does use a cool new technology, and it also has amazing 3D. The effects are also pretty spot on. You will smell pizza, you will get wet, and you will see lots of Jimmy Fallon in all his various characters that he’s done on the Tonight Show. This ride is a big tribute to Jimmy Fallon, and there’s nothing wrong with that, because it’s fun. Honestly we don’t want to give a big review of the ride, because it’s not completely open yet. We will simply say that it is fun, and worth experiencing, but it’s by no means a classic.
We will have a much more in depth look coming up in the next few weeks, so be sure to stay tuned.
If you’re trying to get a chance to ride, the only thing we can tell you is to keep checking back if you’re in the park. It may or may not be open for guests, and there’s no guarantees before April 6th.
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