Ride Through New York With Jimmy Fallon has been constructed in the Production Central area of Universal Studios Florida in the former Twister (and Ghostbusters) building. It is in a recreation of NBC’s famous “30 Rock” studio complex in New York, which is home to Studio 6B, where Jimmy Fallon has hosted the Emmy Award winning late night talk show, “The Tonight Show” since 2014.
The ride features a new “Virtual Line” pass accessible through the official Universal Orlando Resort mobile app or at kiosks located outside the attraction entrance. The new Virtual Line concept was trialled on the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem attraction for a couple of weeks in January and allows guests to reserve an admission time much like Disney’s FastPass+ to return without having to queue for an extended period of time.
The attraction starts in Studio 6B where Jimmy Fallon challenges his guests to the ultimate white-knuckle race which takes you through scenes from New York, racing against Jimmy Fallon in the Tonight Rider.
Universal Studios has announced that the official opening date for the new attraction called “Ride Through New York With Jimmy Fallon” will be on April 6, 2017 and the ride is currently in a “soft opening” phase
Unlike a traditional winding attraction queue line, when you enter the first lobby (waiting room) you are given a coloured ticket in one of the colours of the NBC feathers logo and you progress through each of the pre-show lobbies when your colour is displayed in the overhead lighting and NBC logos. You are free to move about and explore each area until your colour is called to move to the next area. You can also get notifications via the official Universal Orlando Resort mobile app.
If you want to rest your legs, there are even seating areas and phone charging points. The whole experience makes it less like you feel you are waiting in a long queue.
In the pre show “The Tonight Show” Lobby, the walls are lined with a range of props and memorabilia including suits worn by previous hosts over the last 62 years, items from the desks, NBC video cameras and clips from the various shows.
You can also interact and dance with the shows mascot Hashtag the Panda, play a “Jimmy Drive” retro video game on touch screen consoles, listen to live music from the Ragtime Gals Barbershop Quartet or watch classic video clips including History of Rap and Lip Sync Battle. You can even send your own personalised “Tonight Show” Thank You Note.
The Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon Ride
You collect your 3D glasses before entering a theatre with seating made to resemble the actual set of “The Tonight Show”. The seating is hydraulically mounted in blocks of 6 rows with 12 seats per row, to provide a degree of motion. It is billed as “the world’s first-ever flying theatre” and is a little like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. There are test seats outside the attraction to check that you will fit.
Once the race starts, you find yourself racing past many iconic New York locations such as Times Square, the New York subway, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and even into outer space. As well as the 3D visuals you will also encounter some of the smells of New York.
Along the ride, you may see cameo performances from Sara from “Ew”, announcer Steve Higgins and Jimmy in “Tight Pants” accompanied by music from The Roots.
Total ride time is around four minutes.
Twister: Ride It Out
Back in 2015, Universal has announced that on November 2, the “Twister: Ride It Out” attraction would close at Universal Studios Florida to make way for a new 3-D attraction called "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon”, due to open in 2017.
At the time there were few details but the attraction was to be based in New York City where Jimmy Fallon hosts the popular Tonight Show and would be inspired by the celebrity races from the TV show.