Destination

Q&A with Kenan Thompson | Get Ready to “Woah” with Universal Parks & Resorts’ New Campaign Spokesperson

February 14, 2020
Kenan Thompson at Universal Orlando Resort

What does “Woah” mean to you? When I think about it, a few things come to mind: when I abandon my comfort zone and try a new dish from a favorite restaurant; when I travel and see breathtaking views; or when I try something new that gets my adrenaline pumping, like…a roller coaster.

All of these scenarios have one thing in common – a feeling that breaks me free of my normal day-to-day. A feeling that leaves me breathless from awe, laughing with my friends, or even screaming from the rush of a roller coaster. This is the feeling that Universal Parks & Resorts is creating and delivering to you with its new brand campaign, “Let Yourself Woah.” Because, when you think about it, we’re really the only place where you can “Woah” at every level imaginable. From the adrenaline rush of flying through the air at 67 mph to living your favorite horror film during Halloween Horror Nights to experiencing your childhood dream as you finally get to see the iconic Hogwarts castle for the first time in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter… these are the moments that leave you breathless with that feeling that captures it all: “Woah!”

One of the faces of our new “Let Yourself Woah” campaign has been part of the NBCUniversal family for years, creating his own “Woah” moments at Universal’s theme parks for audiences around the world, as well as for himself. After shooting the national campaign across both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, we were able to grab a few minutes with actor and comedian Kenan Thompson – check out what he had to say:  

Q: Tell me about the experience of being a part of the new “Woah” campaign for Universal Parks & Resorts?

KENAN: I gotta tell ya, it’s been incredible. There’s a lot of love here in Orlando, and it’s been incredibly nostalgic for me because this is where I had my very first job. We’ve been prepping 20 feet away from where I spent my teenage years growing up here. I’m really excited to roll this out and see how people respond to the whole “Woah” of it all. I think it’s going to be really fun.

Q: After experiencing the parks and working on this campaign, what does “Woah” mean to you?

 KENAN: “Woah” means to me exactly what these parks do for you on a daily basis. Every ride really delivers that “Woah!” I brought my family here and we went on all the rides and afterward, I was like “Woah” every single time.  

Q: You have a history with NBCUniversal. You filmed your show “Kenan & Kel” in Orlando, you’re a part of “Saturday Night Live”…how would you describe the experience of filming in a theme park environment?

[A guest shouts, “We love you Kenan!” Kenan responds, “Thank you! Mad love for you.”]

KENAN: That sums it up! That has been my experience working in a theme park. When I think back, I’m thankful that it was Universal. Coming back to a place that is so familiar has been blowing my mind these past few days. I had a chance to take my picture over by the old filming soundstage. I could have cried because it’s just a special place in my heart. It’s been a long road back and to be a part of such an awesome campaign for one of my favorite places – is like “Woah.”

Kenan Thompson with Family at Universal Orlando Resort

Q: What is your favorite “Woah” moment so far at Universal Orlando Resort?

KENAN: I gotta say it has to be Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. We rode it a few times, and I think it’s one of the most creative roller coasters in America. I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t ridden it, but you can’t even guess what happens next. The twists and turns and ups and downs – that’s all I can tell you. That’s my favorite, hands down!

Q: What is your favorite ride at Universal Studios Hollywood?

KENAN: At Universal Studios Hollywood, Jurassic World is strong…super strong! I seriously felt like I was right in one of the movies. And seeing all of those giant dinosaurs lunge at you is so cool – and they look so realistic. The giant Mosasauraus, the Indominus rex – and of course that drop! It’s an awesome water ride that gets you soaked to the bone.  

What are some of your favorite “Woah” moments you’ve had in the parks? Share with me in the comments below or on social with #LetYourselfWoah.

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