Things To Do

Complete Guide to E.T. Adventure at Universal Studios Florida

June 7, 2021
ET Main

You can have your fresh churros or the delicious sugary aroma of Voodoo Doughnuts — for me, there’s only one quintessential smell at Universal Orlando Resort. One scent that not only brings me back to my childhood, but also makes me feel at home. And no trip to Universal Orlando Resort is complete without me breathing in all of its wonderful awesomeness…

The smell of the forest in E.T. Adventure!

PROLOGUE

I visited Universal Studios Florida for the first time in the fall of 1990, just a few months after the park opened. I loved everything about it.

What I especially loved was getting, as the tagline promised, to ride the movies. And one of my favorites to ride was, hands down, E.T. Adventure. In the 80s, there were few things more awesome than E.T. So the fact that Universal Studios Florida was giving me the chance to actually ride a bike with E.T. himself in the basket?!? Pretty awesome.

Rob ET

Let’s fast forward to present day. Yesterday, to be specific, when I made a solo trip to Universal Studios Florida to ride this classic attraction. Here’s the story of my trip from the queue to E.T.’s home planet and then back to Earth — and all the facts and details you need to know as you prepare for your own adventure.

THE QUEUE

ET Queue

Standing in the queue for E.T. Adventure just feels special. As the only original ride from the park’s opening day still in existence, E.T. Adventure gives longtime guests the chance to continue to enjoy a beloved ride and newer guests the chance to experience a classic. And it all starts when you walk into the building and watch a video message from the film’s director, Steven Spielberg.

Spielberg cuts right to the chase. Bottom line, E.T. needs your help. There’s a big problem on E.T.’s home world, the Green Planet, which, inconveniently enough, is three million light-years away. As if that wasn’t enough stress, E.T.’s friends are in danger because their planet is dying. Hold on, there’s more: only E.T.’s magic healing touch can save his friends and bring his planet back to health and only you can bring him back to his planet. No pressure, right?

After you get your mission download from Spielberg, you continue through the queue where a Team Member will ask your name. They’ll give you an official Adventure Passport and you continue on your journey…

ETQueue

…right into the forest. This is the magic smell I described earlier. As soon as you walk into the forest, you’re greeted by giant redwoods and the unmistakable smell of fresh pine. As you venture deeper into the forest, you really feel like you’re on a movie set. The theming and immersion into the E.T. story is incredibly detailed. Keep an eye out for Bottanicus beaming down from his ship to deliver a special message and a Speak & Spell with the letters HELP ET on the screen.

THE ADVENTURE

E.T. Adventure Ride

OK, let’s do this. A Team Member will collect your Adventure Passport (spoiler: something really cool is going to happen) and then it’s time to board your bike to bring E.T. home, provide that healing touch, save his planet and bring everything and every creature back to health. You know the drill. 

Once you’re on the bike, it’s on. You’ve got E.T. hidden safely in a basket and you’re racing through the forest, past police officers, scientists, and other officials who want nothing more than to stop your mission. These folks are serious, too! They’re coming at you from all sides, screaming things like, “They’ve got E.T.!” and “They’re getting away!” while jeeps and police cars make attempts to block your path. Fools! E.T. soon works his magic and your bike takes flight — out of the forest and over the city far, far below. 

Now I don’t care how old you are or how many times you’ve been on E.T. Adventure. You can’t tell me you don’t get just a little bit emotional when you’re flying high above the city, all those twinkling lights below you, with that iconic score in the background. That, my friends, is riding the movies. 

PHONE HOME

ETParty

All the feels aside, your journey’s far from over. From here, you’re transported right to the Green Planet and, amidst the smoke and flashing lights, Bottanicus is there to welcome you. But again, there’s not a moment to lose. So you ride through the planet, all the while as E.T. is using his healing powers. All this leads to a big “you saved our planet” celebration worthy of, well, an extra-terrestrial.

Colorful lights, jumping water, and singing creatures make a big scene as everyone rejoices in the planet being saved from disaster. Wait, what? No, that’s nothing. There’s just, um, something in my eye. Ahem.

Anyway, there’s one last stop before your bike returns to Earth. Remember those Adventure Passport cards? Thanks to some Universal Studios Florida magic, your bike passes right by E.T. who says goodbye. To you. By name. I’ve been riding this attraction for 31 years and it’s still pretty cool.

Then — boom, bam, flash — you return to Earth (with a full heart that only comes from doing something amazing like saving a planet from destruction or smelling the pine scent of the forest in the queue).

RIDE DETAILS AND FUN FACTS

  • Height requirement: 34”
  • Under 48” requires supervising companion
  • When the attraction originally opened in 1990, you could choose your mode of transportation: bike or spaceship!
  • While walking through the forest in the queue, take a close look. You just might see two bunnies hiding in the bushes, as well as an owl on a tree branch.

EXTRA-TERRESTIAL EXTRAS

ETToyStore

On your way out of the attraction, be sure to stop by the E.T. Toy Closet. There, you’ll find a ton of cool merchandise (dolls, shirts, even red hoodies). This is also your chance to actually meet E.T. himself — and to leave with a photo to make all your Earth friends jealous. You can hop on a bike with E.T. and get a cool souvenir photo of you two flying past the moon or you can do what I did and cuddle up with E.T. in a set you’ll remember from the film.

Post from (magickingdommorins) v7cplh
Post from (magickingdommorins) v7cplh
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new.scream
Post from (universalorlando) tb75uw
Post from (universalorlando) tb75uw

From my first visit to the Green Planet 31 years ago to my trip yesterday, E.T. Adventure still holds a special place in my heart. It’s a classic Universal Studios Florida attraction where, for just a few minutes, you forget about everything else and just simply immerse yourself in a wonderful story.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this classic Universal Studios Florida attraction! Share your memories of E.T. Adventure in the comments below.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Kimberly Hollingsworth June 7, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Best. Ride. Ever.
    P.S. My daughter’s name is Elliot❤️

  • Reply Cristina June 7, 2021 at 11:31 am

    E.T. is my all time favorite ride and we always make sure to go at least once every day we spend at Universal!

  • Reply Maria June 7, 2021 at 11:48 am

    ET is one of my favorite rides, it holds such a special place in my heart from childhood. I hope it sticks around for a really long time.

  • Reply Attractions Magazine June 7, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    We love E.T. Adventure and hope it never goes away!

  • Reply PHILLIP MCCORMICK June 7, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    One Of Our Favorites, all ages

  • Reply Elsie Racite June 7, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    E.T. Adventure is such an awesome ride!
    Definitely one of my favorites at Universal Studios Florida!

  • Reply Barbara June 7, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    ET is a family favorite ❤️

  • Reply Jon June 7, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Love E.T. It’s a must-ride for any trip we make out to Orlando. Shame he hasn’t returned to the Hollywood park yet. I’m sure we could all use some more E.T.

  • Reply Sindhy June 7, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    My baby boy (2 yo) rode this like 7 times everytime we go to universal! And he falls asleep hearing a story about E.T… but not the movie… the ride!!!

  • Reply Lexie June 8, 2021 at 1:05 am

    This is my favourite thing from universal despite being a major Harry Potter and Jurassic park fan. The sense of nostalgia from a time period I wasn’t even alive in is incredible. It makes me feel like a kid again. The simplicity and aesthetic of it is so beautiful and leaves you to experience something like no other. I hope they never get rid of this ride. Nowadays it seems parks are all about screens. But in the E.T. Ride you genuinely feel like you’re there, not just sitting in a cart staring at screens. Wish they would make more rides like they used to.

  • Reply Social Media Team June 8, 2021 at 7:17 am

    Hi Lexie! We’re so happy to hear that you love E.T. Adventure as much as we do! We can’t wait to see you again soon so you can ride it!

  • Reply Susie B June 8, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Absolutely a must-do and my husband’s favorite attraction! Universal needs to figure out a way to bottle up the smell of this attraction and sell it because I would buy it and I know I’m not alone!

  • Reply Social Media Team June 8, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Hi Susie! We’re so glad that you enjoy this attraction! We appreciate the feedback and will share it with the proper leadership teams! We can’t wait to see you again soon!

  • Reply Corey Elliott June 8, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Like the author, I remember the same things, riding this ride when the park opened and being amazed. Now, as a passholder of about 15 years (can’t even remember) I visit with my family (including my wife, who I met while working at dueling dragons) this was my son’s favorite ride when he was finally tall enough to ride. He’s now about to be 14, and he still lives going on this ride. Now his sister, almost 9 now, has followed in his footsteps. Such an emotional non-roller coaster, roller coaster of emotions with this ride. Universal has always been and will continue to be my happy place. THIS is the happiest place on earth!

  • Reply Social Media Team June 8, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Corey! We’re so glad you’re a part of our Passholder family and have such great memories! We can’t wait to make more with you in the future! We look forward to seeing you again soon!

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