With all the recent hype behind Reign of Kong and the newly refurbished Incredible Hulk Coaster, it may be easy to forget that Universal still has more projects underway for 2017. The first of the two new attractions coming to the resort is Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Since Twister has closed, the building has taken on a whole new appearance and recent construction progress seems to have confirmed a few rumors about the ride itself. We will break down all the recent additions to Race Through New York as well as the likely opening date.
The old exterior of Twister…Ride It Out was essentially a big square soundstage with very little theming. Although the queue did incorporate the facades of the New York street, not much had to do with the actual experience, making the ride out of place in the park. All of that has changed with the introduction of Race Through New York. As many know, the Tonight Show is filmed in New York City at the famous Rockefeller Plaza, and is easily one of the city’s most iconic landmarks; this will be the new home for Race Through New York. What exactly confirms the tie to 30 Rock Plaza? At the base of the tower in real life, The Tonight Show has a unique marquee for its entrance, and the current construction for the ride entrance almost exactly matches that. The plan seems to make the ride really integrated into the New York theme, blending in the current city facades and adding the tower to it. Universal also confirmed in their October announcement that guests will have the opportunity to visit the famed Studio 6B (the location The Tonight Show is filmed at).
So far, construction has steel around the entire front of the building with an actual soundstage extension towards the back of the attraction. As the facade gets closed up, we won’t be able to look inside the actual building anymore, which contains a mass of steel frame and electrical wires at the moment.
Universal has been rather vague on how the final product will appear before guests, as they have not released concept art for the ride yet, leaving many to speculate on the overall appearance. As mentioned before, the 30 Rock Tower seems to be a lock for the exterior theme, but the construction itself for the moment leaves more questions than answers. The main part of steel work that has gone up around the façade only goes up to the equivalent of two stories, leaving the top ⅔ of the soundstage bare. Rumors suggest that the current floor that was built is actually for the queue, having functional windows and allowing guests to look upon the streets of the park while in line (also adds to rumors on the ride itself but more on that in a second). Though The Tonight Show entrance is not entirely a part of the Rockefeller Tower, it is located in the same plaza. If Universal is to recreate Studio 6B, they may use forced perspective to recreate the complex. Hogwarts Castle (located next door) is supposed to be well over 700 feet tall and although it doesn’t reach that height it truly does appear that way upon seeing it in person. Why? It is a technique called forced perspective. Things are in larger scale at the bottom and get smaller and smaller towards the top, giving the illusion that it is bigger than it really is. Perhaps the top of the soundstage will be a smaller facade that stretches high up to make it appear larger than it really is. Only time will tell but count on Universal to put as much theming as possible.
We do not know too much about the ride itself, besides the fact that it will be a simulator of some kind. Many pointed to technology similar to Soarin’ at Disney’s EPCOT and California Adventure though instead guests would fly through New York. While the same movement may be achieved on the ride, flying doesn’t seem to be the main mode or at least only mode of transportation. Recent Instagram pictures from Jimmy Fallon show him filming for the attraction, wearing a motion capture suit and driving a simplistic vehicle. The motion capture suit implies this will be ride footage and not something in a pre-show. According to Universal Orlando’s blog, guests will “rocket through the streets—and skies—of New York City.” This can open up many different opportunities for a great ride experience.
As far as the time frame for Race Through New York, of the 2 new rides in 2017, this one is much farther along than Fast & Furious. It seems safe to say that construction will pick up in pace once Hulk is done; a mid to early 2017 date seems the likeliest. As always, Attraction Insight will keep you updated on all the projects going on around the resort. Stay tuned for more information.
DISCLAIMER: This article is tagged as a rumor. Please be aware that the information in this report can change or may not have been planned at all. Attraction Insight shall not be held accountable for the accuracy of any rumors.