Disaster! Grand Opening

Thursday, January 17, 2008 12:16 PM
I know Universal really didn't market this very much, but for those who didn't know, the former Earthquake ride has been refurbished into what is now called, "Disaster! A Major Motion Picture Ride... Starring You!" Yes, it is the longest name in theme park history.

This morning (1/17) was the grand opening of the attraction, and I got some pictures:

And of course, I went over to the other side of the park and got some photos of the current progress of The Simpsons ride (formerly Back to the Future).

I didn't ride Disaster today, but I went on it a couple of weeks ago during the soft opening. All I have to say is that it is MUCH better than Earthquake. Earthquake was a fun ride the first time around, but then it got kinda old, seeing the same pre-shows over and over again. The pre-shows now are much better, funnier, and way more technologically advanced. The ride itself is the same, but has been updated a lot.

The grand opening was pretty neat. From when I got up to the entrance until a little after 10:30, there was a guy with a microphone entertaining the crowd and quizzing us with Universal trivia, giving away Disaster t-shirts. Then Bill Davis spoke a little, and then he called upon a family to help blow up the entrance, and then The Rock came out. I wasn't expecting the explosion, so that was pretty cool.

Anyway, feel free to check out the pictures. I know they're not the best, my good camera is getting repaired right now, so that was the best I could do. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 17, 2008 12:33 PM
That ride name is as lengthy as an emo band song title lol.
I survived a Japanese typhoon and the Togo flat ride of death!!!!!!
Thursday, January 17, 2008 1:14 PM
Jeff's avatar Hello Mr. The Rock, how was your ride?

If they decided to leave the ride itself as-is, I wonder why they decided to change the name to that ridiculous long thing.

Regardless, I'm glad it's open again.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

Thursday, January 17, 2008 1:25 PM
I rode Diaster on Monday. Not a bad ride. Have to go through a few areas before you can actually get on the ride. So it takes awhile but not bad once you get on it.
Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:27 PM
Basically, they did what Magic Mountain is doing. They wanted to keep the ride, but they want people to know it's new in some way. I also don't think Earthquake is a timeless movie. I have never seen it, and the ride doesn't want me to go see it. When I think of Earthquake, I think of a earthquake, and not the ride nor the movie.

I also don't think Jimmy Neutron, and Twister are timeless either. Shrek, I agree with, but some other movies I don't. Now Jaws, King Kong, E.T., Jurassic Park, and Back to the Future I think of timeless movies.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:31 PM

I rode Diaster on Monday. Not a bad ride. Have to go through a few areas before you can actually get on the ride. So it takes awhile but not bad once you get on it.

Well that's how Earthquake was. These pre-shows are just 50 times better.

And Jeff, the actual ride itself is the same, but the whole idea is completely different. Rather than "Hey, you're going to experience this whatever.whatever earthquake!" it's more of a "Hey, we're making a movie and YOU are starring in it!" The pre-shows and the ride itself come together. In fact, the last pre-show makes very little sense until the very end of the ride. Rather, with Earthquake, they just talked about special effects and threw a dummy off a balcony after the one guy pulled the string and the water dumped on him.

*** Edited 1/17/2008 8:32:41 PM UTC by Top Thrill Dragster***

Thursday, January 17, 2008 4:09 PM
rollergator's avatar Sounds like Earthquake was re-made with the CONCEPT behind it more like the uber-cool "Backdraft!" show from USH.
Thursday, January 17, 2008 8:30 PM
I rode it a few times last week and it is quite the upgrade. It is a true attraction that guests LOVE! Hopefully soon there will be more souvenir options as I found many guests disappointed with the lack of those. There were a few available at a kiosk across the midway.

Theres three rooms prior to the actual ride, and with each room you go through the guests love it more and more. Very enjoyable experience. I haven't seen an attraction finale with as many positive reactions as this one. Universal has a winner on their hands. I think it is safe to say this is going to be the guest's favorite attraction in the park.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 8:49 PM
I dont know about that IntaminHater, while I enjoyed it back when it was Earthquake, I can't imagine it overtaking MIB, T2, Shrek or Mummy as the best ride.

2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:01 PM
I did it two weeks ago and was refreshingly impressed. The old Charlton Heston pre-show had little re-ride value. Earthquake was usually the first ride to get nixed if my time at the park was brief.

The new pre-show is funnier, the effects where a projected Christopher Walken walks around (in front, behind, etc.) physical props and exchanges projected objects with the live host is a pretty neat effect.

And The Rock in "Mutha Nature" with the volunteer inserts really are priceless.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 10:05 PM
I know its hard to believe, but really there isn't an attraction there that has better guests reactions as they exit. It's hard to think of other places that has such positive emotions as guests exit even outside of universal. It's not my favorite attraction there, but I'm telling ya the guests love that mutha...
Friday, January 18, 2008 12:04 AM
Jeff's avatar I just assume have no pre-show, but I suppose that keeps a couple hundred people in the park occupied for awhile. I think the second time I sat through the old pre-show I had enough. The new one better be damn good.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

Friday, January 18, 2008 12:13 PM
WildStangAlex's avatar I've never been to Universal Studios, only Islands of Adventure, but I'd have to say from the video, this ride looks very much like the catastrophe canyon section of Disney's Backlot Tour.

Favorite Woodies: Outlaw Run & Voyage Favorite Steel: Maverick & Diamondback Favorite Parks: Silver Dollar City & Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Friday, January 18, 2008 1:05 PM

Jeff said:
I just assume have no pre-show, but I suppose that keeps a couple hundred people in the park occupied for awhile. I think the second time I sat through the old pre-show I had enough. The new one better be damn good.

Agreed. When I went in January '02 the park was dead due to time of year. They just ushered us right into the ride vehicle...bypassing all pre-show elements. It was great! (Except for the 10+ minutes we waited for them to get more people on the "train" before starting the ride)

Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 8:41 PM
The improvements are great. The Christopher Walken effect (in the second preshow) was damn good and got many people talking about it. I also like how the preshows and actual "ride" all flow together now - much better than the past.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008 1:02 AM
rollergator's avatar :(

Tried twice to get on it on Monday, broke down twice. Went home without a lap.

On the plus side, Mummy just keeps impressing me....one of the best launches anywhere! :)

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 9:09 AM
Jeff's avatar That's still my favorite ride in Orlando, hands down.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video


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