Sneak Peek: Universal Orlando’s Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show like us, Central Florida! They REALLY like us!! So much so that Universal Studios Florida gave Jimmy and the guys a permanent summer home in the park, where Twister used to Ride It Out! (Rest in Peace, Bill Paxton.)

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon may officially open on April 6 but we have a sneak peek for you NOW! This new attraction (and virtual queue – more on that later!) will give guests the ultimate “Tonight Show” experience as they get up close and personal with the show’s most hilarious segments before taking off on a wild and action-packed race through New York City against Jimmy Fallon! See what Jimmy thinks of this below…

To celebrate Race Through New York’s Grand Opening, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” will be returning to Universal Orlando Resort to tape new shows on April 3rd – 6th! Details on celebrity guests will be released very soon so keep an eye peeled Jimmy’s website. Unfortunately tickets for these shows and their monologue tapings are already sold out. But! You may possibly see Jimmy around Orlando. Remember, WrestleMania 33 is right around the corner!

Upon entering, guests will make their way through an meticulously themed 30 Rockefeller Plaza lobby – brass fixtures, signage, NBC Pages, red rope, and all!

TGS with Tracy Jordan is on the 60th floor, not the 6th. Say hi to Liz for us!

Once inside, you will see windows set with a slew of NBC and The Tonight Show memorabilia including tributes to past Tonight Show hosts; Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and present host, Jimmy Fallon.

A note: Thank You, Jimmy Fallon, for loving Beefy King as much as we do!

It’s easy to get distracted in the lobby but don’t forget to stop by the lobby desk and pick up your NBC feather, brought to you in living color! This laminated feather is very important (and no you don’t get to keep it), but the color is even more so. Remember that state-of-art queue stuff I mentioned earlier? Here’s where it comes into play…

Ever wonder why NBC uses a peacock as its logo? In 1956, the National Broadcasting Company’s programming went full color and the logo stuck!

Now that you have your feather, look up! See the lights? Hear the chimes? When the first floor lobby lights change to whatever your feather’s color is, that’s when you’ll move up stairs to the second floor holding area, much like being an audience member at an actual show taping. Keep an eye and ear peeled. You will see/hear these things again.

 

The second floor is MAGIC. Why? You will be so entertained and distracted, you won’t feel like you’re waiting! You can take a #selfie with #HashtagThePanda! Nifty interactive desks will challenge users of all ages to cool games! Have a seat in Club Studio 6B and catch a live show from the Ragtime Gals or watch through some of the funniest moments from the last three years of The Tonight Show! You can even charge your phone while you sit comfortably in air conditioning!

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will be the first attraction at Universal Studios Florida to feature an all-new Virtual Line experience, allowing guests to spend less time waiting in line. (Note: The Virtual Line system is accessible via the Official Universal Orlando Mobile App or at kiosks located outside the attraction entrance.)

Now to the real fun! Your color is up and it’s time for you to proceed to the studio entrance! Hand your feather card to the NBC page, and you’re in! Don’t forget your shades…

You are now at the stage door, waiting to get into Studio 6B to board the world’s first-ever flying theater, which seats up to 72 audience members, for the race of a lifetime. But of course, safety first! The Roots will help Jimmy out with this. (Only The Roots can make safety precautions sound THIS cool.)

At this point, Jimmy challenges you (the audience) to a race against him and his lightcycle-esque Tonight Rider. During this race through the streets of New York City, to the moon and back, you’ll encounter iconic landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building to everything in between. And if you’re REALLY paying attention, you will notice a few easter egg tributes to attractions past.

Check out this fun behind the scenes video of Jimmy with his tight pants (with his tight pants on), as a Ragtime Gal, and as Sara (and Gary!) from EW!

What did I think of the ride?

Universal Creative and the scenic folks always go above and beyond when it comes to aesthetic. This ride is no exception. From the 30 Rockefeller Plaza lobby downstairs, to Club Studio 6B upstairs I really kind of felt like I was inside that ginormous Comcast Building in New York City! Browsing the props, actual stage pieces, and other memorabilia from generations of NBC and Tonight Show history was very cool.

The ride itself was really fun… but basic. Were there very cool sensory elements to it? Yes! Were there clever tributes to King Kong, Jaws, Back to the Future, Twister, and more built in? YES, although it may take a few of rides to catch them all. But the glasses and the ride experience? I don’t know what I was expecting in terms of a new ride but, I guess I expected more… technological envelope pushing.

I will say, the concept behind what is essentially a simulator ride was remarkable. Well thought out theming and queue experience, a great gift shop; you should absolutely experience this attraction when it opens. How can one NOT have fun when it cones to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon?

I’ll close with a ProTip I got when I first experienced this ride a few weeks ago: Be sure to stay and watch all the Ragtime Gals’ sets! They’re super funny and actually, really good! The Fallon clip shows in between are also great. You may have to hang around until your color is up again, depending on your timing, but it will SO be worth it!