The new Universal Studios Florida attraction called “Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon” is scheduled to open on April 6, 2017. The ride is a 3D adventure, apparently similar to “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” that takes guests through the streets of New York. It is replacing the beloved attraction “Twister: Ride It Out.” Here are two things working against the Grand Opening of the new Universal attraction.
Jimmy Fallon’s Current Popularity
I don’t want to overstate my case here, but it is hard to ignore the fall in ratings and Fallon’s popularity since he infamously rubbed President Trump’s hair before the 2016 Presidential election. I believe Fallon will completely return from this momentary mishap with his younger fans, so this is not an issue to worry about for the long haul. But I think it does partially work against the excitement surrounding the opening of “Race Through New York.”
Bill Paxton’s Death
For theme park fans, and in particular Universal Orlando fans, this is the bigger issue. Although “Twister: Ride It Out” hardly ever makes a top 5 list of favorite attractions among hardcore fans, it was nevertheless a comforting site, knowing that the F5 was over there waiting for us if we should ever need to experience him again. But more than that, Bill Paxton unquestionably gave us the greatest pre-show video in theme park history. His inexplicable “lean” while talking about the “finger of God” is the stuff of legend, and now that he has tragically passed away, it will make the absence of “Ride It Out” hurt that much more, which works against Fallon’s grand opening.
I think the ride as a whole will be just fine, but these two elements create a bad timing experience for the grand opening.