Universal Orlando features two parks—Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. During our Summer 2014 vacation, we toured both Universal Orlando theme parks on the same day. And, while experiencing Disaster: Ride It Out at Universal Studios, the boy was chosen from the audience to participate in the “show.”
Disaster—Ride It Out, is comparable to The Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The premise is making a movie, and in this case, a disaster movie. The extras are chosen from the gathered crowd that features a host. One extra is selected for each letter in Disaster. The boy was the first extra selected and he got to pick a parent to accompany him—he chose the husband, his dad.
After all of the extras are selected from the first “stage” of the show, the crowd moves into another area that features the show host interacting with a projected image of Christopher Walken who is portraying a famous disaster movie director. Guests stand during this portion as well as the very beginning segment when volunteers are selected.
When that segment is completed the crowd moves into another area that features bleachers/benches of sorts. The extras are gathered at the various “sets” to film their sequences. The host is now acting as a director and inserts humor during the scenes to provide “motivation” for the actor/extras.
Guests then move into a tram, which is supposed to be a subway train that will be filmed as a part of the feature. The premise is that there is an earthquake and footage is being used of us, as extras, in the film.
The tram moves into a scene where the earthquake disaster is simulated. I won’t spoil this part, but think Catastrophe Canyon at The Backlot Tour. The completed film is then played on screens in the tram as it moves back into position for the next group of guests. In the film, the boy was falling and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson scooped in and saved him from certain death. We were surprised!
The ride/show moves quickly through the various areas and is all indoors. Even the queue is covered.
The boy enjoyed being picked and having the experience of acting and being filmed on a set. All of us enjoyed the experience. The downside was that once the boy was chosen and the husband went with, I was on my own, which was okay, until we got to the tram loading. By then, the boy and I were together, but the husband had been given a different area to sit during the filming, so it took some doing for us to regather before loading the tram. Though, wearing bright green matching shirts helped!
We would ride out Disaster again, anytime. Two thumbs up!