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Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
in the rear
So for the past two weeks now, Uni has been soft opening and testing the new Race Through New York attraction. I got to experience it twice. This ride had some pretty interesting things going for it.

There will be spoilers ahead.

The first day I was there you just entered through the building from the side entrance. You're sent down a hallway into the Tonight Show museum where you're pretty much allowed free roam of the floor. There's props and video playing from previous Tonight Show hosts.

Universal was testing out the virtual queue system the second day I was at the park. You had to either reserve a time online like Disney's Fastpass+ system or you could talk to one of the cast members out front and they'd reserve a time for you. Once the time came up, you enter into the ride lobby.

While inside the lobby, you're given a colored card. Once your time comes up, all the lights in the room change corresponding to card color. When your time comes up, you're ushered to the second floor where the fun really begins.

The first section houses a bunch of comfy chairs with interactive touch screen tables that you can play games and watch video from. The chairs are all equipped with charging stations so you can plug your phone in while you wait. Half of the ports weren't working when I rode unfortunately. I'm pretty sure this will be fixed when the ride officially opens to the public.

The back area is a stage where you'll have live entertainment. Between shows, you'll see clips from various Tonight Show episodes playing on the big screen. The Ragtime Gals stage show is a ton of fun and occasionally you'll get to meet with Hashtag the Panda.

I could probably spend the whole day up here without getting out if I could. I really love this part of the queue.

When your time comes up, all the lights in the room change to the color matching your card color. You're then ushered to the preshow, which is pretty entertaining.

The ride itself is OK. Jimmy Fallon challenges you to a race in his fancy space car through New York. You see a few of the landmarks but its mostly jokes, lots of CGI, and references to the current Tonight Show. Nothing all that special. I wish they actually incorporated more landmarks because literally all I remember is Times Square, some random pizza joint, the moon, the Statue of Liberty, and flying over Manhattan for a minute or two.

Exit through the fancy gift shop!

Like Kong, I felt Uni put more effort into the queue line than the actual ride itself. Its not awful, but I wouldn't go out of my way to ride it again if I didn't have to. Universal has far better simulators. If anything I'd go for the charging stations and live entertainment on the second floor.

At this point I'm much more hyped for Volcano Bay (which is opening before Avatar Land opens and is looking mighty impressive).
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