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last updated on 4/23/24
updated interplanetary passport photos

warning: beware of spoilers if you haven't gone on this ride before

E.T. adventure is a dark ride at universal studios florida based on the movie E.T. the extra-terrestrial. it's my all-time favorite ride!! the ambience and tone is just perfect, it's very nostalgic but even those who have no connection to it or even people who don't know E.T. will still love it.

E.T. adventure is the only remaining attraction at universal studios florida that was open on the original opening day on june 7, 1990. other versions of the ride existed at universal studios hollywood and universal studios japan but they have since closed. the surrounding area of E.T. adventure is called woody woodpecker's kidzone.

the current story of the ride is that we as riders are helping E.T. return to his home planet (the green planet) to save it from a bad condition. after making it to the green planet, we meet interesting and endearing characters. some say that E.T. adventure is in bad condition but having ridden it in 2021, i think it holds up perfectly. the famous queue, fun dark-ride elements, and cute characters and settings make it worthy of always staying in the park!!

did you know?
  • the story of E.T. adventure was changed on the 20th anniversary. originally, the riders were acting in a sequel to E.T. the extra-terrestrial, after the anniversary the riders are actually going to the green planet.
  • steven spielberg was a creative consultant to E.T. adventure and it's rumoured he threatened to stop working with universal studios if they removed the ride.
  • riders can have a photoshoot on one of two sets after riding E.T. adventure in the giftshop called E.T. toy closet.

    photos from orlando informer
  • when the ride first opened, riders could choose between riding a bike or spaceship. the spaceships were later removed because the majority of guests wanted to ride bikes.
  • according to cowmissing on reddit, this is the cover of the E.T. adventure ride operations manual from universal studios hollywood.

    cowmissing's original reddit post
  • john williams composed the music for the ride.
  • the famous smell of E.T. adventure is alleged to be "pine fresh" scent by a scent marketing company called scentair. (though some say the building took in so much of the scent, they no longer need to pump in the scent.)
  • there's an E.T. figure in the basket in front of the ride vehicle, during the ride their head sticks up.
  • the character designs of those living on the green planet were based on E.T.: the book of the green planet by william kotzwinkle.
  • this is how the ride vehicles for E.T. adventure look in the light:

    "E.T. ride vehicle outside" by chad and jen hunter on flickr
  • after a guest's foot was injured while exiting E.T. adventure in 2019, E.T. adventure off-loading procedure is slower and the ride attendants have to check that hands and feet are inside the ride vehicle before off-loading.
  • if you have lucky timing, an animatronic of botanicus can be seen in the queue.

the characters of E.T. adventure






baby E.T.(s)
images from advancedanimations

interplanetary passports

after watching the pre-show, guests go by a checkpoint where a ride attendant types their name into a computer and the guest receives an interplanetary passport. you then give the card at the front of the line. this card is how E.T. knows which names to thank at the end of the ride.

late 90's version from cowmissing on reddit

version i'm most familiar with (back is scaled down to fit), unknown starting date but i believe this has been the card the majority of the time i've been

new version (as of march 2023 according to this article)

40th anniversary update

having been to universal studios in october and december 2022, i had to add an update to my site. interest in E.T. adventure seems to have spiked drastically! my theory would be that universal is generally pushing nostalgia recently with lots of merch featuring jaws, king kong, back to the future, and E.T. E.T. adventure is the only of those rides still runnning, so perhaps it piqued peoples' interest or maybe it's the 40th anniversary but i can't say how happy i am to see E.T. adventure consistently busy!! as you can see in the last portion of the photo gallery, universal has even replenished the E.T. toy closet gift shop with new merchandise.

it's truly heartwarming as a fan of this ride to see such an influx of E.T. merch around the parks. i hope the legacy of E.T. adventure will carry on strong!

photo gallery

the following photos are taken by me in may 2021 in order of ride experience

video gallery

credits for this page