Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is one step closer to its official opening as the attraction began allowing guests to experience it during its “Soft Opening” phase.
For those who are unaware – a “Soft Opening” is essentially a technical rehearsal of a new attraction, or a final release candidate test for the ride. All the major components are installed and operational but some tweaks, changes, and updates will occur prior to the grand opening. “Soft Openings” are never promised and can change daily. There is no guarantee the ride will be opening on the day of your visit.
Since our experience was during Day 1 of a technical rehearsal, we will not fully review the attraction; as the final experience could be completely different by April 6th.
With that out of the way, the new attraction – ahem – stars Jimmy Fallon as you tour a recreation of 30 Rock to see a taping of the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”.
The attraction will utilize a virtual queue, which allows guests to reserve their spot in line as they are given a time to return. With only 1 attraction theater working, they will not be utilizing this system until the 2nd theater begins operation.
Upon entering the lobby, guests will be given a color-coded pass that will correspond with a color from the NBC Peacock logo. This system is how guests know when to move through the queue. There are 2 waiting areas instead of the normal “queue line” – the lobby and the upstairs lounge called the “Studio 6B Club”. When it is time to proceed to the next waiting area, the NBC chime will play and the color called will illuminate the room – signaling to guests it’s their turn to move forward. When upstairs in the Club, the chime means it’s time to ride.
As far as the experience of the attraction itself goes – once inside, the lobby features a small museum showcasing all the hosts of the Tonight Show’s history – including Conan O’Brien. It’s a fantastic recreation of the 30 Rock lobby, featuring sleek wood and marble. As you make your way upstairs to the Studio 6B Club, you can either enjoy a relaxing break on a couch and have your children play games on a game table tablet, or enjoy some entertainment based on the Tonight Show’s most popular bits; including Hashtag the Panda and the Ragtime Gals. Guests will be happy to know that the couch area does feature outlets if you need to charge your phone.
This is where the attraction really shines. The entertainment is extremely enjoyable and during my wait, never saw anything repeated. There’s enough space where you didn’t feel crowded, but still felt lively and energetic. While it may not be on the level of extreme detail like queue darlings Harry Potter or Skull Island, Fallon’s queue is Universal’s best queue experience to date.
As you board, you enter a recreation of the Tonight Show audience set. The theater sits 6 rows of 12, so when the 2nd theater finally opens – this will be a people mover. The actual attraction itself may be a topic of division between theme park fans, but Jimmy Fallon fans will surely love it. The ride system is very smooth and the 3D animation is done well. As stated; since the attraction is still is in technical rehearsal, we’ll keep final thoughts until April 6th. With that said, those who are not fans of Jimmy Fallon may not enjoy the attraction, but it’s a fine addition for families, especially with the queue entertainment.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon opens officially on April 6.