Recently a permit was filed which appears to signal the end of the Twister : Ride It Out attraction located at Universal Studios Orlando. The attraction will not have the spirited fight for it’s survival like for instance Maelstrom had at Epcot but there is a hidden gem here that you simply must experience if you have the opportunity. This hidden gem is the control booth tour.
As you enter the queue ask the team member out front if you can take the control booth tour. Assuming they are not under staffed, too busy, and you asked politely, you will hopefully be given the OK and will be escorted by a team member to a control booth overlooking the attraction. Here is where the attraction is monitored, started, and controlled. Here is where it all happens and now you will learn just how it all happens.
Naturally the control booth itself has a pretty spectacular view of the attraction being dead center and slightly above the peasant guests you are now officially so much cooler than. Your escort team member will talk about the attraction and explain the process while the other team member presses the button (4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42). The inner theme park nerd that is not so hidden in each of us is sure to enjoy this in ways your ‘normal’ friends will never quite understand. There is something about seeing the nuts and bolts and having a theme park experience the average day guest simply knows nothing about.
After the explanation you begin to watch the entire process unfold. You can see those clueless day guests file in not unlike police line up. They have no clue you are there watching both the experience as well as them and their reaction to it. This really is both interesting and brings some excitement back to an attraction that really needed it. After the attractions end and the guests file out, the team member will escort you into the attraction and put you dead center, front row where you can experience the attraction again as one of those peasants but now you are armed with the knowledge of how it all works. Go ahead and ask the team member to take your picture while you await the next police line up to file in. This is a picture you will treasure forever.
It’s amazing how much more fun the attraction can be without the incredibly boring pre show and pre pre show. Despite it only being a rumor, it really does come off that Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt really REALLY hate each other. If you could get to the actual attraction portion sooner it would be a much better experience and perhaps wouldn’t be so irrelevant in the theme park today. If you happen to get there before the demise of the attraction (currently rumored mid August) go ahead and experience Control Booth Tour: Ride it out. Your touring group will appreciate it and you will probably have a brighter remembrance of the attraction as a result.