Review- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon



Do you remember when people complained about how bad “SKULL ISLAND: REIGN OF KONG” was, yet for some reason, everyone loved the queue? Get ready to experience the same with Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Oh, and also- Universal needs to stop with the motion simulators. This ride MIGHT be cool if it wasn’t in the same park as Minion Mayhem, the Simpsons Ride, Transformers The Ride 3D and Shrek 4D.  I have no idea what Creative was thinking about when they designed this ride. Universal clearly wants NBC to know they are on good terms, and by making a ride for Jimmy Fallon, it was obviously the icing on the cake on the Universal/NBC love affair.


5 stars for the queue. Once you enter the building you are in a wonderfully themed lobby. You will be immersed inside what feels like NBC Studios at 30 Rock.  This sort of reminds me of the early days of Universal, when the park had lots of studio themed attractions. The queue is filled with Tonight Show history and props, somewhat like a museum. The queue leads into Club 6B, in here is a huge display of the famous Tonight Show stage. In this room they have live music, and other crazy stuff going on. On the stage they have live shows of the “Rag Time Gals” and some other performances. The live shows easily help make it one of the best queue experiences at Universal Orlando. It would be nice if they added a snack bar or served food. On big screens they play some of Jimmy Fallon’s greatest moments with his guests on the shows, and an array of “Thank You” videos, followed by a laugh track that’s loudly bursting through the amps above every time he speaks. Scattered along this second floor are small coffee table looking things that actually have massive touch screens featuring 4 Jimmy Fallon inspired games. It’s fun for the little ones, or any adult who feels like they might have been waiting for far too long. Also placed around the room are about a dozen or so comfortable black chairs that along the sides actually feature 2 USB ports, and 2 Outlets. These are perfect for charging phones, cameras, or whatever  you want while you wait to ride. This room was honestly so chill, that you could probably fall asleep in there. It’s so roomy and so much to do that time flies. It might take 20 minutes to get into the theater, but with so much going on, it feels like a 5 minute wait.

After this you go to the pre-show, there Jimmy gives a safety spiel with some dude from the Roots rapping about ride safety. There’s an “APPLAUSE” sign above the pre-show screens, it blinks like once or twice throughout the pre-show.


1.5 Stars. The ride itself stinks. It’s not the worst ride in the parks, but one of the worst. Shrek 4D will never have its title taken away from it as worst ride! The ride film itself is as confusing as it is annoying. The seats are pretty comfortable, but the theater has no theming and is very cheap looking. The ride system is very basic and lame; it feels very 90’s because of how it’s just a motion platform. Essentially you walk in, see red colored chairs that look like the seats in the real Tonight Show theater, and it’s surrounded by a big screen. So the ride… it is very random. You will experience everything from smelling pizza, swimming with sharks, and seeing a gigantic Panda Bear on top of the Empire State Building. It’s cheesy, its bad, and it just a basic motion simulator. Very lame. I must give them credit though on how nice and clear the 3D projections are. The screens need to stop. Below are photos of the theater.

This ride is kind of an embarrassment to the geniuses we have working in creative.  Overall, the ride is a flop. I promise this is not a ride that guests will remember. Well actually, they might remember that it was bad. No kid is going to be like “I can’t wait to fly back to Orlando to ride Race Through New York!”. I don’t see this ride being open longer than 5-7 years. Little ones might like the corny humor of the ride, but it isn’t anything spectacular. We lost Ghostbusters & Twister for this? Where’s a Delorean time machine when you need one? Oh wait.

NEW- Check out some highlights of the soft opening on March 2nd!


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14 Comments on "Review- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon"

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I heard that you were so fat you had trouble with the seat/seatbelt- and thats why you are so down on this ride.

That said- would this be a better ride for those of us who aren’t fat bloggers?


What a douche comment.

I’m thin. And hated the ride. Ride is a loose term. The uncomfortable chair with minimal movement.


Thanks Jake for the great review.
I haven’t been on the ride myself but I’m sure I’m 100% with you. Universal needs to stop with the 4D rides. It’s enough. I’m not against those rides in general, but a ride like the Jurassic park river adventure(just to name one example) impresses me so much more.

Hannah Schaitel

Me too. It made me queasy, and that’s why I agree with you.

John Watters

Nice review. Did you see this video on YouTube about the ride and more? It looks pretty amazing!


I rode it today and was really disappointed. I thought, how lazy, another stationary “ride” that kind of made me a liittle motion sick. The video doesn’t make sense and is just a mix of weird things thrown in. It would have maybe been better if it was more than just sitting there watching a 3D clip, like spiderman or transformors. Enough of the 4D stuff, make rides!


Terrible ride. This just goes to prove that the Comcast NBC influence over Universal is poisoning their ability to really make good decisions about new experiences. Who the heck other than a bunch of yes men would make a ‘ride’ out of this story? Would like to go check out some of the stuff in the Japan park. They seem to know how to tell stories. This thing here in Orlando sucks. Next!


Disappointing at best. We waited longer for this “ride” than any other in our recent three day visit, and the best part was the first waiting room, with historical showcases of past Tonight Show hosts. Don’t waste your time unless you just need to get into the air conditioning for an hour plus….

Connie Ott

I loved the ride, went twice. Only problem during exit of the second ride there was a step up and I tripped and fell (I am over 65) injuring my knee. This should be changed.


I went on this ride and it was the most disappointing ride I’ve ever been on. Shrek 4d at least has a story that relates to the movie franchise. The Jimmy Fallon ride is a ridiculous waste of resources . I don’t think it will be around for very long. The lines have already died down and I don’t think most people like it. No one in my party liked it at all. Just plain stupid all the way around.

Wesley Barras
Just goes to show that you can’t please everyone. This is my favorite ride at Universal. I got three virtual passes for three time slots and then used my Premier Pass to ride it 4x in one day. You’re racing through NYC and it feels real especially when you’re flying. I don’t get people who say they’re tired of motion simulators. They are the best part of Universal. My whole life I’ve been going to theme parks with just rides (Six Flags, Busch Gardens) which is cool but when I went to Universal for the first time in March I… Read more »
Paula Stanley

I hate rides like roller coasters and love motion simulators. I like a ride with a story. I agree with you — the different worlds are the point.

Paula Stanley

My husband and I loved the ride. It was one of our favorites. But then I love motion simulator or virtual reality rides.


Agreed… pretty lame-o ride. The Despicable Me ride is a better example of this tech.