Twister is one of the more underrated Amblin films. It definitely has a sizeable fanbase and was a huge hit when it opened in theaters in 1996. But, because it didn’t launch a franchise, the general public has mostly forgotten about it. The natural disaster thriller grossed nearly 500 Million Worldwide in 1996. Recently a reboot/remake of Twister was announced to be in development.
One of the true marks of the relevancy of Twister is that it once had a Universal Studios Florida attraction. Twister…Ride It Out was open for close to 7 years and is still remembered fondly by its fans. It was more of a reanactment of the film, then a ride or experience. It was a lot like a stunt show, minus the use of stunt performers.
Twister…Ride It Out
Opened: May 4, 1998
Closed: November 1, 2015
Where: Universal Studios Florida
Description: Twister…Ride It Out was a walk through attraction. It featured numerous kinds of special effects to replicate a small town that is being ravished by a tornado. The stars of Twister, Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, appear on screens in the ride’s queue and serve as hosts for the experience. The queue also features a lot of scenes from the film to help put the visitors into the world of Twister.
Thoughts: The thing I find most impressive about Twister…Ride It Out is that it does a great job of mixing a thrill attraction with a filmmaking simulation. The attraction really looks and feels like a scene from Twister, and that makes you believe you are getting a glimpse of the filmmaking process – which has always been the goal of Universal Studio Parks.
I can understand why they had to retire the attraction. Twister isn’t really a household brand and the attraction itself is pretty old school. I personally loved the old school execution, there weren’t a ton of digital projections or a heavy usage of CGI screens. Twister…Ride It Out is mostly practical effects and that helps you feel like you are a part of the film.