Back to the Future: The Ride

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Back to the Future: The Ride is a simulator ride based on the Back to the Future trilogy and is a mini-sequel to 1990's Back to the Future Part III. In the United States, it was replaced by The Simpsons Ride. It is located at Universal Studios Japan, and formerly at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood. The ride story centers on a first-person adventure through time, in pursuit of the trilogy's villain, Biff Tannen. Executive producer of the original film series, Steven Spielberg served as creative consultant for the ride. This is the only project in the Back to the Future franchise to star Christopher Lloyd's character, Dr. Emmett L. Brown as the main protagonist (the same role held by Michael J. Fox's character, Marty McFly in all of the three films). Following the events of Back to the Future Part III, Doc Brown and his family Clara, Jules, Verne and Einstein have moved from the Old West to the present time in Hill Valley where, in 1991, Brown founds the Institute of Future Technology, a scientific Institute specializing in his "futuristic" inventions. On May 2, 1991 (the opening of the Florida attraction) Brown invites tourists into the Institute as "volunteers" in order to test out his newest invention; the eight-passenger DeLorean time machine by traveling one day into the future. Meanwhile, Doc Brown travels to 2015 in order to make sure the space time continuum is back to normal after the events of his previous time traveling adventures, while his other Institute scientists travel to 1885 and to 1955. However, in 1955, Biff Tannen stows away on the IFT scientists time machine, hitching a ride back to the present day Institute, which sets up the ride's main storyline. The idea of a Back to the Future based simulator ride was first discussed in a 1986 meeting meeting between Steven Spielberg and Totally Fun Company president Peter N. Alexander on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot on the eve of the debut of the King Kong Encounter scene for the park's Studio Tour. Spielberg recalled how his friend George Lucas had just taken him for a ride on Lucas' Star Tours ride at Disneyland, telling Spielberg that "Universal could never create rides as good as Disney can". Spielberg requested that Alexander see what he can do with a simulator ride concept of Back to the Future. At the time, the proposed concept of the Universal Studios Florida project was put on hold and considered to be dead, and, according to Alexander, Spielberg's suggestion helped to bring the project back to life. The buildings for Florida and California had completely different layouts. In Florida the two arenas were back to back. Designers found that this led to some operational problems so the California building was designed so that the arenas were on opposite ends of the building with the queue and pre-show in between them. The California building was also built upon huge rollers as opposed to being anchored into the ground as a precaution for earthquakes. The Hollywood ride publicly closed on Labor Day, September 3, 2007. In commemoration of its final month of operation, a special event was held with Christopher Lloyd and Bob Gale beginning the countdown to the ride's closure in early August 2007. Additionally, a contest was announced with the grand prize winner receiving a classic 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 vehicle. The ride at Universal Studios Japan is still open, with no plans for closure at this time. Back to the Future: The Ride became a staple attraction, let alone one of the most popular and favorite attractions in the park's history. A new attraction based on the animated sitcom The Simpsons, known officially as The Simpsons Ride, replaced the BTTF ride at Universal Studios Florida on May 15, 2008 and at Universal Studios Hollywood on May 19, 2008. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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