Based on the 1982 Steven Spielberg movie, this endearingly weird indoor ride is rightfully in the kiddie area because it’s not intense and the plot cannot tolerate scrutiny by a fully developed brain. Upon entering, guests supply their name to an attendant, who encodes the information on a pass you hand over when you board the ride. The indoor queue area is a fabulous reproduction of a thick, cool California forest at night. Vehicles are suspended from rails to approximate the sensation of cruising in a flock of bikes, and they sweep and scoop across the moonrise and even through gardens on E.T.’s home planet (remember, he was a botanist), where a menagerie of goofy-looking aliens, who miraculously speak English, have a party and greet us from the sidelines. At the climax, a grateful E.T. is supposed to call out your name as you fly home—hence those boarding passes—but in all my years of doing this ride, E.T. has spouted gibberish, so don’t get your hopes up unless your name is Pfmkmpftur. Strategy: If the queue looks dense from the outside, return later—before park closing seems to be a charmed time for quick waits—since there are still more lineups indoors. In the Toy Closet, you’ll find E.T. souvenirs. His “Talk to the Hand” T-shirt is perhaps a milestone in bad taste.
- Frommer's Staff