Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! (2024)

Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! (1)

Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! is a special effects ride in the San Francisco area at Universal Studios Florida, which replaced Earthquake: The Big One.

Set on a soundstage of a fictitious movie company, Disaster! Studios, Disaster! comically illustrates how special effects are filmed for use in movies. The attraction's climax casts the riders as "extras" for a movie finale scene involving an earthquake in a subway station. Thanks to high-speed editing techniques, the riders get to see their handiwork in the form of a movie trailer that includes film sequences shot throughout the attraction's pre-show and main show. The attraction opened on January 17, 2008. It closed on September 8, 2015 and was replaced with Fast & Furious: Supercharged.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Halloween Horror Nights
  • 2 Attraction Summary
    • 2.1 Queue
    • 2.2 Pre-show
    • 2.3 Ride
    • 2.4 Gift shop
  • 3 Cast
  • 4 Technology


Earthquake: The Big One was one of Universal Studios Florida's original attractions, opening with the park on June 7, 1990. While the attraction was principally based on a portion of the original park's famous Backlot Studio Tour, its main inspiration actually came from the 1974 disaster film epic Earthquake. Over the years, however, fewer and fewer guests knew about the attraction's original heritage, so as part of a major renovation project, Universal Studios decided to detach the attraction from any existing film property and instead craft a completely fictional premise around it by reinventing its storyline entirely.

On November 5, 2007, Universal Orlando officially confirmed the refurbishment of this attraction the day that the original Earthquake attraction was permanently closed.

The attraction reconstruction itself took 1 month and 3 weeks, the fastest turnaround time for a new attraction in Universal Orlando history.[citation needed] Among the changes include a brand new pre-show experience, as well as new technologies never before used in a theme park.[citation needed] Disaster! also features new ride elements that were not in the Earthquake attraction.

The attraction started previews on December 23, 2007 after some technical problems delayed the actual opening. The grand opening took place on January 17, 2008. It was hosted by Universal Orlando Resort CEO Bill Davis, with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson making a special guest appearance.

Halloween Horror Nights[]

The Disaster! queue has been used several years to make a haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights.They have used it to make the following:

  • Doomsday (HHN Reflections of Fear)
  • Leave it to Cleaver (HHN Ripped from the Silver Screen)

Attraction Summary[]

Disaster! is an interactive attraction following the storyline of a faux movie studio run by Frank Kincaid (played by Christopher Walken). The studio is going bankrupt and needs visitors to act as extras for key insert scenes. In helping Frank Kincaid complete his masterpiece, the visitors are then asked to be a part of the big finale sequence involving an earthquake.


Disaster's queue serves as a boneyard for many props from recent faux Disaster Studios films, including a Meteor-Struck House from Apocageddon, a torn apart plane from 300 Knots Landing, a mechanical shark from Das Schurke, and a giant tank being consumed by the tentacles from Super Mega Ultra Atomic Chaos. Guests are also greeted to Disaster Studios with a giant mural of destroyed Los Angeles, introducing Frank Kincaid as the "Master of Mayhem."


Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! (2)
Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! (3)
Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! (4)

Guests are introduced to Lonnie, an Assistant Director who casts

guests for scenes that he needs to be shot in the soundstages. Guest are then taken into a screening room where Frank Kincaid describes his particular brand of film-making. Frank Kincaid then pleas to visitors to help him complete his film. After a big speech, guests are ushered into another soundstage where the scenes are shot. Audience members that were pre-picked to be involved in the scenes are trotted out to perform, and the audience becomes part of the action as well, and scenes are filmed where a child jumps from one spot to another, lab workers are pummeled by foam rocks, a man in a pit, and a grandmother hoeing. Frank Kincaid appears on a screen and invites guests to take part in his big finale that is being shot next door.


Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! (5)

Guests enter a subway station, modeled after BART's West Oakland

Station, where they board a subway train. Small plasma screens on the train direct guests on the big reactions needed to successfully shoot the scene. Departing the station, guests travel beneath the bay and soon arrived at the Embarcadero subway station. Shortly after arriving at the station, the train is shaken by a violent earthquake. The entire station is seemingly destroyed as large cracks form in the station platforms, sections of the roof collapse, a gasoline truck falls through the ceiling and bursts into flames, another subway train enters the station and is derailed, and a flash flood of water rushes down the stairs and into the station. Following the sequence, the train heads back to the West Oakland station, and the TV monitors on the train show the trailer for the faux film "Mutha Nature". The trailer, which spoofs disaster films in general, stars an uncredited Dwayne Johnson as a park ranger who tries to save lives during a series of ecological disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Green screen technology allows the trailer to incorporate scenes shot by guests, under the guidance of Universal Orlando staff.

Much like all the attractions at Universal Studios Florida, the attraction has specific requirements to ensure the safety of guests, including being free of neck, back, or any other health ailments.

Gift shop[]

There is a small seasonal kiosk across from the exit called Disaster! Studios Gifts which sells T-shirts based on lines from the attraction. It replaced Earthquake: The Big One's Shakin's Souvenirs gift shop.


  • Christopher Walken as Frank Kincaid The owner, CEO, Head Director, Writer, Producer etc. of Disaster! Studios. When an accident on the set of his newest film Mutha Nature causes its stars to go to rehab, Kincaid casts park guests as his new actors. Alec Baldwin was originally considered for the role of Frank Kincaid.
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the Star of Mutha Nature Although given no official character name, Johnson is seen as a lead role in Mutha Nature where he plays a park ranger who must save the world from hordes of disasters caused by an evil corporation.
  • Universal Studios Florida Actor as Lonnie The assistant to Kincaid. When all of Kincaid's actors get sent to rehab during the filming of Mutha Nature, Lonnie is sent by Kincaid to cast new actors for his film. Lonnie is the main host of the attraction's pre-show.
  • Universal Studios Florida Operations Team Members as Production Crew Members the employees who work at Disaster! Studios for Kincaid. They are seen in almost every part of the attraction.
  • Matthew Walker as Mikey Kincaid's assistant director for Mutha Nature.

Mikey is seen twice in the entirety of the ride; in the second pre-show room working as a projectioist in a projectionists booth, and throughout the main ride portion. Mikey is the main host of the ride. Walker had previously worked on another Universal Studios-related project, Child's Play 3.


Disaster! features new technology never before used in a theme park attraction. Disaster! uses Musion technology to bring the Frank Kincaid character to life. This technology uses techniques similar to the Pepper's Ghost effect that has been used in attractions such as Haunted Mansion and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World Resort. Musion projects a high definition image onto the floor and onto a giant piece of plexiglass, giving it the illusion that it is lifelike. It also gives the ability to interact with objects on stage, as can be seen in many parts of the attraction.

Disaster! also uses Real-Time Editing to help produce the movie trailer for Mutha Nature that is shown at the end of the ride. Real-Time editing captures shots and wirelessly transmits them onto the Disaster! ride vehicle, which then inserts those shots into the trailer.

Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! (2024)


What replaced disaster at Universal? ›

The attraction then permanently closed on September 8, 2015 and got replaced by Fast and Furious: Supercharged.

Who plays Frank Kincaid? ›

Christopher Walken: Frank Kincaid.

What happened to the disaster ride at Universal? ›

In August 2015, Universal announced that the attraction would close on September 8, 2015, to make way for Fast & Furious: Supercharged, based on the blockbuster film franchise.

What replaced Twister at Universal? ›

In November of 2015, Universal closed the attraction for good, announcing it would be replaced by the much more “current” Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon 3D simulator attraction, which opened in 2017.

Why is Universal closing Harry Potter? ›

It's a beautiful way to end your day at Universal's Islands of Adventure." The attraction closed to “make way for future show enhancements,” according to Inside the Magic. No word on what these future show enhancements will be, but its sure to be awe inspiring when the attraction rereleases.

Why did Universal get rid of Jaws? ›

The concept is an expanded version of the Jaws miniature attraction featured in the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood in California. In 2012, the attraction was removed from the Florida theme park to make room for the second phase of expansion for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Who voices Frank and Frank Timothy goes to school? ›

Frank and Frank
SpeciesFrench Bulldogs
Voiced ByDarren Frost (1) and Rob Stefaniuk (2)
1 more row

Who was Frank in the movie Radio? ›

In Reel Life: Jones faces opposition from the school board and from Frank Clay (Chris Mulkey), the father of a star athlete, to Radio's participation in the football and basketball programs and his attendance in classes. In Real Life: "There was no conflict that I know of," says Coach Jones.

Who voices Frank Murphy? ›

Bill Burr: Frank Murphy, Father Pat, Teenage Frank Murphy.

What is the oldest ride at Universal Orlando? ›

E.T. Adventure is a dark ride located at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, Florida, United States. Primarily designed in-house by Universal Creative in collaboration with Steven Spielberg, the ride first opened to the public at Universal Studios Florida in 1990.

Did someone fall in Jaws ride? ›

A 39-year-old banker fell into the water and sustained minor injuries following a broken railing at Universal Studios, Florida. The victim, Anthony Salamone, was on the Jaws ride with his family when the accident happened.

Is Harry Potter World closing? ›

Potterheads, raise your wands in farewell — Universal Orlando Resort just announced the closure of a Wizarding World of Harry Potter staple. It's an exciting time for Universal Orlando. The Resort is currently building a third immersive Universal Park, Epic Universe.

Why did they shut down Shrek 4D? ›

As Universal Studios Florida introduced newer 4D theateresque attractions, they included more movement, so Guests didn't feel as if they were simply sitting in a theater watching a short film. As a result, the reign of Shrek 4D was over, and the attraction closed permanently on January 10, 2022.

What will replace the Shrek ride at Universal Orlando? ›

Back in December 2022, Universal revealed that the space would be used for Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast, which is an “interactive, blaster game experience [that] will invite guests to put their villainous skills to the test as they compete against each other in a bid to join the ranks of the franchise's most ...

What ride replaced King Kong? ›

Closing dateSeptember 8, 2002
Replaced byRevenge of the Mummy
Ride statistics
Attraction typeSpecial Effects Dark Ride
15 more rows

What did King Kong replace at Universal? ›

This is the second ride at Universal Orlando Resort to feature King Kong. The previous ride was Kongfrontation, which closed in 2002 to make way for Revenge of the Mummy.

What replaced Kongfrontation? ›

Kongfrontation closed in 2002, replaced by Revenge of the Mummy™. Now there's an all-new way to experience the great beast. Discover Skull Island: Reign of Kong™ at Universal's Islands of Adventure™.

What did Diagon Alley replace at Universal? ›

But on July 8th, 2014, Jaws' replacement will officially open as Universal Orlando debuts, Diagon Alley.

What did Transformers replace at Universal Orlando? ›

This attraction first opened in Universal Studios Singapore in 2011 and was quickly copied in Hollywood and Orlando. Transformers replaces the old Soundstage 44 which was home to the Murder She Wrote Mystery Theater and Hercules and Xena attractions.

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