Opened: September 15, 1996
Location: Future World – Universe of Energy Pavilion
Extra Magic Hours: No
Type: Dark ride
Similar To: The Great Movie Ride
Scary Factor: Low to Medium. The Energy Adventure moves extremely slowly and there are no thrill elements during the attraction. It is dark and there are animatronic dinosaurs which some young children may find startling. Most of the attraction consists of films. The dinosaur portion is only about seven minutes long.
When To Go: During the afternoon, when you need an extended break, or after you have completed the “must-do” Epcot attractions.
Expect to Wait: Waits are rarely longer than it takes for the next vehicle to begin its voyage. Expect to wait about 8 minutes, on average and you may very well walk right in to a preshow that’s already begun.
Length: 45 minutes
What to Expect: Ellen’s Energy Adventure is not so much an adventure as it is a series of films and animatronic scenes hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye. You will be seated in what looks like a conventional theater where you will be shown the first of several films. After that, your section of the theater will break away from the other ride vehicles and you will slowly be taken through a variety of animatronic scenes and films.
Preshow Exit: From the preshow area, two doors will open underneath the screens – one on each side of the podium. If making it to the front of the vehicle is important or you have another preferred row, move up close to the doors shortly after Bill Nye appears.
Where to Sit: The front row of any of the vehicles will offer the best overall view of the animatronic scenes. On the downside, you may have to crane your neck to see the videos that are high above the vehicles. Unless you’re trying to get pictures in front of you, I recommend sitting a few rows back. It makes it easier to see the videos and you won’t have any problem seeing the animatronic scenes off to the sides either.
Oops: When it first opened, Disney named this attraction “Ellen’s Energy Crisis.” In order to deflect any criticism and a potential political stand, Disney immediately renamed the attraction “Ellen’s Energy Adventure.”
Commentary: Ellen’s Energy Adventure isn’t a bad attraction by any means, but it will take at least 45 minutes to complete and there is no way to exit the ride if you aren’t enjoying it. The Adventure is also an aging attraction. Although it was updated in 1996 with narration by Ellen and Bill Nye, most of the animatronics and films date back to the original attraction that opened in 1982. It also provides an excellent break from walking around in the middle of the day or a comfortable seat if you need a short nap. Don’t be disheartened by long lines because the line only moves each time a new show starts. The theater holds about 550 people and a new show starts every 8 minutes if both sets of vehicles are running, so your wait shouldn’t be long.