Description And Comments

The attraction begins with a preshow film starring Ellen DeGeneres. While watching TV, Ellen dozes off and dreams that she’s competing on the game show Jeopardy! against her know-it-all former college roommate Judy (Jamie Lee Curtis). All of the Jeopardy categories deal with energy in its various forms, and unfortunately for Ellen, Judy has a PhD in the subject.

Luckily, Ellen’s next-door neighbor happens to be Bill Nye the Science Guy, who convinces Ellen--along with everyone else in the audience--to take a time-traveling crash course in the history of energy, along with everyone else in the audience.

Your journey begins in what appears to be an ordinary theater while you watch a film about energy sources. Then the seats divide into six 97-passenger traveling cars that glide you from the Big Bang (the beginning of Ellen’s energy lessons), to the swamps and audio-animatronic dinosaurs of a prehistoric forest. Special effects include the feel of warm, moist air from the swamp and the smell of sulfur from an erupting volcano.

The dialog between Ellen and Bill is humorous and upbeat, but the rest of the script was written almost 20 years ago, when Exxon sponsored the attraction. Don’t expect to hear a call to action on climate change, the need for conservation, or much more than a passing reference to alternative energy sources.

For kids, Universe of Energy is a toss-up. The dinosaurs frighten some preschoolers, and kids of all ages lose the thread during the educational segments.

A Zionsville, Indiana reader agrees with us that Ellen's Energy Adventure is more than a little dated:

I knew that the point of this ride was to go back in time, but I didn't realize the destination was 1993. [editor's note: It's actually 1996, but we won't split hairs.] Ellen is genuinely funny, but this attraction is so old that the video quality is only slightly better than the the Zapruder film's.

Touring Tips

Because the theater has a ride component, the line doesn’t move while the show is in progress. When the theater empties, however, a large chunk of the line will disappear as people are admitted for the next show. Because of this, lines are generally tolerable.

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Special Comments

Special Needs

Disney Dish with Jim Hill

WHILE WE HAVE YOU HERE, MS. DEGENERES

Now that Ellen DeGeneres is on board for the Finding Nemo sequel, Disney has begun talks about updating Ellen’s Energy Adventure. It’s obvious that people’s attitudes toward energy have changed since the film opened in 1996. And not one to lose a tie-in opportunity, Disney may swap some of this ride’s old reptiles for ones from the 2015 Pixar film The Good Dinosaur.

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Touring Plans with Ellen's Energy Adventure

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