Supervise children at all times.
This attraction may be frightening for children.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure was a comedic slow moving journey back in time with Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Together they educated guests on the numerous possibilities of the past, present and future of energy sources.
The premise of the attraction was established in the pre-show. Guests were traveling into Ellen’s dream. She teamed up with Bill Nye the Science Guy to learn about energy so that she could compete against her former college roommate in a game of Jeopardy.
The ride began with the theaters rotating as a video began. Ellen and Bill Nye were walking in the dark carrying flashlights. Bill Nye explained that they’re about to witness the birth of the Universe, The Big Bang. The Big Bang was an incredibly loud sequence, and Bill Nye grabbed Ellen and pulled her into a nearby room right as the Universe was about to expand. A large explosion took place as galaxies, stars and planets appeared on screen. The video panned into Earth showing the evolution from volcanic eruptions to the formation of oceans, land and forests.
The next scene featured Bill Nye and Ellen in a jungle, roughly 220 million years in the Earth’s past. Ellen remained hesitant, expecting Bill Nye to show her a slideshow instead of traveling back to the time of the dinosaurs. Bill Nye explained to Ellen that energy is all around them, and that the plants and animals of the Earth’s past created the fossil fuels that humans used today.
Bill Nye seemed fascinated by the dinosaurs leaving Ellen by herself. She then heard a dinosaur and quickly followed Bill Nye. This short sequence led into the diorama portion of the attraction.
The six theater cars moved forward, forming a line that traveled through scenes of Dinosaurs. Ellen’s voice could be heard looking for Bill. A family of large brachiosaurus dinosaurs stood to the right of the vehicles, chewing away at some leaves. Foliage lined both sides of the slow moving vehicles throughout the dinosaur scenes. Off to the side a diprotodon was visible on a rock. As guests pass the brachiosaurus, one of them sneezed above the vehicle.
As the vehicle continued forward, a megalosaurus and stegosaurus could be seen fighting on a rock while several trachodons could be seen under a waterfall. Nearby a group of ornithomimus stood near the ride path while one of them spat at the vehicle.
Ellen could be seen fighting an elasmosaurus in a swamp. She was waving a stick at the large “snake like” dinosaur. Some of her lines included:
You don’t need to eat me, really I would just spoil your appetite.
If you can’t say something nice… then you can’t.
That tough guy image will only get you so far… and that’s pretty far.
Don’t make me use this thing… I’ll use it… I’ll use the thing…
Bill, does this place have a park ranger? PARK RANGER!
My what big teeth you have
Hey listen mister, don’t give me that attitude.
The vehicle continued past Ellen as several Pteranadons were perched on a ledge with volcanoes erupting in the background. A series of strobe lights transitioned the ride into the next video scene. Bill Nye could be heard overhead calling for Ellen.
The vehicles held in the next scene as a radio tower could be seen. The scene talked about the history of the planet and featured several celebrities including newscaster Willard Scott and Sportscenter personality Chris Berman. The broadcast was from K-NRG news, and the full dialog can be found below:
Announcer: K-NRG news time, 55 million B.C. Now, for a look at our weather, Willard?
Willard Scott: Okay! Our ultra extended forecast calls for decreasing dinosaur population, followed by a sudden growth in those tiny little creatures the size of mice that we call mammals. Hey, aren’t they cute? Birthday greetings go out to the cockroach, two hundred million years old today. Boy howdy! And maybe that comet will help get rid of ’em. Now, here’s the traffic update.
Reporter: We’ve got reports that a giant elephant, a dinotherium, to be exact, has popped his trunk, and is jackknifed in traffic. Plus, we can expect lots of traffic at the local watering holes, as the mammal population continues to boom.
Announcer: K-NRG news time, One million B.C. And now to the sports report, live, from the Mastodome.
Chris Berman: Mammals dominate the earth! Mammals dominate the earth! The big dinosaurs have been shut out. They’re back … back back back back back back … gone! Extinct! The big dinosaurs have left the planet. The mammals have shut them out in a major planetary upset.
Bill Nye: This is K-NRG News Radio. Hey, let’s check out the weather report, and see if it’s gonna stay way cool outside. Willard?
Willard Scott: Hey, we’re following a massive cold front extending from the Arctic region all the way down to our planet’s mid-section. Now we’re urging all mammals to evolve into their winter wardrobe because it’s gonna get chilly! Be sure to develop a thick, furry hide if you want to make it. How cold it is!
Bill Nye: Keep your dial tuned to K-NRG for continuous news updates. K-NRG news time: nine hundred thousand B.C. Now, let’s check out what’s happening in the wild world of fashion.
Reporter: Mammals are getting hairier. That’s right. Wooly is definitely in. Whether you’re a mammoth or a rhino. And saber teeth seem to be a growing fad in the cat world. Also, look for antlers to be very big this year. As big as ten feet, on creatures like the megalosaurus. Wow! And that’s the latest in the fashion world.
Announcer: Is it ever gonna warm up? Let’s find out with a look at the weather. Willard?
Willard Scott: You know those giant glaciers we’ve all gotten so used to? Well, they’re gonna be receding to the North and South poles. Conditions are looking very favorable for a whole new kind of mammal. K-NRG news time: seven hundred and fifty thousand B.C.
Bill Nye: And that’s our K-NRG up-to-the-minute news report. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
A curtain raised to reveal a video screen, and Bill Nye appeared in a dense jungle. He said, “Now we’re exactly where we need to be… all we need now is… Ellen”. Ellen swung in on a vine. Ellen started to complain about being attacked by a “snake like creature” but Bill Nye silenced here to show her that, “We’re at the dawn of the human age”. The scene cut over to a cave man (played by Michael Richards) that was about to discover fire. This began a montage featuring various scenes of human evolution through their use of energy like wind to power boats, steam to power trains, oil derricks, and gasoline to power vehicles.
Ellen and Bill appeared on screen in a helicopter bringing the film back to the present. Ellen thought she was ready to return to the Jeopardy game, but Bill told her that she needs to learn more about where energy comes from today and where it will come from in the future. The screen expanded wider as the duo looked at other sources of energy.
Together, they went through various scenes and energy sources including renewable energy sources like the following:
- Solar Energy
- Wind Energy
- Hydroelectric Energy
Bill revealed that these sources only madeup 10% of our current energy usage but will likely play a larger role in the future. Next, they looked at fossil fuels including:
- Natural Gas
Bill stated that oil deposits are often found by looking at satellite images and drilling in the ocean. The helicopter became a submersible vehicle to look at an offshore drilling platform. This led them into nuclear energy and they briefly discussed the fact that is controversial. Bill then emphasized that if humans keep using their “brain power” they may unlock the, “power of the stars” known as fusion power.
After looking at the various sources of power, Ellen returned to the Jeopardy game where they had been wondering where she was. After fumbling through an explanation she stated that she was in the bathroom. Ellen returned to the stage and Alex Trebek was engaging Judy in conversation. Judy revealed to Alex that Ellen and Judy used to be roommates and she used to call her, “Stupid Ellen.”
Double Jeopardy began, and Ellen began answering every question correctly. Judy accused Ellen of cheating but Alex Trebek told her to, “Zip it, Judy.” At the end of Double Jeopardy, Ellen and Judy were tied while Albert Einstein had no money. As a parting gift, he was given a lightbulb as he walked off stage.
Alex Trebek read the Final Jeopardy clue:
This is the one source of power that will never run out.
The Jeopardy music played as the vehicles rotated to face another screen. As it rotated Johnny Gilbert could be heard:
If you would like to have your own energy nightmare, place a self addressed, stamped envelope under your pillow, or check us out on the web at www.energynightmare.game (not a valid URL)
Alex Trebek had a bit of dialog before Johnny Gilbert continued with a subtle reference to the original Universe of Energy attraction:
Some contestants on Jeopardy will receive a year’s supply of energy. Energy, you make the world go ’round.
The line, “Energy you make the world go ’round,” was from one of the songs in the original Universe of Energy attraction.
Alex Trebek went to Judy first for her answer and she didn’t write anything. She claimed that there was no answer, but Alex told her that she was incorrect. She wagered everything, taking her total to $0. He then went to Ellen who wrote “Brain Power” and wagered all of her money as well. Ellen doubled her money to $35,600. Alex declared her the champion and Johnny Gilbert made a final announcement:
Be sure to join us tomorrow, as Jeopardy! dream sequence week continues.
The Ellen narrator from the pre-show returned turning off the dream sequence. She closed out the attraction by explaining that this was how she became an energy expert. She yelled out, “LOOK OUT FOR THE DINOSAUR!” laughs, called herself a kidder and walked off screen.
In this 45-minute adventure, you’ll board a SLOW MOVING “traveling theater” car to travel back to the dinosaur era, accompanied by Bill Nye and Ellen DeGeneres. This attraction features loud noises and periods of darkness.
Fans of Ellen and dinosaurs.
TIMES GUIDE - OPENING/CLOSING
This attraction opened with the park but typically closed at 7:00 PM.
A small roped off area existed outside the building, but typically the line for the attraction never exceeded the length of one show. Guests gathered in the pre-show area instead of being stacked in a queue.
The vehicles had 8 regular length rows and 1 shorter row for handicapped guests. Each vehicle sat up to 80 guests and each show used up to 6 vehicles.
The pre-show room was a large carpeted room with a handful of benches against the wall and five large screens over a small stage for cast member announcements.
The show began with Ellen welcoming guests to the Universe of Energy. She continued with a lighthearted joke riddled introduction to the back story of the attraction. Her image moved from screen to screen as she discussed how she became the spokesperson for the Universe of Energy and how that in itself was unexpected. She admited that previously she didn’t care about energy and then one day everything changed.
Ellen cut to a scene of herself sitting in her apartment about to watch Jeopardy. The apartment scene took up four of the screens while the Ellen that welcomed guests into the attraction occupied the fifth (left most) screen. There was a brief interaction where Ellen talked to herself in the apartment, before the action in the apartment took over.
It was revealed that Jeopardy was Ellen’s favorite show. Her neighbor, Bill Nye the Science Guy knocked on her door looking for some supplies (aluminum foil, a clothespin and a candle) and engaged Ellen in conversation. Ellen then saw that one of the contestants on Jeopardy was her former college roommate (played by Jamie Lee Curtis). Her former roommate was identified as Judy Peterson, a professor of Energy at Princeton University. Ellen dismissed this and referred to her by the moniker she gave her in college, “Stupid Judy”. Ellen continued to dismiss the significance of Judy and energy while Bill Nye defended both. Then Bill Nye left, and Ellen decided to, “Take a nap for 100.”
The narrator version of Ellen appeared back on screen making fun of her counterpart in the apartment. She broke the fourth wall and engaged the audience asking the question about what happens when someone falls asleep watching TV. A voice from the back told Ellen that the person was likely to have a “dream sequence”. Ellen explained that it was more of a nightmare and then she called for some fog to appear in the apartment.
The dream kicked off with the voice of Johnny Gilbert saying, “This is Jeopardy!” He continued introducing the three contestants for the Jeopardy game that took place in Ellen’s dream:
- Dr. Judy Peterson
- Dr. Albert Einstein
- “Just Ellen”
Johnny Gilbert introduced Alex Trebek, who then revealed all of the categories. Each category was related to energy. The pre-show continued to be self referential as Alex Trebek said, “Ellen since this is your dream we’ll let you make the first selection.”
Ellen selected Fossil Fuels for $100 and immediately buzzed in on a question she didn’t know. She regurgitated the clue and Judy jumped in with the correct answer.vSeveral cuts showed Judy answering every question correctly and Dr. Albert Einstein and Ellen not answering anything. The first round ended with the scores below:
- Judy: $17800
- Einstein: $0
- Ellen: $-100
Ellen made an offhanded comment, “Is this a nightmare or what?” Alex Trebek regarded that as her first correct response, bringing her score to $0. Ellen then realized that this is her dream and she can control it. She snapped her fingers and everything froze. She left the stage as Bill Nye ran into the theater. Ellen thought he was there to help her but he clarified that he was there to see Einstein. Ellen asked him for help, setting up the premise of the attraction. Bill Nye said that together they need to go back many billion years ago to the dawn of the Universe. They disappeared and then the narrator version of Ellen appeared on screen and broke the fourth wall again:
Wait, it’s not even over, it gets really weird from here. Now some person I don’t even know reminds me there’s no eating, drinking, smoking or flash photography in my dream.
At this point, a cast member appeared on the small stage and announced that there was no eating, drinking, smoking or flash photography in Ellen’s dream.
…And no videotaping, ok?
And those of you who are just walking in right, now… You’re late. Where have you been?
I love your hair. Not, not you… I mean it’s alright, but that’s… cute, yeah
Um, anyway, so you’re not completely lost, here’s a recap of what has been going on: I’m Ellen. (Waves) Hi!. I love Jeopardy, I used to not care about energy at all until I had a nightmare that I was on Jeopardy and all the categories were about energy. Oh, don’t I know it’s scary… So my neighbor, Bill Nye stepped in to help me out. Bill Nye the Science Guy, do you know him? Anyway, so he comes in to help me out. Got it? Good. If you don’t then that’s your problem because you’re late… and you think about that next time.
The lights came up on the pre-show and guests entered the load area through doors beneath the large screens. They entered one of six large theater cars to begin the ride portion of the attraction. At times, they would not load all six vehicles.
- Exxon: 1996-2003
- ExxonMobile: 2003-2004
During the Exxon sponsorship, guests exiting the attraction could receive a card redeemable at any Orlando area Exxon station that allowed them to receive a free, “Save the Tiger” poster.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure replaced the long running Universe of Energy attraction. Universe of Energy had it’s last day of operation on January 20, 1996. Shortly thereafter the announced replacement was an attraction called, “Ellen’s Energy Crisis”. The attraction re-opened on June 1st, 1996 for the summer with many of the show upgrades intended for Ellen’s Energy Crisis in place, but the show and video were the original Universe of Energy.
One of the biggest changes for the brief summer 1996 run was the pre-show. It no longer featured the rotating Radok screens as they were not intended to be used for the new version of the attraction. Many of the dinosaurs featured in the diorama had been re-skinned and reprogrammed already for the summer of 1996, again these changes were intended to debut with the new version of the attraction. In one scene where the Elasmosaurus (the snake like creature) was attacking the Ellen animatronic, the dinosaur had been reprogrammed to attack Ellen, but the Ellen animatronic didn’t make sense in the summer 1996 version of the attraction. As such, the Ellen animatronic was hidden behind a rock and it appeared that the Elasmosaurus was attacking a rock.
The narration of the original attraction referred to several monitors that had already been removed, so a new narration was written for that section of the attraction. One of the new components was the transition scene for K-NRG radio. This scene was to debut with the new version of the attraction but was not activated during the summer 1996 run of Universe of Energy. As a result this area became a waiting area until the film began with no ride components entertaining guests. During the finale sequence, the mirrored walls had been removed, significantly changing the original finale for it’s brief summer 1996 run.
The summer 1996 run of Universe of Energy had it’s last day of operation on September 1, 1996 before re-opening as Ellen’s Energy Crisis on September 15, 1996.
At the re-opening, the attraction was re-named to Ellen’s Energy Adventure.
In 2009 the exterior paint scheme of the building reverted back to the original red/orange/yellow paint scheme.
The attraction had it’s last day of operation on August 13, 2017 to make way for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
The theater cars themselves were similar to The Great Movie Ride. The dinosaur scenes were similar to DINOSAUR.
- Ellen Degeneres: Herself
- Bill Nye the Science Guy: Himself
- Alex Trebek: Jeopardy Host/Himself
- Johnny Gilbert: Jeopardy announcer/Himself
- Jamie Lee Curtis: Judy Peterson
- Benny Wasserman: Albert Einstein
- Michael Richards: Caveman
- Corey Burton: Radio Newscaster / Traffic Reporter
- Chris Berman: Sports Announcer (voice)
- Willard Scott: Weather Reporter (voice)
- Steven Dean Davis: Multiple characters
- Jonathan Pal: Multiple characters
The below video is used with permission from the YouTube channel Virtual Disney World. These videos allow users to manipulate the camera a full 360 degrees using their cursor or directional arrows on their computer. Users on a smartphone or tablet can also manipulate the camera by moving their device in the direction they wish to look.