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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Ride Guys

Finalist in Branded Series


Ride Guys is a humorous video series created to show and tell the need-to-know information about our thrilling and immersive attractions at Universal Orlando Resort (UOR). Through our unique brand of "edutainment" (education meets entertainment) we hoped to inform guests about which attractions are right for them and to help them plan their next trip to the parks. Hosts Mike and Dylan first take viewers on a playful tour of each attraction — walking the immersive queues, pointing out easter eggs and references, listing ride heights, and highlighting other important rider info, etc. — then take a ride themselves so you, the viewer, can get an idea for how intense or not intense the ride is, and a sneak peek at what's to come. 

We’ve been bringing the thrills guests have been craving across our theme parks for years, so it was time we taught everyone how it’s done. SHABOOM! 

Strategy and Execution

The strategy behind this series was shaped from an understanding that potential guests are unaware of all there is to do at Universal Orlando Resort and just how epic some of our attractions really are. They consume a lot of content on YouTube, either for fun or educational purposes, and their purchasing decisions are often influenced by the content they consume. They’re hyper aware of — and apprehensive about — being marketed to, so their guard is always up when searching online. That being said, they would be open to consuming branded content as long as it entertains and delivers valuable information without pushing a direct sale.

In our mission to develop engaging and relevant content for guests planning a vacation, we were faced with the challenge: How do we educate guests about what kinds of exhilarating and immersive rides exist across our parks while building anticipation for every twist and drop? Our answer: produce a binge-able video series that can act as an entertaining and informative guide to the what, where, and why of attractions across Universal’s theme parks. 

It’s from this revelation that Ride Guys was born — with two entertaining and informative hosts who know everything there is to know about our attractions; giving viewers need-to-know details, queue tours, easter eggs, and a sneak peek at what it feels like to experience the ride.

Through creative quips and a clipboard full of frequently asked questions, the show relays the details of each ride while proving that our destination is perfect for anyone seeking multi-day screams, themes, and extremes. Our hosts live for the thrill and aren’t shy about sharing their enthusiasm. Each video starts by listing out the basics — type of ride, height requirements, drop heights, available lines, etc. — before moving on to show the hosts actually experiencing the excitement themselves.

We kickstarted this series with a pilot on our Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida. This episode garnered such positive reception and engagement that we knew we had to leverage its impact and focus heavily on our trip-driving attractions like Jurassic World VelociCoaster and Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Eventually, we modified our strategy to include attractions at our sister park, Universal Studios Hollywood, and took Ride Guys bi-coastal to create videos that resulted in our top viewed episode of all-time for Jurassic World - The Ride (2.6M). 


Our single-minded proposition for Ride Guys was to produce “a binge-worthy tour of our can’t-miss attractions,” and the results reflect that. 

For this series, we focused on two benchmarks: averaging 1M views per episode and ensuring that our average retention rate surpassed 55% (industry average is 50%). In two years, we’ve produced 21 Ride Guys episodes — 17 for Universal Orlando Resort and 4 for Universal Studios Hollywood — and we exceeded both our goals: reaching an average of 1.3M views per episode and an average percentage viewed of 59% per episode. In total, the series has reached 18.9M views. Some of our top performing videos include:

In addition to the show, the hosts have gained popularity, with parkgoers familiar with the series approaching them for selfies during production shoots and sharing stories on how the videos motivated their ride-going experiences. A growing online fanbase has also developed, with avid followers enthusiastically commenting on videos with catchphrases from the show, such as “Shaboom!” and “#MikeTip.”

Plans are already in motion to leverage the success of Ride Guys to educate and inform parkgoers about upcoming attractions in our newest theme park, Epic Universe, expected to open in 2025.


Video for Ride Guys

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Universal Destinations & Experiences


Entry Credits