From kl. At 10:30 a.m. on June 10, avid fans were already queuing at the gates of Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure in hopes of being the first guests to ride on the park’s latest tour on its official opening day. The excitement over the Jurassic World VelociCoaster has been high throughout the tour’s construction and preview. In addition to being the park’s newest roller coaster, it also happens to be the tallest, fastest and most technologically advanced attraction yet.
VelociCoaster is part of Universal’s Jurassic Park area and adds to the existing Jurassic Park River Adventure (an intense smoke ride where you get caught in the middle of a Tyrannosaurus rex flight), Pteranodon Flyers (a kid-friendly aviation), and some non-ride attractions such as a Raptor Encounter and Camp Jurassic. But the VelociCoaster is unlike any other ride in that or any other park.
There are much higher and much faster rides than the VelociCoaster, what Universal calls the “apex predator of coasters”, which is designed to simulate the feeling of being hunted with the velociraptor pack in Jurassic World. Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, the highest and fastest in America, peaks at 456 feet high and 128 km / h, while VelociCoaster’s maximum altitude is 155 feet and top speed is 70 km / h. But even if it may not breaking any records for its height or pace, it is genre-defying in many other ways.
To begin with, the VelociCoaster is a movie tour that mixes magic with suspense in a way that Universal really excels at. The riding queue with its “real” animatronic velociraptors that breathe and spin towards the guests is as much a part of the experience as the roller coaster is. There’s even a moment when riders who take off on their coaster ride are chased by birds of prey, even though people in the tour car have no idea it’s happening.
Mr. DNA, the cartoon double helix that first explained how InGen extracted dino DNA from insects preserved in amber in the first Jurassic Park film, is the one who undergoes the procedure of boarding. This trip is so intense that not only do you have to leave your belongings in a closet, you also have to go through a metal detector to make sure you have nothing in your pocket, like a phone that would almost certainly fall out on the trip .
There is Jurassic Park and Jurassic World Easter eggs hidden everywhere, from real movie props to a glass of “water” with the iconic ripples, from when the T-rex approaches in the original movie. And then there’s the pre-show movie starring Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt as Claire Dearing and Owen Grady, where she explains how exciting it will be to ride on a roller coaster inside the velociraptor paddock, and he says of course placing yourself in that level of danger is a terrible idea.
“We have this brilliant IP [in the] Jurassic World franchise, which was ahead of his time when it first came out, and it still brings in a new generation of fans. We want to compliment it and give it even more life, ”said VelociCoaster Art Director Gregory Hall. “Being able to expand it was very important.” An additional element that the trip adds to Jurassic World IP not seen elsewhere in the movies: the actual velociraptor paddock. “When we talked to the filmmakers, Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures, we realized that this is the first time ever that the birds of prey are shown on public display. In the movies, they have escaped, but it never shows when the guests actually see them publicly exhibited in the park. “On some of the paddock walls there are deep scratches in the concrete from which the dinosaurs have tried to escape.
Then there is the slide itself.
The ride has 4,700 foot tracks and lasts about three minutes. (By comparison, Kingda Ka has just over 3,000 feet of track, but lasts only 50 seconds.)
Much has been discussed by amusement park enthusiasts about the trip’s “top hat” feature, a 155-foot vertical height that drops into an intense 80-degree, 140-foot drop. But it happens halfway through the trip. The second half of the experience includes several seconds of inversions without gravity, including a 360-degree horizontal barrel roll across the lagoon in the center of the park. “This roller coaster is going through so much rock work,” Hall said. “It goes through a building. It goes 155 feet in the air. It has an inverted stall above water. The barrel roller over the water is the world’s first, and it has this insane feeling of weightlessness while you’re upside down. ”
And all this happens while riders are only secured with a lap bar. There are no shoulder restrictions on the most intense ride Universal has ever built. In fact, most people’s feet do not touch the ground in the car, so there really is a sense of free flight at 70 mph.
This is where Universal Orlando has really blended its two strongest assets: its movie IP and its ability to build completely unique rides. VelociCoaster is the first tour where you experience the same emotions as the characters in the movie on which it is based.
This VelociCoaster creates such an intense sense of dread with its innovative seating design and driving experience that for a moment you might just forget you’re in Universal Orlando and think you’re in another amusement park, one filled with real dinosaurs, where everything is always on the verge of going horribly wrong, but it’s the most exciting thing you could ever hope to experience.