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P. 602: Universal Holidays & Velocicoaster photo report posted!

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I like how they build a roller coaster in the same time it took them to built new lockers for Harry Potter.   

On Sunday I ventured out to the Universal Orlando Resort for a chance to see the new holiday offerings at the two parks. This year is a little different thanks to COVID-19, but Universal has still man

^Agreed. I think the newer Intamin lapbars are actually the best steel coaster restraint currently being produced. When comparing overhead lapbars on Taron and Blue Fire, I found the Intamin ones to b

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You know what would really be interesting to see is to see a comparison of the project management for Rockit vs Manta. Both coasters were announced around the same time (Rockit March 18, 2008 vs Manta April 2, 2008). The two coasters are only 5 miles apart, so weather would have affected construction equally.

 

So how did Sea World get Manta opened on schedule, maybe even a little early with a three week soft opening (and man I LOVED that soft opening, got to ride multiple times with very little wait). Compare that to Rockit and the troubles they are having. How much of this could be attributed to Manta being a copy of Tatsu and Rockit being a whole new endeavor?

 

During construction of Manta, we saw several people post behind the scenes videos and pictures of how things were going and got real information from the people at Sea World. Remember how much buzz that helped produce? Don’t recall getting that same level of access from Universal.

 

Just seems like if I’m a theme park anywhere thinking about spending millions on a new attraction, a study of how both of these projects were handled could give some great clues as to how to get it right and how to get it wrong.

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Before getting Diary of Jane for a hidden track, one of the employees I talked to (Some girl, forgot her name) asked if I had ridden the ride before. I said yes and mentioned I was discovering the hidden tracks.

 

She asked which ones I got, and I said only Stockholm Syndrome. She then preceded to ask which number I was going to pick, and I said 124. "Oh, I know which one that is!" she said and asked if I listened to rock music and the local radio station, 101.1 WJRR, I said yes, and she said "Then you'll know it".

 

After that I asked if there was a list of the hidden bonus tracks that the staff gets to look at. She said that there is bonus track listing and that they had it out for the employees for only half a day before the managers removed it telling the staff "We want you to find them on your own and it be a surprise".

 

When the train pulled back in the station she asked me "So, how was your ride listening to Diary of Jane?" which leads me to believe that she knows more of the hidden tracks, which I will ask her about next time I go.

 

So yes, there is a list floating around somewhere at Universal. Now, if only someone could be the mole and get their hands on it

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Just seems like if I’m a theme park anywhere thinking about spending millions on a new attraction, a study of how both of these projects were handled could give some great clues as to how to get it right and how to get it wrong.

 

I think all of it is contributed to Rockit being a new endeavor.

 

Manta isn't the first flyer (and not a copy of tatsu), and its not the first B&M in Florida.

 

Almost everything is new about Rockit. If you spend millions on a new attraction, especially one with so many technical features built by a company not known to build in the US, delays come with the territory.

 

It didn't really open that much later than anticipated. Especially not compared to other attractions in Florida that have seen significantly longer delays.

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Almost everything is new about Rockit.

 

You're right...except it's not the first X-car coaster, it's not the first coaster with a vertical lift, it's not the first coaster to play music while you ride, it's not the first coaster with light-up trains, and it's not the first coaster to film you and sell an over-priced DVD of the film. The touch screens allowing you to select your song are the only parts that are new, and those weren't the things that caused the most delays.

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^How about the music delivery system to each individual seat. Or the sound setup for each seat. Also, I have never seen LED lights on a coaster train that do what Rockit does. Comparing this coaster to Manta in terms of proven technologies is apples and oranges. Maurer has done 5 of these coasters and this one is the tallest lift. B&M has done 7 of these coasters and the technology itself took close to 10 years to develop so its pretty seasoned compared to the X-Car.

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Im at the live Q and A on facebook right now, expect its all Q no A at the moment...

 

I think its because too many people are asking dumb questions!

 

edit: Hooray, many many answers!

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Right, but Hollywood Dream doesnt have the music selection HRRR has. Keep in mind that these trains have to download a dozen different songs (out of 100+ songs that we know of so far) in a span of seconds. That system has to be pretty complicated I would imagine.

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Just got off a call with Michael Roddy (HHN Show Director) and Oren Koules (co-producer of the “SAW” film series) to discuss the upcoming Saw Maze and everything else Halloween Horror Nights related.

 

First off I want to sent a big thank you to Roddy and Koules for having us on the call, there were many questions asked which was all recorded and I'll post a link to the recording which will appear on the HHN Facebook page soon!

 

As for some notes from the call, here goes -

 

- Roddy feels that Saw is the "perfect fit" for HHN as the film franchise is the current #1 "Halloween Movie" in the theaters.

 

- "When you walk into the maze, you'll be trapped in Jigsaw's Lair. And you the visitor will be the one to set off Billy's traps" Roddy says.

 

- "You'll see traps from ALL the movies - Saw 1 through Saw 6" says Koules, "The Hair Pull, the Reverse Bear Trap, etc,"

 

- "We are using lots of great technology like audio triggers, air effects to enhance the immersion of the maze." says Roddy

 

- The maze will be located in the Jaws extended queue area and will include audio FX in the queue, videos playing that will feature moments from Billy's world and the teaser for the upcoming film.

 

- It was confirmed that actor Tobin Bell (Jigsaw from the movie) has recorded lines of dialogue for Universal. Nothing else was said about this though!

 

- In regards to the Usher, guests of the theater will come face to face with this new HHN character both on the streets and in his own maze. He will ensure that all guests are following the rules of the theater! So don't break any!

 

- There will also be an announcement soon about VIP HHN tours that may (or may not) include backstage tours. (Not many details were given)

 

I am also happy to report that a "Full Reveal" press release has gone out and a new video from HHN released! See the full press release below -

 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

 

MODERN HORROR FILMS COME ALIVE AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO’S HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS

 

For the First Time Ever, Universal Orlando Dedicates its Entire Event to Mega-Horror Films

 

SAW, The Wolfman, Chucky and More Are “Ripped from the Silver Screen” at The Country’s Best Halloween Event

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (August 27, 2009) – A cold, lifeless hand takes your ticket. You’re left with a bone-chilling shiver as you move toward an empty theater seat. The lights dim, voices fade, the film begins. The screen starts to rip apart as the action comes straight for you. The show’s about to begin…

 

For the first time ever, Universal Orlando is devoting its entire Halloween Horror Nights event to bringing horror films to life. All eight haunted houses, all six scare-zones and two live shows will be directly inspired by some of today’s most popular horror films.

 

In another first, guests will experience three powerful mega-horror film concepts live and in-person before seeing them on-screen: “SAW,” the legendary horror series from Lionsgate® and Twisted Pictures, due in theaters with its newest release of “SAW VI” this October; “The Wolfman” from Universal Pictures, in theaters February 2010; and “Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” also from Universal Pictures, due in theaters October 2009. There will also be two additional haunted houses inspired by cult horror films.

 

“Our guests are going to feel as if their favorite horror films have left the screen and surrounded them,” said Jim Timon, senior vice president of entertainment for Universal Orlando Resort. “They will come face to face with many of the most disturbing characters in film history. When they leave Halloween Horror Nights, they’ll wish their experience was just a movie.”

 

The terrifying world of “SAW” – one of the most profitable horror franchises to date – will be transformed into a haunted house featuring iconic scenes from the films such as Jigsaw’s lair and the tomb-like bathroom. Guests will come face to face with Jigsaw and also watch as his victims struggle to try and win at his game.

 

Before guests can see the “The Wolfman” on-screen, they will be able to live its horror. In this house they will walk through scenes from the film, joining “The Wolfman’s” alter-ego Lawrence Talbot as he discovers a primal side of himself he didn’t know existed.

 

A world where toys go bad is brought to life in a haunted house inspired by the “Chucky” films. Guests will experience a funhouse lead by the sadistic doll where favorite children’s toys aren’t what they seem.

 

This year’s Halloween Horror Nights will also include dramatic new interpretations of Universal Pictures’ famed Frankenstein and Dracula. Both will be featured in their own houses and both will be more horrifying and intense than ever before.

 

In the Silver Screams haunted house – based on a demented movie theater run by a supernatural usher – guests will experience “Shaun of the Dead,” Universal Pictures’ “The Phantom of the Opera,” Lionsgate®’s “My Bloody Valentine 3D” and more.

 

Two live shows inspired by popular films return this year – the entertaining “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute.”

 

Halloween Horror Nights runs September 25-26, October 1-4, 8-11, 15-18, 21-25 and 28-31.

 

Daily updates and exclusive details on Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are available on the event’s official Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/halloweenhorrornightsorlando or search on Facebook for “Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights – Orlando OFFICIAL.”

 

Advance tickets are now on sale for $69.99 plus tax. Tickets can be purchased at www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com or by calling 1-888-467-7677 (HORROR-7). Due to the event’s popularity, tickets for weekend nights are expected to sell out and should be purchased well in advance.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB0Q43MJjiQ

Theater_LR.JPG.766d80ba51e39253c6fbee41482b3397.JPG

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You know what would really be interesting to see is to see a comparison of the project management for Rockit vs Manta. Both coasters were announced around the same time (Rockit March 18, 2008 vs Manta April 2, 2008). The two coasters are only 5 miles apart, so weather would have affected construction equally.

Well the rumor is [which may or may not be true] that Universal wanted Rockit to be a B&M and B&M was busy with other projects so they went with Maurer This would make sense seeing as the Universal Japan coaster accomplised everything Rockit wanted but seems to fail at: high capacity, reliability, onride music, etc. So while they were announced at the same time, I would assume Sea World made the phone call to B&M first =P

 

I do have to cut Universal some slack though, with that thing cycling all summer trying to get those loading platforms to work right etc at some point you just gotta open the ride.

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Before getting Diary of Jane for a hidden track, one of the employees I talked to (Some girl, forgot her name) asked if I had ridden the ride before. I said yes and mentioned I was discovering the hidden tracks.

 

She asked which ones I got, and I said only Stockholm Syndrome. She then preceded to ask which number I was going to pick, and I said 124. "Oh, I know which one that is!" she said and asked if I listened to rock music and the local radio station, 101.1 WJRR, I said yes, and she said "Then you'll know it".

 

After that I asked if there was a list of the hidden bonus tracks that the staff gets to look at. She said that there is bonus track listing and that they had it out for the employees for only half a day before the managers removed it telling the staff "We want you to find them on your own and it be a surprise".

 

When the train pulled back in the station she asked me "So, how was your ride listening to Diary of Jane?" which leads me to believe that she knows more of the hidden tracks, which I will ask her about next time I go.

 

So yes, there is a list floating around somewhere at Universal. Now, if only someone could be the mole and get their hands on it

 

Gosh, I think this is Universal's way of saying "come back and visit us again to find out the tracks" I guess is a smart thing

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You know what would really be interesting to see is to see a comparison of the project management for Rockit vs Manta. Both coasters were announced around the same time (Rockit March 18, 2008 vs Manta April 2, 2008). The two coasters are only 5 miles apart, so weather would have affected construction equally.

Well the rumor is [which may or may not be true] that Universal wanted Rockit to be a B&M and B&M was busy with other projects so they went with Maurer This would make sense seeing as the Universal Japan coaster accomplised everything Rockit wanted but seems to fail at: high capacity, reliability, onride music, etc. So while they were announced at the same time, I would assume Sea World made the phone call to B&M first =P

 

I do have to cut Universal some slack though, with that thing cycling all summer trying to get those loading platforms to work right etc at some point you just gotta open the ride.

 

I hate getting in to rumor and urban legend discussions but..... perhaps it also had something to do with Busch's relationship with B&M. That may have swayed things in certain directions for multiple reasons.

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^ I don't want to fuel rumors either but one possibility could be that BGT may already have the rights to a B&M hypercoaster set to open with the next two to three years and Universal would not be able to build a ride of that design for years to come. I mean isn't there a contract where you can't build the same ride type within so much time and within so many miles. If that's the case going with another manufacturer makes sense. What I can't understand is why Florida is Intamin less, that's what we should be discussing here.

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What I can't understand is why Florida is Intamin less, that's what we should be discussing here

 

I couldn't agree more. Though if I have to settle for B&M hyper at BGT, I won't be totally disappointed.

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What I can't understand is why Florida is Intamin less, that's what we should be discussing here.

 

Good point I never realized that until now. Well Busch Parks have the B&M Coasters, and Disney (with the exception of Primeval Whirl) have been Vekoma or Disney Coasters. Just imagine if HRRR had been an Intamin. (without their stupid height maximum of course)

Still, the ride looks amazing anyways.

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I think this has already been mentioned but now I guess its safe to say that Silver Screams will be in the parade building (Scary Tales last year). I am definitely more excited to see what they do with the classic monster vs saw or chucky. I think its gonna be another awesome year. Now if we can just get that damn Rockit figured out!

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After two more awesome front row rides on Rock-it, i've got to say that if Universal gets all the bugs worked out, they'll have a winner on their hands.

I tried guessing a hidden track, and #117 is nothing more than a long solo that i've never heard before. The good part is that it fit the ride pretty well.

On a low note tho, I was displeased in the handling of a ride closure as they booted everyone from the line and closed the entrance plaza. I understand that Uni wouldn't want people wasting their day waiting, but if people want to stay, they should be able to. Just my thoughts. Oh well

Still overall, Two thumbs up for the ride.

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