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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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Went to the park today, I noticed jurassic parks river adventure gates are taken down. (the main gates you enter while on the ride) Is this normal?

 

I'm pretty sure it was like that a year ago when I went...they used to be there, not sure if they took them out permanently or if they remove the doors around this time of the year for some sort of rehab. Some times the doors would be there, but they'd stay open and other times they'd open right on cue - but maybe it's just easier that they're gone.

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I went two weeks ago and they were there. Went saturday and they were gone.I remember looking at the doors and they looked in good shape .....BUT while riding saturday it was off course. The crate came down before the lift way before we were under it. So maybe it was off sequence or something and they were forced to take the doors down?

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I went to the Studios side Sunday and rode Rocket, and is it me or has that coaster gone from smooth to rough in a year? I remember riding it not too long ago and the ride was really smooth, got nice air time and no headaches. When I rode it I was being flung out of my seat throughout the entire ride.

 

Also Gru's house is looking great! No pictures, I didn't take my camera with me when I went.

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^The ride quality depends on the row and the train. We recently managed about 20 rides over the course of a week. Rows 5 and 6 rattled the most. The center of each train seemed to give the smoothest ride.

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^^ I've been on it countless times now and yes, there are certainly trains to avoid and rows to avoid too.

 

It seems like the 2 back rows in any of them will cause the ride to suck pretty bad but, in some cases it's completely intolerable.

There was one video of me just the whole time screaming get me outta thing thing, was pretty funny must be said

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Here's an interesting find that I happened to notice today...

 

Seems that Google has updated their satellite images of Universal Orlando, and it just so happens that the updated pictures were taken on January 3rd, 2012, the day AFTER Jaws closed to the public! Some very interesting things to see in these images....

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Here's an overview of the Jaws area. As you can see, the walls are up, and some of the show elements seem to be sticking up out of the water.

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Here's a closer look at what appears to be the Jaws animatronic on the track that you see just before going into the boathouse.

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Here's another look at where you can see some of the shark tracks that are normally under water. I'm assuming that this is during the water drainage process where the water is low enough to see some of the show elements, but not low enough to see the tracks for the boats.

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Here's another picture of the walls around Amity. You can see the Jaws shark photo op was still behind the wall, which they quickly moved back out just a couple of days after the ride closed. So these images absolutely were just a few hours after the attraction closed forever. It looks like there are markings on the ground for where to relocate the walls to have the Jaws statue be out in the public area.

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Another shot of the Amity area. It's important that the Dippin' Dots location appear on Google Maps. I was just going to put in driving directions to this very location, so I'm glad it's there!

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Another overview.

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Another another overview...this time in Google Earth which has the date stamp the pictures were taken.

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Another Google Earth perspective.

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Another one slightly closer in.

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And while I personally hate Google Earth's fake angles and things, it does offer kind of an interesting perspective!

 

If anyone is able to find any more from this set of images, please post them! It's very interesting stuff!

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Here's a few pics from that Orange County Property Appraiser site mentioned below... Thanks for pointing this out! Great find!!!

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Edited by robbalvey
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The Orange County Property Appraiser updated their aerial imagery for 2012 too. Their photos were taken a little bit later in the month of January, showing the Jaws lagoon completely drained, but before any major demolition took place.

 

A website called ParkRumors also has an interesting article with some of the aerial imagery from the Property Appraiser site showing off various things from around Universal, like the Jurassic Park ride without water and the mini-golf construction.

http://parkrumors.com/universal-from-above/

 

And if you want to see the aerial imagery yourself, here's a link to the Property Appraiser's website:

http://paarcgis.ocpafl.org/

Just check the "Aerial Photo 2012" box in the lower left to show the mos recent imagery.

JawsJan2012.thumb.jpg.01257c79a0fb7aee2a80f99a3f9b79cd.jpg

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^ Thanks for pointing that out! I grabbed a few pics and posted them above...I even found our house...with my car parked out front!

 

Oh, the internet these days....

robbshouse.png.a6d6f56e493c52a778c47badc245780f.png

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Wait, the boat in JAWS! was on a track. I always though I just ended up with an excellent skipper that always turned the boat at the perfect time.

 

Robb - cool find for the geek in all of us.

Edited by larrygator
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What I find hilarious is that the 7 boats are in the exact same position in the second set of pictures as they are in the first! I'm picturing the last boat came in from the final ride, unloaded the guests, and they literally shut the ride off, and started to drain the water moments later, that night! I don't think those boats ever moved again until they were physically removed from the property!

Edited by robbalvey
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I find it interesting to see the tire tracks on the bridge that boats would cross under near the end of the ride. I never thought much about that bridge, just assumed that it was part of the decor. But it looks like it was a functioning bridge, which makes sense when you see how much stuff was connected to that island. They would have needed to have a way to get equipment in there for maintenance and such.

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Nice pics.

 

Robb, what you are seeing in the first several pictures is not necessarily the water being drained. All the sharks were on huge platforms that could lift out of the water within minutes. Maintenance could literally walk right on these platforms and service the animatronics without draining any water. That lagoon would take way too long to drain and fill in one night (think about it, that's a lot more water than what's in a rapids ride!).

 

I think the only exception is the boathouse shark, but I may be wrong.

 

Interesting that the images would be updated at that time though. Interesting stuff to see for sure!

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^ Yeah, I knew this, and I was trying to figure out if the sharks were all in maintenance mode or if some water had already been drained. If you look at the shore areas, the water does seem to be lower than it normally was on the ride. Either way, it's still just interesting to see what the ride looked like "The Day After."

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So, the new "Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories" had a public preview a few days ago, and Attractions Magazine was there to film the show.

 

Their description of the video:

A multi-camera edit of the first public showing of the new nighttime lagoon show at Universal Studios Florida - It's "Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories". As this was a public technical rehearsal before the grand opening date of May 8, 2012, some things may be added or adjusted from this version. Also keep in mind that this show, like similar shows, are best judged in person. A video can't really do it justice.

 

 

Now, I know this was a rehearsal, however, it is the show. A few thing may change here and there, but overall.... It looks terrible. People called World of Color a bunch of commercials for Disney films, but seeing this... This is just 20 minutes of hundreds of Universal clips with an underlying score that have been grouped into themes; and the fountains don't even do anything for the show but fill the visual gap between the screens.

 

I was really hoping this show might be able to pull off something worth watching at least, but its just their 360 show all over again!

Edited by COASTER FREAK 11
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