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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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

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Thought you guys might be interested in this in case you hadn't seen it. One of the other writers over at Coaster101 did a break down of how the boom coaster works (based on the patent) including some of the physics and CAD simulations. And he does compare it to the "cantilevered" coaster from like a million years ago

 

www.coaster101.com/2017/01/04/boom-coaster-vs-cantilevered-coaster/

 

 

So could that be a donkey kong type ride maybe?

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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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Thought you guys might be interested in this in case you hadn't seen it. One of the other writers over at Coaster101 did a break down of how the boom coaster works (based on the patent) including some of the physics and CAD simulations. And he does compare it to the "cantilevered" coaster from like a million years ago

 

www.coaster101.com/2017/01/04/boom-coaster-vs-cantilevered-coaster/

 

 

So could that be a donkey kong type ride maybe?

 

Mine Cart Madness!!!! I was actually hoping for a multi-launch RMC called DK's Barrel Blast, though the odd's of that happening are slim to none.

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A waterslide that tall seems epic! Id like to go on one that tall one day....The tall straight down speed slides are my favorite type of waterslides. Just like my favorite coaster element is the steep straight down drop. Now imagine they made Hyper and Giga waterslides

 

That would be moderately terrifying, though I would probably ride all of them.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Jimmy Fallon's Race Through New York has soft opened apparently.

 

I can't tell you how excited I am about this.

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I had a chance to ride Race Through New York With Jimmy Fallon today during it's limited soft open. Simply put, it's one of the most entertaining and unique queue experiences I've ever been in, followed up by the most mediocre and lazy attractions I've been on. After you enter the building, you're given a NBC logo card with a color. Every time you see that color, you move into the next room. There are two main holding rooms. The first is a museum of sorts, with memorabilia from the entire run of The Tonight Show. The second room, after a flight of steps, was a lounge area combined with a stage area, of sorts. Throughout the wait, they had various acts come out on the stage, from a guy in a panda suit (quality stuff...ugh) to a group of barbershop quartets, who sing modern songs, like baby got back...yup. Despite that, the vibe was actually quite energetic here, passing the time well. After that room was the preshow/safety briefing area, then its off to the ride. And once again, its a bunch of seats in front of a screen. Think Despicable Me, but...no, actually it's the same exact thing. The benches are uncomfortable, and the jokes are...well not funny. After it was done, there was a consensus of..."That's it?" from the crowd, and "Well, I never need to ride that again." Not exactly the reaction they expected, I'm sure. For me, it was another disappointment, after Kong. But I'm just not a fan of media based attractions, and hate that every new ride requires 3D glasses. Might as well hand them out at the entrance. But your milage may vary. A few photos follow.

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The main entrance. The facade was done quite well.

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Return time Kiosks. Were not in use for the soft open, and I don't see there being enough of a wait for them to be used that often.

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The card you were given after you enter the first room. Six different ones. The whole room changed to the next color, and that group would move right along...

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The first room was a museum to the history of The Tonight Show. Large room with no seats, leading to...

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...people sitting in front of every exhibit. Good luck getting a close look or a photo.

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Second room had a small lounge area, and a bigger area with a stage. Here, there's a random panda walking around. Wish I knew why.

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Other show was the barbershop quartets singing pop songs. I give it three months till they cut this.

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In between the shows they played "The Best Of..." Quotation marks used appropriately...

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The preshow area, just like minions...literally. Lined up in six rows and watching the video overhead.

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This is where Twister was right? I kind of miss Twister but maybe thats because I'm into natural disasters like tornadoes. However I know the movie Twister is pretty irreverent now. So I assume thats why they replaced it. It would of been cool if they modernized it somehow with a 3D screen but with the wind blowing and even debris flying towards you. (of course it wont be real) Maybe they could of made it move too. Now that would be awesome! Yea a lot of USO's attractions are just that,the moving seats and the 3D screens and special effects,but I thing tornado themed ride would be pretty cool and separate it from the rest. I don't even really watch TV let alone the Tonight Show. So I know diddly squat about the show.

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I love the concept and execution of the queue...

 

Seems like the rides reviews are all along the same lines of yours though...

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So we had a chance to go down and get a sneak preview of the Jimmy Fallon ride today. Let's just say that the previous reviews kind of sum it up. There are certainly positives to take away from the entire package, but don't go in expecting a ground-breaking new simulator style experience. The area in which you walk into the building and the upstairs area is very nicely done. If you are a fan of current or nostalgic television, namely The Today Show, which does have many decades of history behind it, there is a lot to see. The upstairs lounge where you'll find some Tonight Show themed entertainment was also very nicely done. It's great to have a place to hang out and sit, even charge your phone, while waiting for the attraction. Here's some photos and some teaser video from the ride...

 

 

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Yay! We have made it to Universal Orlando! Always exciting to come check out a new attraction!

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Over at the entrance to the New York area, you'll now find 30 Rock! Home to shows like Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show!

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The entrance has a very classic NYC style feel to it.

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Upon entering the building, you'll find some tributes to all of the Tonight Show hosts...

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Not a fan of Jay Leno...

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Poor Conan...

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The current guy...

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Yay! Johnny Carson!

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The ride is using Universal's new "Virtual Queue" system, and much like Dumbo over at Magic Kingdom, when it's your turn to ride, or at least go on to the next part of the queue, your buzzer will go off, or in this case, you are handed a card with a color on it...

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When the NBC Peacock turns your color, you go on to the next area...

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We have headed into what I will call the "lounge" and we are greeted by Hashtag the Panda.

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Hashtag and Elissa seem to be hitting it off.

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The upstairs area is very nicely done. It feels like a "high end lounge" like something you would see made for DVC members or a really nice hotel lobby. It has a very clean and nice look to it.

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There are places to sit and relax. Watch the TVs, play some games. You can even charge your phone here.

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This is the entrance to the attraction. Again, when it turns your color, you will know when to board the ride.

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The stage is in another room where they have live entertainment while you wait.

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And again, this area just has a nice, clean look to it. Where the Dumbo queue has a kids play area to hang out in while you wait for your turn, this area has entertainment and "adult stuff" to do. Same concept, different content.

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Just some artwork of what to expect from the ride.

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Nice looking vehicle, right?

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As we wait for our turn, Elissa plays some games...

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And then the entertainment starts. This is the Ragtime "Gals" Barbershop "Quartet!" (Get the joke? Good!) They were actually really fun to watch!

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Next up, time to do something you do a lot here at Universal...grab those 3-D glasses!

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There are two theaters in the attraction. House Left and House Right.

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We go into the next room where we get to watch the pre-show and safety information video, divided into rows.

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They said no photos or video beyond this point, so this is the best you're going to get. As for the ride/show vehicle itself, it really is more like a giant Star Tours without a roof. Picture a very similar looking Star Tours base of seats, but instead in the middle of an open theater. And you can let your imagination figure it out from there...

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Hashtag was getting very "friendly" with Elissa, but I an told he does this with all the girls!

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Seems he had a rough night...

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He doesn't do so well at video games we found out.

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The sofas and walls are modeled after the chairs that Fallon's guests sit in. Attention to detail here.

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it's all very nice. It's what you would expect in a high-end hotel lobby or just a nice waiting area for an expensive show. It feels upscale so that's a good thing.

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Building front entrance! Yay! Just in case you forgot where you were going! You go here!

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Ride height restriction sign.

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Ride vehicle test seats.

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Inside the shop was all sorts of Jimmy Fallon merchandise and references to the show. I'll be honest, I don't watch very often so some of this was lost on me, but here's a few pics of what you'll find inside...

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Plenty of Hashtag plush....

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Is this a "thing" or is it like trying to make "fetch" happen?

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And look! An obligatory roller coaster shot on our way out! Go check out Jimmy Fallon. Let us know what you think!

Edited by robbalvey
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I thought Twister was hot garbage and anything in its place is an improvement, especially if I can sit down and play Bubble Witch or make pithy comments about fellow guests on Twitter instead of standing in a hot queue while waiting for a dumb attraction I will only go on when there are lines everywhere else.

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As much as I remember loving Twister,and some what missing it because Im into natural disasters, I do remember it not being as good as I remembered. The first time I went on it when I was 9. The second time I just turned 25. At 9 I thought it was the sh*t! Also I was up in the front. The second time though it didnt seem as cool and I was in the back row. Im guessing its because it was amazing as a child but not so much as an adult but in all honesty it seemed they got rid of features. I dont know...it might of just been that i grew up. As a child I remember seeing things get torn apart,things burst into flames,semi truck going though the "air" and the wind being so strong I could barely breath! As an adult I just remember signs tipping over,some sparks,a small fire,only a light breeze, no buildings coming apart and no "debris" There was the cow but suddenly it seemed so fake compare to when i was a kid. Im just guessing its the whole old "things look so much coolier when you are little then when you get older" thing. Oh and not to mention it had gross sour vinegary sweaty "dirty moldy bath towel" type smell to it.... you know how sometimes dirty wet things get that nasty smell after drying for some reason

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All of that great stuff you remembered during the Twister experience you had as a kid wasn't there later on because it was destroyed by a tornado. Please try to follow along...

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The concept of the "open" queue is pretty neat. Wonder if it's something we'll see more of at Universal (I could imagine in the Nintendo Land section open rooms where you can play Nintendo related games and such while you're waiting to ride) or if it's something that will be more or less one and done with this attraction simply because it works (really) well with the story/theme they are going for. As for the ride vehicle, it sounds quite similar to Questor/Corkscrew Hill/Europe in the Air (which could basically be described as "open air Star Tours" as you described).

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Wow you can now get the authentic Roller Coaster Tycoon mascot entertainment!

 

Don't remember seeing any pandas reoccurring on Fallon's show.. looks like an attraction I would skip.

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Is this yet another video-based attraction at Universal? Too many of their attractions are glorified movies, instead of real experiences. At least Twister was a real experience.

 

Is another video-based attraction going to replace Disaster as well?

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