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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 604: Mardi Gras 2021: International Flavors of Carnaval announced

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How has ridership been for Dragons over the last couple of years? During my visits in 2014 and 2015 the ride was walk-on, despite all other rides having decent lines. Granted the ride is a capacity monster with two trains running on both sides, but it seemed like most people who made their way to that corner of the park where there for the Potter stuff and not for Dragons. Of course my two visits is not something that can be used to draw any conclusions, but if this is the norm then I can understand the removal from a business standpoint. So while I'm not happy about the decision to remove one of the best and most unique B&M inverted coasters ever built, a new Potter coaster is guaranteed to draw in huge crowds for Universal!

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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

The Universal Orlando Resort has put out a press release announcing this year's modified Mardi Gras event, Mardi Gras 2021: International Flavors of Carnaval.  Universal Orlando Resort cele

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^ it was even more of a capacity monster when they ran all three trains on both sides (one in load, one in unload, one on the circuit). They could process about 3200pph if they needed to back in the day! Granted I've not seen more than 4-train ops since the change to Dragon Challenge but it wasn't uncommon in the Dueling Dragons days to see them run 6 on busier days.

 

The longest queue I ever saw was many years ago during HHN season, the line was spilling out of the castle with all the indoor queue area in use. Last couple of times I've been the wait was never past the "choose thy fate" point.

 

I can understand the reasoning behind getting rid of it but I hope one day they remember that a bigass impressive roller coaster is a key draw for older teens and adults to choose Universal over Disney and build a big ride that doesn't use any media/screens elsewhere on the property. I can dream...

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I am a Harry Potter fan, so I am not too disappointed by this news. I appreciate the detail that goes into both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, and I have to admit I was very impressed when visiting "Kings Cross" for the first time as they even had the correct trains on the departure board. Sad details I know, but I just liked the attention to the little things. When you look at Universal Orlando's webpage and they have "Potter packages" on it for their holiday choices, they obviously have a large enough market to cater for, including myself.

 

I do understand however the other side of the equation, particularly in a coaster community. I look at the coaster in Universal Japan they built for Jurassic park and think that would be GREAT in Florida, and having ridden Dragons before, you can count me as one of the people who think they were both great fun as coasters.

 

I hope that whatever they put in their place will have some "wow" factor. I remember Gringotts being described to me as "The Mummy on steroids", and I was distinctly underwhelmed after riding it...given the build up it had! As a Potter fan...I prefer The Mummy!

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-Volcano Bay is charging $70 to people to beta test water park queuing strategies to the tune of a two circle average review on Tripadvisor

 

I get a kick out of checking Vocano Bay's review on Trip Advisor every couple of weeks, it's up to a 2.5 circle but some of the 5 cirlce's are suspicious....

 

 

As far as the ride potentially being relocating, I would imagine Universal wants to get started on construction of the new attraction as soon as possible and meticulously disassembling a ride that complex so that it could be sold might take way longer than simply razing the site down to grade and starting over.

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-Kong has largely underwhelmed and honestly is mostly forgotten

 

Is it? This is completely anecdotal but when we visited in late June it was posting a 150 minute wait which was actually the longest line of any ride in either park (and it seems to have reasonably good capacity). I know a lot of coaster / theme park enthusiasts don't like it because it's mostly screen-based but does the average guest really care? Maybe they do, I'm just surprised to hear that since it seemed to be ridiculously popular when we went.

 

Personally we really enjoyed it, I probably wouldn't have waited 150 minutes for it but aside from Gringots and Forbidden Journey I can't really think of any ride in Orlando I'd wait 150 minutes for.

Edited by coasterbill
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I probably wouldn't have waited 150 minutes for it but aside from Gringots and Forbidden Journey I can't really think of any ride in Orlando I'd wait 150 minutes for.

 

yeah me either........until Tron Opens.

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I don't really know how to feel about this. I am a Potter "fan" (although my enthusiasm for the property has wained in recent years), and am completely blown away by how detailed the lands are. Also, I'm not the biggest fan of Dragon Challenge. They're both objectively great coasters, but something I can't put my finger on prevents me from personally really enjoying them. That part of me doesn't mind seeing them go.

 

On the other hand, I'm bummed two great B&M inverts are being removed for what sounds like a downgrade from the "thrill" standpoint and for something sure to have screens (seriously Universal: enough. I'm tired of having to put glasses on for almost every ride in the park)

 

The only thing I do know with 100% certainty is that I'm sure I'll be dragged back to Universal in 2019 to see this new attraction. I just wish I were more excited.

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-Kong has largely underwhelmed and honestly is mostly forgotten

 

Is it? This is completely anecdotal but when we visited in late June it was posting a 150 minute wait which was actually the longest line of any ride in either park (and it seems to have reasonably good capacity). I know a lot of coaster / theme park enthusiasts don't like it because it's mostly screen-based but does the average guest really care? Maybe they do, I'm just surprised to hear that since it seemed to be ridiculously popular when we went.

 

Personally we really enjoyed it, I probably wouldn't have waited 150 minutes for it but aside from Gringots and Forbidden Journey I can't really think of any ride in Orlando I'd wait 150 minutes for.

Agreed, I enjoyed Kong for what it is and the general public love that ride.

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Maybe this will give SeaWorld a great opportunity in the coming years to distinguish itself as the real thrill/roller coaster park in Orlando and be able to cater to the families with teenagers. I had heard that Universal had considered doing other things with the Hulk land when they initaly were planning its refurb, but so many guests stated it was their most memorable ride of their visit, so that's what drove them to rebuild it exactly as it was.

 

I don't think the Dragons were necessarily at the end of their lifespan just yet, but Universal realized it could happen in the next 7-10 years and I think they figured they'd just go ahead and act now on the Potter stuff while it's still hot.

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-Kong has largely underwhelmed and honestly is mostly forgotten

 

Is it? This is completely anecdotal but when we visited in late June it was posting a 150 minute wait which was actually the longest line of any ride in either park. I'm just surprised to hear that since it seemed to be ridiculously popular when we went.

I've not heard of the ride getting those long waits this summer. It did last summer because it was still "new." At the moment the attraction has a 25 minute wait compared to Hulk at 70, Rockit at 55, Minions at 75, and the Potter rides at 30. While Kong does seem to post longer wait times this summer (60-90 minutes on peak days) I've heard that usually the wait time is actually about half that.

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Edited by robbalvey
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Interesting, maybe we just caught it at a bad time (possible since it was early - mid afternoon and the hottest part of the day and we visited on a Saturday since we had no other choice, we had express passes though so we didn't care).

 

I also get that a long line =/= high satisfaction scores and could easily just be filled with people who haven't ridden it before or are just desperate to ride anything that's air conditioned but (assuming what DirkFunk is saying is accurate, which generally it is) I'm still a little surprised to hear that the ride hasn't been as well received as they had hoped. We loved it.

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The sad reality of all this is that a perfectly fine coaster that would have a price tag exceeding well over 40 million

If it was bought new today will be tossed in the trash. Hell, at the very least, relocate it to the new China park and have it duel again in it's original theming. A perfect fit for China.

 

Some perfectly good slides at Wet and Wild is proof of what'll happen.

 

I'm aure the folks at B&M are even bummed, has. A coaster of their's ever been tossed in the garbage?

Edited by ElvisLuv
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Interesting, maybe we just caught it at a bad time (possible since it was early - mid afternoon and the hottest part of the day and we visited on a Saturday since we had no other choice, we had express passes though so we didn't care).

Yeah, I'm sure that's probably part of it. And if they were down a truck for whatever reason at that particular time, for example, they could have bumped the wait time displayed "just in case."

 

I'm still a little surprised to hear that the ride hasn't been as well received as they had hoped.

I actually think it's been "ok" received. I feel it's a ride that people will do once, and be genuinely impressed with the screen technology, but I'm not sure how well it holds up on re-rides. It certainly has been better received than Fallon and maybe not as well as Minions. So it's kind of right there in the middle, which IMO is probably where it should be.

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^^ Makes sense.

 

It certainly has been better received than Fallon and maybe not as well as Minions.

 

This is unrelated but I've never understood why people are willing to wait as long as they do for Minions. I know capacity plays a role, I know it's prominent location plays a role and I'm sure the IP plays a role but holy crap. That thing is the "Peter Pan's Flight" of Universal Studios.

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Fallon was a Comcast vanity project if there ever was one. The wheels started turning on that before Trump was elected and then gave Colbert a hanging curve ball to smash out of the park with subject matter he excels at. But, that will all pass one day.

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This is unrelated but I've never understood why people are willing to wait as long as they do for Minions. I know capacity plays a role, I know it's prominent location plays a role and I'm sure the IP plays a role but holy crap. That thing is the "Peter Pan's Flight" of Universal Studios.

You hit the 1-2-3 punch right on the head!

 

It most certainly has "Universal" appeal (get the pun!)

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Edited by robbalvey
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Sighs! This will destroy Universal Studios, & Florida! I can't believe therye removing this great B&M Coaster if there is a petition or vote ill vote keep it!

Honestly don't be stupid. Yes it's a bummer it is leaving, but this will not "destroy" the park nor would signing a pointless internet petition do anything but make you look even dumber than the park for removing the ride.

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Who would have guessed 10-15 years ago that Dueling Dragons would be torn down, but the 8th Voyage of Sinbad and Poseidon's Fury would still be there? It's too bad they couldn't have utilized those areas for more Potter expansion.

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I have nothing too worthy to say about this, but I hope both of the Dragons get a new home, even if that might seem hard and expensive.

 

I've never gone to any Universal park, but now I kinda wish I had before. Even if the park had more thrill rides only I would enjoy...

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The last time I was at Universal was when I was but a kid, well before the Dragons were installed, even before Islands of Adventure was a thing. It's a shame I won't get a chance to visit there before they close them down permanently, as they seemed to be highly rated by fans of inverts. Interested to hear what the new attraction will be, though.

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I'll state it just as last time, there is NOTHING they can build related to Harry Potter featuring screens that I would rather have more than Dragon Challenge, or better yet a properly functioning Dueling Dragons. Horrible, Awful, Terrible and worst ever all come to mind.

 

Can the third (4th?) Universal Park just be dedicated to retired attractions?

 

Jaws

Back to the Future

The good Version of Kong

Twister

Earthquake

Dueling Dragons

All of Nick Studios

Beetlejuice/Ghostbuster Shows/Dynamite Stunt Show Spectacular

An actually competent included-Waterpark with fantastic slides like Brain Wash/Disco H20, the Storm, and their Kraken Racer

 

Hell, add in Horizons, Great Movie Ride and the Original Journey into Imagination and we'll have a Nostalgia Park that would kick all kinds of ass.

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I hope both of the Dragons get a new home, even if that might seem hard and expensive.

 

My thoughts exactly.

Both Dragons are still smooth, so I don't see the need to replace the track.

Judging by how most relocations work, they'll hopefully end up in Asia somewhere.

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