Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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

Recommended Posts

Here's an interesting data point. The level of interaction and engagement for our Facebook posts on the last day of Dragons versus the last day of Great Movie Ride and Universe of Energy. Looking at a snapshot from a social media perspective, people really didn't give a damn about Ellen or GMR, but the most certainly raised some voices about Dragons....

822965036_ScreenShot2017-09-05at15_22_04.png.e8df1f7081ed2b2e2c12df8a7fa91249.png

1997711626_ScreenShot2017-09-05at15_27_32.png.6d0f37c445b7bf72d60fc89c41ab82f9.png

1196245628_ScreenShot2017-09-05at15_28_18.png.ade3f72a9598a9ec2d47cae90da8c446.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 15k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

Posted Images

Dragon's removal definitely seems premature compared to the Great Movie Ride and Ellen's Energy Adventure. Considering it's survived by Simbad and Poseidon, even if the new coaster is incredible, losing two excellent coasters is a high price to pay. Potter's expansion will come at any cost it seems. I don't mind Harry Potter, but I do think they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm usually not one to get sentimental over a ride shutting down, most of the time it's because a ride has reached the end of it's life, it suffers from low ridership or the ride quality just isn't holding up anymore. But I must admit that seeing the video of how it was when the ride was dueling, something which I never got to experience, and knowing that we'll probably never see a ride like this again does make a little sad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm fortunate I got to experience the ride dueling in my first visit to Islands of Adventure.

 

It was a bummer they stopped dueling, but they were still in my top 3 for favorite inverts even when they didn't duel. The unique layout and forceful elements made it a win in my book.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember when I was eight and just hit the height requirement for Dueling Dragons and The Hulk. I chose to ride the Fire side as my first "big boy coaster" and I was hooked. That ride is what sparked my enthusiasm for theme parks, and eventually got me to work my first job at Universal, (as well as Disney later down the road).

 

It was such a bummer to see it stop dueling, and then to see it's identity get taken away as well. What bothers me most about this situation is the ride has become something that, while as Robb stated, still pleases guests. The ride itself was neglected by Universal, almost like they knew when they opened Potter that Dueling Dragons wasn't going to last. So they left it alone, made the locker situation terrible for re-rides, and didn't even bother sprucing it up when the rest of Potter came to town.

 

Another thing that irks me about the whole situation is that they definitely had the money to give it a face lift after Potter. They could have done what they did with Hulk, (not necessarily dismantle it and put it back together,) but at the very least close it down and give it a bit of TLC in other areas that were needed.

 

All in all it is such a shame to see this ride getting scrapped. I hope the future holds something amazing in store for that plot of land. There are some pretty high standards to meet ride wise.

 

So help me god if we get another simulator attraction ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to go on the record that I already have a negative opinion on whatever is replacing Dragons. Yes I'm probably 3 years early, and I don't even know exactly what it will be, but here is a list of attractions at Universal I would understand removal before Dragons.

 

A Day in the Park with Barney

Animal Actors On Location!

Caro–Seuss–el

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

Doctor Doom's Fearfall

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls

E.T. Adventure

Fear Factor Live

Flight of the Hippogriff

Hogwarts Express

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl

Men in Black: Alien Attack

Oh! The Stories You'll Hear!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges

Poseidon's Fury Live action show

Pteranodon Flyers

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Shrek 4-D 4D ride

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Storm Force Accelatron

T2 3-D: Battle Across Time

The Blues Brothers Show

The Cat In The Hat

The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride

The Simpsons Ride

Transformers: The Ride-3D

Universal Orlando's Horror Make-Up Show

Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster

 

I have utterly nothing positive to say about this decision. They are the only theme park that has decided to destroy a B&M coaster, in 27 years of that company's existence. The ride is smooth, has high guest satisfaction, and by all accounts runs reliably and efficiently to this day. The ride has featured heavily into their marketing and visibility for 18 years. If they were dueling it, it would still be the best attraction at 99% of amusement parks in the world.

 

There is also space in the parks elsewhere to place Harry Potter Expansions for Forbidden Forest (Sinbad/Poseidon) or Fantastic Beasts (Fear Factor) that works thematically and to remove bad attractions.

 

I don't get it, I don't like it, and I can't see the reasoning behind it. And I've said my peace.

Edited by BlahBlahson
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with everything that has been said about Universal scrapping Poseidon and Sinbad instead of Dragons. It just makes zero sense.

 

As for what replaces Dueling Dragon's, this thing better look like freakin Taron.

Link to post
Share on other sites
They are the only theme park that has decided to destroy a B&M coaster, in 27 years of that company's existence. The ride is smooth, has high guest satisfaction, and by all accounts runs reliably and smoothly to this day. The ride has featured heavily into their marketing and visibility for 18 years. If they were dueling it, it would still be the best attraction at 99% of amusement parks in the world.

 

There is also space in the parks elsewhere to place Harry Potter Expansions for Forbidden Forest (Sinbad/Poseidon) or Fantastic Beasts (Fear Factor) that works thematically and to remove bad attractions.

 

I don't get it, I don't like it, and I can't see the reasoning behind it. And I've said my peace.

Quoted for truth.

 

If they were dueling it, it would still be the best attraction at 99% of amusement parks in the world.

And even when they weren't dueling, that percentage would still be high. Non-Dueling Dragons is still a better attraction than probably 90% of all Six Flags and Cedar Fair's roller coasters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I'd just on the Duelling Dragons-praising bandwagon for a moment.

 

When I first went to IoA back in 2004, DD was my favourite ride. Spiderman was impressive, moreso than anything else I'd seen at the time. Hulk was pretty damned good. But DD? Somehow, that was my favourite of the trip for some reason. It had an excellent queueline that was so long you never really had to wait until you got to the very end. It was an inverted coaster, and I'd tried so few of them at that point. There were two of them, and the added thrill when it looked like your feet nearly touched the feet of the riders of the other train as you peeled out (despite the fact you were probably 2+ metres away).

 

Subsequent trips however found me losing my fondness for the Dragons, replaced by my enthusiasm for Hulk, but they were still a staple of Florida trips - we had to ride both sides. They stopped duelling, the queue looked less impressive, and Montu replaced it as my favourite invert.

 

Yet the Dragons are still Good Rides. Not brilliant, but Good. And IoA is a much lesser place now without them (now it only has one thrilling coaster). On future trips, I will miss them.

 

Of course, this all depends on what Universal plans instead. The space taken up by DD is pretty large, although looking at Google Maps, the space taken up by Poseidon and Sindbad seems roughly the same. Of course, it all depends on how easy it is to develop those areas into whatever Universal has planned (I imagine Poseidon, for instance, will have a fair bit of custom utilities to deal with), but let's face it - what is the Lost Continent today? Who thinks Poseidon and Sindbad are anything special? It seems the consensus is just for Universal to get it over and done with, remove the area and redevelop.

 

However, we don't know Universal's plans. Redeveloping Lost Continent into Harry Potter's Ego Trip v3 would mean that that entire corner of the park becomes Harry Potter Mania. Want another land, perhaps based on, I don't know, the Emoji Movie (why not - it has great reviews, honest!)? You're out of luck. This keeps Lost Continent as an area that Universal can redevelop without having to tread on Harry Potter's Bloated Wallet World.

 

Still, a sad day. I do wonder if Universal is making the right decision, but the decision they're making is surely guided with the ability to plan 10-20 years down the road.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great tribute to a great ride(s) this thread has been!

 

I was fortunate to ride Dueling Dragons in full dueling glory during 3 separate visits between 2000 - 2004. Between DD and Spider-man, IOA held two top ten overall theme park experiences in my book (I guess 3...)

 

As I look back on my trips, one particular experience says a lot of how unique and loved DD was, and how disappointed I am that Universal is removing it. I attended the park with 5 close friends in 2001. I was definitely the theme park fanatic of the group, and had been to IOA one other time - so I was excited to showcase everything I loved about the park to my friends. We hit DD early on in the day, then went around to as many of the other rides as possible. About halfway through the tour of the park, my most discerning and difficult-to-please friend started complaining, and said "can we just go back to Dueling Dragons and ride it the rest of the night?" This was after riding Hulk, Spider-man, Ripsaw, Pluto's, Jurassic Park, etc. He had no desire to hit any of the other themed rides in the park... he wanted to ride DD as much as possible. This perspective - from a theme park "outsider" - certainly showed how much love there was for DD among the general public.

 

R.I.P. - DD. You'll always be there in my dreams.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't posted on this forum in forever, but I came back to pay tribute to DD. I remember getting the book that started my obsession with roller coasters when I was 8 or 9 years old, and DD was featured prominently on the cover. My first trip to Universal was during the HP construction, so I didn't get the chance to ride it then, or see the full glory of the original queue. I did finally get to ride it 2 years ago as the Potter shell of its former self.

 

My coaster enthusiasm has faded in the past few years as I've grown up and had my time consumed by real life, but this still feels like a gut punch.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reason we all are so disappointed by this decision is because I believe, and I know that there are exceptions, that most people on these forums are roller coaster enthusiasts first and theme park enthusiasts second. I would imagine that people that are more into immersive theme parks are not as upset that Universal is taking out a light/moderately themed rollercoaster that flips you upside-down a bunch of times that really is not too different than what you can experience at your local Six Flags park. I think unfortunately for us this is Universal confirming to us something that we already knew, Disney and Universal did not become arguably the most successful theme parks around by building exposed high-thrill rollercoasters. The big jump at Universal came from Potter. Compare the current ride lineups at Disney/Universal vs. a regional park and it is clear to see why they made the decision they did.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the reason we all are so disappointed by this decision is because I believe, and I know that there are exceptions, that most people on these forums are roller coaster enthusiasts first and theme park enthusiasts second. I would imagine that people that are more into immersive theme parks are not as upset

Actually, you should see our social media, which actually does NOT cater to die-hard roller coaster fans.

 

We have had hundreds of re-tweets like these:

1982959210_ScreenShot2017-09-05at22_38_28.png.0dac01fed7ea22f887aafc9ccaf02d8d.png

1161735714_ScreenShot2017-09-05at22_38_34.png.0e7334138f2207dae82fb92d89b0de90.png

214309625_ScreenShot2017-09-05at22_38_41.png.4dc216c8ace3a47d030b102d4e7d5671.png

1037003421_ScreenShot2017-09-05at22_38_52.png.87bd82d7074d2e70dece04f3b6015d41.png

1036167525_ScreenShot2017-09-05at22_39_03.png.8003938a067a369c7ced0c2354b29514.png

46331648_ScreenShot2017-09-05at22_39_14.png.f9faa4aba1779e899b88c9302918437e.png

560063787_ScreenShot2017-09-05at20_42_11.png.08497b03274dbdedf55db016424db705.png

812663629_ScreenShot2017-09-05at20_47_37.png.4047180eb7a82882263ee8194a98eccc.png

776190340_ScreenShot2017-09-05at20_48_29.png.9dc9cb2e91b143b791dd7000d6a833cb.png

 

And the response on Facebook has been crazy and is STILL going strong...

1415540311_ScreenShot2017-09-05at22_39_41.png.05dab3759c4d4f91ffa809cacbc68d4e.png

 

My take-away is that people are generally upset by this ride closing, not JUST the people on the forum or die-hard coaster fans. As I said the people we target our socials to are what I would consider "casual theme park fans" who are more like your everyday park guest.

 

Universal certainly has some big shoes to fill. I'm not sure I've seen a reaction like this to a ride closing since maybe Big Bad Wolf where it was TRULY still a loved coaster and questionable if it's actually a good decision or not to remove it.

Edited by robbalvey
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is quite sad. Part of me wishes we could just go back to when WWoHP first opened when Hogsmeade, dragons, and Jaws all coexisted peacefully. The amount of Potter in my opinion is becoming a bit overkill now and I'm not even sure if I believe this will be the last expansion to the area. It will probably take over dragons now and take over Fear Factor later as was discussed. As nice as Diagon is I'm still not sure if I like it better then the cheesy fun of Jaws and the excitement of getting a unique ride each time with a different skipper. I'm just crossing my fingers that ET will be deemed an eternal, always-relevant classic, though it would not surprise me if they decide to axe that too if they ever update/remove the kiddie area.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What guts me the most is that Universal is (by all accounts) scrapping it. Why not send it to one of the under-construction parks in Beijing or South Korea? Most riders would be none the wiser. Or sell it to a park far away from the Orlando market? Are the Universal bigwigs too prideful to let it live somewhere else but not too prideful to keep it open where it is?

 

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the meeting(s) where this decision was made.

 

I didn't realize I'd be this upset over its closure. I know it's not the end of the world, but it sucks.

Edited by coasterdude5
Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like to go on the record that I already have a negative opinion on whatever is replacing Dragons. Yes I'm probably 3 years early, and I don't even know exactly what it will be, but here is a list of attractions at Universal I would understand removal before Dragons.

 

A Day in the Park with Barney

Animal Actors On Location!

Caro–Seuss–el

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

Doctor Doom's Fearfall

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls

E.T. Adventure

Fear Factor Live

Flight of the Hippogriff

Hogwarts Express

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl

Men in Black: Alien Attack

Oh! The Stories You'll Hear!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges

Poseidon's Fury Live action show

Pteranodon Flyers

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Shrek 4-D 4D ride

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Storm Force Accelatron

T2 3-D: Battle Across Time

The Blues Brothers Show

The Cat In The Hat

The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride

The Simpsons Ride

Transformers: The Ride-3D

Universal Orlando's Horror Make-Up Show

Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster

 

I have utterly nothing positive to say about this decision. They are the only theme park that has decided to destroy a B&M coaster, in 27 years of that company's existence. The ride is smooth, has high guest satisfaction, and by all accounts runs reliably and efficiently to this day. The ride has featured heavily into their marketing and visibility for 18 years. If they were dueling it, it would still be the best attraction at 99% of amusement parks in the world.

 

There is also space in the parks elsewhere to place Harry Potter Expansions for Forbidden Forest (Sinbad/Poseidon) or Fantastic Beasts (Fear Factor) that works thematically and to remove bad attractions.

 

I don't get it, I don't like it, and I can't see the reasoning behind it. And I've said my peace.

 

 

I'm 100% on board with everything you said!

 

If people ask me next year what my favorite ride at IoA or Universal is, I'll say Dueling Dragons, and if/when they say it's not there anymore, I'll say it's STILL my favorite ride there. That was SUCH a quality ride, pound for pound, that's it's still a stunner that's it's going to be no more.

 

And to get back to what the guy before said about it being the worst decision a park has ever made, I'm trying to think of a worse one, and nothing is immediately coming to mind... If there is one, feel free to refresh my memory, but this is pretty terrible!

Link to post
Share on other sites

^I am pretty sure the last time a coaster this highly ranked was removed was Eagle's Fortress. But that coaster was understandably difficult to maintain, and Everland somewhat made up for that by building one of the best (if not the best) wood coaster in the world.

 

As for Universal, I do wonder what the budget was to keep this coaster running. While it probably endured much wear and tear over the years, I guarantee there are other attractions at the resort that cost more to run and are far less iconic than this. Fire Dragon was my favorite coaster at the resort, and my second favorite in Florida after Kumba.

 

With these ride removals and insane loose article policies, the Universal Parks would probably rank in my bottom quarter of parks if I were asked to rank all of them. And as late as 2013, USO was my favorite park resort. Comcast is running these parks like they do their cable network.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Well you can blame that loose article policy on one fucking guy along with the removal of this ride. Also I wouldnt be surprised if someone bought them, B&Ms have a high value and if it is scrapped this would be the first one (yes even Time Machine wasnt scrapped despite sitting abandoned for 5 years, its in Vietnam now according to RCDB)

Link to post
Share on other sites
And the response on Facebook has been crazy and is STILL going strong...

thumb_screen_shot_2017-09-05_at_22_5.png

Holy damn, Robb. Those metrics are INSANE. Is this your top FB post ever? I work for a company that has FB followers of 1.7 mil, and we'd KILL for the reach you're getting on that. Pretty much the only time we ever get anything like those numbers is, sadly, when we mention that a popular music artist has passed away.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's so sad a great ride will be gone. Glad I got to ride it, they were fantastic coasters. B&M inverts tend to be some of my favorite rides especially these older ones that still kick @$$.

 

I enjoyed the Harry Potter lands but I am not a die hard fan, I don't feel the need to see them again really. Personally I had little desire to return even with Dragons, now I really have no desire to return to Universal. The attractions they continue to put in seem boring, because I've already ridden the 3D glasses screen ride that I'll be sprayed with water at some point too many times at that one park. I'll take my money to Disney, Seaworld, FunSpot, and BGT next time I'm in the Orlando area.

Link to post
Share on other sites
^I am pretty sure the last time a coaster this highly ranked was removed was Eagle's Fortress. But that coaster was understandably difficult to maintain, and Everland somewhat made up for that by building one of the best (if not the best) wood coaster in the world.

 

I mean T Express was open at the same time as Eagle's Fortress and I think there was talk about getting new trains at some point to try and save the ride so I think if they'd had the option, they'd have kept it going. That's completely different from Universal where it could be kept going maintenance wise and expand in other places. It was not fun having never ridden it and having to see it SBNO for years.

 

Also if we are going to use Eagle's Fortress as an example, removing a very popular ride hasn't exactly worked out there either. The site was pegged for an on-site hotel, and now the whole area is being turned into a garden based on some overhead shots. Considering they just did this with Global Village, it's leaving that area a little bare.

 

The parks never going to be doing too poorly considering the population size nearby and minimal competition but the park hasn't exactly been thriving. Attendance hasn't really changed much in the last 4 years and their big investment was in pandas (I don't have the article on hand but the whole project cost was around the price for quite a big coaster) and despite a huge media push, huge waiting areas originally painted and one of the few rides to offer queue pass, outside of holidays, it has been pretty much walk-in every day since day one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
And the response on Facebook has been crazy and is STILL going strong...

thumb_screen_shot_2017-09-05_at_22_5.png

Holy damn, Robb. Those metrics are INSANE. Is this your top FB post ever? I work for a company that has FB followers of 1.7 mil, and we'd KILL for the reach you're getting on that. Pretty much the only time we ever get anything like those numbers is, sadly, when we mention that a popular music artist has passed away.

Oh, no. That's pretty common for us actually. We get probably about a dozen posts a month reach those numbers:

506538748_ScreenShot2017-09-06at12_12_38.png.7d8d2b0cb94f7347fec74903275f485f.png

260465706_ScreenShot2017-09-06at12_12_55.png.9f49b6d310ff4f31bfc422b9910e3615.png

847039772_ScreenShot2017-09-06at12_13_21.png.83b80ab30cd650b357895a4589e70b4f.png

 

Then about once a month we'll get a post that goes CRAZY viral:

341859009_ScreenShot2017-09-06at12_13_40.png.8e516d1e0dd60edeaf79978490c4db19.png

 

And that's still not the best post we've ever had! We've had posts with reach into 100 million!

 

To bring this back on topic, we are STILL getting re-tweets and comments constantly about Dragons from general park fans....

1533225232_ScreenShot2017-09-06at12_10_24.thumb.png.070f4c27266181710390960cc1c13c59.png

1378423304_ScreenShot2017-09-06at12_10_37.png.0a44df978d6e6740c5609924684c3300.png

597727248_ScreenShot2017-09-06at12_10_50.png.c334669a1748d4d77757447231a7986e.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Was fortunate enough to ride it as Dragon Challenge during my trip to Universal and Islands of Adventure in 2014. Never got to experience the dueling aspect it but did get to ride both sides and you can tell how much fun dueling would have been. I can only imagine. A lot of people say it felt out of place but I actually thought they did a really good job with the re-theming to Harry Potter.

Just wish I could sit down with a spokesperson and hear, in detail, why they thought it was best to remove this ride and not clear new space (that they have available) to build a new roller coaster.

Keeping both would have been best, but they know more than me right?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had my first (and last) rides on Dragon's Challenge back in 2010 when the Harry Potter section first opened. I really enjoyed the ride, especially because A) it still dueled back then and B) back then everyone was so busy with all the other Harry Potter stuff that the line for Dragon's Challenge was never more than about 5-10 minutes. It was a solid ride and the dueling added a lot (in my opinion). It's interesting that Harry Potter was the incentive that got me to finally get to IOA and try the ride for the first time and that Harry Potter will ultimately be the reason that the ride is leaving. I wonder (as some say the ride still had life in it), if Universal tried at all to look for a potential park to buy the ride or if they just scrapped it without a second thought.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/