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

  • 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

I know this isn’t likely but for the upcoming rumored third/fourth park at Universal Orlando Resort tentatively called Fantastic Worlds or Epic Universe their have been a number of possible new worlds that could come to this new park like Super Nintendo World, Universal Classic Monsters, DreamWorks, Fantastic Beasts(more Potter), possibly Jurassic World depending on what happens to JP themed land at IOA, Middle Earth/LOTR, Star Trek, their seems to be a number of possibilities that would make great themed worlds but I had one in mind that will definitely lease likely not happen but it would be awesome. Revive Universal older IP’s like Jaws, King Kong again with Monsterverse, Earthquake, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Twister, Terminator, Waterworld, etc. Perhaps update them with newer technology and up to date animatronics instead of 3D glasses and projected screens hopefully we won’t see as much of this in the new park. But their could be new stories to tell with Back to the Future as an example create a Hill Valley area or a wild western themed section from Back to the Future Part 3. Jaws could be a themed New England setting riding Quint’s Orca boat as a E-ticket attraction possibly. If The Meg does well from Warner Bros which is expecting a sequel you never know what could happen with Jaws it could spark interest of making another Jaws movie. As for Ghostbusters and Terminator they are getting new movies too so we’ll see. Earthquake was supposed to get a new movie directed by JJ Abrams but failed. I’d like to see earthquake though created as a San Francisco setting riding a trolley car waiting for the earthquake to happen! Just my dreams on here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All solid ideas ! Always good to dream. Universal to me can wildly fluctuate between really good ideas and craftsmanship to head scratching what were they thinking type of moments. Their work with the HP was been pretty spectacular world wide. So that is a highlight. Really looking forward to how they execute the Nintendo world.

Link to post
Share on other sites
So this happened today at Volcano Bay. Several Employees were hospitalized after a "technical issue" and the park was closed. Not much other info. Maybe a chlorine trouble? Link, https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/workers-hospitalized-after-technical-issues-at-universals-volcano-bay/2047807088

 

Haven't really looked into it, but I don't think some extra chlorine would send people to a hospital and close a park unless it's a huge amount over what's needed. I've been in plenty of pools that aren't balanced properly and the only ill effect is the smell and eyes that feel like you put a little shampoo in it. I recall seeing someone mention a guest getting shocked, so maybe they discovered an electrical short in one of the ride systems and decided to shut it all down.

 

Really looking forward to how they execute the Nintendo world.

 

A shaking box, most likely. Hopefully Mario Kart gets the SFX Coaster treatment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ yes, I should have updated my first post on this. It was an electrical problem. Guests experienced it , notified park employees, and must have been serious enough that team members were sent to the hospital to be checked out. According to the park, the problem has been (theoretically) corrected. I want to check the park out this summer, but I'm going to hold off for a few weeks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll just sum up my thoughts here in an easy to digest bullet-point format since people seem to be putting words in my mouth:

 

- Overall, the ride is fun... a lot of fun.

 

- What is there on the ride looks great.

 

- If you are expecting a ride as thrilling or as intense as Dueling Dragons, this is not your ride.

 

- If you like coasters such as Taron or Cheetah Hunt, you will most likely enjoy this coaster as well.

 

- I'm VERY HAPPY this is not a screen based attraction.

 

- While the theming that is there looks "good" I did expect more from it based on how much they were hyping the figures, the "story coaster" and the indoor section. And that's really the only part of the ride that didn't live up to expectations.

 

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Review!

 

So I got to ride Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure yesterday at the media preview and here are my thoughts on the ride...

 

IMG_1795.thumb.JPG.a5c3830083860f9fc427a7956eed3107.JPG

It's fun. It's twisty. The launches are "good." The backwards spike is great. The drop-track is overrated. (As are all drop-tracks, not just this one!)

 

Keep in mind that these are the comments of a somewhat jaded roller coaster rider who has been on over 2,000 different roller coasters...

 

IMG_1784a.thumb.jpg.6745eb805c71f7af31d34e9146fc875d.jpg

I came away really liking the ride, but also felt the same way I did about Taron, Helix, and many other coasters that other people absolutely LOVED but I felt a *bit* underwhelmed about.

 

Here's my biggest issue with Hagrid's... it's a "family" coaster. And that's fine... it's actually a DAMN GOOD "family" coaster... but it replaced Dueling Dragons. And this is NOT a replacement for Dueling Dragons in any way.

 

The ride felt a LOT like a less-thrilling version of Taron or Cheetah Hunt, and that's not a bad thing, I like both of those rides quite a bit, I just don't think they are as good as people have hyped them up to be.

 

IMG_1804a.thumb.jpg.f58086dfa20dce58e51d2b3bc73108c6.jpg

It's a lot of low-to-the ground twisty bits with "boosts" (I'm not sure I'd really call them launches) here and there.

 

And none of those things are complaints, in fact, the only real criticism I have of the ride is I was actually surprised how little theming there really was on this coaster.

 

Most of the track is out in the open and you fly by the themed elements so quickly you hardly see them. It's like the Yeti on Everest. You see Hagrid for a total of five seconds (I counted on my third ride) and you see the three-headed monster thing for even less. I almost totally missed the blue flying creatures inside the car because you go by that so fast you almost don't notice the car let alone the creatures inside of it.

 

The only really themed section is the indoor drop-track area and that part was kind of weird. When you first enter the building, it's almost totally unthemed (like as though it wasn't finished) and there is nothing hiding the fact that you can look around and see you're in a giant building.

 

As you go further in, it just looks like you're in a cave with a bunch of moving vines. It didn't look bad, but it also wasn't a "OH WOW, GREAT THEMING" moment either.

 

And then there is the drop track. An element that I describe as the "shortest drop on Tower of Terror" or something about as thrilling as a Frog Hopper. It's not "thrilling" it's just slightly "startling" if you don't know when to expect it. But since all these drop track elements are EXACTLY THE SAME on every coaster I've ever been on (and I've been on five of them since 2006...yes, that's how long this element has been around) I knew exactly when it was going to drop because the timing has never changed on any ride that includes this element. Fun, yes, especially for the first-time rider, but when you've been riding coasters like this for 14 years, it has lost its "thrill moment."

 

I actually think my favorite parts on this ride are the backwards spike because it feels JUST LIKE Montezooma's Revenge (and I love that ride) and the launch just after the drop track is probably the best of them all.

 

The park boasts that this ride has "seven launches" but to me you really only feel three of them as any significant launch. The initial one at the start of the ride, the launch right after you see Hagrid, and then the launch after the drop track. The rest of them just sort of "push the train" along a bit faster.

 

IMG_1822.thumb.JPG.01ba719aab3ba7c1126cb78afb33fb3e.JPG

I rode both the side car and the motorbike and I actually found that, other than your seat being higher on the motorbike, both seats gave pretty much exactly the same ride experience. I honestly didn't prefer one over the other. The motorbike seat isn't a real "motorbike ride vehicle" like Tron or the other Vekoma and Zamperla Motorbike coasters are, it's just a regular roller coaster train with themed elements around it to make it look like a motorbike.

 

IMG_1759.thumb.jpg.5c8d6a47f88044c95a693e6bcbd7bd4c.jpg

IMG_1845.thumb.JPG.82f6de23e43d17b8ce99682db09057ac.JPG

There is the initial moment where you go "Oh, I'm higher/lower than the seat next to me" but once the ride starts, you notice that less because you are focused on the action of the ride and not the seat next to you.

 

IMG_1827.thumb.JPG.34a4fceaee9ee159c30ff3a2f0272736.JPG

Actually my only other criticism is that I don't think it should be a 48" height restriction. 42" or 44" would have been perfect. And that would have put it more into a "family" coaster category where it belongs.

 

Overall, it's a very fun ride. While it exceeded some expectations, it also met the expectation that it wouldn't deliver the same level of thrill or excitement that Dueling Dragons did, and the fact that a perfectly good "world's top ten" roller coaster was pointlessly demolished for this ride still really bums me out, especially after walking through a mostly changed Dragon Challenge queue... it's just kind of a sore reminder about what once was there...

 

IMG_1825.thumb.jpg.e37f69884ea8c35c2e8182acfa33bc19.jpg

And hey, if Draco Malfoy is having an awesome time riding Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, you KNOW it has to be amazing!

 

IMG_1773b.thumb.jpg.502ac8c6bc229b1fe9af757c573c8c29.jpg

Here's a video we did featuring a complete walk-through of the queue and some offride shots:

 

And here is the pre-show video that is the first thing you see when you walk into the castle...

[fbvideonew]

[/fbvideonew] Edited by robbalvey
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that great review! I've been waiting to hear one that cuts out all the Potter hype and focuses on the coaster elements, as that's what I've been most curious about. It still sounds like a fun addition, and I'm looking forward to trying it out myself this weekend.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for that great review! I've been waiting to hear one that cuts out all the Potter hype and focuses on the coaster elements, as that's what I've been most curious about. It still sounds like a fun addition, and I'm looking forward to trying it out myself this weekend.

Yep, I'm not a Potter person so I can really only speak to the coaster part of the ride. In fact, I didn't even know I had a pic of Tom Felton, or who he even was, until someone else pointed it out to me!

Link to post
Share on other sites

While this does look like a fun attraction, it is a small shame about the level of theming considering how much the park has marketed the theming. And I think no one really expected this to be better than Dragons.

 

I saw on one of your socials that you weren't able to shoot on ride pov footage at the time. Do you know if that will be coming from either you or the park in the future?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think no one really expected this to be better than Dragons.

I didn't expect it to be better than Dragons, but that still doesn't ease the fact that a world's top tier coaster was destroyed for a ride that doesn't live up. I'm not usually one to get all bummed out about attractions leaving, but I refuse to believe that Dragons was at the "end if its life" or that these two attractions couldn't have co-existed.

 

I saw on one of your socials that you weren't able to shoot on ride pov footage at the time. Do you know if that will be coming from either you or the park in the future?

We were told no POVs because the park didn't want to give away the ride. So I guess whoever is the first person to sneak their phone on and get a crappy shaky cam video of the ride will be the one that showcases the attraction!

Edited by robbalvey
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review! It definitely sounds like a fun ride, but it's going to be hard riding this and not thinking of the awesome ride that once stood in its place.

 

That's a bummer the theming elements are so brief since the animatronics looked awesome in the updates prior to its opening. You think the park would want to show them off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds about like what I was expecting aside from the lack of theming, though as construction progressed it did start to look like most of the ride would be outdoors and be continously moving rather than slowing down for show scenes. That's a shame.

 

I definitely want to ride but it'll be tough not to lament about the loss of DD. I was fortunate enough to get to ride it A TON back in its glory days when they still dueled. At its prime, absolutely a top 10 coaster. RIP!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks fun and there's no doubt it'll be very popular and successful. Still insane to think they just bulldozed two perfectly good B&M inverts though. Speaks to how much of a cash cow Potter really is for them.

 

One question, is there no pre-show or backstory in the queue? I really thought this ride was going to tell a story. But you only see Hagrid, I assume in his hut, for 5 seconds? I'm not a Potter fan but I do like a ride that tells a good story.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review, Robb! Appreciate the openness and honesty about the ride experience. All of my Orlando friends keep saying that the coaster is “WAY more intense than anyone expected” and “the park is considering dropping ‘family’ coaster from marketing materials.” But I think most of them enjoy riding the hype train or have forgotten what an intense coaster feels like. Lol

Link to post
Share on other sites
One question, is there no pre-show or backstory in the queue? I really thought this ride was going to tell a story. But you only see Hagrid, I assume in his hut, for 5 seconds? I'm not a Potter fan but I do like a ride that tells a good story.

Ahh, yes... I forgot to post it. During the day when I shot the queue walk-through, they had the pre-show room closed because they were doing interviews with the film celebrities, but in the evening I did film it...

[fbvideonew]

[/fbvideonew] Edited by robbalvey
Link to post
Share on other sites

I followed along on the socials too, but really enjoyed re-looking at your coverage here in one post.

 

biggest eye-opener for me is that the "bike-seat" really is just a pretty standard coaster seat designed to look like a bike. I was thinking it would be more akin to a moto-coaster, or pony-express seat. Those are pretty standard on some Disc-O's now, so a little surprised they went for a standard seat configuration. tho it does LOOK fantastic themed wise.

 

I'm not a big Potter film fan, but I did really enjoy the books (starting with the 2nd one, the first one was a bit too young for me. . but gotta read it to know the characters so I plowed thru it in a night). So I'm sure I'd recognize some of the stuff, but not a lot if most of it is based on the films - several of which I've still not yet seen.

 

it does look like it's a fun experience, just for the low lying track. shame they didn't do more outdoor theming, and slowdowns to enjoy the theming they DO have on the ride.

 

but I'm sure it will do gangbusters for them, drawing in more folks with such a heavy tie to the Potterverse.

 

thanks again for the coverage.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I followed along on the socials too, but really enjoyed re-looking at your coverage here in one post.

 

biggest eye-opener for me is that the "bike-seat" really is just a pretty standard coaster seat designed to look like a bike. I was thinking it would be more akin to a moto-coaster, or pony-express seat. Those are pretty standard on some Disc-O's now, so a little surprised they went for a standard seat configuration. tho it does LOOK fantastic themed wise.

 

Honestly, I think unless both sides were bike style, I think a half and half would cause chaos for the groupers and slow down the queue because you'd end up with a bunch of people probably wanting 'bike style' after waiting in line or even some groups of friends maybe breaking up to a row each to ride the bikes instead of together.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your review of the attraction, Robb.

 

From what you posted, I get the feeling that Universal is trying to do something that Disney liked to do with his large scale attractions. That is.... Have a lot going on, so you have to come back and see more of it. Repeat rides.

 

But I think Universal has done a kind of reverse on this. With the coaster going so fast at key points to actually see specific stuff, they figure you'll probably come back to actually see what's there, now that you know (roughly) where everything is, etc.

 

It shouldn't be that way, especially if some people go on it,

and they only have one chance to ride it (one-day touring schedules).

 

My 5 cents.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Honestly, I think unless both sides were bike style, I think a half and half would cause chaos for the groupers and slow down the queue because you'd end up with a bunch of people probably wanting 'bike style' after waiting in line or even some groups of friends maybe breaking up to a row each to ride the bikes instead of together.

It's worked fine for this ride since 2007....

Dreamworld_017x900.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I still haven’t been back to Universal Orlando since they opened the original side of Harry Potter at IOA. I was fortunate to get to ride Dueling Dragons while it dueled once. The other two times I tried to ride it, the dispatches weren’t together. But those were some amazing and forceful inverts. I will miss them, but am looking forward to the Harry Potter experience now that there’s a new

coaster to try. I am interested to see how the Guardians roller coaster turns out in Epcot to see how Disney manages to tell a story on a roller coaster that’s faster than “7 Dwarfs Mine Train.”

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I can wait, oh, a few months, from the comfort of my home, before experiencing this attraction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I ask a stupid question?

 

We're going to Universal in October and since it looks like this ride isn't on Express (though that could change but I'm not counting on it since the other Potter rides went YEARS before being on express), I actually considered staying on property to get Early Admission.

 

That said, it sort of looks like they don't tell you what park will even be on early admission in advance (right now I only see the schedule through June) and right now Islands isn't open early for resort guests.

 

The only reason I would stay at one of their hotels instead of a hotel where I could use my Choice / Marriot / Hilton or IHG points would be for that perk but is there a way to see the schedule in advance?

Edited by coasterbill
Link to post
Share on other sites

We're visiting in September, so naturally I decided to install the app this morning. In the app, it looks like IOA is back on early admission starting August 1 through December 12 (as far out as the calendar currently goes).

Link to post
Share on other sites
[attachment=0]2D928EAE-63FE-4FE5-BE24-278002B6CC99.jpeg[/attachment]

10 hours. Sounds like a party

 

I knew it would be bad, but dang.

 

Wonder what the single rider line looks like if there is one.

 

Also remember how everyone freaked out about Avengers being too long to not have a bathroom break?

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

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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