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Universal Orlando Resort (USF, IOA, Epic) Discussion Thread

P. 625: Dark Universe revealed!

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Will be there Thursday and Friday and maybe I will be lucky enough to attend a soft opening as I did for Transformers and I will post a report. Wish me luck.

This thurs and fri? I wouldn't count on it . . .

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I'm kinda a noob with Florida park planning. I am coming down June 17-22 with the duel purpose of parks and visiting some friends. I have about 3.5 days for parks in my trip- 1 at Busch, 2.5 for others. Ruled out Disney because of cost / lack of time. It seems the factor that I'm debating is I know Hagrid opens the week before. Would this make crowds still nuts for the new ride a week later? Will it make both parks / lines more crowded than average then? I'll be single rider wherever I can. Is 2.5 days enough for both Universal parks for a 1st timer? Any other tips? Thanks

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^Yes it will be busy and busier than normal, but 2.5 days is still plenty for Universal. Once you're there if it's too crowded for your liking, get an Express pass. As a first time visitor during the summer I would spring for one for sure!

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Last week we were given access to get a "Behind the Wall" preview of Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando! Here's some off-ride clips of the roller coaster and an interview with the attraction's creative director that we shot:

 

I think Harry Potter fans are going to absolutely LOVE this new attraction as it combines storytelling with some family thrills! We got a chance to walk the queue, see an early version of the pre-show and wander around the outside areas of the coaster. Here's a few of the photos that I shot....

 

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Let's take a look BEHIND this construction wall!

 

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Ready to go inside?

 

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Last time you'll see the entrance queue looking like this!

 

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Here's another look at the castle which serves as the entrance to the attraction.

 

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Statues in the courtyard area.

 

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Hellooooo unicorns!

 

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And of course a ride warning sign!

 

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The view that you can get from the top of the castle.

 

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And a slightly closer look...

 

Here's some more pics from around the outside queue area....

 

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And the official "Press Release" from Universal Orlando about today's update!

 

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT CREATES THE MOST THRILLING AND INNOVATIVE COASTER EXPERIENCE YET WITH HAGRID’S MAGICAL CREATURES MOTORBIKE ADVENTURE

 

Immersive Environments, Unparalleled Thrills and Beloved Harry Potter Characters Come to Life on the Epic New “Story Coaster” – Opening June 13 in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade

 

Orlando, Fla. (May 20, 2019) – From rich sets and an actual forest with 1,200 trees to ground-breaking coaster technology and a captivating storyline, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be the most highly-themed, immersive coaster experience yet – becoming the world’s first “story coaster.”

 

Epic Thrills Await Within the Forbidden Forest…

 

Get ready to soar into one of the most mysterious places in the Wizarding World – the Forbidden Forest. Aboard magical motorbikes, guests will actually feel the freedom of flight as they journey to the edge of the forest – regardless of if they’re on the motorcycle or in the adjacent sidecar. They’ll ascend above the trees, rapidly accelerate through mysterious ruins, speed forward – and backward, and so much more as they search for the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures.

 

The “story coaster” will feature innovative technology that is integrated so seamlessly into the surrounding environments, guests won’t know what to expect next.

 

Along the way, they’ll experience thrills they’ve never felt on a coaster before, including:

 

- The most launches of any roller coaster in the world – with 7 total launches

 

- Unexpectedly dropping nearly 17 feet on the first coaster in the U.S. to feature a free-fall vertical drop

 

- Being catapulted 65 feet in the air at a more than 70 degree angle – and then immediately dropping backward in one

movement

 

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will also be the longest roller coaster in Florida, measuring nearly a mile in

length (5,053 feet).

 

Your Adventure Begins When You Enter the Ruins…

Before taking off on an exciting journey through the Forbidden Forest, guests will enter ruins which appear to have been abandoned for centuries behind Hagrid’s hut. The ruins were imagined and brought to life by Universal’s award-winning Creative team in collaboration with the Harry Potter films’ Production Designer, Stuart Craig, and Art Director, Alan Gilmore.

 

Hagrid now uses the ruins for groundskeeping at Hogwarts. And this is where guests’ Care of Magical Creatures class will begin.

 

As they make their way to their enchanted motorbikes, guests will see materials from the class, including dragon eggs on the verge of hatching and a makeshift nursery where Hagrid kept his Blast-Ended Skrewts – the creatures that are being brought to life for the first time ever for this epic new adventure. Guests will encounter beloved characters from the Harry Potter films including Arthur Weasley, Hagrid, and his loyal dog, Fang, through a pre-show experience brought to life with digital projection and special effects. During this interaction, guests learn about their impending trip to the Forbidden Forest as part of their lesson for the day.

 

When it opens on June 13, 2019, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will join the lineup of award-winning entertainment experiences in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando and bring an all-new adventure inspired by J.K. Rowling’s beloved stories to life on an epic new “story coaster.” Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. For more information, visit http://www.UniversalOrlando.com.

Mini-Rocket.nltrack

Edited by robbalvey
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This ride looks fantastic. The press release seems weird, but the ride looks awesome. I'm not sure why they're promoting this as their "most thrilling coaster yet" though. Obviously it's all subjective, but I figured they were going after the family market and I wonder if they're setting people up for disappointment. They know Hulk, Rockit and Mummy exist, right? I'm expecting awesome theming and I can't wait, but I'm not exactly expecting white-knuckle thrills.

 

the first coaster in the U.S. to feature a free-fall vertical drop

Auf wiedersehen with your bullsh*t

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the first coaster in the U.S. to feature a free-fall vertical drop

Auf wiedersehen with your bullsh*t

 

I have no interest in Potter but I love Intamin and I'm super hype for this ride. 7 launches? WUT. But yeah, the world needs more Intamin launchers.

 

Thanks for all this awesome coverage, as always! Related, they've been playing ads on local Philly TV like crazy for this ride. It's weird to see long, elaborate TV commercials for a specific roller coaster, as the majority of ads for GreatAdv, Dorney, Hershey, etc that I see are just general park ads that usually will quickly mention the name whatever new attraction is opening/has opened.

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Thank you for such an awesome new look at this coaster!

 

It definitely looks like they leveraged the old queue's existing infrastructure, which while smart fiscally, I'm curious to see just how much of the inside was touched, given how heavily built out the old Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge tunnels were... I'm hoping that they did a little to the interior than they did when Dueling Dragons became Dragon Challenge.

 

I'm really loving how these Intamin launched coasters are springing up all of a sudden... While I wouldn't have sacrificed the Dragons for this, it at least seems like they've put in a lot of effort for the coaster to use the plot of land for more than just a brief experience. A coaster with story was more of what I was expecting with Gringotts, where with that we got more of a dark ride with a coaster segment, so I'm curious to see how their take on the inverse turns out.

 

That being said... I don't know how anyone from Universal could pass the red face test over the claim that this is the first vertical free fall drop segment on a coaster in the US... As others have mentioned, Verbolten was the first to claim that title years ago.

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I decided to do some digging to see if Universal could get off on a technicality. I know enthusiasts have argued if things are a true freefall or a controlled drop in the past. Maybe Universal was claiming Verbolten's wasn't a true freefall?

 

But per the Zierer website, their drop track does include a portion of the drop that is a true freefall.

 

Zierer Drop Track

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I decided to do some digging to see if Universal could get off on a technicality. I know enthusiasts have argued if things are a true freefall or a controlled drop in the past. Maybe Universal was claiming Verbolten's wasn't a true freefall?

 

Verbolten doesn't count because it's in Germany, silly.

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I decided to do some digging to see if Universal could get off on a technicality. I know enthusiasts have argued if things are a true freefall or a controlled drop in the past. Maybe Universal was claiming Verbolten's wasn't a true freefall?

 

Verbolten doesn't count because it's in Germany, silly.

 

 

I like this reason better why Universal is claiming it's America's first.

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I decided to do some digging to see if Universal could get off on a technicality. I know enthusiasts have argued if things are a true freefall or a controlled drop in the past. Maybe Universal was claiming Verbolten's wasn't a true freefall?

 

Verbolten doesn't count because it's in Germany, silly.

 

 

Maybe they just googled the ride, saw where it was located, and legit thought that?!?!

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Besides the weird claim that it's the first freefall track or whatever, I'm kind of surprised that they openly discussed and published details of the free fall and the backward track spike in the press release. Seem kind of strange to give away the surprise elements of the attraction before it's even opened, but maybe it's not that big of a deal.

 

I also didn't realize until these new pictures of the train that the motorbike seat isn't really a motor bike coaster seat like most were expecting, it just looks like a regular seat maybe slightly more elevated than that side car. The trains looks fantastic but I'm not sure the two sides will feel all that different now.

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So one of my blogger friends actually asked Universal about Verbolten and this is the response they received:

 

"Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsbrug features a drop, but this is achieved through a high speed elevator system — not a true free-fall. So, our statement is still correct."

 

According to Zierer's statement on their Vertical Drop element:

"In this specially designed coaster component, rapid velocity and freefalling, two ride sensations of the extreme, will come to a unique peak. With the Vertical Drop Element, the train plunges 5 meters downward of which 2 meters occur in total freefall."

http://www.zierer.com/en/products/coasters/vertical-drop-element.html

Edited by robbalvey
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So for all the discussion a while back about how to divide up guests who want motorbike style riding vs sitting in a side-car, it looks like in this picture that both are just regular seats as opposed to one side being Tron lightcycle style seating is that correct?

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Assuming the drop track on this coaster is identical to the one on Thirteen, I felt no difference between the Zierer and Intamin versions of the element.

Agreed. And I've done Verbolten, Thirteen, Darkmare, and Polar X-Plorer and they all felt exactly the same to me.

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Did they even need this 'North America first' to begin with? I think a new Harry Potter ride sells itself without the marketings teams need to justify why they can ignore Verbolten.

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