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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 624: Super Nintendo World unveiled!

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I mean, doing a reconstruction for two coasters with track lengths close to that of The Incredible Hulk (3,200 ft each vs Hulk's 3,700) at once?

 

Dueling Dragons lost its "iconic" status as soon as it became Dragon Challenge, even when it was still "dueling". As good as both coasters are, Dragon Challenge is nothing more than "a ride in Harry Potter land" for most people now. Is that even worth it, especially considering the imminent appeal of "insert attraction / land based off of the Fantastic Beasts franchise here"? They've got a prime slice of real estate that's about to become potentially vacant...

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As much as I enjoy Dragons, I am also OK with a new coaster occupying that spot given that Universal will never again duel the rides.

THIS. I have actually been hearing this rumor for quite some time about the Dragons leaving, and I've heard it from many different people who are in totally different departments around the park (some in fairly higher positions) so I'm SURE this has been talked about. It's no secret that JK Rowling hated this ride and Universal fought for it to stay, and now that it doesn't duel it's really not performing what it was originally intended to do. I'd be "ok" with it being moved to another Universal park where it might be able to Duel again under different circumstances, or another rumor I've heard, is that the two tracks may be split up and moved to two different parks. Aren't there two Universal parks currently in development, right now? Hmmm....

 

And I haven't ridden it since the metal detectors went in, and I won't again until those are removed.

Edited by robbalvey
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Dueling Dragons (never got used to "Dragon Challenge") is a very good inverted coaster that becomes an excellent one when it duels (which it doesn't do anymore). I have mixed feelings about any plans to remove it. It's still a fun ride, but it seems like just an afterthought in Potterland now.

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Fire Dragon is my favorite coaster in Orlando (haven't ridden Mako) - It would be a huge shame if this coaster was removed and not relocated...

 

I never got the chance to ride it when it dueled, but it 's still an amazing coaster regardless. I feel like getting it to duel again is a far easier solution than removing the whole damn thing.

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IMO Dragons doesn't have any place in the park and just looks bizarre. It kills the immersion of the area when you get off of the Hogwarts Express to see a random B&M instead of...you know, Harry Potter stuff. A Potter expansion into that spot would make sense. Although I agree it was a great ride back in the days of Lost Continent when it had the cool queue and it dueled.

 

In other news

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/brinkmann-on-business/os-universal-orlando-theme-parks-20161031-story.html

Allegedly Universal put restrictions on the land when they first sold it that it would not be used for new tourist attractions, they re-bought the land back during the recession, and the developer they sold it to/bought it from and still owns parcels of it is saying the restrictions are still in place.

Obviously the residents and commissioners have shown they are very pro-development in that area, something tells me he's looking for a payout.

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I never got to ride Dragon's Challenge when it dueled, but without that aspect I found both rides to be mid to low tier inverted coasters. Don't get me wrong, a mid to low tier inverted coaster is still a great ride, but I'd be open to something new.

 

I enjoy the coasters at Universal but none of them really blow me away (not counting Mummy and Gringots which are mind blowing but only because of their theming). I don't go to Universal for coasters... I enjoy them, I think Rip Ride Rockit and Hulk are both solid coasters that make a nice visual statement but I wouldn't miss Dragons if they were gone and replaced with an awesome Potter attraction or even a new, highly themed and immersive coaster that's more fitting of the Universal style. When I'm in Florida and I want coasters I go to Busch Gardens, Sea World and to an extent even Fun Spot. That's not why anyone goes to Universal.

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I'd be very sad to see Dragons go... I absolutely love the ride and if I can nail down one ride that put me into this hobby it would have to be it. It wasn't my first looping coaster (Invertigo) but it was the first one that blew me away. Hulk definitely helped cement me as a would be enthusiast or whatever, but this ride is very special to me. However, it hasn't been the same since it stop dueling.

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Maybe Animal Kingdom can get them really cheap! As the former resident fanboy of this ride, I am not really surprised if they end up getting rid of Dueling Dragons (I still think Universal secretly calls them Dumpster Dragons after what they did with the original entrance way). While I would be sad to see them go as they still run really great as individual coasters, I think that I am more sad to watch how the park operates them today. After I experienced the entire metal detector requirement on the ride, (and on a few of the other coasters) I have not set foot back in the parks.

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I treated my trip to IOA earlier this month as my goodbye to the Dragons just in case this came to fruition. Dueling or not, I will sorely miss them if they are removed. Fire in particular has long been my second favorite invert and together they are two of my favorite B&Ms overall. The presence of high quality coasters is one of the few characteristics differentiating IOA from Studios, and since the likelihood of Universal replacing Dragons with a new coaster rather than another dark ride is probably very low, it would leave a serious void in the park. That said, I completely understand the business behind the removal for something better tied into WWoHP. I just don't have to like it!

 

What would completely mitigate their potential loss for me would be the addition of a clone or near-clone of Universal Japan's The Flying Dinosaur. But I presume anything like that is unlikely for a myriad of reasons.

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If the ride goes through the Hulk treatment, hopefully it would return dueling again ( ) and in the proper colors of the dragons it's supposed to represent (Chinese Fireball and Hungarian Horntail). It confused me as to why it wasn't repainted in the first place. But the removal of the attraction altogether would allow more room for the rumored Ministry of Magic/Fantastic Beasts expansion sector if they also ditched the rest of Lost Continent. Or was MoM rumored for USO?

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From a business perspective, I could see why they would want Dragons removed, especially since it is already nearing the end of its lifespan. From a business perspective, I would remove the two coasters, but follow that up with building a bigger inverted coaster elsewhere in the park (something with a layout more like Banshee. Maybe it could be Jurassic park themed?) Then, they could remove Dragons and replace it with a dark ride. This still allows Universal to claim a similar number of thrill rides, and they could get what they want in improving Hogsmeade. And, having an even bigger inverted coaster would satisfy most general thrill seekers who would miss Dragons.

 

As an enthusiast, I hope nothing happens in terms of removal. Red Dragon is my favorite coaster in Orlando, and my second favorite coaster in Florida after Kumba. I would still rather have that than a new, less forceful invert.

 

And yet, I think it is more likely Dragons gets removed and replaced with a dark ride. This may piss off many enthusiasts, but Universal has shown that they like to look at things from a purely financial standpoint. The metal detectors at entrances of rides show that they care far more about profit than guest convience. (The metal detectors are literally the reason why I no longer consider USO to be my favorite set of parks).

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From a business perspective, I could see why they would want Dragons removed, especially since it is already nearing the end of its lifespan.
I don't really buy that Dragons is nearing the end of its lifespan. B&Ms from this era are doing just fine without a huge refurbishment. As far as I know, none of the batman clones (beginning in 1992) have ever received a major refurbishment like Hulk.
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As much as I enjoy Dragons, I am also OK with a new coaster occupying that spot given that Universal will never again duel the rides.

And I haven't ridden it since the metal detectors went in, and I won't again until those are removed.

 

This is the biggest thing for me as well. Didn't even bother on my last trip because of how much of a hassle the metal detectors are. I was already frustrated after my cargo pockets weren't good enough for Hulk and I was sent back to the lockers. That is on top of them not dueling anymore...

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I don't think they're really going to put another big coaster in that plot of land. It's too valuable for random other Potter crap. I mean, a potter themed hotel with private entrance directly into potter hell would basically just be printing money.

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^This, closing Dragons at the end of peak summer 2017 then announce and construct a major Jurassic Park/Jurassic World coaster for 2019. For 2020 open a Potter hotel (and maybe a small potter attraction in any leftover space), then start working on transforming Marvel Island or Comic Land. At UOF there's Fallon Opening in 2017 and Furious opening early 2018. Nintendo could go there for 2020-era or at any new park in 2020.

 

The Dragons are sad. They don't even feel fully themed and Universal has essentially ruined them for a variety of reasons so just end it. Sending them anywhere else to operate together would be a blessing.

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I just thought of something else:

 

Remember when Universal tried to halt construction of Skyplex so that they would have their title of best thrill rides in Orlando? If that is the case, then it is extremely hypocritical of them to remove two out of their five major coasters, and what many consider to be the best coaster in the park!

 

For thrill rides, I would much rather go to Seaworld just across I-Drive. Or, I would also rather drive a good deal out of the way to go to Busch Gardens. I will still feel obligated to see USO when I return to Orlando, as they have been continuiously adding some great new rides, but if they cannot trust me that I know how to secure my wallet, then I might rather be at Six Flags America.

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From a business perspective, I could see why they would want Dragons removed, especially since it is already nearing the end of its lifespan.
I don't really buy that Dragons is nearing the end of its lifespan. B&Ms from this era are doing just fine without a huge refurbishment. As far as I know, none of the batman clones (beginning in 1992) have ever received a major refurbishment like Hulk.

 

 

That and also while as Hulk has only had 1 off day in 15+ years, Dragon Challenge has been closed more. Sounds like it just needs new trains. Also wouldn't surprise me if they replace it like Hulk with an exact clone from Dubailand project with new Hulk lockers.

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The metal detectors are there for your safety, although it might be an inconvenience to wait another 5 mins I would rather ride knowing some idiot has not brought coins, cameras, phones on the ride to intentionally/unintentional injury someone. You know they are there, so go store all your stuff in a locker before joining the queue - it speeds things up.

Lastly all you metal detector haters/and now non riders - Are you still going to airports and taking vacations? Do they not have metal detectors

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