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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 623: Universal's Mardi Gras 2023 details announced!

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10-year Disney Cast Member here. I could help make an argument for doing Disney instead, and assist you in making an itinerary.

 

The night you arrive, June 9th, Animal Kingdom is open until 1AM. Depending on what time you get in, it might be worth it to do that. Stay at a cheap Disney Resort, get night rides on Everest and Safari, and see Pandora. DAK is a beautiful night park!

 

If you don't get in early enough on Friday, I see that DAK is also open until 1AM (EMH) on Saturday and Sunday, too. If you're willing to go there after Sea World, which generally closes early, this would be just as good an option as the one above.

 

This would leave a full second Disney day in which you've already done DAK. As you said, you could start with Studios for Coaster / Tower. Maybe walk to Epcot after that and spend 4-5 hours? Finish the night by monorailing to Magic Kingdom, ride some classics, see the new fireworks.

 

I would hope that this all sounds more appealing than sitting in moving chairs with 3D glasses on all day.

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I'm really surprised nobody has mentioned this yet:

 

Rumor: Universal's Dragon Challenge coaster making way for new Harry Potter dark ride?

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2017/03/21/rumor-universals-dragon-challenge-coaster-making.html

There's been lots of chatter among many theme park fanatics that the days are numbered for Universal Orlando Resort's Dragon Challenge coaster at Islands of Adventure, even though nothing substantial has been found on the topic. But where there's smoke, there just might be fire.

 

Several websites and forums of theme park insiders have discussed how the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade-area ride, which debuted in 1999 with Islands of Adventure as the Dueling Dragons coaster, will be replaced with some other take on the Harry Potter franchise. Some sites have speculated that Universal may tap into the new "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" series of the Harry Potter universe for new ride inspiration.

 

And, not surprisingly, Universal has decided to stay out of the chatter. "We’re not going to comment," a Universal spokesman told Orlando Business Journal.

 

But an industry source, who asked to be unnamed due to having a close relationship with the theme park, told Orlando Business Journal that the rumors of the coaster's nearing end are true.

 

"Universal and Warner Bros. are working on a replacement for Dragon Challenge. When you think about how they redid the Hulk a while ago, a coaster can last only so long, and since [Dragon Challenge] wasn’t built as an original Potter attraction, it makes sense to change it out," the source said.

 

The new rumored ride would do away with the entire coaster approach and go with more of an indoor/outdoor dark ride concept using approaches made popular by other rides.

 

"From what I was told, it may have a portion as if you are in a forest — with part of the ride outside — and other parts indoor designed to make you feel like you're outside. It sounded more like a dark ride using technology like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man as opposed to a true coaster where the G-forces guests feel come from the track," the source added.

 

This most certainly lines up with some of the we've been hearing for a while now. I really wonder what the park will be like removing two big coasters and hopefully not replacing them with screen-based rides!

 

Thoughts on this?

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10-year Disney Cast Member here. I could help make an argument for doing Disney instead, and assist you in making an itinerary.

 

The night you arrive, June 9th, Animal Kingdom is open until 1AM. Depending on what time you get in, it might be worth it to do that. Stay at a cheap Disney Resort, get night rides on Everest and Safari, and see Pandora. DAK is a beautiful night park!

 

If you don't get in early enough on Friday, I see that DAK is also open until 1AM (EMH) on Saturday and Sunday, too. If you're willing to go there after Sea World, which generally closes early, this would be just as good an option as the one above.

 

This would leave a full second Disney day in which you've already done DAK. As you said, you could start with Studios for Coaster / Tower. Maybe walk to Epcot after that and spend 4-5 hours? Finish the night by monorailing to Magic Kingdom, ride some classics, see the new fireworks.

 

I would hope that this all sounds more appealing than sitting in moving chairs with 3D glasses on all day.

 

Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately we're getting in around 11 PM and we need to rent a car, so Friday night really isn't an option, especially since we're not passholders. At best we'd get there like 30 minutes before close and I don't even think that's likely. We'll probably stay in Tampa that night and drive to Orlando in the morning.

 

As for going to Disney after Sea World, it seems like a ton of money to spend for a few hours and to be honest... that's really cutting into our precious Mine Blower time (or White Lightning and Paratrooper from hell at the other park if Mine Blower isn't ready yet ).

Edited by coasterbill
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"It meets a need if they build a more family friendly dark ride!" is the often pushed narrative online, but honestly, I personally don't care. If people want a park full of family friendly dark rides, they'll go to Disney World. Point blank. Their entire marketing scheme is built around not being for little kids, so no one should know it better than themselves. Universal should be building rides with balls, and when they don't in favor of attractions that are intended to accommodate youngsters, a little part of me dies.

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^Agreed. Bringing Japan's The Flying Dinosaur over would certainly mitigate the loss, but that seems like a long shot. Does anyone have the ridership numbers? Dragon Challenge never has much of a wait but I figure at least part of that is because it's also a capacity monster.

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Please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't please don't

 

This x 1,000, please don't take out a pair of great coasters for more screen based rides. Hulk and the Dragon coasters are Islands of Adventure and it would be said to see them go.

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This x 1,000, please don't take out a pair of great coasters for more screen based rides. Hulk and the Dragon coasters are Islands of Adventure and it would be said to see them go.

Yes, but Universal would be sad to see themselves make less money.

 

Seriously though, hasn't the writing been on the wall for years and years? We're lucky that Hulk, Doctor Doom, and the other outdoor attractions have stuck around for so long.

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This x 1,000, please don't take out a pair of great coasters for more screen based rides. Hulk and the Dragon coasters are Islands of Adventure and it would be said to see them go.

Yes, but Universal would be sad to see themselves make less money.

 

Seriously though, hasn't the writing been on the wall for years and years? We're lucky that Hulk, Doctor Doom, and the other outdoor attractions have stuck around for so long.

Well, to be fair, Hulk is kind of the park icon, so...

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A pair of non-dueling B&M dueling inverts that one must go through a metal detector and complicated rabbit storage to ride or the park's 100th screen-based attraction. Decisions, decisions.

 

I'm in the camp that says the coasters be split up and sent to other Universal parks or sent to a place where they could duel.

 

Either way, that article makes it sound like the new attraction would be similar to Kong.

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Their entire marketing scheme is built around not being for little kids, so no one should know it better than themselves. Universal should be building rides with balls, and when they don't in favor of attractions that are intended to accommodate youngsters, a little part of me dies.

THIS! THIS! THIS! THIS!!!!

 

If there is one reason why I feel like I've been going to Universal less and less lately is because of EXACTLY this! Back in that day when I used to go to Universal just as frequently as I would go to Disney it was because they were offering a type of attraction and atmosphere that Disney didn't have, but I was still looking for. And you're right, if I want immersive dark rides and family based attractions, I'll go to Disney. If I want something more with an edge, I'll go to Universal.

 

Unfortunately, since I'm not into Harry Potter, and those two rides don't really appeal to me, those expansions started my download of visiting those parks less. Then add rides like Despicable Me, Kong, Fallon, and the upcoming Fast & Furious, and that just adds more attractions that I'm going to to be rushing to the park to experience. And for the attractions that I *DO* like a lot: Hulk, Dragons, Rip Ride Rockit, Mummy, Spider-Man, etc, I'm now required to dump all my crap and walk through a metal detector to ride them 3 out of 5 of them, and I can't be bothered with that.

 

The idea that Universal would take out Dragons for (what I assume) would be more Potter-based attractions is just something that interests very little and isn't going to increase my desire to go to the park. Unless of course we're talking a Potter-themed version of Flying Dinosaur or something like that!

Edited by robbalvey
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I'm sure you've heard this plenty about it heading out the door, but when that was first presented to me, it was with the caveat of "well a new coaster will be in its place." What I hear round the rumor mill is that the replacement is something along the lines of Arthur at Europa Park or Puss in Boots at Singapore. That's not technically a bad ride, but what I WANT is something big and steel and like something Orlando doesn't have. A big launched wingrider would be awesome. If they still want to go the metal detector route for rides that pass over guest areas, then they can design all sorts of things to prevent that when doing the ride from scratch. That's the kind of ride I want. $45 million dollar Harry Potterized Puss In Boots is a "I'd rather be riding the Fun Spot woodies" attraction.

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I'm sure you've heard this plenty about it heading out the door, but when that was first presented to me, it was with the caveat of "well a new coaster will be in its place." What I hear round the rumor mill is that the replacement is something along the lines of Arthur at Europa Park or Puss in Boots at Singapore. That's not technically a bad ride, but what I WANT is something big and steel and like something Orlando doesn't have. A big launched wingrider would be awesome. If they still want to go the metal detector route for rides that pass over guest areas, then they can design all sorts of things to prevent that when doing the ride from scratch. That's the kind of ride I want. $45 million dollar Harry Potterized Puss In Boots is a "I'd rather be riding the Fun Spot woodies" attraction.

Yep, 100% agreed. And even Arthur, which IS a decent ride and a great ride system, still says "not an edgy Universal ride" to me. Which you're right, it's absolutely ironic that their most recent ad campaign is "come to the grown up parks" and their latest ride offerings are some of the weakest they've produced to date.

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Yep, 100% agreed. And even Arthur, which IS a decent ride and a great ride system, still says "not an edgy Universal ride" to me. Which you're right, it's absolutely ironic that their most recent ad campaign is "come to the grown up parks" and their latest ride offerings are some of the weakest they've produced to date.

 

Looking forward with Nintendo (which is intended to be a family friendly zone), Secret Life Of Pets (ditto), the only thing I've heard of that might actually be legit thrilling is the Dr. Doom replacement in a bajillionty years from now. And honestly, if numbers of international tourists keep trending down, it'll probably never happen.

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It's a shame the park seems to be aiming so much at getting in rides for the whole families lately. One of the reasons I always want to go back to USJ is the park seems so well balanced in it's options and they seem to balance it just right as well in new additions for families then older groups etc. Indoor Sesame rides/Backdrop trains/Harry Potter/Flying Dinosaur/Minions/Nintendo Land.

 

Contrast that with USS which has aimed at families since opening with their new rides. I visited once and have very little interest in revisiting for a while. I thought the rapids was a weaker ride than the originals and Galactica I personally thought was alright but overall forgettable which I didn't think would be my reaction to dueling launched coasters. That only really leaves Mummy and Transformers which can be found at other parks. Although even the for family rides were kinda meh. Madagascar was quite bland. For USS that's fine when it's the only park in the area but for Universal when Disney is so close by, seem's kind of strange to me.

Edited by Garet
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Let me know when we have a specific time frame so I know how much time to put KT on the stretching rack every day to get her to 54".

 

Honestly, this has been the strong rumor for a long time, it's finally just getting some more legitimacy. I don't even know how I feel. Dragons have been dead to me since potter, and even more dead to me since the metal detectors. It's just so upsetting as I have such wonderful memories of riding those coasters in the early 2000's but since those riding conditions will never be duplicated there again they might as well put something else in its place.

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I am quite shocked that the Dragons might be leaving and I'm getting tired of these screen based rides!

 

I like Hogwarts/Hogsmeade, but they should not replace the Dragons with another Potter-3D-Ride.

A nice forceful Flyer or Launcher would be my first choice.

 

I guess I might visit Sea World and Busch for their excellent coaster lineup instead.

 

The decision to remove the coaster might be the time when Universal goes finally downhill (at least for me)....

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I don't have any issue with Spider-man as it is a very good balance between screens and actual sets. But once the entire ride's main focus is screens, it gets really annoying. Plus I don't like how every story line consist of roughly the same elements. And to be honest, 3D glasses isn't that necessary on lots of the rides.

 

"Hey you shouldn't be here"

Villains found you and tries to kill you

Spray water on your face

Villain make you fall over a cliff/edge of a building

Hero saves you right before you hit the ground

The end, you save the world even if you didn't do crap

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I think one day we will look back and rue the day Universal didn't just devote a whole new theme park to Harry Potter, particularly with the potential of the Lockheed Martin site. Universal have been spending and building like it's going out of fashion, yet with every announcement I feel more jaded. It's a strange feeling.

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Some mid-size park in a foreign country would love to have Dragon Challenge!

 

For a DC replacement, I'd like to see a large (single-track) invert, similar to Banshee. In a perfect world, I would like to see Universal fit both a new major coaster and a family ride in that plot. However, I'm not sure if that is possible. On a side note, it appears that Universal doesn't have much space for new rides without taking out existing rides.

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  • coasterbill changed the title to Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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