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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

p. 623 - New Epic Universe details, including Celestial Park!

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Like, I'm not one to get all stupid and sentimental over a large block of steel with cars that whiz around it. But I really can't stand Harry Potter and Dragons wasn't just still a good ride, it's still a GREAT ride.

 

It's not like Texas Giant or Mean Streak where those rides NEEDED replacing, I just rode it two nights ago and even with it not dueling that ride is still one of the top inverted coasters in the world!

 

But I get it. They have proven lately that they really can only sell their park based on Harry Potter and they need a new ride and removing Dragons gives them a lot of room.

 

It's just a shame they can't figure out how to get people to ride their really kick-ass coaster that was one of the world's most unique attractions when it opened and it still impresses 18 years later.

 

When was the last time we saw a ride of that great caliber removed?

 

This completely shocks me. At Universal, rides like Rockit', Hulk, and Dueling Dragons have very high GSAT scores among guests. Yes, Dragons was the lowest rated of the coasters, but it was still a great pair of roller coasters. What is Universal's most frequent complaint? Repetition! People don't want to spend $100 to ride the same rides to a diffferent IP! They get boring and unimpressive. All we can hope for is something more on the line of Mummy or Space Fantasy, which would be great, as a coaster should be coming.

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This is truly a sad moment for the theme park community. My only visit to Universal Orlando was in 2006, and sadly I didn't get a chance to acquire that coaster credit. I just started to get into theme parks and was skeptical about riding it. Now I regret never taking that chance. They so concerned about Harry Potter...HELLO...work on transforming Jurassic Park into Jurassic World!

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As most have said, sad to see them go, but not surprised one bit. I'm glad I was about to ride each of them one last time last October when I was down there for HHN, and as Robb and others have said, both were still GREAT. I'll be missing a final ride by a month before my next visit early October.

 

Although I'm sure the new ride will probably be even better than the existing Harry Potter e-ticket attractions, it's still a shame this couldn't go elsewhere because coasters like Dragons Challenge, Hulk, and HRRR are what stands Universal out to a thrill seeker such as myself over Disney.

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I've sort of said my piece on this and I know I'm the minority in this community but I'm absolutely thrilled by this news. As soon as I saw it I texted Brit who's also ecstatic.

 

We visited Universal a few months ago (for the first time in years) and even with Express Passes we almost passed on these coasters in favor of re-rides on something else. The only reason we rode them is because we knew they might be on their way out. At this point these rides just feels like shadows of their former selves. They no longer duel, the awesome queue is no longer awesome and the metal detectors are really annoying since the locker area isn't big enough to keep up with the demand (though they could have corrected that pretty easily if they cared to do so). To be fair I did really enjoy my ride and despite it's age I felt like it was the smoothest coaster on Universal property but it was still a one-and-done for us. We didn't pay $179 per person for one day to ride unthemed B&M inverts (that aren't even as good as the one 90 minutes away in Tampa). We paid that to ride the awesome Harry Potter stuff and great themed attractions like Transformers, Spiderman, Mummy, River Adventure, Ripsaw Falls (I can't help myself, lol) and Kong. Dragons was never a big draw since our Florida trips always include Busch Gardens and we knew we'd be able to ride the best invert in America the next day, generally with absolutely no line and no need to deal with annoying metal detectors or a 7 mile walk to the station.

 

I completely understand why others don't share in our excitement. We're big Harry Potter fans and I know a lot of people aren't, but selfishly I'm absolutely ecstatic at the prospect of another attraction on the level of Gringots or Forbidden Journey. I can't wait.

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This will be the first B&M coaster to go to the scrap yard- a true testament of the quality of B&M coasters.

 

I'll admit, the fact that the first B&M coaster to go to the scrap yard isn't Apocalypse / Iron Wolf just feels wrong.

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Dragons being a shell of itself is entirely the result of the way Universal ran it. The refusal to allow dueling even after banning all foreign objects on riders was preposterous. A Harry Potter motorbike coaster is probably a one-and-done for me.

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This will be the first B&M coaster to go to the scrap yard- a true testament of the quality of B&M coasters.

 

I'll admit, the fact that the first B&M coaster to go to the scrap yard isn't Apocalypse / Iron Wolf just feels wrong.

Technically, hulk is the first to be scrapped as it's a new coaster up now.

 

And I'm a little leary of them saying thrill ride but then says for the whole family.

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Dragons being a shell of itself is entirely the result of the way Universal ran it. The refusal to allow dueling even after banning all foreign objects on riders was preposterous.

 

I mean, you're not wrong. Even if they did go ahead with this locker policy I'd have been totally okay with it if they added more lockers and allowed the rides to duel again. If they had done those things then I wouldn't be nearly as happy about the prospect of them being removed for another Harry Potter attraction.

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Dragons was never a big draw since our Florida trips always include Busch Gardens and we knew we'd be able to ride the best invert in America

 

This is obviously just a difference of opinion, but I have found my latest rides on Dragons to be as good if not superior to the most recent on Montu. I never thought I would see the day that a top tier B&M was scrapped. To me this would be the same as if Montu or Kumba were being scrapped..

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Dragons being a shell of itself is entirely the result of the way Universal ran it. The refusal to allow dueling even after banning all foreign objects on riders was preposterous.

 

I mean, you're not wrong. Even if they did go ahead with this fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo policy I'd have been totally okay with it if they added more fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo and allowed the rides to duel again. If they had done those things then I wouldn't be nearly as happy about the prospect of them being removed for another Harry Potter attraction.

 

Exactly - think of it like this too. Universal made the ride bad, and in doing so, the ride is now going away for something else. Why won't Universal just run that poorly too? Is there reason to think if this passes over people that it won't have metal detectors? How amped are you about being searched like you're entering a courthouse to ride something akin to the Coney Island Motocoaster?

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It feels like they're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I don't mind Harry Potter, but I am getting a bit fatigued with Harry Potter this, Harry Potter that. I wish they had just built a third park* that Rowling could have used for her sandbox instead of slowly eating away at what used to be my favourite theme park.

 

(* I realise this wouldn't make as much commercial sense as building it across two existing parks, it's just a personal wish)

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I too have mixed feelings about this move. I visited IOA for the first time back in 2000 and absolutely loved the dueling. We rode the dueling dragons more than any other rides during that visit. On my last visit to IOA a few years ago, I still rode the inverts and really enjoyed them, but it just wasn't the same without the dueling. I am heading to the park next week and taking my kids for the first time, so I'm glad they will get a chance to ride them and I will get some final rides in.

 

On the flip side, I am happy to see that they will be replaced with a coaster and I'm really excited to see what the Universal team can dream up. It's just a shame that they couldn't add this new ride and leave the dragons intact.

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I have to say that I am very disappointed with this news. They will probably put in yet another attraction (coaster section or not) that requires me to wear special glasses and look at screens. I liked the Dragons a lot. Besides being great (in my opinion) coasters, but they were also actually thrill rides.

 

I like Harry Potter well enough, and understand the need for "thrilling family attractions," however not at the expense of one of the things that made the original park great.

 

I just really makes me disinterested in getting seasons passes again. Instead of switching my Busch/Seaworld passes for Universal passes, I may just skip it.

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I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, so much that it prompted my first trip and plane ride ever to Orlando 3 years ago. But if I had it my way Dragons would be staying over Potter. Dragons is truly a unique roller coaster & I was never disappointed by the ride due to my first ride being after they stopped the dueling aspect. Can't hate what I never experienced. It didn't stop my brother & I from riding repeatedly until our locker was out of time. We love our thrill rides & this was our favorite ride to do at night. I hope they keep in mind what they're replacing when building this new Harry Potter rollercoaster. RIP

 

On another note, the queue will be gorgeous if they keep the entrance path intact. Looking at the castle from up there was always a treat. Hogsmeade is much smaller than Diagon too, so hopefully we'll get more room to walk around. I'm curious if this new ride is being designed with the other parks in mind.

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