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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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Why is everyone so set on this being scrapped?

Personally I think it'll be scrapped because Robb has been hinting at this for a long time (well before it was a mainstream rumor), has been right about every aspect of this so far and seems pretty confident that they're not going to relocate the coaster.

 

From my trip report to Universal Japan last December...

1866752465_ScreenShot2017-07-24at20_03_55.thumb.png.57435cab183a2e9f2b5b79e4dfd244c1.png

Let's just say I've known about this for quite some time and they aren't going anywhere but the scrap yard. I didn't just go ride Dragons the other night by random chance.

 

Yes, I'm disappointed by this news. And not because I think it's a bad idea that Universal is building more Potter attractions because what they have proven over the last 7 years is that is pretty much ALL they can build that people like, so they have to play to their audience and I don't blame them for that. What disappoints me is that they can't figure out what to do with two world class roller coasters that really aren't at the end of their lifecycle both from an operations or a guest saturation standpoint.

 

If Universal Japan can have Jaws, Potter, and two kick-ass B&M coasters all co-exist, why can't Universal Orlando?

 

If those coasters ran like garbage today because they have been neglected or didn't age well, I would fully understand ripping them out, but that's not the case. It's just an unfortunate situation. The park needs to sell Potter rides. Dragons takes up a lot of space. It doesn't quite fit the Potter demographic. And Universal can't be bothered to figure out something to do with the ride, which absolutely *could* be as big of a hit for the park (or one of their other upcoming parks) as Hulk is.

 

When I see a park spending millions on rides like Kong, Fallon, and the upcoming Fast & The Furious while at the same time seeing a barrage of comments saying "please Universal no more screens" posted by everyone from their biggest fans to their casual visitors, yet at the same time they are ripping out perfectly good "top ten" rides that have high guest satisfaction scores, that just doesn't seem right to me.

 

I mean, if Nagashima Spaland, who also operates their roller coasters year round, can move a 33 year old Ultra Twister and a 38 year old Corkscrew to a completely different side of the park to accommodate fitting in a new kids area, don't tell me that Universal wouldn't have the resources to figure out how to make a world-class pair of still fairly new B&Ms by comparison a viable attraction in their park again.

 

*THAT* is what I'm disappointed about.

Edited by robbalvey
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Wow. I remember a topic on this forum a decade ago talking about which B&M would be the first to be scrapped. Probably 90% said it would be one of the original 3 stand-ups. Who would have thought then it would be Dueling Dragons... technically all three coasters at IOA? Such a shame.

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I have heard a rumor that the Dragons will duel again for the last weekend.

Dippin Dots employee? Maintenance? Ron Weasley?

 

Let me put it this way, I trusted the individuals information enough to fly to Orlando last weekend so I could ride dragons for the last time because my trip I had booked for September would be a few weeks too late.

 

It is also very possible they are wrong, I just decided to share what I had heard.

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Geez I did not see this coming. I was just looking at pictures of them the other day thinking 'these are two dueling full-length B&M coasters... are we ever going to see that again'? To hear they're just being scrapped is beyond belief!

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So is this the first(well I guess two) B&Ms to get scrapped and not replaced? I'm quite sad to see them go, I went on the red side this past October and it ran very well, I was also pretty impressed by the level of intricacy in the queue. I do understand why they are getting rid of the ride though, it's one of the few rides level bridging the gap between the old and new Universal.

Edited by colinx
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So disappointed by this. To me this coaster was one of the only rides that I want to ride multiple times when I visited the park. Most of the others are fun, but I almost never feel the need to ride things like Forbidden Journey more than once in a visit. With certain rides like Minion Mayhem and the Simpsons Ride, I'll go months or even years without riding them. Sadly I feel as though more and more new Universal attraction fall into the latter category.

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Why is everyone so set on this being scrapped?

Personally I think it'll be scrapped because Robb has been hinting at this for a long time (well before it was a mainstream rumor), has been right about every aspect of this so far and seems pretty confident that they're not going to relocate the coaster.

 

From my trip report to Universal Japan last December...

[attachment=0]Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 20.03.55.png[/attachment]

Let's just say I've known about this for quite some time and they aren't going anywhere but the scrap yard. I didn't just go ride Dragons the other night by random chance.

 

Yes, I'm disappointed by this news. And not because I think it's a bad idea that Universal is building more Potter attractions because what they have proven over the last 7 years is that is pretty much ALL they can build that people like, so they have to play to their audience and I don't blame them for that. What disappoints me is that they can't figure out what to do with two world class roller coasters that really aren't at the end of their lifecycle both from an operations or a guest saturation standpoint.

 

If Universal Japan can have Jaws, Potter, and two kick-ass B&M coasters all co-exist, why can't Universal Orlando?

 

If those coasters ran like garbage today because they have been neglected or didn't age well, I would fully understand ripping them out, but that's not the case. It's just an unfortunate situation. The park needs to sell Potter rides. Dragons takes up a lot of space. It doesn't quite fit the Potter demographic. And Universal can't be bothered to figure out something to do with the ride, which absolutely *could* be as big of a hit for the park (or one of their other upcoming parks) as Hulk is.

 

When I see a park spending millions on rides like Kong, Fallon, and the upcoming Fast & The Furious while at the same time seeing a barrage of comments saying "please Universal no more screens" posted by everyone from their biggest fans to their casual visitors, yet at the same time they are ripping out perfectly good "top ten" rides that have high guest satisfaction scores, that just doesn't seem right to me.

 

I mean, if Nagashima Spaland, who also operates their roller coasters year round, can move a 33 year old Ultra Twister and a 38 year old Corkscrew to a completely different side of the park to accommodate fitting in a new kids area, don't tell me that Universal wouldn't have the resources to figure out how to make a world-class pair of still fairly new B&Ms by comparison a viable attraction in their park again.

 

*THAT* is what I'm disappointed about.

 

 

Or at the very least, selling them rather than scrapping them.

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If those coasters ran like garbage today because they have been neglected or didn't age well, I would fully understand ripping them out, but that's not the case. It's just an unfortunate situation. The park needs to sell Potter rides. Dragons takes up a lot of space. It doesn't quite fit the Potter demographic. And Universal can't be bothered to figure out something to do with the ride, which absolutely *could* be as big of a hit for the park (or one of their other upcoming parks) as Hulk is.

 

THIS. Universal's appeal is that it isn't Disney. They build rides for kids when they "grow up" - older kids, teenagers, the like. They have these big honking coasters there and they're right around the 9-10 million annual attendance number. And instead of realizing that they have this niche that they can exploit and which Disney will never fully commit to battle, what do they do? They do exactly the same thing Disney does because "Well, Disney had a wider market space..."

 

You know what fast food is most popular in America? Burgers. People love burgers. But you know, people like food that aren't burgers too. Some people like tacos. Some people like pizza. Blaze Pizza produces "fast food pizza" in a new and innovative way, and they're the fastest growing chain restaurant since the Colonel probably learned to deep fry. Trying to beat established players is hard as hell at their own game. Disrupting the market by providing a whole new product? That's a different discussion entirely. Disney is McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Five Guys, and In-And-Out all rolled into one out in Orlando. Why go head to head with them for the same people? You can't possibly win! You have to sell tacos to their burgers.

 

When I see a park spending millions on rides like Kong, Fallon, and the upcoming Fast & The Furious while at the same time seeing a barrage of comments saying "please Universal no more screens" posted by everyone from their biggest fans to their casual visitors, yet at the same time they are ripping out perfectly good "top ten" rides that have high guest satisfaction scores, that just doesn't seem right to me.

 

I mean, if Nagashima Spaland, who also operates their roller coasters year round, can move a 33 year old Ultra Twister and a 38 year old Corkscrew to a completely different side of the park to accommodate fitting in a new kids area, don't tell me that Universal wouldn't have the resources to figure out how to make a world-class pair of still fairly new B&Ms by comparison a viable attraction in their park again.

 

Again: THIS. It would be one thing if they had built a bunch of rides at those parks of late that proved they still had the creative wherewithal to be trusted with replacing a top-of-the-food-chain coaster. But:

 

-Kong has largely underwhelmed and honestly is mostly forgotten

-Literally no one cares about F&TF Supercharged

-Jimmy Fallon is a nice C Ticket ride, but that's about it.

-Volcano Bay is charging $70 to people to beta test water park queuing strategies to the tune of a two circle average review on Tripadvisor

 

None of what I've heard being seriously bandied about as the replacement leads me to believe there will be a better ride than Dueling Dragons there. None of it. I know you like Tron Robb, and I have no reason to believe it is bad, but boy, I have a hard time seeing an equivalent Potter-based Motorbike competing with fukkin' Dueling Dragons. Or a really themed-up SWSD Manta style ride. Basically, they need to be building Taron in its place, and no one has suggested that in a rumor.

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I'm not understanding why people think selling them would be an option.

 

Hulk just had to be retracked because of it's age / life cycle... there are few B&M's that run year round like the ones @ IOA do. What park in their right mind would buy a ride that probably is due for an entire new re-tracking that also requires a huge area that also can no longer duel (the main goal of it's design) because American lawsuits are insane?

 

They were both good coasters but let's be honest, they haven't been as impressive when you don't see the 3 carefully engineered dueling points in action. It probably also needs new track. These seem like good reasons for Universal to move on, but what do I know.

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I agree with you Robb, but Hulk's unprecedented retracking effort combined w/ the Dueling Dragons same age in the same park... it's really hard to imagine that reselling them is even an "option" at all.

 

"Hey, do you want this pile of supports and trains that cover a huge layout over a specific terrain? Nevermind the actual coaster track, you get to buy that new." Just seems like a bit of a stretch, but I get people's passion for not seeing one of the park's real thrill rides leaving. Universal's Florida parks are not really adding anything that would make me want to visit again, as many have pointed out here.

 

EDIT: The post from Robb I was referring to has been removed.

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I'm not understanding why people think selling them would be an option.

 

Hulk just had to be retracked because of it's age / life cycle... there are few B&M's that run year round like the ones @ IOA do. What park in their right mind would buy a ride that probably is due for an entire new re-tracking that also requires a huge area that also can no longer duel (the main goal of it's design) because American lawsuits are insane?

 

They were both good coasters but let's be honest, they haven't been as impressive when you don't see the 3 carefully engineered dueling points in action. It probably also needs new track. These seem like good reasons for Universal to move on, but what do I know.

1. Dragons does not cycle nearly as much as Hulk did. Universal does Marvel Super Hero Island buyouts ALL. THE. TIME. for conventions, companies, and private parties and Hulk is usually one of the attractions that is included. That ride runs way more than you would think. Dragons, at the back of the park doesn't get as much attention.

 

2. There are actually many other B&Ms that run probably close to what Dragons cycles. Montu being one of them. Rides like Nemesis being another. And there are a TON of other coaster that run year-round morning to night that are still not at the end of their lifecycle. (How is it fair that Manhattan Express gets to live while Dragons dies?)

 

3. You could easily duel these rides again without question. Universal just chooses not to do it. If Twisted Colossus can exist in the idiot-infested Trump America, so can Dueling Dragons.

 

4. They *could* be sold. But they won't be. And it's not because there wouldn't be a buyer, because I'm sure there would be. If a 28 year old Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop that ran every day can have an interested buyer and be relocated and re-opened, then I'm pretty damn sure a well taken care of, still running GREAT pair of B&M coasters could also be relocated.

 

EDIT: The post from Robb I was referring to has been removed.

EDIT: I had initially read your post wrong, sorry. This is a proper response to it, though.

Edited by robbalvey
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It's too bad Universal doesn't move Dragons to another area of the park. I know, easier said than done, just wishful thinking. While I liked the Potter rides, I didn't find them to be something I would reride much at all in a one or two day visit. Same goes for screen based rides. They tend to get stale fast. If I'm only going for a day, or the 2 park hopper to ride Hogs Express, I find it a little hard to justify the cost very often.

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If those coasters ran like garbage today because they have been neglected or didn't age well, I would fully understand ripping them out, but that's not the case. It's just an unfortunate situation. The park needs to sell Potter rides. Dragons takes up a lot of space. It doesn't quite fit the Potter demographic. And Universal can't be bothered to figure out something to do with the ride, which absolutely *could* be as big of a hit for the park (or one of their other upcoming parks) as Hulk is.

 

THIS. Universal's appeal is that it isn't Disney. They build rides for kids when they "grow up" - older kids, teenagers, the like. They have these big honking coasters there and they're right around the 9-10 million annual attendance number. And instead of realizing that they have this niche that they can exploit and which Disney will never fully commit to battle, what do they do? They do exactly the same thing Disney does because "Well, Disney had a wider market space..."

 

You know what fast food is most popular in America? Burgers. People love burgers. But you know, people like food that aren't burgers too. Some people like tacos. Some people like pizza. Blaze Pizza produces "fast food pizza" in a new and innovative way, and they're the fastest growing chain restaurant since the Colonel probably learned to deep fry. Trying to beat established players is hard as hell at their own game. Disrupting the market by providing a whole new product? That's a different discussion entirely. Disney is McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Five Guys, and In-And-Out all rolled into one out in Orlando. Why go head to head with them for the same people? You can't possibly win! You have to sell tacos to their burgers.

Quoting for truth.

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Doesn't Universal's current advertising campaign center around kids that have grown up and are ready for a more grown up theme park, i.e. Not Disney? What do big kids like? Thrill rides. So let's take out arguably the best thrill rides between the two parks. Ok...

 

I also cannot buy the notion that Dragons was "near the end of its lifecycle". Toward the end of Hulk, you could FEEL that it was time for it to die. Dragons is still glass smooth and could probably be ran as-is for another decade.

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The thing that is depressing to me about this is that B&M doesn't build coasters like Dragons anymore. Even if they were to build a similar layout I feel as though that the shaping of elements would be altered so the ride wouldn't be nearly as forceful.

Edited by Xmeister
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The thing that is depressing to me about this is that B&M doesn't build coasters like Dragons anymore. Even if they were to build a similar layout I feel as though that the shaping of elements would be altered so the ride wouldn't be nearly as forceful.

 

 

Exactly. An unfortunate truth.

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Honestly, I'm more shocked that the Dragons are going first instead of The Lost Continent. I would have expected what little was left of that themed section to bite the dust first before the two Dragons would succumb to the inevitable complete Potterfication of that section of the park.

 

It's sad I'll never get to experience them, I had hoped they'd stick around before our first trip to the Orlando region, but it would be a lie to say that I didn't see this happening in less than two years. It would be stupidly ignorant to wave a blind eye towards the goldmine that the Harry Potter license still is churning out, and Universal has the business sense to continue mining it.

 

As for the fate of the Dragons... the most positive outlook on their removal is to hope that SeaWorld will add a B&M invert in the future, because Dueling Dragons being relocated is the most unlikely thing that will ever happen since people thinking the Big Dipper could be saved.

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I remember being obsessed with IOA when it was in construction,I would read daily construction reports and back then there were so many more theme park and coaster shows on TV and I remember several of them showcasing this new park.On my first visit the second week the park opened I was like and it didn't matter that I lived 3-4 hours away I was visiting almost every month.Dueling Dragons was my coaster,Hulk was great as you can't beat the launch but overall I'm a B&M invert fan,Montu is the ride that made me a coaster geek but the first time I rode Dragons and saw that other train going under me on Dragons I knew this was one of my favorite rides ever.Even before ever getting on it I remember geeking out at the Hess station(now a Speedway) watching the trains being tested before the park opened.Hulk became a rough ride so I understood it had to be replaced,for whatever reason they rebuilt and its still not as smooth as it used to be when new,Dragons never got rough like that,I know its not like it was when new but its still an awesome ride,the idiot who was throwing things at the other train killed this coaster as taking away the dueling aspect just removed the biggest thrill and uniqueness of the ride,a part of me knew when the dueling was removed the ride will likely not be around for as long as if those incidents never happened and the ride was still running as intended.At least I now live in Orlando so I can go ride it multiple times before it closes.

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I'm "lucky" in that I wasn't a fan of Dragon Challenge. Fireball had one moment that could pass as "standout" to me. Hornball had none, and neither side inspired me to reride, even with no wait.

 

I'm unlucky in that I never got to ride them as Dueling Dragons.

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I'm saddened by this news. I love B & M inverts and having two together was great.

 

My sadness is that I never got to ride properly duelling. The one time I queued at the front for it they messed up the duelling. One of life's little regrets.

 

When I was in Florida last summer I got to ride them both one last time. Still great coasters imo but couldn't help feeling it was being quietly edged out of Potterland.

 

I really hope it can find a new home but worry that Rob sees it as unlikely. Would be a real loss and a wee bit like the end of an era.

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