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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 606: Velocicoaster Officially Opening June 10!

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I don't care who you are - if you're waiting ten hours (!!) for a roller coaster, you need to reconsider your life choices. That being said, obviously, congratulations to Universal on a successful opening!

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We rode Velocicoaster today! Here's our thoughts on the ride....  

Two weekends ago I made my way back to the Universal Orlando Resort to experience the new Mardi Gras offerings, but also to get a chance to see Velocicoaster testing. I'll have photos from Mardi Gras

It was a fun ride. The first half felt very Maverick-y with the quick transitions between elements. All the theming REALLY adds to the overall feel of being chased by raptors. The 2nd half.....WOW! 

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I have a question... IoA is only open until 9 pm today. I assume they’ll let anyone who’s in line by closing time ride, correct? But what happens when the line is 10 hours long before noon? The park is only open until 9. Are they going to close off the line at some point? How does it usually work with new rides?

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From the sounds of it, Hagrid's seems a bit disappointing (theming wise) and not that much better than other regional park family coasters in recent memory.

 

...and ten hours is crazy. I'm assuming that this is mostly locals? I can't imagine traveling all the way to Orlando and spending almost a full day in a line for any single ride. Hell, even being a local and doing that sounds crazy.

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Cool, it's opened! Now we can focus on the upcoming Jurassic Park coaster Which...should be a more fitting 'replacement' for the thrill/intense coaster void, right?

 

I'm curious on everyone's thoughts to this:

Would you have rather seen Universal put in a Dueling Dragons-thrill level Harry Potter coaster instead of Hagrid's and then add a family thrill for the Jurassic Park coaster? Or how it's currently looking to progress with the family coaster (Hagrid) and the thrill coaster for Jurassic Park?

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I'm curious on everyone's thoughts to this:

Would you have rather seen Universal put in a Dueling Dragons-thrill level Harry Potter coaster instead of Hagrid's and then add a family thrill for the Jurassic Park coaster?

 

I assume Rowling wanted a more family vibe to the rides there.

 

Honestly I'm very disappointed in how this ride turned out. The immense lack of theme is just striking to me. As a Potter fan myself, and seeing how much went into Gringotts, and the Forbidden Journey, just to get a ride that has been reviewed as "being able to tell you're in a big a show building" is immensely disappointing.

 

On top of that Dueling Dragons: Fire was my first roller coaster, so there was some sentimentality about losing that ride. While we didn't get a thrill ride to replace it, it just feels very underwhelming. Even just looking at the cars for the trains, I just wished they'd have painted them to mimic the movie, or something of the description to the book.

 

I feel like this is one of those rides I'll end up passing on unless I can get a quick ride on the single rider queue (assuming it has one.)

 

Other than that I'm very excited for what's to come in the Jurassic Park area.

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Cool, it's opened! Now we can focus on the upcoming Jurassic Park coaster Which...should be a more fitting 'replacement' for the thrill/intense coaster void, right?

 

I sure hope so. To be honest, I'm not holding out too much hope that it'll be as intense as we'd all like it to be, or even as intense as Dueling Dragons was. While I'd LOVE it if they built something on the level of Maverick and made up for the lack of Dragons, I see them targeting the family audience once again and making something on the level of Cheetah Hunt. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the new high bar of "thrill" Universal is willing to approach but not exceed. But again, I hope I'm wrong.

 

I'm curious on everyone's thoughts to this:

Would you have rather seen Universal put in a Dueling Dragons-thrill level Harry Potter coaster instead of Hagrid's and then add a family thrill for the Jurassic Park coaster? Or how it's currently looking to progress with the family coaster (Hagrid) and the thrill coaster for Jurassic Park?

 

That's a tough question. If Dueling Dragons were truly "at the end of their life cycle", as was Universal's talking point, I wish they'd just done the same thing as Hulk; torn down and re-built. Maybe if they'd plopped down a clone of i305 and themed it to Hagrid, I'd have been more forgiving. But what's done is done at this point. Again, I'll love it if the Jurassic Park coaster truly amazes us and rights all wrongs, but I'm just not holding my breath. At least it's from Intamin.

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Can I ask a stupid question?

 

We're going to Universal in October and since it looks like this ride isn't on Express (though that could change but I'm not counting on it since the other Potter rides went YEARS before being on express), I actually considered staying on property to get Early Admission.

 

That said, it sort of looks like they don't tell you what park will even be on early admission in advance (right now I only see the schedule through June) and right now Islands isn't open early for resort guests.

 

The only reason I would stay at one of their hotels instead of a hotel where I could use my Choice / Marriot / Hilton or IHG points would be for that perk but is there a way to see the schedule in advance?

 

 

They don't post the EPA schedule in advance except for like 2 months out at best. I would say it's a likely thing that IOA will start having EPA due to this ride. My best advice would be:

 

1. Book both Universal and Points rewards hotels but make sure both are fully refundable.

 

2. Non-Private VIP tour will have front of the line access on this ride.

 

or 3. You could do a Timeshare tour which all give 7 Day PTP tickets that include EPA if you wanted to, and end up costing about the same as a 1 day PTP at regular price. There's really no reason to buy Universal in advance anyway.

 

 

I'm excited for this ride as a Harry Potter fan and a fan of great, themed attractions. Especially since the theming and experience is not fully reliant on screens. I will never forgive Universal for removing Dragons because that was a bunch of corporate nonsense, but I am fully onboard with all the locals and mega-fans (there are millions and millions of mega-fans of the Harry Potter franchise, Universal Resort's attendance has doubled since this landmark themed area debuted in 2010) who are out there today waiting however long the coaster's wait actually is, they've really been waiting for 2 years or more for this ride so six hours or so is nothing relatively.

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Thanks!

 

We're not buying anything yet anyway since we're waiting to see how long the lines for this ride end up being a few months down the line, I'm just weighing some options. Their website is frustrating though.

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Anything over an hour is too much of a wait for me, but the 6-10 hours being reported for this are just ludicrous. If you wait in a line like that, you've essentially paid well over $100 to ride ONE ride. NO ride is worth that.

 

Someone is live tweeting their experience in the line right now. It was a posted 6-hr wait when they got in the line. 2 hours in and they are still in The Lost Continent section and it just started raining on them haha. Oh but Universal did have food vendors going up and down the line selling hotdogs....for $9!!! Captive audience I guess ha.

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10 hours... I don't even want to imagine what that looks, or smells like... in Florida in June. Hell I've head some breathtaking experiences waiting in line for 20 minutes in Sandusky in May. Ugh.

 

That said, looks like they have a hit with their fans. I know some people are saying it was a let down but Twitter was full of praise from what I saw.

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I saw the line went down to *only* 5 hours, but it looks like the afternoon thunderstorm has now rolled in.

Yup, in the live tweeting thread re: the wait, they are 3.5 hours and still in The Lost Continent (by the talking fountain). And the last hour was spent in waiting in the rain. Woof.

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I really shouldn't have to remind people, but obviously I do because the world is now full of fucking stupid people. If anyone posts illegal POVs or even tells people where they are and suggest they should watch them on this forum they will be INSTANTLY BANNED no questions asked. Got it?

Edited by robbalvey
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From the sounds of it, Hagrid's seems a bit disappointing (theming wise) and not that much better than other regional park family coasters in recent memory.

 

...and ten hours is crazy. I'm assuming that this is mostly locals? I can't imagine traveling all the way to Orlando and spending almost a full day in a line for any single ride. Hell, even being a local and doing that sounds crazy.

 

If this theming is disappointing then I must be missing something???? I rode dueling dragons when it actually used to duel and it was an amazing experience. Seeing another train coming at you full speed going into the flip was incredible. I think after the GP ruined the dueling aspect, the ride became expendable. It’s a damn shame. This new ride really looks like a fun experience!

 

I hope to get to Orlando in the next couple years to try this and Guardians.

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Hey Robb, What are the hourly capacity's of this ride, how many trains do they run? I can't believe a ride with high capacity could ever have an 8 hour wait.

That's a good question. I know they have a dual drop track to increase capacity and someone had told me that they could run up to TEN trains because of that and they way they do their loading system. From what I could tell on the media event, it looked like they were running maybe 4 or 5 trains. So I'm not sure what the actual capacity is and not sure how many they were running today.

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From the sounds of it, Hagrid's seems a bit disappointing (theming wise)

 

If this theming is disappointing then I must be missing something????

It is 100% disappointing theming wise. That was my biggest issue with it. Did you read my review? The animatronic figures are so brief that you see them about as long as you see Everest's Yeti. And other than drop track part of the ride, which I also thought lacked a "wow" moment in theming, you're mostly just meandering the outside portion through some trees. Like, honestly the theming isn't that much more than when Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain had lots of trees around it!

 

 

I'd say it's a *little* more themed than Verbolten and a lot less themed than Taron. Which, IMO, is "disappointing" considering the property it is based on.

 

They kept calling this a "story coaster" but I'm kind of at a loss for where the "story" is other than the pre-show and the audio that was difficult to hear while on the ride.

Edited by robbalvey
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I'd say it's a *little* more themed than Verbolten and a lot less themed than Taron. Which, IMO, is "disappointing" considering the property it is based on.

 

They kept calling this a "story coaster" but I'm kind of at a loss for where the "story" is other than the pre-show and the audio that was difficult to hear while on the ride.

 

 

That is extremely disappointing if they just dropped $300 million for this ride. IMO, for 300M, you could have Dueling Dragons with FOUR coasters dueling

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From the sounds of it, Hagrid's seems a bit disappointing (theming wise)

 

If this theming is disappointing then I must be missing something????

It is 100% disappointing theming wise. That was my biggest issue with it. Did you read my review? The animatronic figures are so brief that you see them about as long as you see Everest's Yeti. And other than drop track part of the ride, which I also thought lacked a "wow" moment in theming, you're mostly just meandering the outside portion through some trees. Like, honestly the theming isn't that much more than when Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain had lots of trees around it!

 

 

I'd say it's a *little* more themed than Verbolten and a lot less themed than Taron. Which, IMO, is "disappointing" considering the property it is based on.

 

They kept calling this a "story coaster" but I'm kind of at a loss for where the "story" is other than the pre-show and the audio that was difficult to hear while on the ride.

 

Hearing that it cost $300 million changes everything.... Wow!! Definitely should be more than just trees for that much. Also, I’m from Southern California where outside of Disneyland our best themed coaster is probably Manta at SWSD, so obviously I don’t have much to go off of.

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From the sounds of it, Hagrid's seems a bit disappointing (theming wise)

 

If this theming is disappointing then I must be missing something????

It is 100% disappointing theming wise. That was my biggest issue with it. Did you read my review? The animatronic figures are so brief that you see them about as long as you see Everest's Yeti. And other than drop track part of the ride, which I also thought lacked a "wow" moment in theming, you're mostly just meandering the outside portion through some trees. Like, honestly the theming isn't that much more than when Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain had lots of trees around it!

 

 

I'd say it's a *little* more themed than Verbolten and a lot less themed than Taron. Which, IMO, is "disappointing" considering the property it is based on.

 

They kept calling this a "story coaster" but I'm kind of at a loss for where the "story" is other than the pre-show and the audio that was difficult to hear while on the ride.

 

Hearing that it cost $300 million changes everything.... Wow!! Definitely should be more than just trees for that much. Also, I’m from Southern California where outside of Disneyland our best themed coaster is probably Manta at SWSD, so obviously I don’t have much to go off of.

To be honest, I was expecting Hagrid's to be a bit more like Big Grizzly Mountain (which fixes a lot of the issues that Everest had.) Here, click this link and watch our Grizzly video starting from this point:

 

On that ride, each of the "story elements" you can clearly see and understand while on the ride. You don't fly by it so fast that you don't know what is going on. And the area has some REALLY unique theming and rock work. To someone who asked "is it kinda hard to really theme an outside coaster of this proportion?" my answer is "not at all." I mean, just look at Big Grizzly or Radiator Springs Racers.

 

Those are the examples that Hagrid's should have been looking at for the bar they needed to reach. What they produced doesn't even COME CLOSE to those attractions. And also having been on Tron... OMG when that ride opens at Magic Kingdom, it is going to BLOW HAGRID'S AWAY! It might be a shorter ride, but HOLY CRAP, the theming inside that Tron building is CRAZY!

 

Seriously, Universal knew Tron was coming. Why did they fall so short on the theming of Hagrid's? Like, did they not go to Shanghai and ride that coaster? Or even watch a video of it???

Edited by robbalvey
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To be honest, I was expecting Hagrid's to be a bit more like Big Grizzly Mountain (which fixes a lot of the issues that Everest had.)

Even after Hagrid's, I still consider Big Grizzly Mountain and Taron to be better themed outdoor roller coasters. That being said, the Harry Potter I.P. will keep that coaster busy for a very long time.

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Big Grizzly Mountain is great at explaining visually why it has a backwards section and its launch with the cable snap or the dynamite. Is there anything in this to justify why there is the drip track or spike. I heard this rollercoaster has narration so have they gone with telling the riders everything instead of showing?

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