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P. 611: Full Halloween Horror Nights 2021 lineup revealed!

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Weren't the original waiting times for Journey and Escape ridiculous, too?

I actually was there for opening day of Gringott's and I waited two hours in the single rider line. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as people thought it was going to be, but it also had quite a long time where it was soft-opened to the public, too.

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Ugh, now you guys have got me all nostalgic for Dueling Dragons. The last day of operations in 2017 was actually on my birthday. Like Robb said, it was running AWESOME even on that final day. In a way, it was even better, as clearly the maintenance was kept to a minimum once closure was announced, so the lift hill dampers/silencers were worn out and it sounded like an old Batman clone going up the lift. There was old-school B&M invert rattle and the castle wall cobra roll was snapping crazy hard in the middle. The back row edge seats on both sides gave such crazy rides, you'd literally be dizzy and the directional changes were so abrupt.

 

Can they just like...get B&M to clone Dragons and put it at the new park, far away from the stupid Harry Potter bullsh*t and theme it to a Nintendo duel in Mario Kart or something? Universal, if you're listening and you did that, I'll take back any negative thought I've ever had about you and shout from the rooftops about how everyone needs an annual pass.

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Ugh, now you guys have got me all nostalgic for Dueling Dragons. The last day of operations in 2017 was actually on my birthday. Like Robb said, it was running AWESOME even on that final day. In a way, it was even better, as clearly the maintenance was kept to a minimum once closure was announced, so the lift hill dampers/silencers were worn out and it sounded like an old Batman clone going up the lift. There was old-school B&M invert rattle and the castle wall cobra roll was snapping crazy hard in the middle. The back row edge seats on both sides gave such crazy rides, you'd literally be dizzy and the directional changes were so abrupt.

Yep. That was exactly my rides as well. Seriously, even though they weren't dueling, as individual rides they were running JUST AS GOOD in 2017 as my first rides on them in 1999. And it was seriously just upsetting. Because like, when I had ridden other rides that I knew were closing, like Gwazi, Texas Giant or Mean Streak, you were all "Ok, this NEEDS to go."

 

But Dragons? That was still a potential top caliber ride. And it just seemed so pointless and wasteful that it was going away.

 

And it just makes you questions the decisions of the park...

 

"Who gets rid of a top caliber ride like that??? That people, after 18 years of operation, are STILL running around to ride again as soon as they get off the ride. Who does that???"

 

It just shows how much the direction of the park had changed. When the decision to get rid of a top caliber, totally unique in the world, large-scale B&M that was the feature of many TV Shows, and was one of the top three featured attractions when the park opened, that still ran perfectly fine, all of a sudden becomes expendable like it's yesterday's trash... that really says something about where things are heading...

 

Edited by robbalvey
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^Not to mention, Grond Lund 20 years later is building a B&M Invert and said that Dueling Dragons was their inspiration. It just shows how loved these coasters really were. I totally agree that they even stood their own when they weren't dueling.

 

B&M Inverted coasters were all the rage in the 90s and they're arguably the coaster type in B&M's catalogue with the most staying power. They've consistently sold this product to parks since the first Batman clone and continue to do so. Say Dueling Dragons had never been built and a park made an announcement today that they were building these and opening in 2020, that park would instantly be on my must-visit list.

 

As far as what you said about what it shows per the direction of the park, I totally agree. That's why I'm looking forward to the Jurassic Park coaster but not holding my breath too hard even if they promise it to be a "thrill coaster". It really depends on where they set the bar. I have 0% expectations that Universal is building something with the power and intensity of Maverick or i305. I won't be surprised at all if it's more on the level of Cheetah Hunt with an inversion or two. I really, really hope they prove us wrong.

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I live here in Florida I have ridden both dueling coasters(gwazi and duelin dragons). I have to say that I'm more excited for Gwazi 2020 than a $300million dollar disappointment.

Hey Robb do you think you'll have more fun on Gwazi2020 cause we have better expectations of what that ride is going to be than a ride that was highly tauted(think thats the right spelling) but failed to live up to the hype. #Gwazi2020 #DuelingDragonsForever

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I’m not going to touch anymore on whether or not Dragon’s Challenge should have been removed - that’s gotten more than enough talk in this thread. I disagree with it too, but It happened and there’s no rebuilding it.

 

I do want to say say though, before I move on, that I watched that queue walkthrough and nothing keeps it from being a pretty sore reminder of what was once there.

 

That said, I applaud Universal for doing the best they could have done with the situation. We have been begging Universal for years to make an attraction like this, and finally for the first time in recent history we have a ride without screens. I also appreciate the level of detail put into the ride.

 

Okay, so the ride goes too fast to appreciate the theming on-ride, but I’m not sure what any of us can do about it. We can only hope Universal gets feedback and resolves it, but considering all I’ve seen the GP is eating this ride up; I’m not to confident Universal is going to feel pressured to change anything. The theming might have been a flop, but from what else I’m hearing this is a FANTASTIC family coaster and I am very pleased to hear that.

 

I commented on Robb’s video Media Day and have just been reading along since because I don’t post too often anymore, but one thing that’s surprised me is the lack of mention that the JP coaster will be filling the thrill gap, which was what I commented on his video. I’ve seen it now thrown around once or twice in this thread but not enough as it should given all the complaining about how a family coaster has replaced (two? one?) thrill coasters.

 

I have a friend at school who interned with Universal last summer and worked for rides safety, working on the likes of the Nintendo project and the safety nets under Hulk. He described to me how the leak for Hagrid's and other projects came about through a Google Drive system between employees and how even he could see projects that were not intended for him. Basically, somebody screwed up the permissions for the files and many employees had access to thing they shouldn’t, and of course, in human nature, an individual took advantage of that and posted them online (he ended up in trouble big time, from what I was told). But, he did mention how scary accurate the video of Hagrid’s was way last summer and the big disruption it caused at Universal.

 

When the leak for the Jurassic Park coaster came out, I went to him and he corroborated the whole thing from what he recalled seeing that summer. It’s also no coincidence that the construction has followed the rumors exactly to this day.

 

TLDR; if you haven’t already seen the JP coaster leaks, go look and start believing it. I’m not going to post them here for this site/Universal’s sake.

 

EDIT: look for older articles, I'm seeing now with a recent search that Google is returning mostly newer articles that are stuffed with a ton of speculative crap and not information on what was actually leaked, which was pretty much just the ride layout and some stats.

 

That being said, has ANYONE considered the Jurassic Park coaster being a B&M Flying Dinosaur like the one in Japan? IMO that would make up BIG TIME for the removal of Dueling Dragons and satisfy those who don't find the Hagrid coaster a valid replacement.

Read above.

 

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?

Bingo.

 

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.

It's supposed to reach speeds of 70+mph and heights of 150ft; I think it's reasonable to assume a launch coaster of that magnitude in that relatively small footprint should be a fairly intense ride, but time will tell.

 

I'm just happy that we are getting the JP coaster on top of this and didn't get another Gringotts to replace Dueling Dragons. Sure, DD didn't need to go for the JP coaster, but that's history unfortunately.

 

Robb, thanks for the review and positively about the rest of the ride -- it helps me still look forward to it in light of all this negative feedback surrounding one aspect of it.

 

Oh, and I nearly forgot -- we have a BRAND NEW park coming that is a CLEAN SLATE for Universal to redeem themselves should they do so correctly. Can we focus on that a little bit?

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Oh, and I nearly forgot -- we have a BRAND NEW park coming that is a CLEAN SLATE for Universal to redeem themselves should they do so correctly. Can we focus on that a little bit?

 

Like I said, if they call up B&M and say "hey, we're building a new park and have this huge plot of land so let's crack open the 1999 blueprints vault over a bottle of wine and see where we're going to superimpose Dueling Dragons over it", then all will be forgiven.

 

And, f*ck, just put us through an airport-style X ray machine beforehand so they can duel the coasters. Anyone caught with loose articles automatically goes to the firing squad.

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Edit: and yeah like many others it will be hard for me to get over "this is cool but I cant believe they replaced DD with this" its a shame but well, parks don't cater to us enthusiasts, though they should!

For me it's more the fact that *usually* when a park removes a coaster, it's a ride that is tired, worn out, not running well, people ride once and forget about, or something that was never good to begin with.

 

In the case of Dueling Dragons, that ride has been ranked in the top ten world's best roller coasters! And yes, I know that they stopped dueling it (which I disagree that it couldn't have been made to duel again), but I rode those coasters a week before they closed and I still say they ran just as good as when they opened. OMG. I had a BALLS OUT ride in the back row on Fire Dragon at night about a week before it closed. It was still AWESOME. Easily one of the best inverts out there with the likes of Nemesis, Batman, Montu, and some of the earlier B&M inverts.

 

And that same day, I watched people RUN out of the queue and RUN to get back in line. Here I was in September of 2017 and I watching people run around the queue to "Dragon Hop" just like we did in 1999. Exactly the same. No different. Oh, except instead of running back in line in 1999, in 2017 it was: Run... stop at the metal detector... run some more...

 

I get that rides don't stick around forever, parks aren't museums, and I'm actually "fine" overall with the decision, because parks do what they need to do. It just seemed odd to me that when a park has a ride that has been categorized as "one of the best of it's kind in the world" and people are still RUNNING around to re-ride it, wouldn't you want to do SOMETHING to have that stay in your park?

 

When was the last time a park tore down a "top ten" coaster that was STILL running amazing the day it closed?

 

Agreed 100% there was absolutely no NEED to get rid of it, and they lose a great ride. It was still my fav at Universal, more than Hulk.

I also dont know if this is true but I also heard Rowling herself has massive say in the park areas, and she didnt really like the ride so that makes it feel even worse, its like the whim of someone basically outweighs everything else.

Its kind of an outrage but Ive tried not to dwell bc I'll be angry/sad about it

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^I've heard the same. From what I was told years ago, she wanted Dragons gone when the original Hogsmeade area of Wizarding World was in the development phase.

 

Yeah...and THAT kind of feels crappy, because when a park makes a decision even if we dont like it, I mean OK but that's one person, who's not even "in the industry" feels more random, like her whims basically were behind it and as Robb said its hard to imagine the park on its own making this choice, (I mean how many old crappy rides hang around surely they'd have kept Dragons) but oh well. Like I said I try not to dwell on it.

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Yeah...and THAT kind of feels crappy, because when a park makes a decision even if we dont like it, I mean OK but that's one person, who's not even "in the industry" feels more random, like her whims basically were behind it. . .

She isn't just "one person not even in the industry", she is the saving grace behind Universal lol. Before potter, the park was basically giving away the gate. You could easily get a reservation at the big three hotels and the rates were pretty good. Pre-potter had universal selling off it's land. Post-potter brought in 5 additional hotels, a water park, more immersive areas at the parks and soon to be an entire new park. Potter has showed universal what people like and how to execute it. So, while I would personally have dragons I cannot just write J.K. Rowling off as being one person not in the industry. I'm willing to bet she gave them a time frame to develop something to replace it.

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And, f*ck, just put us through an airport-style X ray machine beforehand so they can duel the coasters. Anyone caught with loose articles automatically goes to the firing squad.

 

If guests start throwing stuff of coasters from here on out, they get a park pass to ride only the Fast & Furious ride.

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I also mourn the loss of Dueling Dragons, especially when it dueled. It was a great roller coaster, and surprisingly intense.

That said, I actually do understand why Universal / Rowling apparently thought it was out of place in Potter land, both thematically not quite fitting in with Potter land (although they could have done more to theme the ride area itself), and, maybe more importantly, perhaps being a bit too intense for the Potter demographic (which I am guessing is younger and more focused on theme than pure intense thrills -- just a guess here, not a Potter fan?).

 

I think if they are focused on wanting to create one expansive, cohesive, thematic Potter area, this was smart from a *business* perspective to have a small cluster of rides more closely connected and themed to the movie and having similar ride intensities. And then put in the Jurassic Park coaster to make sure those who want more intense thrills can get them there.

 

Not saying I like it, but I understand the thought process behind it.

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The fact is that before Harry potter Universal was on the edge of going out of business/being sold again. A year of Harry potter saved the park. JK might of wanted Dueling dragons out, but we did get a few more good years with the ride. I am sad to see it go as it was an amazing coaster. I rode it a few weeks before it closed, and it still rocked. The thing i would never understand is everything around the park would be busy but dragon challenge never had a line. You could ride Red and blue in less then a half hour.

 

More Potter means more money leading to more none Potter attractions.

 

The fact they they are leaving screen based attraction behind is a win for everyone.

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Re Hagrid's: I'm morbidly curious, the preview material suggested that one of the indoor scenes was going to smell pretty bad because of the beast (blast-ended skrewt) in there, was that noticeable at all? Given that you're being rushed through pretty quickly I'm assuming no

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Re Hagrid's: I'm morbidly curious, the preview material suggested that one of the indoor scenes was going to smell pretty bad because of the beast (blast-ended skrewt) in there, was that noticeable at all? Given that you're being rushed through pretty quickly I'm assuming no

I did not notice any smells in the few rides I took.

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dragon challenge never had a line

 

Sure, but it also had the highest capacity of probably any ride at the park (other than maybe Forbidden Journey). I'm just guessing here but I don't think they have any other Omnimover style rides and I know they don't have any other coasters that dispatch up to 64 riders at a time. That probably explains the short lines.

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How early were people lining up outside the park? I feel like this is also going to help alleviate some of the rope drop logistics on their end.

 

As long as they keep the line open at the end of the night for anyone who wants to ride and that sounds like it'll be the plan still.

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How early were people lining up outside the park? I feel like this is also going to help alleviate some of the rope drop logistics on their end.

 

As long as they keep the line open at the end of the night for anyone who wants to ride and that sounds like it'll be the plan still.

Around 6am. They will still line up in the morning time. They did today also when they said it wouldn’t open till 11. They shut the line off around 6 saying it was at capacity

Edited by adeuce02
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