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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 606: Velocicoaster Officially Opening June 10!

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Orlando Informer meetup trip at Universal....anyone here got a quick review or opinions? I've heard it great from people. Just seeing if folks here have opinions.  Thinking about maybe doing the Dec one this year.

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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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On 4/7/2021 at 9:56 AM, coasterbill said:

I get why some people would like it; mainly locals who want the festive atmosphere and know a bunch of their friends in the hobby will be there and they can hang out all day while standing in line and knowing that they'll probably ride like one thing all day but you're not really there to ride much and you're okay with that. If I were traveling to be there I would hate it. Also, personally if I were a local I wouldn't care about that at all and would just wait 3 weeks and ride it on a random Wednesday morning or something but if that's your thing, hey... you do you.

If I lived nearby I would either avoid the park like the plague that day or I would go to the studios park in the morning and walk-on every single ride for a few hours since you can basically never do that before getting the hell out of there.

A very wise policy.

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The ride looks great. I like Phantasaland's Taron, and if Velocicoaster is an improvement on it, so much the better.

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Thinking of an early May visit as an early graduation present for my son.  I think it'd be safe to assume capacity issues will wind down now that Spring Break is mostly over, yes/no?

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^Yeah, you should be fine. We went last Sunday no problem.  If it's an especially nice weekend day you may see Volcano Bay close to capacity but the other parks should stay open with normal crowds. 

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Got the pleasure of watching Velocicoaster cycle last weekend and can't overstate how incredible this things looks in person. Between the pacing, the wonky transitions, and the fantastic theming (the foliage looks like its been growing for decades)...seems like this is going to be the coaster experience to beat.

Crazy how much my interest in the Universal Orlando Resort has grown with just two (very wise) additions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

that looks great!

 

love hearing y'all's opinion on it.. the theming looks better than what they did on Hagrid too - talking about the zooming among the rockwork portion (tho the Raptors in the queue are great)!

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Looks awesome, like a blend of Maverick and I305.  Unfortunately I'll probably never ride it, since I can't justify the cost of Universal tickets for what I'm interested in, but yeah, looking really good.  Glad you locals get to experience it!

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My advice for everyone who balks at the price of a one day ticket (considering you basically have to park-hop) seems counter-intuitive but it's to get an annual pass (I know how stupid that sounds but hear me out).

The Seasonal Pass has no benefits except for park admission but it's 349.99. A one-day ticket on most weekends is $187 or sometimes more so the pass pays for itself in less than 2 visits (aside from consecutive-day combo tickets or mid-week visits during the slowest time of the year). They also frequently run promotions where you can get additional months added on to your pass for free. We got ours last October and it's good until some time in January of 2022.

Sure, this pass has blackout dates but only a few select Mardi Gras concert days that you can work around. The other blackout days are days where no intelligent person would want to be caught dead in Orlando anyway if they didn't live there (Christmas Week / Spring Break / July... the hottest month of the entire summer)

That said, when we renew one of us will get the preferred pass for the free parking and in-park discounts and one will keep the seasonal pass. That's the move if you're going to travel with friends or a significant other.

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Thanks for the review, your thoughts definitely seem in line with my expectations of this being a ride of two halves. It's nice to see that with two decent coasters in such a short amount of time that Universal are restoring a bit of balance to their line-up too after several screen-heavy years.

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1 hour ago, coasterbill said:

(Season Pass Advice)

You might be right about that.  Do these passes expire a year after purchase, or first activation, or are they tied to a calendar year like SF/CF passes?  And I'm correct to assume that a pass purchased in Florida is only valid at the Florida parks, right?  I could probably swing two trips in the span of a year.

From OrlandoInsider, it appears that crowds are very light the first two weeks of December...might be worth another trip down to Florida for that, and hopefully IG and Icebreaker.

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Passes expire a year from the first date that you use them (unless it's longer because there's a promotion going on). They are not tied to the calendar year.

The first 2 weeks of December are an amazing time to visit Orlando but keep that on the down-low. 😂

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So epic. Glad it's lived up to the extreme hype and the silly painful overanalyzing of videos from a distance has proven to be well, silly lol 

While I will never be caught in FL again during the summer XD early December sounds like a nice time to go for sure! 

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The boyfriend and I got to ride today during passholder preview, too, and I echo what Robb, Elissa, and others have said about the ride. I kept myself intentionally in the dark on social media over the weekend during team member previews because it's nice to come to a coaster from a fresh perspective sometimes.

I've since read some reviews online and some of them pan the first half of the ride a bit, but we honestly really liked it and it balances the ride out a lot. I'm personally a big fan of quick directional changes and one of my favorite things has always been to ride B&M inverts in the back row because of the fact that you can't see where you're going. The high seat backs on Velocicoaster reminded me a lot of this, we rode in the back and that first half is a ton of quick little changes of direction and it has some cool moments with high turns, not taken at a lot of speed, but with little pops of air then a quick whip of the train to the left or right.

The boost launch is quick as hell and there's a quick positive-G moment transitioning into the top hat...which, in the back row, I'm pretty sure we can count as one of the best "first drops" on any coaster. It was airtime all the way down, kind of like what you get on El Toro's or Skyrush's first drop. The double-helix back section seemed a little slow-ish to us, but this is based on just *one* ride. The barrel roll over the water scared the living crap out of me. The attendant pushed my restraint down pretty well and for a moment I literally thought I was about to go for a swim in the lagoon. Literally...I don't think I've had such an "oh sh*t" moment on any coaster in a long time. In short, this ride is amazing and is the kind of thrilling coaster Universal has been missing since the end of the day on September 4th, 2017 (I promise I'm not that crazy, September 4th is my birthday lol).

The staff running the coaster seemed really hyped and made it an even better time, they were asking everyone how they liked the ride and really getting everyone excited. The energy around the ride seemed a lot like pre-Potter Universal in the best way. Please, Universal, more of this and less Jimmy Fallon/Fast&Furious/Harry Potter. We live about a mile from Universal and we've only gone once every 3-4 months the past couple of years. This will change that. Once the hype and line both calm down a bit, of course.

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18 hours ago, coasterbill said:

My advice for everyone who balks at the price of a one day ticket (considering you basically have to park-hop) seems counter-intuitive but it's to get an annual pass (I know how stupid that sounds but hear me out).

The Seasonal Pass has no benefits except for park admission but it's 349.99. A one-day ticket on most weekends is $187 or sometimes more so the pass pays for itself in less than 2 visits (aside from consecutive-day combo tickets or mid-week visits during the slowest time of the year). They also frequently run promotions where you can get additional months added on to your pass for free. We got ours last October and it's good until some time in January of 2022.

Sure, this pass has blackout dates but only a few select Mardi Gras concert days that you can work around. The other blackout days are days where no intelligent person would want to be caught dead in Orlando anyway if they didn't live there (Christmas Week / Spring Break / July... the hottest month of the entire summer)

That said, when we renew one of us will get the preferred pass for the free parking and in-park discounts and one will keep the seasonal pass. That's the move if you're going to travel with friends or a significant other.

I know that people always talk about Universal vs Disney but I always feel like Universal knows they're basically the Disney add-on for once in a lifetime visitors with their pricing for tickets and passes. Have a high priced day ticket for the families that take a day or two from Disney knowing they'll splurge on express passes, 2 park tickets for the Hogwarts Express etc, and milk them for everything knowing they'll be trying to cram it all in but  put the passes at a tempting enough price that state-side people who will be in the area now and again will pop in to justify their spending, grab a couple rides and then get money from them drinking butter beer or going to City Walk to eat.

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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!  LOVE the launch and all of the air time especially on the top hat. Really comfortable trains. The queue is great and the two-sided lockers are BRILLIANT! Really hope they implement this system everywhere!

Velocicoaster Pic.jpg

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The two-sided locker system seems fantastic. What a great compromise to allow guests their phones in line without risking carrying it on the ride. I suppose the only thing you need to carry with you on the ride is your season pass/ticket, correct? To open your locker afterwards?

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