ORLANDO, Fla. – Universal Orlando Resort has now opened its newest high-speed roller coaster, the Jurassic World: Velocicoaster.
Thrill-seekers have the opportunity to soar 155 feet in the air, venture through intense maneuvers and catapult up to 70 mph alongside a ferocious Velociraptor pack from the popular series.
Watch below as News 6′s Amanda Castro and Landon McReynolds take a ride on the attraction.
“A new generation of fans are being introduced to the Jurassic franchise right now, so we really wanted to make sure that we studied it and placed everything in the attraction that really represented the Jurassic films,” said Art Director of Universal’s Jurassic World: Velocicoaster, Gregory Hall.
The coaster has been undergoing technical rehearsals, or a soft opening, since early May. Since that time, fans have been expressing their love for the new attraction.
From the outside of the new ride, guests are first greeted by a beautiful pair of Velociraptor statues that sit on pedestals.
As you make your way around the front of the Jurassic Park Discovery Center, the entrance awaits. A pair of Velociraptors are leaning over the edge near the attraction’s sign and the roller coaster’s tallest peak, a 155 foot top-hat element, shadows in the distance.
“I think that if you are a true, deep Jurassic World fan, I would encourage you to look around, look at all the props, look at everything because truly all of those details and all that rich level of storytelling you’d expect is here,” Show Producer of Universal Creative, Shelby Honea explained.
The sound of screams roar past you as you make your way inside the queue.
The queue is sleek, modern and immediately begins to capitalize on the Jurassic World franchise.
“We wanted to make sure this was a thrill coaster, we wanted to make sure we were protecting the environment -- the lush growth we have here at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and of course, you have to have teeth at a Jurassic World attraction, which is a challenge on a 70 mile per hour coaster,” Honea said.
As you zig-zag your way around the first area, the character Mr. DNA gives you a safety briefing about the danger and excitement that awaits while running with a pack of raptors.
“Lets get you ready to enter the paddock with real, live, raptors,” he explains.
In the middle of the room is a giant statue paying tribute to the franchise’s raptors: Blue, Delta, Charlie and Echo.
Above them is an incredible overlay of grid hexagon lighting that changes to the colors of orange, red and blue.
At times the lighting dances to the score of Jurassic World before a Velociraptor noise is heard.
The next room will take you into an area that gives guests a hint of just how fast this coaster really is.
The launch that you’re not ready for. pic.twitter.com/rSSdY0wj2P— Landon McReynolds (@LandonProducer) May 4, 2021
A number of glass panels show you an outside area of the coaster track. As it races to a speed of 70 mph outside, those inside will see it. They will also see the raptor pack not too far behind, one even snarling and growling before taking off.
As the queue moves on, guests will get an overlay of the attraction from the lead scientist, Dr. Henry Wu.
“Combined with the state-of-the-art safety precautions, you’re about to come face-to-face with these magnificent creatures,” he explained.
If you look closely, Jurassic fans will notice small Easter eggs to some other characters, including books from Dr. Ian Malcolm and Alan Grant.
“It was really important to us that while it exists shortly before the events of the first film, this franchise is going. We’re so excited for the next films -- So we made sure that this attraction feels a little timeless,” Honea pointed out. “We do have a few little nods to the upcoming film, but really the entire franchise is represented here.”
Velociraptors inside queue
The next room takes you into the stables of the velociraptors. Both Delta and Echo are scanning the room as their heads sit in grooming stations. Don’t stay there too long though -- these dinosaurs are testing the limits trying to break free. These animatronics are a definite highlight.
The attraction has a locker system that is internal.
When guests get to a spot inside the queue, an attendant will tell them where to go to store all loose belongs.
Just like Universal’s The Incredible Hulk, this attraction too has a security checkpoint. No phones, wallets or cameras will be allowed past this point.
What is cool about this locker system is that it’s two-sided. When you exit, you will grab your belongings on the other side. In the long run, this will prevent congestion in the ride queue. Just remember your locker dinosaur and color.
The final part of the queue is near the boarding station of the attraction. A giant screen will bring you more of the story from Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard).
Dearing welcomes guests as they prepare to experience the new close-encounter attraction while Grady tries to warn guests that it’s a bad idea and that they should turn around and exit. The monologue is entertaining and adds even more to the characters from the films.
“Well then, when the gates open I guess the hunt is on,” Pratt’s character jokes. “I tell them the raptors are dangerous, they say, ‘Put a roller coaster in the paddock.’ What could go wrong?’”
From this point on, it’s time to ride.
The ride vehicles look incredible with hints of blue, black and raptor scratch marks.
As you pull down on your lap bar restraint, a wall of glass panels shows you the coaster train ahead of you zipping around the paddock. The ride system does not have a shoulder restraint, so the 12 seconds of air time is guaranteed.
Riders will encounter intense maneuvers along the coaster’s 4,700 feet of track, including near-misses with Velociraptors, a barrel roll right above the Islands of Adventure lagoon, high-speed launches and an 80-degree drop. Just when you think you will get a bit of breathing time, the coaster sends you flying into more action.
If you’re looking for a little bit more bite to your thrills? Ride in the back row. The coaster rips and pulls you at every turn.
Riding for the views? Look no further than the front row.
“When you’re up at the top of the top hat, I was expecting to be screaming, but you get this beautiful, beautiful view of Islands of Adventure,” Honea explained.
This new ride leads the pack when it comes to Universal attractions, but is not for the faint of heart.
As Pratt’s character says right before launch: “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
It’s thrilling, pulse-pumping, immersive, beautifully designed and is sure to be the ultimate adventure that you will want to ride over and over.
“This is something that you’re going to think about weeks after you rode it and still wonder what just happened to you? You’re going to feel inspired after this. Inspired to go on even crazier adventures,” Hall concluded.
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