ORLANDO, Fla. — Jurassic World VelociCoaster is the latest attraction to be unleashed at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park.
What You Need To Know
- Jurassic World VelociCoaster officially opens June 10
- With it, Universal has unleased a new thrilling coaster
- The creative team incorporated elements from Jurassic World and Jurassic Park
- The coaster also feature intense moments like a 155-foot tall "top hat"
After a month of technical rehearsals, the highly-anticipated coaster officially opens Thursday.
With this new dinosaur-themed ride, Universal is promising a different kind of thrill — one that puts guests in the middle of the action as they race alongside the dangerous velociraptors.
The highlight of VelociCoaster is the ride itself, and we'll get to that in a minute. But before guests ever board the sleek coaster vehicles, they'll encounter a variety of story elements throughout the queue.
With the ride, which was in development for about four years, the creative minds behind it used the opportunity to blend the worlds of Jurassic World and Jurassic Park together, adding touches and throwbacks that fans of the films can enjoy.
“So we really just had to try and find that really beautiful balance that added kinetic energy but didn’t take away from either Jurassic Park or Jurassic World,“ said Shelby Honea, VelociCoaster show producer. “Going into the attraction, for those deep Jurassic fans like myself, we’ve got Mr. DNA, we’ve got some great Easter eggs to the original stars in the first films. And again, trying to create this overall timeline that the films are doing as well.”
As for Jurassic World, the film’s stars — Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and BD Wong — have reprised their roles and appear in different preshow videos in the queue. And raptors Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo are also present.
Raptors also play a huge part in the attraction. A large statue of raptors is positioned prominently in the first portion of the queue. Later, guests will encounter life-size animatronic raptors that move and snarl as though they're ready to break free from their enclosure.
Once guests have made their way through the queue, a pulse-pounding adventure awaits.
Even with the attention to story elements, VelociCoaster isn’t lacking in the thrills. That element was very important to the creative team, who set out to design an “exceptional, record-setting” coaster.
VelociCoaster, spanning more than 4,700 feet of track, boasts an impressive set of stats. The ride features two intense launches and four inversions. Reaching speeds of up to 70 mph, it whips guests through a raptor enclosure filled with rockwork, waterfalls, and, of course, raptors. And before guests can catch their breath or get their bearings, they’re sent up a 155-foot-tall “top hat” before dropping into another set of twists and turns.
In many ways, VelociCoaster feels like two coasters in one. And that’s by design.
“Internally, we called this almost a dual-personality coaster,” Honea said. “The first section has a beginning, middle and end to itself. And just when you think that’s over, there’s the 70 mph launch into a full second section.”
That second section includes a barrel roll that turns guests upside above the park’s lagoon.
And through every twist and turn and drop, guests are only held in place by a lap bar, which increases the sensation of weightlessness in some parts.
One more thing, that’s not about the ride, but makes the process of getting on it much easier: With VelociCoaster, Universal is debuting a new locker system. For one, the lockers are located just before you get ready to board the ride, allowing guests to keep their stuff with them throughout much of the queue. And second, they are double-sided, meaning guests departing the ride won’t run into guests rushing to stow away their stuff. It might seem insignificant, but to many, this will be a welcome change.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster arrives just two years after Universal opened Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which was s new kind of storytelling coaster.