Everything You Need to Know about the VelociCoaster
Jurassic World is real!
Okay, that’s somewhat of an exaggeration, but Universal’s Islands of Adventure has blurred the lines between fiction and reality.
Universal is updating the former Jurassic Park themed land to make it more like Jurassic World.
As part of these changes, the park has added a thrilling new roller coaster.
Here’s everything you need to know about the VelociCoaster.
The Scariest Line Queue
The VelociCoaster takes place outdoors, but you’ll walk through a scientific building while standing in line.
Universal has themed this as if you’re a first-time visitor to Jurassic World at a time before the movie begins.
For whatever reason, the theme park operators, the fictional ones, fear that people won’t want to interact with live dinosaurs.
That feels like a matter someone should have addressed before spending billions on the park and the genetic abominations.
Anyway, the line queue and the roller coaster include “actual” dinosaurs. You’ll notice this first as you’re walking through the aisles.
At one point, you’ll turn a corner and notice an unusual sight. The park operators have muzzled and shackled a raptor. That’s fine, right?
The raptors are Audio-Animatronics, which might surprise you. Before you get in line, raptor statues are outside.
The centerpiece of another room features four more raptors posing angrily, and that’s the beauty of the imprisoned raptor!
Just when you think all the dinosaurs in the building are fake, one twitches and growls at you!
Even More Dinosaurs in Line!
That’s not even the highlight of the line queue! While you’re standing in one of the final waiting areas, one of the walls hosts a digital display.
Universal uses this wall to create the illusion that you’re in a lab facility by a high-speed rail system.
At various intervals, trains go whizzing by you, which causes the ground to shake. You can look out the “window” and watch them.
When you do, you’ll be surprised to notice a dinosaur pursuing the train.
This moment of hilarity will entertain you…right up to the moment when you see the other raptor.
This one is only half-heartedly chasing the train and suddenly becomes more interesting in the science lab. And you.
Your heartbeat will spike when you realize it’s plotting how to get inside. Thankfully, the raptor grows bored and eventually follows the train.
Little touches like this make the line queue exceedingly fun. You legitimately feel like you’re a tourist at Jurassic World!
Meet Your New Friend, Mr. DNA!
During one of the first episodes of The Simpsons, Smilin’ Joe Fission educates kids on the advantages of nuclear energy:
I thought of that the first time I watched Jurassic Park in 1993, as the movie includes this scene:
This clever bit of screenplay exposition explains how Jurassic Park is possible in layperson’s terms.
Well, Universal’s life has imitated its art, as Mr. DNA appears in the line queue!
That little Clippy wannabe appears on digital monitors throughout the line queue. Its job is to pass along pertinent details about Jurassic World.
For example, Mr. DNA informs guests that the word velociraptor means ‘swift thief,’ and the creature’s bit is equivalent to a modern alligator.
Mr. DNA announces plenty of fun facts like that. So, while you’re standing in line, don’t get distracted and tune out the dialogue! It’s unexpectedly helpful!
Oh No, It’s BD Wong!
Throughout the Jurassic Park franchise, the presence of BD Wong has indicated impending evil.
The 60-year-old actor once won a Tony Award for his iconic performance in M. Butterfly. Still, he’ll always be associated with Jurassic Park.
Wong has portrayed Dr. Henry Wu in three of the franchise’s films, including the most recent Jurassic World titles.
Wu is the scientist who has literally unlocked the genetic dinosaur code. Without him, Jurassic Park wouldn’t be possible.
The founder of the park, John Hammond, hired Wu at the age of 28. The doctor has been building and then destroying theme parks ever since.
Fittingly, Wu appears during the final moments before the ride.
Since the dinosaurs haven’t run amok yet in this Jurassic World prequel, everything seems safe.
Wu confidently explains how nothing can possibly go wrong. The Jurassic World team has mastered “paleo-veterinary science,” whatever that is.
The design of this room features two televisions and a series of lockers that include books.
Eagle-eyed viewers may see Dr. Alan Grant’s book on display! And he’s rocking the western look! Easter eggs like this abound in the line queue.
The Two-Way Locker
The VelociCoaster offers a new way to take care of your belongings.
When you’re nearly ready to ride, you’ll come across lockers specifically built for the VelociCoaster.
In other words, you’ll only access these lockers when you’re in the ride queue or departing from the roller coaster.
The intelligent design plays into that concept. It’s a two-way locker!
You’ll place your small belongings into a free locker that’s numbered and color-coded. So, you’ll have no trouble remembering which one is yours!
After you finish the ride, you don’t backtrack! You’ll walk past the other side of the lockers on your way out!
At that point, you’ll open your locker from the other side, grab your stuff, and go!
This versatile system ensures that you don’t lose anything on the kinetic roller coaster. However, you don’t have to pay to store your stuff.
Also, you’re not bottlenecking the boarding process as you retrieve your items.
I know that lockers represent a small part of the theme park experience, but this is a VERY good innovation Universal has introduced.
Expect other theme parks to copy it soon.
The Ride Experience
Here’s what a ride on the VelociCoaster looks like:
Okay, that’s how it appears when you’re on the ride. Here’s what you just watched.
The VelociCoaster lives up to its name by employing propulsion techniques twice.
You’ll launch so quickly that you’ll go from zero to 50 miles per hour in two seconds.
Later, you’ll receive a second turbo boost that feels like you’re kicking into a higher gear.
On that one, you speed up from 40 to 70 miles per hour in 2.4 seconds. So, you’ll get twin turbocharged moments during the ride.
You’ll also receive 12 full seconds of airtime during your voyage through dinosaur country!
The high point of the roller coaster is undoubtedly the drop from the 155-foot-tall pinnacle. You’ll plummet at an 80-degree angle during your descent!
You’ll also fly by dinosaurs while you’re VelociCoasting, adding a lovely themed touch to the proceedings.
Overall, this roller is taller and faster than The Incredible Hulk Coaster, making the VelociCoaster the new alpha at Universal Orlando Resort.
One caveat about this ride: you should check the ride cart outside to make sure you can fit.
Universal builds its carts to fit the average customer and isn’t concerned about heavyset or taller riders.
Some have complained that the lap bar requires a squeezing of the stomach to work, which can make for an uncomfortable ride experience.
Similarly, taller people may feel jammed into the cart and have little legroom.
Feature Image Rights: Universal