Jurassic Park—it’s arguably Universal’s most iconic movie franchise. The first film was released in 1993 and led to the production of two additional Jurassic Park films as well as a new movie series under the Jurassic World name. Jurassic Park’s blockbuster success also opened the doors to theme park attractions around the world, including Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, which opened its gates in 1999.
Islands of Adventure’s Jurassic Park themed “island” aimed at immersing guests into the franchise like never before. Featuring massive arches marking the entrance to the iconic dinosaur park, a towering Discovery Center where guests can unearth the mysteries of the past, a scenic river adventure where guests can encounter “real” dinosaurs, and more. Islands of Adventure’s Jurassic Park, although still popular and compelling, has largely remained unchanged; the area has not had any major addition. Jurassic Park River Adventure still remains the area’s marquee attraction; however, that will change when Jurassic World VelociCoaster, “a new species of roller coaster” as Universal describes it, opens next year. This all-new coaster will be the first attraction at Universal Orlando to be based on the Jurassic World film series and the first substantial addition to the themed area. This information alone is enough to get you excited about the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster, but there are more reasons to look forward to this brand new ride beyond this. Here are my three reasons why you should definitely look forward to this attraction:
This all-new attraction will revolve around the Jurassic World series rather than the Jurassic Park films, bringing a portion of the new Jurassic World franchise to life and making it the first coaster to be based on the film franchise. The Jurassic World film series takes a rather different approach from the Jurassic Park films in that they’re faster-paced, feature more advanced technology, and display a more grand environment; this will somewhat be reflected in Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Though the new ride will not delve deep into the new films because of the type of attraction it is, VelociCoaster will be a fast-paced ride, a drastic difference from the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride, and will utilize ride vehicles as well as employ an environment with a sleek, modern design. Moreover, as the ride’s name suggests, the coaster will revolve around Velociraptors, which played a vital role in the Jurassic World films. This new addition to Islands of Adventure will allow guests to slightly experience the Jurassic World realm and will offer a modern yet familiar take on the Jurassic franchise as a whole.
Universal Orlando is marketing Jurassic World VelociCoaster as “a new species of roller coaster,” featuring signature maneuvers, and in my opinion, this is a reasonable statement. VelociCoaster will surely be an exhilarating ride featuring fierce and exciting elements. Based on the information released by Universal, VelociCoaster will become Florida’s fastest launch coaster, achieving 0 to 50 mph in just 3 seconds and 40 to 70 mph in 2.4 seconds. Guests will also experience a one-of-a-kind, 360-degree barrel roll just inches above Islands of Adventure’s lagoon, a first of its kind zero-gravity inverted stall that will send riders upside down across 100 feet of track, a towering “Top Hat” component that will send riders 155 feet over the park before plunging into an 80-degree drop, a handful of twists, and near-misses. In total, riders will overcome 4 inversions and 12 seconds of airtime. Now these are some impressive features!
Following the closure of Dragon Challenge in 2017, Universal Orlando lost two well-received, intense roller coasters. In 2019, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure took the place of Dragon Challenge, bumping up Universal Orlando’s coaster lineup by one but did not reach the pre-existing number of roller coasters once at the resort. Additionally, the Hagrid attraction, though certainly thrilling and immersive, lacks the vigorous maneuvers that Dragon Challenge featured. With the opening of VelociCoaster, which will incorporate more intense movements, Universal Orlando will once again be home to four paramount outdoor coasters.
Feel the rush of the hunt—that is the tagline Universal Orlando is using on its website to describe its soon to open Jurassic World VelociCoaster, and if you ask me, it’s a fairly memorable phrase that ties directly into the attraction’s storyline. The attraction’s name also excellently describes the storyline. Jurassic World VelociCoaster, as previously highlighted, will focus entirely on Velociraptors, and this is evident in the ride’s development. Surrounding much of the coaster are towering fences, forming an enclosure for the raptor paddock and setting the scene for what riders will experience. Guests who are brave enough will enter this paddock where they’ll board the ride vehicle and go for a high-speed chase through the rocky enclosure and jungle while coming face-to-face with a nimble Velociraptor pack. Those signature maneuvers previously discussed—they’ll perfectly fit with the ride’s storyline about these natural-born hunters, their swift speeds, and cunning as well as unpredictable behavior. This new attraction will immerse guests into the Jurassic franchise in a whole new way and will surely make for an exhilarating experience.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster is set to open at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in summer 2021. Stay tuned to worldofuniversal.com and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the new coaster and other park news.