The VelociCoaster opened to much applause and fanfare this week at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. Lines for the VelociCoaster on opening day were daunting, but those who braved out the 180+ minutes were treated to something totally unique and new for a park already known for thrills and immersive experiences. I was able to check out the intense new attraction, spent some time in the queue and screamed my head off (of course). Here are the three best moments from the brand-spanking new rollercoaster, which is, hands down, the best ride in the Universal Orlando parks.
The Mosasaurus Roll At The End Of The VelociCoaster
The barrel roll on the VelociCoaster comes in the latter portion of the Islands of Adventure Ride, so I thought about ending this feature talking about how flipping cool it is. However, honestly, the Mosasaurus roll is the single coolest thing about Universal Orlando’s brand new coaster and I’d be remiss if I didn’t stress that point by highlighting it first. You’re inverted on the ride, near the water, without a shoulder harness. It’s unexpected. It’s perfect. When I spoke with Art Director Gregory Hall about the ride, he told me it’s “the best inversion I have ever ridden in my entire life.” So don’t take it from me -- take it from the expert.
I don’t really even want to detail the exhilarating moment on the ride. It’s something you need to experience yourself, but I do think you’ll be surprised at how smooth even quick inverted moments like these play out.
The Easter Eggs: From The Incredible Hulk Coaster To Dr. Ian Malcolm Himself
When a new attraction opens, everyone wants to know about the Easter eggs related to it. The VelociCoaster is doubly special because it features nods both to the Jurassic Park franchise, but also to Universal Orlando itself. Most of these are found in the queue, which is honestly a real can't miss moment for the ride (don't rush it). But there are some raptors hanging out near the entrance to the ride that are set up in a similar manner to the former Dueling Dragons coaster statues that used to be in Islands of Adventure before that ride’s close in 2017. Inside the new Jurassic World queue, shelves are lined with items to keep the raptors under control (snacks) but also memorabilia from the franchise, including books featuring Dr. Ian Malcolm and Dr. Alan Grant.
Gregory Hall also mentioned an Incredible Hulk Coaster Easter egg that he says no one has happened upon yet, noting “that one’s a cool one though.” So, get your sleuthing on next time you’re on the VelociCoaster campus. My personal favorite bit though? A glass of water perpetually shaking in a nod to the dinosaurs stomping around--an homage to a classic Jurassic Park franchise moment.
The Drop Height: Hold On (To Your Butts) On A 155-Foot Hill
Look, prior to the release of the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, a lot was written about the drop height. It features a 155-foot hill -- yes one-five-five -- and once you get to the top you get a great view of the park, a view the ride even lets you linger on. In fact, there’s just enough of a pause to get your adrenaline up before the ride whips you at 80 degrees down it’s steep (but not throw-up steep) incline and shifts you into the final part of the adventure.
There’s more we could talk about related to the VelociCoaster, which has double-sideded lockers to keep your phones through the queue and another pass in which the ride unexpectedly picks up the pace. You can learn more before hopping on the ride with our full guide to the Jurassic World-themed ride. In the meantime, I gotta know: are you pumped to check out Universal Orlando’s latest attraction?