Let’s talk about the Churro in the room, shall we! For months Universal Orlando denied the existence of Jurassic World VelociCoaster, then it jumped on the bandwagon of its online community by claiming it was a churro stand being built. For the past year and a half people could actually see a massive, looping, 155-foot top-hat, steel structure with a crazy track layout being built. Yesterday, finally, we got a chance to preview the new Velocicoaster ourselves during the annual pass holder preview. This churro stand did not disappoint. From the entrance to the queue, the new locker system, and onto the ride itself, my husband’s response summed it up perfectly. “Emotional.” You will hear more from him in a moment, as he is the one who actually rode the beast!
The excitement built to a frenzy in our household the day Universal sent out an email to its annual pass holders on April 22, 2021. We were lucky and noticed it came early and got to get a few time slots for our whole family. Within 30 minutes of us getting our time, the site became overloaded and crashed. Leaving many without a chance to secure a slot. They had slot times from May 2 until May 5th. Attached with the confirmation email was a QR code. We were also told in the email to bring our ID and Annual Pass.
The walkway was packed with people waiting their turn to go in. Team Members were there to help out all the guests and pointed us to the line down the path to show our QR code and verify our time slot. Id shown, Pass confirmed. Headed towards the backside of Jurassic Park Discovery Center, you walk under 2 life-like Raptor statues, that seem to want to either guard their turf or kill you! To the left, as you pass under the statues is the new bridge they built which was not open yet. You can see the Instagram post below to see how beautiful this area is, and how they transformed it to become the entrance to Velocicoaster. Prior to actually entering the queue, outside to the right, is a test seat and a test locker space to make sure you and/or your bags fit.
The Velocicoaster queue is special! I can only say Universal has done a superb job and spent time and money to get this right. Under lights that strobe, and blink and change colors from red to blue to that bright led white is a statue of 4 velociraptors who are ready to pounce at any second, guarding the top hat coaster section. Again, the quality and craftsmanship is truly well done and lifelike. Behind the statue is 2 screens that will have Mr. DNA pop up reminding you that loose articles, hats, cellphones, and any metal must be stored. “They cant retrieve it ever!” he says.
Further down the queue we see some of the raptors are muzzled and caged. So lifelike you can feel the breath as they struggle to free themselves. Fully animatronic, they move, breath, blink and rattle the cages. This would be the only area I would say the littlest ones might be a bit scared.
We were diverted into a different line than some and missed the video room with Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong). And the room where you can see the velociraptors chasing the vehicle was not working. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you firsthand what he says. Further along, you get to the new lockers system. You put your stuff in on one side and pick it up on the opposite side, alleviating the bog down at lockers that always seem to happen at Universal. Do yourself a favor, remember what number you put your stuff in. my husband was so excited he didn’t pay attention. We did find out though if you forget, scan it at any locker and it will tell you exactly what locker is yours. You must put everything in the locker, because Velocicoaster has metal detectors and are strict, in a good way, about it. Onto the ride itself…
Well I did not ride it! I wont ride it, NOPE! No one could pay me enough to ride it. I will let Greg describe it for you all. This is not a review, or a rating. This is just one guys thoughts.
With only riding this one time, I know I missed a lot of details. There are bits I remember, but some of them are a blur. At one point I had a very real wake-up moment of “Oh I think I just went past Hogsmeade” but don’t know for sure because I was going too fast.
The 2 launches are absolutely astounding. The first one, when leaving the station to the sounds of Raptors screeching is intense. It puts your head back and you feel the wind rushing past you at 70 mph. Thrown through a few loops and crazy bends, which all happen and can be seen in the Jurassic Park section across from River Adventures. By the time you hit the second take-off and onto the 155ft top hat section tears were streaming sideways off my face from the speed. The top hat section is truly spectacular if you can remember to take in the view of the whole Islands of Adventure because the next thing you know is you are headed straight down into a fake barrel roll and then an upside-down section that doesn’t seem to make sense to my brain yet. It felt like it took 20 or 30 seconds to go through that when truly it was a second, all the while thinking I am going to fall to my death because of the lack of harness restraints. The bar held me in perfect and it was all mental.
It goes on to fly around the water and around the backside of Hogsmeade, and at one point does a straight-up barrel roll over the water! That could be the second-best track layout I have ever been through. Simply called the mosasaurus roll or Mosaroll. Your head feels like it is going to touch the lagoon as you go upside down and through a tight loop. Then it was back into the station where the forced clapping they have on some rides was not needed. The whole place cheered and clapped and those of us getting off all had huge smiles and thanks for what Universal had just created.
It reminded me of Dollywood’s Lightning Rod. I don’t have a better example. Just shear enjoyment from start to finish. The speed is magical!
As you are exiting the ride and queue you pick up your stuff from the backside of the locker, there is a single rider locker area and you are on the outside where the freshly repainted wall of Discovery Cove is, and through the new make-shift gift shop on the bottom level.
So I will give the final word to the person who actually rode it, and please don’t hate him for being too dramatic folks, he loves coasters. I asked him how he would describe Jurassic World VelociCoaster? I swear this 46-year-old grown man had a cheesy distant grin on his face and literal happy tears in his eyes and said “Emotional”