It’s a Jurassic World and we’re just living in it. In fact, the VelociCoaster, the stunning new attraction that is heading to Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, just roared to life this week at the theme park. If you are thinking of planning a trip to Orlando yourself, there are a few things you need to know about the Jurassic World-based coaster and we’ve got all the details. Hold onto your butts!
What Are The Wait Times For The VelociCoaster Like?
The VelociCoaster actually opened on June 10. If you plan to give the ride a whirl, you'll want to plan well in advance. Wait times on opening day for the ride stretched for hours and while you may not see the lines stretch180 minutes+ in the coming weeks, I'd prepare for a game plan for the ride when you get into the park. I'd also plan my bathroom breaks carefully before I jump in line. Now that parkgoers have been able to test the ride in its full glory and share details about it is worth even the longest of waits, with one glowing review noting:
Like a lot of Universal's other rides, lockers are available for the attraction. Having ridden myself, those lockers are actually within the line queue so that riders can capture images in the queue before jumping on the Jurassic World VelociCoaster itself. The lockers are double-sided so that you retrieve your items on the other side when you are done riding the coaster. This is different than, say, the Incredible Hulk Coaster, which features lockers located outside the ride queue. I know lockers aren’t normally something to remark on, but these are pretty convenient for riders.
What’s The Premise Of The Jurassic World Coaster At Islands Of Adventure?
The premise of the VelociCoaster is delightfully twisty. You know how Jurassic Park is an actual theme park that is the focal point of the first movie in the dinosaur-oriented trilogy? The Jurassic World VelociCoaster’s theme and premise is that guests are on a brand new ride in the park. Characters from the World movies, including Dr. Wu himself, will introduce riders to the new ride, which has been touted as a”carnivore expansion" by Universal. Easter eggs also abound throughout the queue on the way to boarding the ride itself.
In fact, several other Jurassic World characters will be involved with the ride. Riders will learn a lot from Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire Dearing and will receive “one final warning” from Chris Pratt's Owen Grady before embarking on the brand spankin’ new coaster. Owen Grady’s velociraptors themselves will also make appearances, with Blue, Delta, Charlie and Echo also being a part of the ride. We’ve already gotten several sneak peek looks at the raptors thanks to a post from Universal Orlando itself and the animatronics look pretty sweet.
It’s A Rollercoaster, But How Fast And High Are We Talking?
The “high speed chase” begins after the introduction in the queue mentioned above. You must be at least 51 inches tall to ride and the Jurassic World VelociCoaster is not going to be for the faint of heart. Warnings are posted outside of the VelociCoaster as it is one of Universal Orlando's more "intense" rides, so keep an eye out for those if there's a chance you shouldn't ride. Because I can confirm the coaster is intense.
Fret not! If you are a fan of high-octane adventure, there will be a lot to enjoy. We’re talking 4,700 feet of track and the highest height of any launch rollercoaster in the great state of Florida. The maximum height on the ride is 155 feet--the part of the ride referred to as the “top hat.” In addition, the maximum speed on the rollercoaster is 70 mph.
Despite the incredible speed and twists in the ride, only a lap bar is actually used on the ride, which is unlike many of the other high-octane rides in the Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure parks. It’s even more notable given the new coaster does feature inversions. The ride goes through two major parts: the more scenic (assumedly) raptor paddock and the second part where G-forces will really kick into high gear, including a second launch that takes riders from 40 mph to 70 mph in 2.4 seconds. If you want to know more specific spoilers about some of those special moments on the ride, check out our full guide to the VelociCoaster's can't miss moments.
All in all, if you get the chance to ride the VelociCoaster now that it's open in Islands of Adventure, you should definitely give it a whirl. But even if the pace and speed of the ride are a little too breakneck for you, there's a lot of other stuff in the Jurassic Park portion of the theme park, including brand new merch at the gift shop and brand new food items at The Burger Dig restaurant tying to Isla Nublar's Costa Rica location to also peruse.