Clever Girl: One Key Way The Raptors In Universal Orlando’s New Velocicoaster Are Different Than In The Films

Owen Grady and Raptor in Jurassic World

The Velocicoaster is the latest ride to grace the grounds at Universal Studios Orlando and it's a special ride because it helps to tie a part of the park formerly devoted to Jurassic Park in with the concepts of Jurassic World. I wouldn’t exactly call that a small feat, but Dear Reader I can report the new Velocicoaster is top notch, helped along the way by Blue, Echo, Delta and Charlie. There are nods to the movies galore, but Art Director Gregory Hall also revealed to us one big way the raptors on the ride are different from the raptors in the films.

CinemaBlend was able to speak with Gregory Hall ahead of the official opening of The Velocicoaster on June 10 and just after catching a ride and checking out the raptors ourselves. But bringing to life characters the fans already know in a new way leads to a lot of practical considerations the Jurassic films were able to skip in their entirety. Basically, what does it look like when raptors are on display in a fully functional park? Hall noted the “deep dive” it took to get to the final product because there was no blueprint for where the ride should go with the raptors in this setting.

They weren’t in the movie on public display, they are actually escaped in the movies, so this is the first time we asked: So, an operational park, how would that work? How do the guests get to learn about them? What was used to take care of them? What tools/things did they play with when they grew up? We really did a deep dive and there’s a moment when you’re in the queue and you see the raptors breathing and you just have another level of connection with the raptors that you just don’t get just watching the films.

While the raptors on the Velocicoaster look and feel like the raptors that were initially under Owen Grady’s watch in Jurassic World, they live in an alternate reality where they are, in fact, on public display in Jurassic World. While it was easy to decide on the raptors as the dinosaurs that were going to be the focal point of the ride during the early days of the Velicoaster coming together, once the ride had a plan, it became clear it would take a different tact than the films and would be a bit of a challenge (in a fun way).

Everyone loves raptors. I think it was very clear and a unanimous decision that raptors were going to be the stars of this. Especially with the newer films and raptors becoming more and more popular and we had to think of new ways to get them close to us and really expand upon learning about them. Especially realizing this is the first time ever the raptors are on actual public display in the franchise.

On the ride, we interact with raptors in different ways. They are present many times in the queue, first when you walk into the attraction and later through digital interactions on screens and during the coaster experience itself. In the queue, there were also plenty of practical raptor experiences and displays featuring gear, weapons kept on hand (just in case) and holding cells for the raptors, showing what they look like in a fully operational Jurassic World.

The big moment with the raptor breathing that Gregory Hall is alluding to feels very real-to-life in the sense that it transports you to Jurassic World. OK, maybe in the sense it scared the heck out of me. Anyway, if you've been keeping tabs on Universal Orlando's social in recent weeks (or caught the ride in a soft opening), you may already have an idea of what that looks like.

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There's lots to experience both in the queue for the Velocicoaster and also on the ride itself, with Easter eggs to other rides in the parks and more abounding. Keep your eyes peeled when you ride and don't be too bummed if this is a line you end up spending a bit longer in. Before you decide to give the Universal Orlando attraction a whirl, be sure to check out what we know about the Velocicoaster heading into opening.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.