It’s a huge time for the Jurassic World franchise. The next movie in the franchise, Jurassic World: Dominion, wrapped filming a while back and is currently in post-production for a 2022 release. Then, of course, there’s the opening of the new VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, which just opened its raptor paddock on June 10. While the ride’s been highly touted and heavily ridden in recent days, it’s theme wasn’t always so apparent. In fact, Universal Orlando is so known for secrecy that the running joke during construction was that Islands of Adventure was adding a churro stand: a strange-but-true story that actually is helping to lead to churro dominance in the parks.
What Happened When Construction Began On Islands Of Adventure’s VelociCoaster
Rather than announcing new rides well in advance, Universal Orlando’s strategy is often one of secrecy. Despite this, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster construction was not so secret, though that didn’t stop people from adamantly claiming online what was being built was just a giant “churro stand.” Universal Orlando is a company that often likes to have fun with its guests and fans alike and they took the churro stand rumor and rolled with it, even as it became clear a coaster was on the way.
Universal Orlando’s social media leaned in on a slew of churro-themed jokes, with the churro idea becoming more and more of a wild-but-fun topic within the online Universal fandom. And the theme park seemed perfectly content to keep the amusing narrative going as the new VelociCoaster was being built.
In fact, the churro jokes didn’t even stop after the actual VelociCoaster was announced. This whole back-and-forth even led to a treat on opening day and even more churro themes within the parks and CityWalk at one particularly famous donut shop.
How Universal Orlando Made The Churro Stand Rumors A Reality On Opening Day
For those who braved the 180+ wait time on opening day, there was lots to enjoy. The queue itself on the VelociCoaster almost makes the entirety of the wait worthwhile, as you get to engage with Jurassic World cast members and even the raptors themselves. After that, the coaster itself is a hoot, but guests on opening day got a special treat as well -- and yes, it harkened back to the good ‘ol churro stand joke. In fact, a real-life churro stand was set up outside the ride and guests who visited got a special treat after riding. (Probably a good choice to hand out the churros before and not after the ride...)
I’m sure some people took the free churro without having any idea about why they were getting said churro from the park. However, others were definitely in on the joke and were so happy to see the churro after having followed the VelociCoaster coming together at Islands of Adventure for months.
What Other Churro Specials Are Available In The Universal Parks?
To continue the churro theme, Universal Orlando recently added two new churro-themed desserts to tie in with the VelociCoaster’s release. The first is a churro donut, which comes courtesy of CityWalk’s Voodoo Donuts. The parks' Chef Jason confirmed to us that the dessert was conceived specifically due to the long-standing social media joke, telling CinemaBlend:
Just an ongoing joke when we were building the ride everybody said we’re building a churro stand on social media. So we said, ‘OK, we’ll give ya a churro stand donut.’ And that’s at Voodoo Donuts.
While the Voodoo Donut is particularly tasty, if you ask Universal Orlando chefs, they are mostly interested in their specialty churro menu right now. The parks themselves are offering a blue churro created specifically to pay homage to the raptor Blue. It’s blueberry and features Pop Rocks for the young and the young at heart. Chef Christopher and Chef Jason also told us the flavored churros were among their favorite new Jurassic World additions on the Universal Orlando campus, explaining why the Blue-based churro is such a perfect fit.
I would double up on the blue churro. I think it’s fun. We wanted to show that you’re not just going to get a cinnamon sugar churro every place that you go. So, we’ve been doing a couple of different really unique churros lately and we thought [VelociCoaster] was the perfect opportunity to do this, you know a blueberry sugar, a blueberry white chocolate and then a tropical fruit punch pop rocks to go with it as well to keep going with the Costa Rican [Jurassic World] theme.
So, Are There More Churros In Universal Orlando’s Future?
The answer is a resounding yes! Churros are becoming more and more popular on the Universal Orlando campus and in recent months, several different flavor profiles have been tried out, including a s'mores-based churro that was created after fans voted. The chefs told CinemaBlend that the Pop Rocks churro will be on special for a while and then the parks will try something else, so there should be a continual wave of new flavors in the coming months. In fact, Universal has a helpful guide regarding some of its churro flavors and the strange and amusing tie-in to the VelociCoaster's construction really seems to have amped up their popularity in the parks.
At the end of the day, Universal Orlando’s little churro stand really did grow up and is open now. So watch out, Disneyland.