This week has seen a whirlwind of activity at the construction site for the still unannounced roller coaster being constructed at the Jurassic Park section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The track is being installed faster than most people can keep “track” of!
Luckily, our good friend and talented aerial photographer, Bioreconstruct has taken to the air—and land—to share these amazing shots with the world. In today’s update we can see how the 540 turn near Hogsmeade is nearly complete, the heartline roll over the lagoon has been installed, and more! Check out all of the photos below, and stay tuned to our upcoming podcast next week for more rumors about this exciting new thrill ride.
The theme parks at Universal Orlando officially opened this past week, so in addition to amazing aerial shots, we’re also getting a great look from on the ground. A big thanks to Bioreconstruct for allowing us to use his photos. You should definitely be following him on Twitter for great theme park photography!
In case you haven’t been following this project for as long as we have, this new roller coaster is rumored to be named the ‘Velocicoaster’ and is thought to have been manufactured by Intamin. The new ride is taking over what used to be the old Triceratops Encounter area, but as you can see in the image above, the track also snakes out in front of the Discovery Center and over the lagoon as well. Even though it has still yet to be announced, we do have the proposed track layout, image below, which was created early last year based on permits filed with the city.
We can see from photographs that much of the track on the right side of the coaster has now been installed, as well as the section returning over the lagoon. Work is also continuing on the structures that will house the train maintenance and the queue/load station. Let’s dive into each of these areas now.
Starting with the long 540 circle on the right side of the site, we’re starting to see an inversion take shape, as well as some insanely banked curves. This section butts up pretty close to the back porch for The Three Broomsticks restaurant in Hogsmeade. Some have rumored that the walls around the porch may be raised to help block the view (and sound) of the new coaster, but that has not yet been confirmed. For now, visitors can get a great view of construction from the porch. The coaster is traveling over the bypass bridge several times during this section of the ride, directly over guests’ heads.
Zooming out, the next image shows track leading away from the 540 circle over the bridge. This track, heading over the lagoon in front of the Discovery Center, will have our trains returning for the ride’s conclusion. Just before the ride ends we’ll experience a heartline roll while passing in front of the Discovery Center. This track was some of the last to be installed yesterday when these photos were being taken.
The next image shows the heartline roll on the left, but the area on the right will be for the moment our trains come down after a top-hat-like maneuver earlier on the ride. This moment will see us launched at a very high speed straight up to the ride’s tallest point, only to come right back down immediately, passing in front of the Discovery Center, but this time over land.
The next image shows a large section of the ride, and in the middle of the photo is a long tunnel running diagonally from left to right. This will be the coaster’s second and final launch. This section will launch us right into the top hat. The first support for the top hat can be seen on the top-right of the photo. Once we reach the top we will turn left at the tallest point, and then come down quickly in front of the Discovery Center.
This next image shows the track support progression as it gets taller and taller very rapidly, with the launch tunnel seen on the left. A second support for the journey down has yet to be installed, but you can see the supports in front of the Discovery Center, surrounded by concrete walls, for our touchdown after the top hat descent.
The next few images give you an idea of the immense scale of this support, as seen from behind the Popeye raft ride area. And keep in mind, the track itself is actually expected to raise even higher than the support!
Zooming back out once again, this next image has the top hat on bottom left, the Discovery Center on right, and near the top of the photo is the rest of this massive coaster. The L-shaped structure will house the coaster train maintenance area on the left and the queue/load station on the right. The maintenance area appears to be further along, but the load/unload station has been taking shape in recent weeks. Behind that is a large section of the coaster, all crammed into a small parcel of land.
The next image is the reverse angle. At top is the maintenance building. On the left is the load station building, with steel rising for its second level. Most of the queue will be located on the lower level. The structure on the bottom will be the first scene of the ride. This will have us entering a security door into the raptor paddock area. Everything in the middle of this photo is considered the raptor paddock, and we will be locked in by electric fences along the perimeter.
Upon entering the paddock area, we will actually be launched. We will pass through rockwork and a themed tunnel, before a sudden lift to the left. The long stretch of track for this first launch can be seen in the next image, covered in black protective plastic. Then the rising track can be seen at the end of the launch. The mesh of lightly colored steel near the end of the launch will likely be for some prefabricated rockwork and themed elements to be installed later.
This area will contain a tremendous amount of action, with a ton of twists and turns all packed into a small area. Plus, this might be where we come in contact with a raptor while zooming through caves and other themed elements. We will talk more about this area as the track is installed throughout in the coming weeks.
The next image shows the entire roller coaster area. The main path through the Jurassic Park land is seen at the bottom. Electric fences and paddock walls are expected to be installed to separate the coaster from this pathway.
One neat feature that popped up since our last update is a small section of pavement on the main pathway that seems to connect the newly opened Raptor Encounter meet and greet area to the upcoming roller coaster area. This looks to be themed as a raptor transfer path, for moving containment boxes from the paddock (coaster area) to the Raptor Encounter guest area. It’s a nice little touch, and will even line up with the ride’s launch tunnel!
That’s going to do it for this construction photo update for the new Jurassic coaster at Universal Orlando. A big thanks to Bioreconstruct for the amazing photography. We’ll leave you with some wide shots showing how this massive project fits in with the rest of the area.
Construction is expected to be completed by the spring of next year, and the coaster will hopefully open by the summer of 2021. Check out our previous update for more details on the newly reopened Raptor Encounter. And stay tuned as we dig even deeper in our upcoming podcast. Subscribe to our news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update!
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