It has been a month since our last update when we spotted that possible train car sitting in the maintenance bay. This month, our good friend Bioreconstruct on Twitter has provided us with more wonderful aerial photos that give us a glimpse of train cars parked on the actual ride track!
Plus, we can see multiple raptor figures installed on the attraction, a massive mountain of rockwork taking shape, and the paddock walls and fences outlining the first half of this new attraction. The “Velocicoaster” may not yet be officially announced, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dig into it in today’s photo update to see what we can learn!
As we mentioned last time, while the structure for the main interior queue and load station has been built, we’re still expecting an exterior queue section to be constructed as well. This will be connected to the opening in the building. It will feature the ride’s main entrance down by the waterfront area in front of the Discovery Center as well.
In the image below, the arrow is pointing to the beginning of foundation work that may be setting the stage for the future installation of an exterior queue. Where the foundation ends in front of the left side of the Discovery Center will be essentially the ride’s entrance location.
In front of the Discovery Center, work has been continuing on what we believe will be some sort of water feature where the track drops down after the top hat. Concrete forms have been poured in front of this section as seen in the next aerial photo and shot from the ground.
After coming back up from this moment the track goes into a long 540 helix over the bypass bridge. This bridge, pictured below, was open to guests over Labor Day weekend for the first time since track was installed. This helped spread out the crowds, but also offered new views of the track.
Moving on now to a wide shot of the entire coaster, we can compare it to the proposed track layout below. Comparing the next two images you can see how the first section of exterior queue is still missing from the work site, and how it will connect to the path in the area.
Jumping now to the main area of interest for today’s update, let’s dig into what we can find inside of the “raptor paddock” area. This section, which contains the first half of the ride, is located directly across from the main entrance to the land’s River Adventure ride and Raptor Encounter meet and greet.
Since the new roller coaster’s ride entrance will actually be down by the waterfront area, this section along the land’s main pathway is going to be separated by a paddock wall and electric fences. This way guests know they cannot board the ride from here, while also creating the effect of a dinosaur enclosure inside of the park.
The photo above shows you how most of the paddock area is covered in concrete walls, except for two areas. These two electric fence style areas may be left as viewing zones, where guests can look in and see the coaster trains zoom by. The one on the right has a great view of the gorgeous rockwork, as well as the coaster zooming by, while the open area on the left will offer us a chance to see BOTH launch points for the ride at the same time, since they intersect here!
Zooming out, one of the most surprising aspects for this coaster, is just how tall the rockwork has gotten in this paddock section of the ride. The coaster track weaves in and out of this impossibly designed mega structure, creating an amazing work of engineering. It’s not only beautiful, but is going to make the ride even more exciting, not knowing where you’re heading next!
Looking closer, we can see that some planting for landscaping has already started, which will really help to bring this spot to life. And the detail in the rocks themselves is gorgeous.
Universal has essentially created a large mountain in their Jurassic Park land, which is something I am used to seeing more at a Disney park. It’s a surprise, but a pleasant one for sure! Zooming in beside the mountain, there are a few more surprises to be found.
If you look closely, hiding behind the mountain are three raptor figures. These are three of the four total we know were recently brought into the work site. They seem to have been installed here, all around the track for one of these turns.
Since these raptor figures are wrapped in plastic, we’ve been referring to them as “wraptors.” If you look behind them, sitting on the track inside the ride’s final brake run, appears to be a couple coaster cars inside of that cage theming.
It seems to be only the first two cars of a train, sitting there for testing the ride’s reach envelope. Looking closely at the image above, you can actually see the envelope testing form sitting between the first two rows. This is used to make sure riders won’t hit their heads or reach their arms out and be hurt on the ride.
While these two cars are here for testing purposes, the final trains are rumored to have six cars total. Each car will contain two rows of two seats, for a total of 24 riders per train.
Other work going on includes a staircase being added near the ride’s first turn. This may be a Team Member only staircase, connecting a backstage area to the ride’s station to allow Team Members easy access. In the image below, the first arrow shows where the stairwell will be located, while the second arrow shows the actual preformed stair sections lying on the ground.
For some reason the planter near this area that was filled with trees and plants just a few days ago has now been placed behind work walls and the plants have been removed. Seen below with an arrow, no one is quite sure why this planter is suddenly receiving work after seemingly being finished.
Work is also going on at the roof above the station. Some rafters were installed a few days ago, seen in first image below. They were covered by a tarp the next day to protect them from the rain, as seen in second image below.
Here’s one last look at everything from above, including the amazing mountain, and a fully complete track circuit.
Before we conclude this update, here’s one final look at the nearby staging field where all of the track for this coaster once sat. As you can see, all of it has been taken away, and is now installed on the ride.
That’s all for now, but be sure to check out Bioreconstruct on Twitter for more amazing aerial photography. See our latest video below for more details on when we think this new Jurassic coaster will be opening, and stay tuned for continuing construction coverage!