It’s crazy how much has changed in just one month since we last checked in on the construction progress in Jurassic Park at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. If you’re just joining us, they appear to be building a brand new roller coaster, rumored to be named the Velocicoaster. It will be a thrilling coaster with inversions and possibly a top-hat maneuver.
The biggest changes in recent days was the movement of the main guest walkway through the middle of the land. A brand new walkway has opened reaching from the Discovery Center to the River Adventure. This temporary walkway runs right through the former Triceratops Encounter plot, and will allow them to work on areas north of the plot. Check this out below, as well as many more changes going on at the land, and stay tuned for continuing coverage of this massive (yet still unannounced) project!
The most jarring thing that everyone is noticing this week are the tremendous amount of work walls around the land. With the new re-routed pathway we now even have a dead end heading towards the current Raptor Encounter area. This was the original pathway until the changes last week, causing many folks walking this way to have to turn around when they reach the dead end by the Raptor Encounter and Pizza restaurant.
As we have been saying for awhile, this Raptor Encounter location is only temporary until they are able to build a new, more permanent location for the popular meet and greet. Part of the reason for the pathway changes is likely due to prep related to the construction of this new Raptor Encounter.
In the aerial view above you can see how the new temporary walkway cuts directly through the construction zone. The original path has been removed, near the top of the image. In the image below I have overlaid some graphics onto the same photo to help you get an idea of what it might look like once completed. The new permanent Raptor Encounter is rumored to be placed between the entrance to the Jurassic Park River Adventure (on the left) and the Pizza restaurant (on right). This new location will feature its very own extended queue to help with long lines.
Below you can see where the temporary pathway connects to the existing path near the River Adventure ride. In addition to prep for the new Raptor Encounter, it appears as though retaining walls are being installed to help reinforce the ground for new coaster supports, (seen in middle of photo, above pathway,) as well as for other reasons. Pipes, drainage, and more running to and from the coaster site are likely being installed before the new permanent walkways can be poured as well.
Moving on from the long work wall walkway of desolation, a lot of actual roller coaster work is happening down by the waterfront. The waterfront area in front of the Discovery Center is being expanded and re-shaped to match the plans for the new coaster area. Retaining walls are being placed in several areas, both to help reinforce the land in preparation for coaster supports, but also to help expand the land area into the lagoon.
Real quick, let’s take a look at the proposed plans for the roller coaster and waterfront area changes we might expect to see. This graphic below is just an estimate, but should help you get an idea of what the final area may look like. The coaster will start in the former Triceratops Encounter area, to the left of the Discovery Center. Then it will make its way down in front of the Discovery Center, before looping back around across the water and back into the area on the left.
It appears that the waterfront viewing areas that can be seen in the graphic above are starting to take shape. The retaining walls installed along the water appear to match the graphic. See the comparison images below, with corresponding arrow colors.
One of the most exciting things that we’re starting to see show up, thanks to these amazing aerial photos from @bioreconstruct on Twitter, are the very first coaster support bases. These poured footers are located in the water between Jurassic Park and the Popeye raft ride area. Water in this area has been blocked and the ground has been reinforced over the last few months.
Once complete, the coaster supports here will be similar to the ones over the lagoon for The Incredible Hulk Coaster. This section of the Jurassic Park coaster is expected to be a top-hat. That’s a maneuver where the trains go nearly 90 degrees straight up and then straight back down. This is expected to be the tallest section of the coaster.
Before we wrap up in this area, I also wanted to check in on work going on around the bypass bridge that connects Jurassic Park to Lost Continent. Another waterfront viewing area is being constructed on the Lost Continent side as well. This will be a great place to sit and watch the coaster zoom by.
From the ground the area is a bustle of activity, with foundations going in, waterfront areas being expanded, and more land grading going on everywhere you look. We’re still a long way from the new ride opening, but work is certainly getting more exciting with every update.
To get an idea of what the land looks like from the ground, including how it appears while walking down that long temporary re-routed pathway, check out the newest video from Amusement Insider below, or click here.
One last thing, before we wrap up today’s photo update, while @bioreconstruct was up in the air getting us these amazing shots, he also captured something else. Here are some new photos of all of the Jurassic Coaster track being staged off site. You can see track, supports, and even evacuation stairs laying in the grass here. This is located near the new Epic Universe construction site, a couple miles south of the Universal Orlando Resort.
That’s all for this update! See our previous update for more information about the coaster including some of the newest rumors for the Jurassic Park land at Universal Orlando. See the video below for general details about the actual roller coaster itself, and stay tuned for continuing coverage of this new ride.
Special thanks to @bioreconstruct for the amazing aerial photography, and thanks to Amusement Insider for the pathway photos and on the ground video. Be sure to check out both of their accounts and subscribe for great theme park updates.
The new coaster is rumored to be opening by Spring 2021. If you’re thinking about booking your next trip to Universal Orlando, request your free vacation quote from our good friend Elizabeth at Destinations in Florida. She can help you get the best deals on tickets, your on-site hotel room, and more — and her services are completely free!
Stay tuned for more news on this exciting new coaster as it happens! Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Aerial Photos by @bioreconstruct | Other images as captioned | Graphics by Alicia Stella