Time to check in on the progress of the Jurassic Park roller coaster, because we recently got a ton of new photographs from the ever-amazing Bioreconstruct on Twitter. These aerial photos are revealing an incredible amount of work that has been accomplished in just a couple weeks since our previous update.
The new Raptor Encounter is nearly complete, now with signage up and landscaping starting. Many new coaster supports and even additional track has been installed around the site. And more structural work is being done on the main queue/load building, plus much more. So, without any further ado, let’s check in on the progress these still yet-to-be-announced projects!
While the parks have remained closed in recent months, crews have been hard at work installing coaster footings, new structures, and now even supports and track, for this massive project inside of the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure. The park will be opening next month to guests, with additional safety measures and warnings in place—but for now, workers are making good use of the time they have without guests inside of the parks.
Before jumping into the coaster work, as we have recently, let’s check in on the work going on for the new Raptor Encounter location. Things are certainly starting to look more complete for this enhanced meet and greet. The structure at the back, which will serve as a break area and dressing room for the performers, is now enclosed. It even features the Raptor Encounter insignia on it! And speaking of the logo, the guest entry arch is also sporting it, as well as the words for the sign. The Raptor enclosure itself, themed as electric fences, is also complete. And even some foliage is starting to be moved into place.
Moving on to the the new coaster! The photos below show an overview of the coaster construction site, and how it fits within the rest of the theme park area. The roller coaster, which Universal has yet to announce they are even constructing, will feature two launch elements, a top hat over the lagoon, and possibly even a few inversions.
Let’s remind ourselves of what the completed area might look like as seen in the proposed track layout below. A lot of the supports have been installed around the start of the ride, which is located where that small orange building is on the top-left corner of the image. More supports are also starting to be seen on the far right, around the bypass bridge leading to Lost Continent.
One of the most interesting track supports to have shown up in the last couple weeks has got to be the tall ones over the lagoon for the top hat maneuver. This section of the ride will have the trains travel nearly straight up, and then come back down fast. The trains will be launched into this section, and it will likely be the fastest—and tallest—part of the ride.
In the next image you can see the supports coming out of the launch tunnel start fairly short, and then over the course of just a couple supports shoot up into an extremely tall section. Even without the track, you can already imagine how steep this move will be once completed.
The next photo shows some scenic paint work being done on the rocks for the viewing area behind the Popeye ride. This will become a great spot for watching riders on the new Jurassic Park roller coaster when it is completed.
And now, this next image zooms back out to see the entire area. The top hat supports can be seen on the bottom left. After climbing to the top of these supports, our train will then soar back down to the right, directly in front of the Discovery Center.
The next photo shows a closer view of what is rumored to be a “splash down” effect” This section of track will be where trains will pass in front of the Discovery Center after coming back down from the top hat. Some sort of fountain or water feature is expected here, as well as a possible splash effect as the trains pass by.
The next section of track is a wide 540 circle, where trains will pass around the bypass bridge that connects between Jurassic Park’s waterfront area and the Lost Continent. Many of the supports have been installed for this section since our last update. You can also see work going on for an extended viewing area on the Jurassic Park waterfront side, where guests will be able to enjoy views of the lagoon, along with the coaster zooming by.
In the next image you can see a closer view of some of these supports, as well as retaining walls installed on the other side behind Lost Continent. The area on the top-right of this image may become a sort of viewing area behind Mythos as well.
Jumping back to the left side of the area, the structure that will house the interior queue and the load platform for the coaster has received new steel to create a second level. The load station will be located on the upper level, while sections of queue will be below. This structure can be seen just to the left of the Discovery Center in the image below.
The next image is a closer look at this structure. The entrance to the ride, as well as some covered exterior queue may be located on the bottom-right of this image, where some of the empty space is now. Then you will pass inside and wait in the interior queue, before heading upstairs to the load platform. The ride starts at the top-left of this image. The small bit of space between the Discovery Center and this building is a Team Member backstage area, with access to the kitchen for Burger Digs.
The next photo rotates our view around. The arrow is pointing at the very start of the ride. After leaving the load station, the train will pass through this small curve. This curve will likely be enclosed in a chainlink or mesh tunnel of sorts. That will act as a safe entry point as we prepare to enter the velociraptor enclosure, and the start of our adventure. Track has been installed for these early scenes on the ride, but has been covered by plastic tubing, or other materials, to help shield it from debris during construction.
In the next image we zoom out, revealing a large section of the attraction. We can see the track pass through a small structure after the first curve. This may be the raptor cage door area, where we actually enter the paddock. After this structure our trains will enter the ride’s first launch (of two). We will be launched straight forward, passing through some rockwork, before twisting up and into a series of insane twists and turns, all themed as though we are locked inside the paddock with the raptors.
The next image shows some new structures being installed along that first launch. The arrow is pointing to what might be the underlying structure that will later hold preformed rockwork and themed elements. Several sections of this insane part of the ride may be enclosed within “tunnels” of sorts, to better hide what moves may be coming up next. There is also expected to be a sort of waterfall feature somewhere in this area.
The next photo shows a close view of the structure that might be for rockwork on the left. The straight track running diagonally across the image is that first launch. You can also spot a curved piece of banked track in this image. That is heading into the second launch, later on the ride, which is inside that sunken tunnel area, heading off to the right.
You can get an idea of what the turn up and away move after the first launch might be like in this next image. The straight launched track, seen near bottom-right, leads right towards some supports that get taller very quickly, while veering to the left. You can also see some of the structure we’ll pass through that might be a rockwork tunnel when complete.
Zooming out, the next photo once again shows this entire section. The load area and ride start near the bottom. The second and final launch into the top hat in the center. And the building near the back of the photo will be for train maintenance. This structure will be able to hold additional trains that may be needed to be taken off the line or added back on, which will be done through a track switch between the ride’s conclusion and the load platform. And speaking of the ride’s conclusion, after passing back in front of the lagoon, the trains will then enter another cage-like tunnel around the entire maintenance building, before returning to load.
This next photo shows another angle of the maintenance building. (The other structure you can see on the right is for the finale of the Popeye raft ride, and not related to this project.) The arrows are pointing to rows of footings on either side of the maintenance structure. The ride will end with trains passing around the building. The footings on the right of this image are unsusual in shape, maybe to be able to hold both the track and the tunnel-like structure around it? The footings along the left side are more traditional, however, you can see little square footers on either side of them. These may be supports for the tunnel structure on this side.
This next image has the maintenance building at the bottom of our view, the load/queue structure at right, and the raptor paddock doors scene at the top-right. The arrow is pointing to a staging area for construction along the guest pathway on the top-left. Currently there are no work walls around the site facing guest areas, as the theme parks have been closed, but walls will need to be put back up before guests arrive early next month.
Flipping our view around again, this next image shows the backside of the raptor paddock door scene, with an arrow on the right pointing to a new pathway that was recently added. This will likely be for ride evacuations or team member access only, with a gate keeping guests out along the pathway. The arrow on the left of this image is pointing to some new work happening in the courtyard area in front of Burger Digs near the carnival games.
Now that the concrete work here has been expanded, completely removing the old ponds that used to occupy this space, the carnival games are in their final new locations. The work going on in front of them appears to be for a planter that will house trees and bushes. This will help break up the walkways, add shade, and create some nice ambiance for the outside tables in front of Burger Digs. Tables will be placed around this planter once it is complete, replacing some of the vegetation that was lost when the ponds were removed. The walkway at the bottom of this photo is for team members only, and leads to that small backstage space behind the Burger Digs kitchen,
And that’s our update for the Jurassic Park roller coaster! With the rate that the track and supports have been going up, I’m sure by our next update we’ll really begin to see just how the track layout will look when this monster is completed. For now, stay safe everyone, and be sure to check out the amazing Bioreconstruct on Twitter for more aerial photography. He just posted photographs of all of the theme parks at Walt Disney World as well, and it is definitely worth checking out!
The unannounced Jurassic Park coaster is expected to be completed by the Spring of 2021, and hopefully open by the summer of that year. Be sure to subscribe to our news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update!