Demolition in front of the Jurassic Park Discovery Center along the waterfront at Universal’s Islands of Adventure has been in full swing since January after the first work walls went up around the area. Today we’re taking a look at how we believe this area is changing to make way for the new coaster.
You may have noticed the bypass bridge that connects Jurassic Park and Lost Continent is also being dismantled. This bridge, which was built as a way for guests to pass between these two lands while Hogsmeade was under construction, will be replaced with a new, more permanent version in the coming months. Check out the update below, as well as a new track layout image showcasing these waterfront changes and more.
While there have yet to be any official announcements, we’re hearing that a brand new steel multi-launch roller coaster is heading to the Jurassic Park area at Islands of Adventure. In our last big update about the Jurassic Coaster we covered the basics, like what type of ride it will be, the manufacturer, and even some rumored story details. Be sure to check out that update for details on all of those elements.
We’ve been keeping our eyes on the progress of the removal of the bypass bridge that connects the Lost Continent and Jurassic Park. While the bridge is usually only open when the park is experiencing large crowds, rumors are that the new bridge that will replace it will actually be open at all times after the coaster comes online.
Universal has stated that the bypass bridge will re-open by this summer. The bridge has been instrumental in helping to distribute the crowds during the nighttime projection shows in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s possible that the reason we do not yet have an opening date for the new Dark Arts projection show, opening later this year, is because they are unsure of exactly when the new bridge will be ready.
The updated graphic above shows how the new coaster’s entrance, new waterfront and coaster viewing areas, the all-new bypass bridge, and expanded walkways are expected to appear by the time the coaster is ready to open. The track layout itself has also been tweaked slightly since our previous installment. (Click on the image to view it at a higher resolution.)
While progress has primarily focused on the immediate area in front of the Discovery Center, I imagine that once the old bypass bridge has been completely demolished, land clearing may move to the other side of the lagoon. They will need to clear some of the trees and brush on that side to make way for the updated bridge.
As we get closer to the actual opening of the new roller coaster, the new bypass bridge will connect directly to a new courtyard “hub” of sorts. This hub will have pathways leading in 4 different directions: the bridge, up to the main areas of Jurassic Park, down to new waterfront viewing areas, and towards the Discovery Center and new coaster entrance.
The coaster entrance, seen in the image above where the green areas meets the dark gray pathway, will be just to the left of the Discovery Center’s downstairs entrance. It is not yet known where the ride exit will be, but I expect it will also be near this area. The courtyard here may also feature a locker area comparable to the updated Incredible Hulk Coaster area in the same park.
Along the waterfront will be several areas that will be perfect for watching the coaster pass by and overhead. This area, seen in light gray in the image, looks as though it may only be accessible from the hub. The coaster’s extended queue also passes nearby the waterfront area on the left side. The dead ends on either side of the waterfront will be great for watching some of the best coaster action as it passes overhead.
The white and blue area in the middle of the courtyard will be where the coaster track passes right in front of the Discovery Center. I have heard that this platform will be a sort of centerpiece for the courtyard, and may contain some type of waterfall or water feature that will be visible from across the lagoon. While many worry about the views of this area as seen from different parts of the park, it certainly seems to me that these concerns are being considered while the area is being redesigned.
Speaking of concerns, while the area has been nearly completely cleared of trees and bushes, after the new coaster has been constructed, I am sure much of the vegetation around this area will be returning. The area will likely receive new trees on the right side, near the new bypass bridge, as well as many new landscaped elements between all of the new pathways and courtyard areas.
It also appears that a new open area may be added near the Lost Continent side of the bridge, behind the Mythos restaurant. The area can be seen in brown on the layout image above. This expanded waterfront area may offer additional views of the coaster track as it rotates around before returning along the water in front of the Discovery Center.
Before we end this update, it is worth pointing out that the track layout itself in today’s updated graphic has been changed slightly since our initial layout. You may notice that what has been referred to as a top-hat-like element has been adjusted. This could mean a change in height and speed for the coaster from what was originally reported. Stay tuned for the website and YouTube channel for continuing coverage as we receive more rumors and information.
There are still many other changes coming to the land in the coming months to make way for the new roller coaster. These changes include a new location for the Raptor Encounter, skill games, other kiosks, and more. See the video above for some details on those changes, as well as rumors for the story of the new coaster. We’re also keeping our eyes on demolition that may begin soon at the old Triceratops Encounter plot, where much of the new ride will take place.
Of course, none of this early information has been confirmed by Universal and should be considered rumor and speculation at this point. While we are pretty confident in most of the changes outlined in our graphic above, it’s always possible that plans could change. We’ll have a much better idea of where things stand once vertical construction actually begins.
Rumors for the opening of the new coaster range from as early as 2020, to the summer of 2021 at the latest. 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 updates on this massive new project as they happen! Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Photos by bioreconstruct | Track Layout by Alicia Stella/Orlando ParkStop