The official Universal Orlando Blog has posted an interview with Gregory Hall and Shelby Honea, the Art Director and Show Producer for the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. They discuss how technical details for the attraction aren’t the whole story, and how it’ll be more than just a coaster.
While the attraction is set to open “this summer,” they are hinting that an opening date will be announced soon. See some interesting excerpts and coaster stats highlighted below, and you check out the full interview on the official blog here.
Reaching a maximum speed of 70 mph across 1,556 meters of track with four inversions, two launches, an inverted zero-gravity stall, and a 155-foot tall top hat with a 140-foot drop at eight degrees, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster will quickly dominate the Universal Orlando landscape as the “new apex predator of coaster.” But there’s more to it than just thrills.
Designing with the motto: there’s no room for fluff in roller coasters, “everything is there for a reason” according to Greg. Whether it serves a purpose for the story, safety and even the horticulture, everything about the ride has multiple purposes… And of course, the ride features dinosaurs.
The ride designers met with the filmmakers to bring the attraction to life, and to help find its place within the canon of the film series. They met with Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg for help with designing the ride as well as to get their blessing on the final product.
“There was this moment when we were going through everything,” Greg starts. “And he says, ‘Stop; is that really what the ride vehicle is going to look like?’ And so we pause and I look at Shelby, back at him and say ‘Yes, that’s what it looks like.’ And then he goes, ‘I absolutely love it! It looks so modern.’ Shelby and I both took a big sigh.”
From an osprey building a nest to working around a global pandemic, the crew faced many challengers to finish the VelociCoaster project on time. Luckily, construction was able to continue even while the parks were closed during the summer last year, before it was even officially announced.
“It created this whole phenomenon,” Greg says. “We were obviously building something and during that period it was so fun seeing fans just speculating, tweeting, writing blogs, making art — just every little thing. We hadn’t even announced and it had all this hype. I just keep imagining once the world is ready to move on from how hard everything has been… And there’s this brand new attraction that’s futuristic and completely different than anything else.”
While details for the attraction itself are scarce, other than coaster stats, we have received confirmation of at least one aspect now: the official height requirement for the ride will be 51 inches tall. The ride features a lap bar that is lowered into place, but will not have shoulder restraints, despite the ride featuring inversions.
“There’s something aspirational about a coaster,” Shelby says. “I really do believe there’s a kid, who loves dinosaurs and Jurassic World, and who’s eating their vegetables right now to make sure they’re 51 inches tall by the time this ride opens.”
A project that started in a trailer at Universal’s backlot around mid-2017, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, which will be Universal Orlando’s first Jurassic World ride, is set to open this year. According to Universal, we’re just “a few months” away from the opening of this new coaster, with an “announcement coming soon!”
You can learn more about Greg and Shelby, as well as the story of how this ride went from conception to reality, in the full interview here. Stay tuned to the website for more VeliciCoaster news and updates as they happen! See the video below of the first riders on the coaster during operating hours, as they were filming promotional footage for the new ride.