Those that have attempted to ride the Jurassic World VelociCoaster in recent weeks may have encountered an “extended delay” or two. Multiple users on Reddit took the theme park boards this past weekend asking what could be causing the ride to open late, or break down in the afternoon?
For me, on one of my visits two weeks ago, the ride was having difficulties, especially in the afternoon, with it closing just twenty minutes after reopening at one point when I attempted to ride for a third time.
The Jurassic World VelociCoaster officially opened back in June. It has enjoyed a much more reliable opening as opposed to the last big project for Islands of Adventure, which was also manufactured by Intamin. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure was plagued with problems that took well over a year to work through.
While VelociCoaster had a much smoother start, recent weeks seem to have been a bit shakier for the impressive thrill ride.
According to multiple sources, it sounds like the hot Florida summer sun has been affecting the attraction more than anticipated. Not being a coaster expert, I just assumed that it may have had something to do with the launches, but it sounds like it’s actually the coaster’s wheels that are the culprit.
The hot sun baking the black track, when mixed with the wheels rolling along at high speeds—and especially when sitting idle on the brake runs waiting to enter the station—appear to be wearing out the wheels faster than expected. As a result, wheels are supposedly being replaced frequently.
Some days saw less trains running over the past month or so. This may have been in an effort to decrease time waiting on the final brake run until the load station is clear, therefore extending the life of the wheels. This caused higher wait times, which had been uncommon shortly after the ride’s opening. What’s worse though, are the long delays when no trains are running at all.
In an effort to help cool down the track and the wheels, water misters have been installed at multiple spots along the track, including the final brake run. (Look down in the covered area at the very end of the ride and you may spot a garden hose spraying water all over the track!)
Multiple A/C units have been added to blow cold air directly onto the track and wheels at the load station as well. These new measures seem to be helping, as they appear to be running more trains more regularly.
Some on social media have suggested we could see the black track repainted a lighter color as a more permanent fix, but I don’t think it’ll get to that.
Others have suggested that it’s possible they may be waiting on a new custom wheel type, and something like that takes a long time to produce. Modern coaster wheels apparently can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars each, which could mean that until we either see some cooler weather come in, or, until they work out the best wheels for the job, this could be a costly test and adjust phase for the attraction.
I am reminded of a few months ago when one of the trains was seen with several different color wheels during testing. Perhaps they were shopping around to see which ones would last the longest? And perhaps this search is still ongoing?
In any case, I hope they’re able to work out a long-term solution, because one of the best things about this new attraction for me was just being able to get in line and ride, but it has broken down multiple times on me in August, which can get a bit discouraging!
For now, I suggest riding the Jurassic World VelociCoaster as early as possible on the day of your visit. If it is marked as “Delayed” in the wait times of the official Universal Orlando app, you can go and do other things, but refresh often for your chance to ride.
Wait times, on average, have been falling as the summer wraps up though, at least according to Thrill-Data. But just in case there’s an issue, you may want to get that raptor run in early in the day for a little while.
Note that Universal Orlando has not commented on these supposed issues, and this should be regarded as rumor, (but delays have been experienced and misters appear to have been added).
That’s all for now, but be sure to subscribe to the news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update. Original Photos: Alicia Stella | Stills from Universal Orlando app | Other images as captioned