Expected to open by this summer, the VelociCoaster is looking more ready by the day. With raptors being unwrapped on the ride and the train’s lighting package being tested, this impressive new coaster could be ready for guests in no time.
Let’s check in on these new details, as well as some of the construction progress that has been made since our last update. See the video version of this article below for additional visuals.
Officially opening at Universal Orlando this year, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster will be Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster. In just the first few weeks of 2021, this new roller coaster has been testing its impressive lighting package on its trains.
💡 💡 💡 🦖 🦖 🦖 pic.twitter.com/lJWw6k0RGC
— Amusement Insider (@AmusementInside) January 14, 2021
Blue LED headlamps on every seat, as well as lighting on the front of the lead car, and other small touches on the sides, look impressive as the trains glide almost silently along the track. It has been said the lights on the trains are important to the ride’s story.
In our last update we theorized that the 4-point lights on the train could be a way to keep the raptors away from our vehicle as we pass through their paddock. Or, at very least, they could be used as a way for our trains to be granted access into the area, as 4-point lights can also be seen at the paddock’s two entry points.
Different trains have been seen testing, as it’s believed that each will need to be run a certain number of hours before they can be signed off as safe for guests. Not all of the trains are testing with water dummies though, and the speeds of the runs seem to fluctuate, either from the difference in weight or from tweaks being done on the coaster’s two launches.
Just in the last couple days they seem to be testing the paddock area’s show lighting, as seen in the video below.
My new header is *chefs kiss*
Thank you @bioreconstruct and @G_Prodigy + rest of Velocioaster for this sure to be amazing coaster. Got to see it testing last night for the first time with lights on and this may become the best attraction in all of UOR 😻💙😻 pic.twitter.com/FRGRF9aI19
— Justin Wilson (@JustinWilsonT) January 19, 2021
Checking in on construction status, the area that still looks to need the most work is near what will be the ride’s main entrance. This area, located on the lagoon side of the Discovery Center, is still being finished.
In the official concept art from Universal seen below, it looks as though torches and raptor statues may be placed on the roof of this area, (although the concept art could be deceiving).
In front of the ride entrance, some metal fencing has gone up around the touch down element of track in the center of the courtyard. This elements is designed to look like a small enclosure, with fencing around it.
From aerial photos it looks as though there may even be a glass viewing area on the other side, where guests who are about to enter the queue can get a good look at the maneuver. There were rumors for this element being designed as a water feature or fountain, but now it is looking like that may not be the case.
The large fence that was being built behind the Mythos restaurant has been completed. This will help block the view of backstage areas from guests riding on the coaster. Plants or trees may be planted in front of the new wall to help it blend in with the surrounding area.
Right now the railings are being removed from the patio walls behind the Three Broomsticks. The patio is currently closed during this work. It has been speculated that at least some of these walls might be raised to block the view of the VelociCoaster from diners seated outside.
Switching to the other side of the attraction, work is being completed along the roof. Additional theming elements may still be on their way to finish this area, and perhaps block the view of things like air conditioning units or exposed Team Member areas.
The base of the warden tower may still need to be partially blocked as well. This tower has had its access door open in recent days. Workers could be installing lighting for the windows in this ornamental tower.
On the ground, bamboo has been added around this area to help block the Team Member staircase outside of the load area, as well as some of the show building near the first turn.
The markings on the ground that connect the Raptor Encounter to the raptor paddock coaster area were recently completed. Rather than paint, this design was completed by blasting the concrete to create a textured effect.
According to the trainers at the Raptor Encounter, in-story, this path is how they transport the raptors to and from their paddock when not taking photos with guests.
Speaking of raptors, if you stand in just the right spot, near the Freestyle Coke machines at Pizza Predattoria, you can spot Blue through the viewing area fencing across from the Raptor Encounter. This figure is located near the track, along with a couple other members of her pack.
Earlier this month we saw that her plastic wrap was starting to come off, but last week it was removed entirely. It appears that this figure is not animated, but we are expecting to see some animatronics on the ride, or at the very least, from the queue.
Also in the Jurassic Park area, the River Adventure ride is currently closed for its annual refurbishment. They usually take a few weeks during the winter to refresh the ride with some new paint, and fixes to various effects that may need an update. The ride is scheduled to reopen by January 30th.
While the coaster is looking more and more complete, there’s likely plenty of work to be done inside the queue, in addition to completing the ride’s entrance area. And even if the theming was complete, I imagine they still have weeks of testing ahead to get all of the trains ready for guests.
We’ll keep an eye on the progress, so stay tuned for more details on the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, opening this year at Islands of Adventure in Universal Orlando. Be sure to see the video version of this story for additional visuals. And you can find more lighting tests in this video from Amusement Insider.