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Universal’s Islands of Adventure Velocicoaster theming rocks!

by Tharin White

Even though it hasn’t been announced yet, there is no missing the work on the “Velocicoaster” in the Jurassic Park area of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The new faux rocks are sharp and aggressive, which matches the already “boulder” look of the coaster. While this work won’t make the coaster go upside-down faster or take turns at a sharper angle, I warn you, don’t take this hard work for “granite.” These photos, by Bioreconstruct on Twitter, give a close up view on these new stones you just can’t skip.

velocicoaster

Universal Orlando began with a clean slate for this attraction, and it has been a discovery of fun little gems ever since. We have been watching this coaster for some time now; in just the past few months, most of the track has been installed, and detail work, such as the rocks shown above, has risen quickly.


osprey

But, before we can go any further, we must address the bird. Yes, there was an osprey atop the top-hat maneuver of the Velocicoaster. Both it and its nest have since been safely moved – and, yes, it has tried to come back a few times.


velocicoaster

Now, back to fake rocks. The track pieces that we can see from the ground are very close to these rocks. This should make an already fast roller coaster feel that much quicker.


jurassic park

While those close-ups look really nice, there is still plenty of work to be done. Underneath the tan tarps, we can assume more rocks or foliage will be added. We will keep a close eye on the steel structure on the right that the midlevel track goes through.


velocicoaster

Seen closer here, this arch could be a multitude of different things for the Velocicoaster’s theming. It could be a bunch of rocks that conveniently fell together to make a hole for the coaster train to go through, or it could also be part of a much larger support system that isn’t yet installed. If so, guests might go under cover for a short portion of the ride. For now, it truly is a guessing game.


construction

This is meant in the best way possible, but what a jumbled-looking mess this is. It is almost hard to even understand what everything is in this photo. Three layers of track on top of each other, multiple buildings, steel supports everywhere, and rockwork in-between it all.


velocicoaster

Here, Bioreconstruct helps to decipher the track with arrows in the direction of both launches. The Velocicoaster will have two separate launches; one of which will be at the beginning of the ride, coming out of the building at the top. We assume an animatronic or screen-based raptor will escape its enclosure, giving a reason for the sudden launch and the basis of the storyline for the attraction.

The second launch will take us under the entire first half of the ride. This launch will be more aggressive and will launch us up to the highest point of the ride.


top hat

The second launch will come out of the yellow-circled area at the bottom left. It will continue up towards the circled top-hat maneuver. At the bottom, circled in red, is what we believe to most likely be the entrance to the attraction.

This large opening has the elements of an entrance for a ride of this size. There is ample room in this area for an extended queue. Nearby, a secondary door will allow team members to sneak by guests. There is a hole cut out above to hold ride signage and allow for electric elements to be installed. The original rumors already thought of this area to be the entrance.


velocicoaster

We also have this close-up of brakes on the top-hat maneuver. This is the part of the track where guests will fall back down towards the second portion of the ride. So, these brakes could have a couple different purposes. The obvious answer is to slow the ride down in case the launch was too fast. But, it could also fully stop the coaster and hold guests dangling for a few seconds. Another Florida-based coaster that is famous for this is SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.


construction

Now we zoom all the way out to get perspective with the size of the top-hat maneuver. Whether or not guests will be held at the top, it will certainly be an amazing view. This view also showcases the overlapping track in the bottom-center, compared to the stretched out over-water turns on the left.


velocicoaster

Back at the beginning of the Velocicoaster, we can see how much of the actual track is still wrapped. These white wraps are to help keep the valuable steel track from getting damaged by the surrounding construction. For us, thankfully, these are also markers of what is done for now. As these wraps disappear, we can begin to understand what rock work and steel is finished. We used trees as the same kind of marker for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.


halloween horror nights

Outside of the Velocicoaster project, a sad bit of work is happening. Bioreconstruct noted that portions of Halloween Horror Nights houses were being dismantled. It was announced last month that Halloween Horror Nights would not be happening this year. This before-and-after comparison seems to show crews taking down an outdoor facade for one house.


halloween horror nights

On a positive note, it appears many of these partially-built facades and decorations are being put away in storage. We may have to wait a year, but many of these houses and their horrifying stories could come back to life.


velocicoaster

The rumors for ride openings have all been put out-of-whack due to the closures worldwide in the theme park community. Even if the Velocicoaster is finished this year, Universal could hold off the opening until a time when capacity and crowding issues are no longer a health concern.


Now, for a few more rock puns. Is this coaster going to be fun? Of “quartz” it is. The dinosaurs may be gone, but the strong steel in this ride isn’t going to erode away quickly. I love doing these construction articles; they hold “sedimental” value to me now. I’m sorry for this many rock puns, but once I started, it was all “ore” nothing.

Let me know your best rock puns and thoughts on this coaster in the comments below.

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1 comment

Nrthwnd August 20, 2020 - 7:50 pm

Great overhead shots of it all! Very impressive layout….as much as can be ‘figured out’ lol. Now with The Hulk on the opposite side of the lagoon (waterway?), they’ll both look like “siblings”, of a kind. (o:

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