The popular ride VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure was awarded “Best Roller Coaster” for the second year in a row, by Theme Park Insider.
To ring in the New Year, the popular theme park information site released their list of 2023 winners of different attractions and parks across the globe, and the Jurassic World-themed thrill ride staked its claim as the apex predator of rollercoasters again.
“With outstanding coaster elements, engaging theming, and wonderful decoration from the queue through the ride itself, VelociCoaster wins raves both from devoted roller coaster enthusiasts and casual theme park fans, making a winning combination for everyone, including our readers.”
VelociCoaster brings guests closer than ever before to one of Jurassic World’s most popular dinosaurs – the Velociraptors! Be a part of the “squad” as you race through a raptor paddock alongside four cunning predators at high speed before being launched 155 ft straight up.
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You might be forgiven if you forgot that Universal has a theme park in Orlando, especially with the announcement of a re-theme in their Hollywood Park, a parade debut in Japan and rumours of a Jurassic World section in Beijing. But the largest and most complete Jurassic Park ride has resided at Universal’s Islands of Adventure since 1999 and if rumours are to be believed, it’s finally getting a much needed upgrade!
With the spotlight elsewhere, Universal discretely filed a demolition permit for a 9,100 Square Foot area in the park earlier this month. This could easily be mistaken for the new ‘Harry Potter’ ride, but demolition and construction are already well underway at the site of the former ‘Dragon Challenge’ attraction, which was listed as Project 942. The new permit is listed as Project 741, a distinctly older number. Sources inside the park have hinted that area to be cleared is the former Triceratops Encounter/Discovery Trail, which closed in 2005, but was temporarily reopened in 2011 and 12 as an overflow attraction during the debut of ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’. The size of the area certainly matches to that reported in the permit.
This is not the first time that Universal has filed for permits to modify the Jurassic Park area, though disappointingly those turned out to only be small changes; Carnival style booths in part of the River Adventure’s extended queue, and the Raptor Encounter in the exit to the Triceratops Encounter. Given the scale of the area, is certainly looks as though Universal is finally pushing forward with a new attraction, especially given that the former attraction has previously sat dormant for over 15 years.
At this time we can only speculate what the new attraction will be. Whispers from insiders are hinting at a coaster, perhaps in the style of Japan’s ‘Flying Dinosaur’ though at this early stage all bets are off. Prior to the park’s opening, attractions known as ‘Jeep safari’ and ‘Helicoptours’ were planned for the Jurassic Park area though were eventually written off due to budget constraints. The patches of land reserved for these attractions have since been filled by other IPs but perhaps one of them could have a resurgence on this new plot.
Demolition is set to begin on June 1st with a reported cost of $300,000. Keep your eyes peeled for more info then!