HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS!!! Universal Studios has done it again!!!
I was so blown away by Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure that I would argue with people (including Jeremy) about it being the best ride in Orlando. The new VelociCoaster ride has now destroyed that argument. Words cannot carry any deserving description of this attraction. If you are a thrill-seeker and fan of roller coasters, this ride was made for you and worth a solid wait. Being a fan of Jurassic World just adds to the experience as one of my favorite actors, Chris Pratt, makes an appearance in the pre-show. But before we get into that, let’s start at the beginning. There are lockers outside of the main attraction building to store your belongings, as everything on your person must be locked up. However, there are smaller lockers as you make your way through the queue. Just before you head inside, there is a tester seat to make sure you can, uh… fit.
Now, Jay is about 6’4”, and I’m 6’2”, and we both fit without any issues. Notice that there’s no shoulder harness in this attraction, but only a lap harness. Without the shoulder harness, you could bounce around a bit up top; at one point, Jay hit me in the face with his hand as the ride shifted around while performing a really hard bank. The queue is full of entertainment as you pass by sculptures of raptors and even some lifelike animatronic raptors that are struggling to get out of their muzzles.
There are also some digital effects that I couldn’t pick up with my camera as we moved past too quickly. But from what I saw, the effects were really impressive. After encountering the raptors, you come to additional lockers where everything must be secured. I made the mistake of keeping my car keys in my pocket, and it signaled the metal detectors to alarm, and the team members sent me back to the lockers to secure my keys (I’m really glad they did). The locker design was a genius move on Universal’s part, as you place your belongings on one side of the locker and, after you get off the ride, you retrieve your belongings from the opposite side. This cuts down on crowds and congestion as you make your way through the attraction. You just need to make sure you remember your locker color and number. After your belongings are secured, and you pass through the metal detectors, you are given a pre-show with actors from the movie. Finally, after the short clip, you make your way to the ride. We opted to ride in the very back, as the front was packed with pass holders and the team members indicated that they weren’t going to let anyone else wait. After a short wait in this area, we boarded the coaster and got locked in.
The ride takes you around an area where more digital effects are being carried out, and suddenly you take off at breakneck speed. You travel around at high speeds while banking and rolling, encountering raptors along the way. Eventually, you make your way to another stretch of track when you accelerate even faster than before. The coaster takes you up to a peak and down a steep part of the track, and I couldn’t feel the seat underneath me. (If you have ever ridden Mako at Seaworld, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) At such a high speed, the ride corkscrews and banks, and you end up inverted over water for a brief period of time (big thanks to Universal for making me lock up my keys). Then, with a twist, you’re right-side-up, and the ride finally comes to an end. By far, the best ride I’ve ever been on and, in my opinion, and the best ride in Florida; Hagrid Who? Universal knocks it out of all the parks with this one. Disney, you’re up!