Wednesday, March 19, 2008

 

New Coaster for USF


(Courtesy Universal Orlando.)

Universal Orlando has announced a new roller coaster for its Universal Studios Florida theme park. Here's the press release.
ORLANDO, FL (March 19, 2008) - Adrenaline pumping and music thumping, you find yourself heading straight toward the sky. Suddenly, you are doing 65 mph, 17 stories over Universal Studios. Gasping with excitement, you rock out to a song you picked before strapping in. And, it's all on video. Once the adventure is over, you edit the video to send to your friends.

This is true high-tech, customizable, multi-sensory entertainment. Scheduled to open in spring 2009, Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit will stake its claim as the most technologically advanced roller coaster in the world. The Universal Creative team is combining audio and special effects engineering, sophisticated on- and off-board video and one-of-a-kind guest personalization to create a roller coaster experience unlike any other.

"This is the perfect intersection of the digital age and theme park entertainment," said Mark Woodbury, President of Creative for Universal Parks & Resorts. "Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit blends roller coaster intensity and guest interaction in a way where no two experiences will be the same."

Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit touts six near-miss moments and first-ever thrills including a record-breaking loop. Ride vehicles feature the brightest and most innovative color changing LEDs in the world. High-energy visual displays fill the queue line. With up to four ride vehicles on the tracks at any given time, and with concert lighting and special effects mixed in, Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit will be a true high-intensity, multi-sensory experience that is unmatched.

Guests can customize their ride experience by choosing what song will play while they're on the roller coaster. LED boards in the queue lines will display song options from five genres (classic rock, rap, country, pop and disco). Once on-board, guests can choose their song or let the coaster's digital sound system choose for them. When the ride is over, guests will be able to customize footage from their experience and compile it into a take-home music video.

Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit will be located near the Jimmy Neutron attraction traveling the southern perimeter of the Universal Studios theme park, over to the CityWalk lagoon and back.

Other scuttlebutt has it that the coaster will feature the first "non-inverting loop." Most coaster loops involve turning you upside down, but on this one (apparently) the track will twist on the way up, then twist again on the way down so that riders are always right side up relative to the ground. Neat trick if they can pull it off.

What intrigues me is what, exactly, "near the Jimmy Neutron attraction" means. Does this mean it will hav an entrance in the old Boneyard area and then zip past the back of JN and out into CityWalk via the area that now has the long entrance to Blue Man Group? But "traveling the southern perimeter of the Universal Studios theme park" suggests that it might be replacing some of those increasingly unused studios behind the former Boneyard. We shall see.

Any thoughts?

 

Slower Lines at OIA for Tourists?

Well, they say it will make security lines move faster at Orlando International Airport . . .
A new way of dividing the lines could have travelers moving faster through airport security. . .

Passengers are divided into three lines. One line is for families and inexperienced travelers, a second for the casual traveler, and a third line is dedicated to the expert who wants to quickly get through the line.

. . . but since most people who visit Orlando are families, tourists can expect longer waits, it seems to me.

There's more info here.

If you think the idea stinks, you can share your concerns through this comment card.

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