Jurassic World VelociCoaster opens today at Universal Orlando

Jun 10, 2021

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Calling all thrill-seekers: Universal Orlando‘s newest attraction opens today, June 10, 2021, and it’s set to offer dino-sized fun.

The Jurassic World VelociCoaster (say that five times fast) takes riders 115 feet in the air at up to 70 mph as you race through the jungle as velociraptors chase behind on a hunt. Universal Orlando is calling it an “all-new species of roller coaster,” and it’ll feature a combination of storytelling and adrenaline rushes (and some impressive animatronics) to give guests a unique experience on the ride.

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Here’s what you can expect on the newest ride at Islands of Adventure park.

An immersive experience from the start of the queue

Waiting in line is usually the worst part of any attraction, but the VelociCoaster is looking to change that. The story begins as soon as you step into the fully indoor queue and hear the Jurassic World theme music.

Jurassic World Velocicoaster photographed from the water
(Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando)

First, you’ll be escorted through an entryway welcoming you to the raptor paddock. You’ll then get a glimpse of the coaster’s first launch as the riders ahead of you take off — and special effects transform the window to make it look like the raptor pack is chasing after them.

Dr. Wu (played by BD Wong) will appear on one of the mounted screens to tell you about the raptor paddock history and go through all of the safety information you need before getting on the ride. And while you are given the safety briefing, you’ll be surrounded by metal cages filled with books, artifacts and other props from the “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” movies.

You’ll walk by impressive animatronic velociraptors locked behind metal restraints in the stables (make sure to say hello to Delta and Echo) before heading into the locker room area where you can stow your things for the duration of the ride.

lifelike animatronic velociraptor at Jurassic World Velocicoaster
(Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando)

From there, you’ll be ushered into a screening room before heading to the loading zone where Claire Dearing (played by Bryce Dallas) and Owen Grady (played by Chris Pratt) give more information about the new “carnivore expansion” and some words of warning about the dangers of mixing raptors with roller coasters.

Once you’re at the loading zone, it’s time to hop on one of the coasters for the first launch.

Innovative thrills throughout the ride

The storytelling throughout the queue may get you invested in the ride, but the fun really begins once you strap into the ride vehicle. According to Universal, the coaster has been “specially designed to intensify the thrills.” And looking at the coaster details, I can certainly believe it.

one of the twists of the Jurassic World velocicoaster
(Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando)

When you load up for the ride, there are no over-the-shoulder restraints — only a lap bar — which contributes to the scare factor of the coaster while you race along the twists and turns of the track. Keep in mind that you do have to be at least 51 inches tall (a little over four feet) to ride. And it’s definitely not the ride for the faint of heart.

The track itself runs 4,700 feet (almost a mile), and features near-misses, a barrel roll over the Islands of Adventure lagoon, two high-speed launches (one reaches 70 mph in 2.4 seconds), a zero-gravity inverted stall and a 155-foot hill “Top Hat” that comes just before an 80-degree drop.

And throughout the intense ride, you’ll be surrounded by lush foliage and rock structures to continue the immersive theme of the coaster.

Jurassic World Velocicoaster as it zooms by on the tracks at Universal Orlando
(Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando)

Universal claims you’ll be airborne (meaning out of your seat) for a total of 12 seconds throughout the ride. If you’re an adrenaline junkie like I am, you’re probably drooling just thinking about it.

Related: 18 hottest new theme park attractions for 2021

Universal is also opening a one-of-a-kind tribute store to celebrate the new attraction where guests can check out cool props from the films, shop for themed merchandise and grab food and drinks.

The Jurassic World VelociCoaster officially opens for park guests on June 10, and vaccinated guests are not required to wear masks (even while inside the queue). Unfortunately, Express Pass access is currently unavailable for the ride, so there may be a considerable wait depending on when you go. If it’s a must-do for your visit, it’s probably worth heading there as soon as you get to the park so you can be one of the first in line for the day.

Will I be attempting to ride this new coaster multiple times during my trip to Universal Orlando later this summer? Most definitely. The Jurassic movies (both the original “Jurassic Park” movies and the newer “Jurassic World” franchise) are some of my favorites, and the new VelociCoaster is poised to become one of my favorite theme park rides of all time.

Featured image courtesy of Universal Orlando. 

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