Universal Orlando sets a date to unleash its Jurassic World VelociCoaster

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Jurassic World VelociCoaster will open at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure theme park June 10.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster will open at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure theme park June 10.

Universal Orlando Resort's newest attraction, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, will open to the public on Thursday, June 10, at the Islands of Adventure theme park.

The roller coaster is themed to the popular Jurassic World franchise and will invite guests on a ride around the Velociraptor paddock and beyond. The cast from the Jurassic World films will reprise their roles, including Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing and BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu.

Inside the show building, guests will learn about Jurassic World's newest "carnivore expansion" before they board their ride vehicles. They will even come into contact with some Velociraptors waiting to be released from stables.

On the coaster, guests will experience a number of thrills. The 4,700-foot-long track includes high-speed launches, a barrel roll above the Islands of Adventure lagoon and the attraction's signature "Top Hat," a feature that sends riders 155 feet in the air, then immediately into an 80-degree drop. Universal said that marks the park's steepest drop yet.

During a media call, show producer Shelby Honea said the team behind VelociCoaster enjoyed working with the Jurassic Park franchise.

"It is such a rich brand, and it's really seen an increase in popularity with the new series of 'Jurassic World,'" Honea said. "As theme park designers, that really creates a fun opportunity for us to play because it is a theme park in its canon. So we really approached it in that way."

In the film franchise, Dearing, the operations manager for the Jurassic World park, is under pressure to add more attractions to draw in guests, Honea said. VelociCoaster is designed to be one of those attractions.

Three key creative goals drove the team behind VelociCoaster, she said.

First, the attraction had to have "teeth," or a dinosaur presence to honor the brand. In short, she said, it has to fit into Jurassic Park.

Second was the attraction's environment. It had to be beautiful as well as maintain and elevate the 20 years of natural growth and vegetation existing at Islands of Adventure.

Guests will encounter Velociraptors in the queue for VelociCoaster.
Guests will encounter Velociraptors in the queue for VelociCoaster.

Third, VelociCoaster had to thrill guests, Honea said.

"We really took this as an opportunity to raise the bar for ourselves and introduce a new species of roller coaster to the guests," said art director Gregory Hall. "We have the thrill seekers and the coaster enthusiasts and people who love themed entertainment. This was a great time for us to really deliver a truly universal attraction where we could have these amazing, unique maneuvers and a layout that coaster enthusiasts will love, while introducing world-class theming and blending that together to create something just very unique."

Unique to attractions with inversions at Universal, VelociCoaster secures guests with just lap bars, opposed to the more common shoulder restraints, Hall said. That, combined with the fact that many riders' feet won't touch the ground of the vehicles, will add to a feeling of flying on the coaster, he said.

While guests will have to wait until June to share their feedback, perhaps the ultimate feedback to date came from the filmmakers Universal worked with at Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, Honea said.

"The best compliment they could give us is that this felt like a deleted scene, like it could have been in Jurassic World this whole time," she said.

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