Universal Orlando Resort’s newest roller coaster, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, is currently only in its rehearsal phase, but it’s already being received to critical acclaim – and part of these accolades have to do with its many fun Easter eggs.
Sneaking in such extras is commonplace for Universal, whether it’s, say, a nod to Kongfrontation that can be found in its successor, Revenge of the Mummy, or the not-so-subtle references near the New York Library harkening back to the Ghostbusters’ time at Universal Studios Florida. VelociCoaster comes with a heaping helping, and while you may be able to suss some of these out on your own during an outing to the park, others might require one to be in-the-know.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to make sure you are right now.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster’s Easter eggs: The videos
Way back when Jurassic Park made its cinematic premiere in the summer of 1993, the world was introduced to a light-hearted character whose Southern-drawled explanations allowed us to better understand how the scientific park achieved the recreation of its dinosaurs. That character? Why, Mr. DNA, of course! He may have only appeared in the first movie of the franchise’s introductory trilogy, but he was such a hit for the flagship series that he was later brought back for a few more appearances in the Jurassic World spinoffs. Within the movies, he returned as the “layman’s terms” avatar, and in Netflix’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous television series, he serves as a promotional vessel for the new park within the Jurassic World videogame played by the show’s main character, Darius Bowman. So, who better than their esteemed, unofficial mascot to host VelociCoaster’s locker and loading procedure video?
Additionally, BD Wong, Chris Pratt, and Bryce Dallas Howard all reprise their roles as franchise mainstays Dr. Henry Wu, Owen Brady, and Claire Dearing, respectively, in the ride’s queue. Those watching may notice that the media of Claire will bring a “real time” element to the experience, as her background scenery will change from day to night throughout the attraction’s operation. (And within these same videos, Universal Creative members who had a hand in the roller coaster’s conception get their few minutes of queue fame – namely, show producer Shelby Honea and art director Gregory Hall both appear as Jurassic World workers.)
Jurassic World VelociCoaster’s Easter eggs: The queue
Shifting our sights to the queue more generally, there’s details aplenty. As you continue down Jurassic World VelociCoaster’s sleek halls, you’ll come across the Raptor Training Room, where Dr. Wu tells you more about the beautiful-yet-deadly prehistoric creatures. Here, keen eyes will catch caged cubbies containing books and velociraptor-youth training material, such as a bag of raptor treats and a scaled-down replica of the train we’ll eventually board. Among the books, each author and publishing company is either a reference to the franchise (such as those by Ellie Sattler, Allan Grant, and Ian Malcolm) or members of Creative who were involved in the ride’s creation.
Further down past the raptor stables and near the locker area, you’ll come across posters that were featured in the Jurassic World films. When they were incorporated into the attraction following the movie’s production, they were modified to fit better with Islands of Adventure – one notable example being the Pteranodon Flyers poster, which never made an appearance throughout the film series. Right next to a very interesting Indominous Rex advertisement, you can also find a Camp Cretaceous poster, which references the aforementioned Netflix cartoon.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster’s Easter eggs: The special effects and ride vehicles
If you’re like me and enjoy moments when real-world facts are applied to the theme-park rides we love, you’ll be interested to know that the train’s blue accent lights aren’t just there for stylish aesthetics or to illuminate your way on a night ride – actual studies have shown that blue lights distract birds of prey, such as hawks and falcons. Since it’s a well-known fact that dinosaurs are closely related to avians as a species, one can safely assume that this would be the same for the “terrible lizards,” like the pack of velociraptors we run with on VelociCoaster’s track.
Speaking of those wily dinos – don’t be alarmed, but we actually cross paths with a couple from Blue’s squad in the queue! The guests in the stand-by line will pass by Echo, and those who over in the single-riders’ line will come within inches of Delta. To help bring these animatronics to life, they’re powered by pneumatic air and dirt-blast effects. This is a similar process to the queue pranks found in Revenge of the Mummy and a perfect choice in executing the dinos’ lifelike expressions as they attempt to break free from their harnesses (as well as those moments when you may feel them breathing down your neck).
The Easter eggs aren’t just found within the queue’s housing. If you feel like the positions of the two velociraptors at the attraction’s entrance are a bit familiar, you’re likely not the only one – that’s because their resemblance pays homage to the former Dueling Dragons roller coaster that was ultimately replaced by Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. Trekking along VelociCoaster’s perimeter, the watch tower you’ll pass has a moving search light, which has various patterns. This provides guests with the impression that an actual guard is ensuring their safety in the case of an inevitable breakout. Not far is the ever-popular Raptor Encounter, the themed meet-and-greet featuring pack leader Blue. Near this, you’ll cross over a track laid out on the pavement where handlers push her cage before loading her into the mini-attraction’s paddock. Expanding from that, there’s the addition of baby Sierra, a young raptor who walks with her handler as a mobile meet-and-greet. She’s still in the “training age,” so you may find her watching the roller coaster’s vehicles zip by, dreaming of the day she’s fully ready and able to run with her big sisters.
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