Why Universal’s roller coasters are the best

Why Universal’s roller coasters are the best

Why Universal’s roller coasters are the best

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Let me say this up front: I am a roller coaster fiend!

I cannot get enough of the fast, intense experience that roller coasters present. But, alas, I am but a poor college graduate, and I have yet to achieve my dream of traveling the world, riding every roller coaster known to man. That being said, I don’t consider it a bad thing that Universal’s coasters are the extent of what I have experienced. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Dragon Challenge, Revenge of the Mummy, and Incredible Hulk are all a big part of what I look forward to when I’m visiting Universal Orlando. Here, I will finally reveal which of these coasters is my favorite and why.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

What I love

I absolutely adore the on-ride music selection, the very thing that makes this coaster different from the rest. They have a good selection that is available to all riders, but have an even better selection of hidden songs. Ever since I found out that I could listen to Free Bird by Lynard Skynyrd, I never even look through the regular selection.

 

I really enjoy the 90-degree climb at the beginning of the ride. This climb is what keeps many people from ever setting foot on this coaster, and a big part of what keeps me coming back.

I’m a big fan of the lap bar as opposed to the over-the-shoulder restraint. The music on this ride, as well as the ‘music video’ aspect, really makes you want to dance, and the lack of over-the-shoulder harness makes this possible.

What I’d improve

I do not like the moving sidewalks that you have to walk on as you board your car. As I mentioned above, I am one of those people that insists on using a secret song, which requires holding your thumb down on the screen for a certain amount of time. With these sidewalks, and the fact that the cars rarely stop, I never feel like I’m going to have enough time to make my selection.

The constant stops and starts during the ride experience also make it feel like your ride is put on hold every time it really gets going.

The single rider wait time can be deceivingly long. I’ve been with people who were terrified to go on the Rip Ride Rockit, so I thought I would be able to wait in the single riders’ line and then hop right on… yeah, right. About an hour later I finally made it onto the ride, and my friends thought I had gone back to the hotel without them because I was gone so long! The bottom line is, if you’re trying to do single rider and the line is all the way down the staircase, you might want to turn around and try coming back later.

Learn more about Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Dragon Challenge – Hungarian Horntail/Chinese Fireball

What I love

The queue has been significantly improved since Dueling Dragons was changed into Dragon Challenge. Fans of Harry Potter will see many different familiar objects from The Goblet of Fire, including an area where the Triwizard Champions would sleep, the Triwizard Cup, the golden mermaid eggs, and the Weasleys’ crashed Ford Anglia.

 

The wait times on this ride are also usually really short, especially in the mornings, if you want to kick off your day with some dragon fighting in the sky.

My absolute favorite part of these rides is contained on the Hungarian Horntail side, and I will simply refer to it as the wall. I’ve never had a more shocking moment than turning the corner and feeling like I was going to slam directly into the side of the castle.

What I’d improve

Despite the fact that the queue is really cool to look at, it’s also really, really long. As I mentioned earlier, in the past six times of visiting Universal, I haven’t had to wait for the Dragon Challenge for more than ten minutes. Therefore, having to run through the dank darkness of the queue doesn’t ruin my enthusiasm about riding one of the dragons, but it does dampen it a little.

Having to go all the way out and back in again in order to ride the other coaster has always been a bit of a pain. Yes, I know there is a shortcut in the outdoor queue area, but you still have to leave the castle!

Learn more about Dragon Challenge

 

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Revenge of the Mummy

What I love

The atmosphere of the entire ride, including the queue, is really fantastic. All the different props in the beginning, the way it slowly starts to seem like you’re actually in an ancient Egyptian tomb, all adds to the overall experience. If you haven’t been before, look out for the “hot spots” along the queue!

 

 

The fake ending, when you see the employee’s silhouette announcing that the ride is over and then being destroyed by the mummy, is really great. It’s always really hilarious to watch a first-timer react to this.

What I’d improve

The queue is long. Ridiculously long. As great as the ambiance is, it doesn’t make up for how incredibly long the line is. Especially considering how high the wait times can get. It does sometimes feel like you’re stuck somewhere and you can never escape, and the most fun I’ve had in there was knocking on the wall and having another bored person on the other side knock back.

Not necessarily a con for everybody, but the build-up for the really fast parts of the ride goes on a bit too long for me, and then the actual fast parts are cut short. It is really nothing compared to the non-stop flying you do on Dragon Challenge or Hulk.

Learn more about Revenge of the Mummy

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

What I love

The video of Bruce Banner in the queue line just doesn’t get old. I never tire of being accused of breaking into his lab and being angrily told to go away, and then hearing the Hulk himself say how much he hates Puny Banner.

 

The launch tube is truly one of my favorite places to be in all of Universal. The heart-pounding moments as you’re faced with the light at the end of the tunnel, with Bruce’s words “I think… I think this time it’s going to work!” as the warnings are going off… nothing will ever be better than that.

How easy it is to see the on-ride camera is always a point of interest for me, so my friends and I can pose and possibly get a picture good enough to buy.

What I’d improve

You know what? I really can’t think of anything!

It’s clear, in the end, that Incredible Hulk is my favorite roller coaster at Universal. It was the first roller coaster I ever rode, way back in 8th grade, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Bruce, I don’t ever think your experiment is actually going to work… but I forgive you. The Hulk is one wild ride.

Learn more about The Incredible Hulk Coaster

 

 

Have your own reasons for loving Universal’s coasters – or have your own suggestions for improvements? Let ’em fly in the comments below.

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Taylor Strickland Taylor Strickland is the Owner & Publisher at Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.

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