Yesterday, the official Universal Orlando Blog posted an interview with Gregory Hall and Shelby Honea, the Art Director and Show Director for Jurassic World VelociCoaster (VelociCoaster). In the interview, they talk about how the technical aspects of the ride aren’t the whole story, and how it’ll be more than just a roller coaster.
While the coaster is set to open “this summer”, they suggest that an opening date will be announced soon. Fascinating excerpts and states about the VelociCoaster can be found below, and you can read the interview in full here.
Reaching a top speed of 70mph across 1,556 meters of track with four inversions, two launches, an inverted zero-gravity stall, and a 155-foot tall top hat with a 140-foot drop at 80 degrees, the VelociCoaster will dominate Universal’s Islands of Adventures landscape as the “new apex predator of coaster.” However, there’s more to the coaster than just thrills.
Designing with the motto: there’s no room for fluff in roller coasters, Hall says “everything is there for a reason.” Whether it serves a purpose for the story or “upping the” safety, everything about the ride has multiple purposes…And of course, the VelociCoaster features dinosaurs.
The directors met with the filmmakers to bring the ride to life, and to help its place within the film series. Hall and Honea met with Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg to help with designing the VelociCoaster as well as to get their blessing on the final product:
“There was this moment when we were going through everything,” Greg starts. “And he says, ‘Stop; is that really what the ride vehicle is going to look like?’ And so we pause and I look at Shelby, back at him and say ‘Yes, that’s what it looks like.’ And then he goes, ‘I absolutely love it! It looks so modern.’ Shelby and I both took a big sigh.”Katie Schmidt, Discover Universal Blog
From a now-legendary osprey building a nest to working around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the construction crew faced many challengers to finish the VelociCoaster project on time. Fortunately, construction was able to continue even while the parks were closed during the summer last year. This was even before the coaster was announced:
“It created this whole phenomenon,” Greg says. “We were obviously building something and during that period it was so fun seeing fans just speculating, tweeting, writing blogs, making art — just every little thing. We hadn’t even announced, and it had all this hype. I just keep imagining once the world is ready to move on from how hard everything has been… And there’s this brand-new attraction that’s futuristic and completely different than anything else.”Katie Schmidt, Discover Universal Blog
While details for the VelociCoaster are scarce, one aspect of the coaster that has been officially confirmed is the ride’s height requirement:
“There’s something aspirational about a coaster,” Shelby says. “I really do believe there’s a kid, who loves dinosaurs and Jurassic World, and who’s eating their vegetables right now to make sure they’re 51 inches tall by the time this ride opens.”Katie Schmidt, Discover Universal Blog
The VelociCoaster features a lap bar that is lowered into place, but will not have shoulder restraints, despite the coaster having inversions.
Interesting fact, 60 or so Universal Orlando Team Members spent “pretty much everyday together” developing what we know now as Jurassic World VelociCoaster:
“Starting around mid-2017, in a 56 by 140 foot trailer located on Universal’s backlot, 60 or so Team Members spent pretty much every day together developing what we now refer to as Jurassic World VelociCoaster — the first Jurassic World attraction at Universal Orlando Resort. But before the name, before the track, before anything else fans have speculated about, the Team Members behind the ride knew one thing.”Katie Schmidt, Discover Universal Blog
The VelociCoaster will be Universal Orlando’s first Jurassic World ride when it opens. According to Universal, we’re just a “few months” away from the opening of the VelociCoaster, with an “announcement coming soon!”
Stay tuned to Orlando Theme Park Zone for further updates.
- Jurassic World VelociCoaster Announcement Coming Soon
- VIDEO: Watch People Riding Jurassic World VelociCoaster