North America Quick Takes | Jan./Feb. 2021
Universal Orlando Resort Takes Wraps Off New Coaster
After two years of construction, Universal Orlando Resort has officially announced a new roller coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The “Jurassic World VelociCoaster” is touted by the park as a “new species of roller coaster.” Revealing the ride will open in summer 2021, Universal says the ride from Intamin will surge to 70 mph in just 2.4 seconds and ascend up a 155-foot-tall top hat, before dropping 80 degrees, which park officials say is the steepest drop ever on a roller coaster at Universal Orlando Resort. A one-of-a-kind 360-degree barrel roll above the lagoon at Islands of Adventure will leave riders gliding just inches above the water. Other elements include shooting through launches, navigating near misses inside a velociraptor paddock, and experiencing 12 seconds of airtime during the 4,700-foot-long journey. The ride also promises a zero-gravity inverted stall that will send riders upside down.
The original storyline has guests joining the cast of the “Jurassic World” movies as they plunge into a high-speed adventure and experience the thrill of a velociraptor chase.
New Alpine Coaster Opens in Olympics Sports Complex in New York
One of North America’s longest alpine coasters opened last autumn at Mount Van Hoevenberg near Lake Placid, New York, the site of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Named the “Cliffside Coaster,” the 7,000-foot-long ride, created by Aquatic Development Group (ADG), features an audio system that allows visitors to experience what it’s like to be an Olympic bobsledder. The audio track is narrated by John Morgan, who competed with the U.S. National Bobsled team in 1978 and 1979, has served as a TV bobsled analyst for 10 consecutive Winter Olympic Games, and also provided commentary in the 1993 movie “Cool Runnings.”
ADG says the audio track is the first of its kind for any new mountain coaster. The twists and turns along the coaster’s route were designed by ADG’s engineers to replicate the 1980 Olympic bobsled track, with a few 360-degree turns added “just for fun.” Reaching speeds up to 25 mph, the ride’s Olympic-themed sleds seat two riders and are designed to match the look and feel of bobsleds, allowing riders to control how fast their cart travels down the mountain.