UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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PhNx Survivor
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:15 am

So, with Hagrids ride now open.. track for the new Jurassic World coaster has begun to arrive.

From the looks of the track, the rumour that it would be a Mack coaster was just a rumour. As the track resembles Intamin's latest additions globally.

Midway Mayhem has a very nice video of the few track pieces that have already arrived, by my counts I'd say at least 6/8 pieces have arrived.

Quite amazed how 1 ride opens, and another begins construction.. this being the case, could see a very possible 2020 opening.

2 world class coasters in the space of 1 year? What even is this?!
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:04 am

PhNx Survivor wrote:
Quite amazed how 1 ride opens, and another begins construction.. this being the case, could see a very possible 2020 opening.

2 world class coasters in the space of 1 year? What even is this?!

It's just the kind of development you'd expect to see from the 6th largest theme park operator in the world. I wonder what the top two could do? :sus:

I would guess a 2020 opening might be a bit hopeful. If it's going to be themed around Jurassic Park/World, then adding the theming could take another year alone. Although Hagrid's was very quick to be put together once all the pieces arrived.
 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:12 pm

Swarm Chris wrote:
PhNx Survivor wrote:
Quite amazed how 1 ride opens, and another begins construction.. this being the case, could see a very possible 2020 opening.

2 world class coasters in the space of 1 year? What even is this?!

It's just the kind of development you'd expect to see from the 6th largest theme park operator in the world. I wonder what the top two could do? :sus:

I would guess a 2020 opening might be a bit hopeful. If it's going to be themed around Jurassic Park/World, then adding the theming could take another year alone. Although Hagrid's was very quick to be put together once all the pieces arrived.


I wonder myself, I know Disney are currently doing something new with the Avengers re-theme and obviously with the recently opened Star Wars land, but still feels underwhelming.. as for Merlin.. I don't even think they could comprehend the idea of 2 coasters in a year :lol

I would say so aswell, however looking at recent activity, ground work is already on its way, and all foliage and current buildings have either been removed or moved. Buildings are also currently having small re-themes to match the Jurassic World colours. The area appears to be ready for ground work construction for majority of the ride, and theming. And yeah like you say, Hagrids theming was done reasonably quick for the detail that was produced.. I do believe we'll see a May 2020 opening, if not shortly after.

I think what would stall the opening till 2021 would be the entire area re-theme, I mean Jurassic River ride would need a considerable re-theme with new animatronics possibly.

Either way, very exciting news! Especially how the "Fantastic World's" park is now starting to get somewhere.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:31 pm

I still think having two multi-launch coasters next to each other is kinda weird, even if one's a family and one's an extreme white knuckle coaster.

I suspect this is a coaster they're aiming to have built quickly in order to stop people delaying their holiday a year or two whilst Fantastic Worlds is being built. I wouldn't expect it to have the level of themeing of the Harry Potter rides.

I think with Universal are going to keep leaving Disney in the dust with their big budget rides. Outside of the queuing/downtime I can't find a single negative thing said about Hagrid's coaster whereas Star Wars Land, the Millenium Falcon ride in particular, has a lot of 'it's okay...' type.

Don't think Marvel Land at DLP is going to come close to either Harry Potter or Star Wars. The art shown so far doesn't have a cohesive theme and it's looking like outside the Avengers coaster retheme. The Spider-man ride looks disappointing (Midway Mania clone) and the "pym labs" attraction looks very likely to be Ant-man & the Wasp (clone of buzz lightyear)
 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:21 pm

The rumours are it's going to open around the same time as the new Jurassic World movie which opens in 2021 which ties in with the permits as they also run to 2021.

It also seems as if there is some truth in the Mack rumour but it may just be with regards to the operations rather than the whole build 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:48 pm

'leaked' models showing off the new Nintendo land. Not impossible these are faked but someone put a huge amount of work into them.

https://orlandoparkstop.com/news/rumors/leaked-model-photos-show-off-super-nintendo-world-for-universal-parks/

It looks absolutely incredible. A couple of thoughts: At the top of the Donkey Kong ride it looks like you're fired out of the barrel onto track which confirmed it uses a ride system that fakes jumping off the track. Also seems the first real confirmation I've seen of a Yoshi ride. 
 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:01 pm

Islands of Adventure has been named the worlds #1 theme park for the fifth year in a row via TripAdvisor! Universal Studios Florida has also reached #3.

Interestingly Disney’s Magic Kingdom reaches #2, Animal Kingdom #4, Hollywood Studios #15 and Epcot not reaching the top 25. Times are changing it would seem!

You can see the full list here.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:12 pm

So it appears Hagrid's is still a bit temperamental. Last two days it had 48% downtime, and 25% downtime on Saturday.

It sounds fantastic, but it's slightly disappointing that there is nowhere to view it other than in the queue, or for a brief second on Flight of the Hippogriff.
 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:06 pm

I got to ride Hagrid's this morning, with a 30 minute queue after getting to the park for opening. Thankfully I went on straight away, as it appears it has a bit of a bee problem, and as such has been closed nearly all day today.

The coaster closed Wednesday afternoon because of hundreds, possibly thousands, of bees were found near the attraction.

In an email to Spectrum News, a Universal spokesperson said its team is "working to resolve the issue."

"We will reopen the attraction as soon as we're able to do so," the spokesperson wrote.

Source: Spectrum News 13

So bees aside, it's a great solid coaster. In a rudimentary way it could be described as a family friendly Taron. It has several sweeping turns, which when riding on the motorbike are brilliant, as you're riding higher up and sightly more exposed.

The reverse switch part is fun, but I suspect far better if you're in the first 3 rows. The last 2 rows don't really go up the stall, so the experience back there is just kind of a gradual slow down then reverse, rather than being pushed up the stall track.

The drop is fun, I would say less extreme than Th13teen, but that could be due to it not having wind effects to emphasise the drop like Th13teen does.

Brilliant ride, and should handle capacity really well once everything is running smoothly. Even today, for the brief part it opened in the morning, there were several trains on track at the same time, which were fun to watch from the very small viewing area at the ride exit.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:25 am

Universal have been testing out some new interactive technology at Halloween Horror Nights, I believe - but have no confirmation - in partnership with Microsoft. It aims to have voice recognition, voice synthesis, and movement interactivity.

This Hawkins National Laboratory labelled machine was recently installed in the Horror Gift Shop. The photo is from a few days ago when staff were pulling it apart, but tonight it was up and running and I got chance to give it a go.

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When operational, the HNL "testing to commence" panel is removed to reveal a screen, which looks into a forest. The task of the person interacting with it, is to help guide a person in the forest to safety, first by talking to them using the radio strapped to the railings.

The first part of the technology is to attempt to have a fairly basic conversation with you. The character asks your name, and then refers back to you with your name throughout. Soon a Demogorgon appears - and ironically the speech synthesis of the character misspronounces Demogorgon. You're asked to distract it, by either making a noise or moving around. You're then told you have some power you can use - essentially the same power as Eleven - and you can fight it off by pushing your hands out.

It's an interesting test, and gives an insight into what Universal might have in development for future attractions, with the operator making notes for each person trying it. Technologically, it doesn't look that special. I believe the panel below the Restricted Area sign houses a Kinect behind it that will handle movement and voice recognition, and whilst the voice synthesis is fluid, it only really had to deal with my name in real-time, as everything else is pre-scripted.

Edit 7 Oct: here it is operating.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:12 pm

Some various construction updates from Veloci-coaster. Looks like they've been installing drainage, coming across existing drainage where they've been digging, installing a new retaining wall along the shore line and hammering something into the ground, perhaps footers for a static crane.

Last week:

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This week:

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:06 pm

The construction walls around the old Terminator building entrance have been removed, confirming that a Jason Bourne stunt show will be taking its place, opening next spring.

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Source: @BradJost on Twitter
 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:47 am

T2-3D was legitimately the best Terminator film since T2, sad it's gone now.

Sounds a lot like it's going to be like the marvel show that was at Disneyland Paris, Live action actors interacting with a set that's almost entirely made up of projection mapping. The show had a lot of potential and was just let down by a boring finale. Not sure how much live action stunt work they'll be able to do in a show that will have to repeat every 30 minutes mind.
 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:21 pm

We have our first strong insider rumour for Halloween Horror Nights 30!

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie, insiders are claiming Universal Orlando will be receiving a scarezone or fountain show based on WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? by 5 time Grammy winner Billie Eilish.

Whilst Hollywood are anticipated to receive a full house, Orlando are seemingly resistant to the idea, which to me seems somewhat of a misstep. When you really think about the imagery and arguably lyrical content associated with this IP it could really make a fantastic house, hell one of the music videos was directed by Michael Chaves - known for his directorial debut with The Curse of La Llorna and the upcoming The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It. I’d much prefer this as opposed to a lagoon show so that spot can be saved for a ‘throwback’ show of sorts.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:14 pm

Well, they already used that record in the Academy of Villains show last year, so it has a HHN tie already.

But to be honest, the Robb Zombie scare zone and house at HHN29 felt fairly weak. The scare zone probably due to its location and small size. The house just didn't have a memorable story or flow for me. Given the Universal original houses have been some of the best in the last two years, bar Ghostbusters, Killer Klowns and Stranger Things (2018 only), it wouldn't surprise me if Orlando weren't hesitant on going with it as a house.
 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:42 pm

From what seems to be being mentioned, Billie Eilish may have a creative hand in making the house/show, so that may be a strong benefit for it. It’s also worth noting it’s a far more specific theme being based on a single album, as opposed to “The Music of Rob Zombie” so that can work to its benefit also.

With a house the Robb Zombie one was actually based on his film “House of 1000 Corpses” rather than his music I believe, however, I do see what you mean about being apprehensive about a house based on an album. That being said, hopefully they take visual cues from her videos and such as I could see a pretty strong house from this. Having recently watched her “Bury A Friend” music video, walking through this as a house would be pretty cool.

I’ll be heading to HHN30 so really hope this works out, whilst her image is sometimes diminished due to the assumptions made about her fan base, I find her and her brother to be a very talented pair and could see it being the surprise hit of the event!
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:59 pm

I kind of think it would be best suited to part of the fountain show, which made its debut last year. Then they could play the song enough to get a crowd cheering, but not overplay it to cause complete annoyance. The Stranger Things theme music being played last year during the fountain show got a big reaction, I think that track would certainly have the ability to do something similar. Then use the projection mapping on the fountains and surrounding buildings.
 
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:43 pm

Thinking about it, I believe there was something along the lines of the “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Experience” at some point last year, and so if that could be translated into the fountain show it could be quite the spectacle. Playing through each track with its accompanying ‘Experience’ being shown across the buildings and water screens may be interesting.

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To me I still feel it’s a missed opportunity to not go for a zone, I feel like the fountain show can be used for something more ‘event binding’ and a house just seems a little bit more risky with it being the anniversary, a zone is the perfect mid point to me. No matter what happens, if this and some of the other rumblings are true, this event is sounding a bit nuts!
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Fri May 22, 2020 10:51 am

Universal are definitely making the most of the parks being shut and are making progress on the new Jurassic coaster

Credit to @bioreconstruct for the photos

 https://twitter.com/bioreconstruct

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Fri May 22, 2020 11:42 am

Looks amazing already, can't wait to ride it.
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