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Universal Studios Florida - "Rip Ride Rockit" coaster finally opens


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  • Universal Studios Florida - "Rip Ride Rockit" coaster finally opens

    After long delays, the "Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit" roller coaster is finally officially open at Universal Studios Florida!

    The roller coaster takes guests "over" Universal Studios Orlando and lets them pick their own soundtrack, among other innovations.

    Link to: Official Coaster Website

    Link to: Orlando Sentinel Article
    Yes, I do LOVE Disney California Adventure. Disneyland is not so bad either ;-)

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  • #2
    Re: Universal Studios Florida - "Rip Ride Rockit" coaster finally opens

    It finally opened, and I finally rode it.

    Verdict: SeaWorld won the 2009 attraction wars by a long shot.

    Was it a fun ride? Yes I guess.
    Was it worth the 5 month delay? No.
    Will it ever be one of my favorites? No.

    That was the whole point of my visit today, was to ride HRRR. I got there, saw the 150 min wait and just sucked it up and got in line. It was only about 1.5 hours though.
    What sucks is they didn't have the single rider line open when I got there. There are about 3 sections of queue. Outside, and two indoors. They opened singles when I got indoors and it was too late to leave the line. Oh well, I knew I had to wait.

    The first part of the line blew by, I was over halfway there in a half hour. And then it stopped. And we waited. And this isn't a very nice queue mind you. Its just switchbacks under the load isn't air conditioned. The outside queue had misters and fans (though some misters were more like hoses) but the inside line had nothing. Luckily the weather was overcast today with a stormy breeze, so it wasn't overly hot or humid. I think that is the first thing they need to rectify...some fans in the covered queue.

    My other complaint for the queue is the video. I had a few problems with it. First of all it tries to hip and funny. It isn't. Secondly there are a few too many innuendos in it...and while I am all about a good innuendo, they need to be subtle, and a theme park queue video isn't the place. But my complaint with it is it is too short.

    Now I understand completely the costs and the logistics of coming up with and paying for video time in queues and preshows. And the video was slightly different in each queue area. Now they needed to make a video that guests could see (for the safety procedures) even if the line was short. However, they could have done something other than the loop every 3-4 minutes. Do the math. I was in that last area for about an hour.

    I didn't get to pick my song. I went for one of the bonus tracks...but by the time the hidden keypad finally popped up it disappeared again and I got the generic song. No Muppets for me. That's fine. But I see what people are saying about A/V glitches. And it is don't hear the other people's music. But at times...I didn't hear my music either.

    The ride. After seeing it at IAAPA last year, I thought "it has too many block will kill the pacing" and it does. almost need them. So in a way...they work (some of them). It has these crammed elements that are VERY intense. You need the blocks to have a breather. Which is good for how intense it is...but it still kills the pacing. The ride doesn't flow, and other than the non-inverting loop (which I will say is kinda cool) nothing sticks out. The whole ride goes by and its like "what did I just do?" and nothing stands out that makes me smile and say "oh yeah...". And each element is so quick that its over and you're back on a block before you know it.

    The loop has some airtime at the top, and you get some air coming down to the firehouse, and thats about it. But I didn't see the drop as "meh" like others...I liked it. It just didn't blow me away. But the loop I would like to see developed a bit more to become a bit smoother and put on other rides.

    But the cars...this was my first X-Car coaster...and I have to say...not a fan of these trains. People are complaining about the height maximum...and I have to say I don't get it. I think these cars are made for tall people. I am short. This seat didn't suit me well at all. The people it seems it is made for can't ride.

    You know that every seat you sit in makes you sit a certain way. But in this seat they want you to sit all the way back. But this seat made me sit a bit forward, that's where it put me. So some of these transitions had major lateral forces, and I was whipped because unless I pushed on the lap bard and held myself back, sitting back wasn't where I was, and the seats have very little I wasn't being held in a certain place. Kind of like old wooden coasters with bad transitions.

    Rock & Rollercoaster sits you in a certain area, HRRR doesn't.

    And that is my biggest complaint. I can get over the pacing, and some of the intense moments could be fun, but everything above the lap bar was just flung. And I LOVE coasters. Its just that these transitions were too tight for this kind of coaster. Think of a hyper coaster...those trains are open but the transitions are spread out. This has open trains with tight transitions.

    I really think it would be better with OSRHs, because something over my shoulder would have given me something to hold onto. I hate those reatraints usually, I love having just a lap bar! But I think on tight transitions and inversions you need over the shoulder harnesses. And while they are all considered "non-inverting inversions", I disagree. They whip and are unfun just like inversions. I think the fact that they wanted non-inverting forms of loops and corkscrews is a big factor in the whipping and intensity of the ride, not in a good way.

    But that's my complaint. It really all comes back to the trains/cars. I don't think they are good style cars for this kind of layout. But that's just me. I will ride the ride again...I want to. I just wasn't going to put up with 180 min line or a 35 min singles line for a second trip today. I'll go back though to try to get a bonus song though.

    Do I feel like "I've done it...don't need to do it again?" like Hulk or Fire But it didn't jump to my top 10 like Manta. Manta is perfection.

    I just think it is a gimicky ride. It is an OK ride with gimicky elements (that I don't see being loved and repeated anywhere else...except for the loop) with a gimick about music and "recording your own video". And they better sells lots of those damn videos because this beast is labor intensive. They have to cover labor costs with extras like that.

    Lots of gimick, little substance. Universal Osaka got a mini-B&M hyper. Orlando has no coasters like that. I think a mini-B&M hyper (or Morgan...or Intamin) would have worked better. I just think space was too tight.

    It's like Hulk. It'll be a ride everyone can remember the name of, even if they can't remember what happened. One is remembered for the launch, the other will be remembered for the vertical lift. But Manta everyone comes off smiling. Maybe it was the wait time...but today everyone came of HRRR just kinda Meh. Not complaining...but no super wide smiles and no cheers of joy. Take that for what you will.

    Though I would like to see how it holds up. Its not rough...but it has a bit of a rattle. Somewhere between a Vekoma and a B&M. And seeing how even Dueling Dragons has been a bot rough lately...I wonder if Universal can keep it in good shape.


    • #3
      Re: Universal Studios Florida - "Rip Ride Rockit" coaster finally opens

      I went on it too and didn't like it either. Lateral forces is an understatement. Every single drop had to come back up and level out instead of going into something fun. As a result, every other moment on the ride you felt like the coaster was barely managing to stay on the track and not go flying up and off of it, and it's awkward enough that you can't even enjoy any hangtime from it or something at least. Even the finale was anticlimatic, I like viper from six flag magic mountain's heart-shaped loop a lot and I thought this would be similar, but nope. A smaller version of everest's round-and-round section pretty much.

      The music worked for me, it was thumping and rocking and I couldn't hear anyone else's music.. going into it I felt like even though it'd take many ride-throughs to hear all the songs, I was disappointed they limited themselves to only 30 choices. 30 sounds like a lot but I know I won't really care to pick many of them due to their genre. It's not hard to stock up a collection of songs, DDR games have a bigger selection. I was willing to excuse it because I realized it'd take programming effort to fit each song to the coaster, but after riding it I became aware of the fact that the song just plays, nothing's timed to anything on the ride so it's pretty much like listening to your iPod while on a roller coaster. So ya, add more songs. I picked Donna Summer's Bad Girls cuz I thought it was funny how it was on there, it definitely does not go with riding a roller coaster.

      Only glitch was at the very end the music cut off approaching the station.. like there was supposed to be some ending DJ announcement but it never happened.


      • #4
        Re: Universal Studios Florida - "Rip Ride Rockit" coaster finally opens

        Originally posted by almandot View Post
        30 sounds like a lot but I know I won't really care to pick many of them due to their genre. It's not hard to stock up a collection of songs, DDR games have a bigger selection.
        Then you'll appreciate Home keeping track of all of the bonus tracks. Hold the logo on the touch screen for 5 seconds and then it gives you a key pad to enter a 3 digit number for bonus tracks. That is what I tried to do. I just got the key pad and then was locked out.


        • #5
          Re: Universal Studios Florida - "Rip Ride Rockit" coaster finally opens

          So I went to give the thing a try today, interested in hearing the "california screamin sounding" track. Saw the ride was down from the parking garage but walked all the way over there anyways. It was down, and they were telling people that because the ride has a 2 hour cycle time to get it up and running once they're done fixing it, that it was unlikely it would be open again tonight.

          But back up here... 2 hour cycle time? Woah.. reaally??! :P


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