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New coaster at Universal Orlando in 2009

Written by
Published: March 19, 2008 at 9:07 AM

Editor's note: Thanks to the many, many readers who submitted this. Michael was the first, and I've combined all the posts in one.

Universal is building a new high tech coaster set to debut in 2009!

Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit will ride over, around and outside the entrance to Universal Studios Florida (fixed). Not only will there be an on-ride soundtrack, but riders will get to choose it, selecting from five genres (classic rock, rap, country, pop and disco), or just letting the system pick songs for you. ("Shuffle" mode?)


Rendering courtesy Universal Orlando

Riders will be recorded on video, and riders will be given the chance to edit the video of their ride, then to e-mail that video to their friends.

Top speed of the coaster will be 65 mph. No other specs yet, but Universal's press release offered a height of "17 stories" and "six near-miss moments and first-ever thrills including a record-breaking loop."

Readers' Opinions

From Claudine Deshaies on March 19, 2008 at 9:54 AM
Nice. I can't wait for something new there! I'm curious about the "soundtrack" thing, though.
From Todd Houts on March 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM
The story begins:
Universal is building a new high tech coaster set to debut in 2009!

Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit will ride over, around and outside the entrance to Universal Studios "Hollywood".

I think that last word is supposed to be Orlando, not Hollywood. Easy to make the mistake since the Orlando park is getting the Hollywood coaster.

Very excited about this!

From Olivier Sanguy on March 19, 2008 at 10:26 AM
Well, Universal is still alive... Harry Potter coming, and now this brand new roller-coaster. WDW should react for sure. At least, will the Beastly Kingdom rise from its ash? ;-)
In general, this could be good news for us as theme park customers. With projects like these, perhaps the big bosses up there get the fact that even if a rehab/revamp of an older ride can be a good thing (depends...), nothing can replace a new attraction and if possible an innovative one.
From Iris Hernandez on March 19, 2008 at 10:31 AM
I was totally thrilled when I read this announcement early this morning on OrlandoSentinel.com. My hands even started shaking cuz I was so excited.

Universal Studios is definetely bringing its A-game now. An outside rollercoaster there is LONG overdue and they are going to be reaping in millions of dollars. Who cares what it costs to build it? THe darn thing will be payed off in a week if not less. I am so glad that I got an annual pass there last Sunday and I will definetely be renewing it next year. Cant wait to see the construction started. Slight concern with the "supposed" opening time... I was there a week ago and didnt see any construction started, can they really pull off this coaster and all its glorious technology in a year?

From Robert OGrosky on March 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM
Im always happy to see a new coaster being added!!!!

I just wondering who will be building the coaster??
I would perfer a B & M due to the rides they offer and rarely being down.
I hope its not Intamin or Premier, as there coasters tend to have alot of downtime, and Premier is known for head banging on there inverted coasters.

From James Rao on March 19, 2008 at 11:17 AM
Round two of the Great Orlando Coaster Wars? Last time USF/IOA and WDW knocked heads we got Hulk, Dueling Dragons, Rock n' Roller, and Everest. You've gotta love when these two companies compete!!!

At any rate, 2009 will be a banner year for Studios with this new attraction as well as the Harry Potter changes (although there are rumors that the HP development has been scaled way back already, so we'll have to wait and see).

As for Beastly Kingdom, I thought that was already scratched at AK and those "laid off" imagineers went on to build the Lost Kingdom at IOA? Oh well, I am sure there are other ideas in the Disney pipeline....one is the planned refurb (or possible re-engineer) of SPACE MOUNTAIN....it will be down for all of 2009 and maybe longer....

Disney will definitely have to make a counter move...I can't wait to see what it will be!! It is good to be a theme park fan in the first decade of the 21st Century!

From Diane Graebner on March 19, 2008 at 11:18 AM
It's a Maurer Sohne coaster.
From Deidre Dennis on March 19, 2008 at 12:54 PM
Curious if anyone knows WHEN in 2009 it will debut...
From Iris Hernandez on March 19, 2008 at 3:02 PM
The article states it will open in spring 2009, roughly a year from now.
From Susan Pfeil on March 19, 2008 at 4:59 PM
There is a difference between Disney's rollercoasters and Universal's. I think IOA gets amusement park attendance because of the rough rollercoasters (Hulk and Dueling Dragons). The majority of the visitors do not like those types of rides. In addition, the other rides are either water related where you get soaked or it's itsy bitsy kids rides at Suess. Spiderman is the only ride that is a nice mix. Where Disney's rides are more tolerable and all ages can ride them. I truly believe that makes the difference in theme park attendance. This sounds like another rough one!
From James Rao on March 19, 2008 at 7:33 PM
Here's the link to the Orlando Sentinel article about the new coaster if you don't already have it.
From Greg Shilton on March 19, 2008 at 8:15 PM
This is very exciting. But USH needs something new too. Ugh. Come one now, we could have a roller coaster that travels around the park (oohh. Imagine the drop from the upper lot to the lower lot, haha).

Ok ok, it would be difficult to build that at USH, but it's possible. And USH is....well...limited in rides.

From Jordan Siegert on March 19, 2008 at 9:37 PM
My only question is where the heck is it gonna go... now the press release says near jimmy neutron, but looking at my satiellte map at work i cant figure it out. my only thought now is if there gonna shut down something.....anyone else know more?
From Eric Malone on March 19, 2008 at 10:23 PM
Sounds pretty ambitious. Definitely gives me a reason to stick around Florida for a few more years! Can't wait to see how this turns out.
From Joshua Counsil on March 20, 2008 at 2:02 AM
Well, I gotta be the first to say - I'm not impressed. I fear for Universal, actually.

I love the concept. Choosing your own music is a totally bad@ss idea. And I'm sure the ride will be great. But it swoops around the park entrance and over CityWalk? What the hell is this, Six Flags? Won't this ruin the allure of the big Universal gates, and the big globe, and obstruct the views across the lake?

Now, there is nothing I would love more than to be clubbin' at CityWalk and to have a roller coaster swooping over the night scene. That's a real adrenaline pump. But it just doesn't seem right to me ... am I too old-fashioned? Anyone with me?

From James Rao on March 20, 2008 at 6:45 AM
From the artist's rendition it looks like a SkyLoopXT 450. If you follow the link, then click on the Adobe Acrobat product info, you can see some bigger pictures and get a decent description for the coaster.

Anyone been to a theme park in Spain recently?

From Brian Emery on March 20, 2008 at 8:11 AM
Any new top ride like this is great for all parks in Orlando. You go to Universal for a new ride and you end up going to Sea World and Disney also….
From Pat Ott on March 20, 2008 at 8:57 AM
I think this is a great boost to the park in trying to keep up with the times. I'm not a big fan of coasters that go over an audience as in CityWalk where people are eating, drinking and shopping then to have a coaster overhead with people getting sick on the folks down below.
From Adrienne McDonald on March 20, 2008 at 3:46 PM
I can't wait but just wondering, how are we supposed to choose the soundtrack in agreement w/all the other riders? Is there a poll conducted by the operators? This will be interesting to find out.
From Jeff M on March 20, 2008 at 4:43 PM
Yes, I have just visited Port Adventura in Barcelona, Spain.

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