Theme Park Insider

Yes, Bolliger & Mabillard is Building the New Hulk Coaster at Universal Orlando

October 8, 2015, 10:20 AM · Reports have been circulating around the Internet that Swiss roller coaster manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard - the original builder of Universal Orlando's Incredible Hulk Coaster - is not involved in the rebuild of that coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Incredible Hulk Coaster
Photo courtesy Corey Mathery

Universal closed the coaster last month for a nearly year-long reconstruction project, during which it is replacing track and the coaster trains. Universal also will be adding new, on-ride and in-queue effects to the popular coaster.

I reached out to Universal Orlando this morning to ask about the rumors, and a Universal spokesperson confirmed that it is Bolliger & Mabillard that is working with Universal Orlando on the Hulk rebuild.


This is the second major refurbishment of an attraction in Universal's Marvel Super Hero Island. In 2012, Universal substantially refurbished The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride in Islands of Adventure's Marvel Super Hero Island, upgrading to a 4K digital high definition Infitec 3-D projection system, as well adding a new audio system, lighting, and improved sets.

Universal holds the Orlando-area theme park rights to these Disney-owned Marvel franchises in perpetuity, thanks to the deal its signed with the then-independently-owned Marvel Studios back in the 1990s.

Previously:

Replies (30)

October 8, 2015 at 10:55 AM · I wonder if Universal will change from Hulk theme. I know they can keep the Hulk name but here is an opportunity to make it a totally new attraction.

I know you Pundits will say why change from Hulk, I will say Why not?

October 8, 2015 at 11:22 AM · Brian, the walls very clearly say "The Incredible Hulk Coaster Returning 2016"
October 8, 2015 at 11:25 AM · Great news. I'm sure since they are taking down an epic coaster, they will replace it with one just as good or better. Just don't use those lap bar only restraint systems, like on Rip Ride
.
October 8, 2015 at 11:25 AM · The point of this work isn't to create an entirely new attraction. That new attraction is under construction just down the walkway. Hulk remains a very popular, the popularity wore out the equipment. Universal is doing the necessary replacement of the ride equipment and at the same time making some enhancements. People on the Internet are making a much bigger deal out of this than it really is.
October 8, 2015 at 11:30 AM · Thanks Sean - The walls told you... I know but it would be a nice misdirection to simply put up a sign and then make a huge change.
October 8, 2015 at 11:32 AM · Love the Hulk and glad to see them refurbishing it. It would be nice to see Marvel attractions at WDW, but I love Marvel Super Hero Island at IOA, so I'm not complaining
October 8, 2015 at 11:40 AM · What are their rights regarding the use of Hulk images? Are they limited to the material of the comic books, or can they use imagery from the many Hulk movies? I'm assuming only the comic book version, since that's all that is depicted in IOA.
October 8, 2015 at 1:40 PM · They should retweek it to an IRON MAN IP - that would be incredibly popular to use that IP
October 8, 2015 at 1:43 PM · I was wondering if there may be a "rebranding" of the coaster, but if it clearly says "The incredible Hulk coaster will return" I'm think there's not a chance it will change. Whilst they will misdirect the public, straight out lying would not sit well.

As for what imagery they can use, there's no way Marvel would allow them to use film imagery unless it was in the original contract, and I actually doubt they'd be able to use any comic imagery (not that there's an issue for Universal with this). There's no really iconic images of the Hulk (like Superman hoping the car in the original comic, or the death of superman art), and creating new hulk art would be relatively easy for Universal to do.

Whilst it was a great coaster, I found the themeing on this ride a bit weak. I think Universal should be able to do a great Jun in updating it.

October 8, 2015 at 3:41 PM · It is interesting that after only 17 years the Hulk was so under maintained and or under engineered that it requires an entire retrack.
October 8, 2015 at 5:28 PM · For a park to shut down a very popular attraction for a year long refurb, you have to imagine how shot the ride was.
October 8, 2015 at 5:33 PM · I, I know it said the Hulk coaster would return next summer. Has anyone heard a more specific approx. date
October 8, 2015 at 5:37 PM · For a ride to operate every day from May 28, 1999 to September 8, 2015 (minus the days around 9/11), it probably had the most cycles of any B&M coaster out there (dispatching a train every 1:30).
October 8, 2015 at 6:00 PM · Jaiden, most definitely. Of course, Dragon Challenge is about the same way, mins the time it got re-themed. It's crazy to think about the age of rides - sometime I think about the Haunted Mansion, or any other "omnimover" at disney and how is constantly run every single day, now for 44 years straight! (minus the few frefurbs here and there!). I feel bad for the rides!

Question, and I apologize if it's a dumb one: How do you pronounce B&M? Always wondered..

October 8, 2015 at 7:25 PM · I hope they change the track layout of the second part of the ride. It felt very disjointed. It lacked 'harmony.'

And I think they should fill the track with sand this time. The ride was really too loud. You could hear all over the park. But maybe that was the point. It's the Hulk after all.

October 8, 2015 at 10:40 PM · Someone in the ride equipment business said- "It would take more than 50 years, for a seasonal park like Cedar Point, to cycle the same number of trains on a similar coaster."

It's not maintenance or engineering, it's the life of a machine. At some point they wear out and like an automobile the amount of use determines how long it will last.

October 9, 2015 at 5:35 AM · As far as it being shot, I thought it was the most extreme coaster in a major theme park. Meaning Disney, Universal, or Sea World. I have not been on anything as intense at any of the four Six Flags parks I have visited. Having not been to the Ohio parks (yet), I could not say, but at least in the top ten it is extreme. Here's hoping it does not get toned down.
October 9, 2015 at 7:55 AM · It's funny when you think how Disney and Universal can use this whole thing to play off each other. Universal has a ride based on Hulk, who is a central character in the MCU; they have a ride based on Spider-Man, who will be coming to the MCU; and in the comic book shop there are toys and comics advertising what's currently popular in the MCU. It's funny, because essentially people watching the Disney-owned MCU will be inspired to visit Universal's Marvel Superhero Island, and those who visit Marvel Superhero Island will be inspired to watch the MCU. Oh, the delicious irony!
October 9, 2015 at 9:07 AM · So glad to see this happening. As others mentioned, it's amazing it has held up so well after 15 years of 365 operation. Glad Universal is being proactive instead of waiting for the thing to get so rough it's unridable (cough, Kumba).

My understanding is USF can use images only from the time they signed the theme park contract. Newer images would require permission from the rights holder (like Sony for Spiderman) and/or Disney. With Hulk, I'm assuming Universal still holds the right to the Hulk in the Ang Lee movie, but not The Avengers. I would love to see a full size Hulk holding up one of the loops on the new coaster. A fan can dream, right?

October 9, 2015 at 11:15 AM · Jeff, Marvel/Disney hold the rights to all their characters, it doesn't matter who the film deal is with. Universal don't have to deal with Sony or Fox, just Marvel. The question is whether Universal have access to newer Style Guides (when the deal was signed, there wasn't even an Iron Man style guide even though Spidey, Hulk, X-Men and Fantastic Four had their own) or if they have to stick with what they got when the deal was first done.
October 9, 2015 at 12:21 PM · I'm glad Universal still has the Marvel rights. Disney would ruin Marvel's coolness by making a lame meet and greet and calling it the stark expo with an inflatable Beta Max style Hulk to meet. The thrill rides fit the Marvel characters better then being reduced to clowns posing for pictures.

The coaster is not themed much but it's launch and roar embody the Hulk character. I personally like the plot where you are Bruce banner as he gets shot by a gamma ray and then hulks out.

October 9, 2015 at 3:12 PM · Thinking outside the box could they turn Hulk into a Floorless or Winged coaster using the same layout?
October 9, 2015 at 9:59 PM · magnificent, can't wait to ride it in its former glory
October 10, 2015 at 1:26 AM · Glad to hear B&M is still involved in this project, because in my opinion, they make by far the best coasters in the world. I'm very interested in riding one of those Rocky Mountain ones though.

Now, if Universal can just get B&M to do a re-track job on Rip Ride Rockit, which is horrible. I love the music, but that's about the only thing worth its salt on that ride.

October 10, 2015 at 6:34 AM · Re: 95.85.77.213

I agree with you that the Hulk Coaster is a perfect representation of the character; but I disagree with you that Disney would "ruin Marvel's coolness." In fact, I'd say that selling themselves out to Disney is probably the 2nd best decision they've ever made. (1st one is hiring Stan Lee)

1.Disney has helped Marvel in making the MCU, and look how awesome it is! Plus, Disney made an entire movie of their own using the Marvel comic characters Big Hero 6, and that movie was pretty good.

2.Disney has had the full theme park rights to Star Wars since the 80s, and they turned it into one of the most groundbreaking rides of all time, and will start building what is probably the most heavily anticipated theme park lands to date.

3.While Disney is more well-known for it, Universal is also no stranger to character meet-and-greets, especially Marvel.

4.Disney is building an Iron Man motion simulator, so they obviously wouldn't make it just a series of meet and greets. Disney would (and is!) building actual Marvel rides, and they will probably be good. However, whether or not they'd be better than Universal's Marvel rides is up for debate.

October 10, 2015 at 11:00 AM · To whoever said the hulk is the most intense coaster: I think B&M inverts and Intamin Strata Coasters are the most intense.
October 11, 2015 at 9:23 AM · For those that think this ride is undermaintained, they have bo idea how long the ride has been operating continuously without a complete rehab. It's needed and it's a regular process. Disney does these maintenance projects regularly to avoid major shutdowns, but there are times when that's unavoidable. Space Mountain in both Cali and Orlando were shut down for a year each back in the 90s to do the same exact thing. The lifts need to be redone, the poles that carry the weight of the ride need to be repressurized, the coaster cars need to be pulled apart and rebuilt. They are just doing a maintenance all at once. Please don't dog out the teams from keeping you safe ride after ride. Mind you these rides also operate for private functions outside of normal operating functions which equal more cycles. Glad they are refurbing it. Hopefully they can make the ride as smooth as Kraken...and it might just be the best coaster in Orlando again.
October 12, 2015 at 9:00 AM · @174.56.159.195 - I pronounce Bolliger & Mabillard as "Bowl-le-ger and Mab-a-lard", but as you can see most people just say B&M, because anyone that knows the name Bolliger & Mabillard will know what B&M is too, so it is easier to just use the initials and avoid the name/pronunciation mangling. Just my two cents.
October 12, 2015 at 11:19 AM · I heard a rumor that USO was partnering with Nintendo for theme park attractions of some kind. I always hoped for the hulk coaster to be rebranded as a MarioKart coaster.

Either way the coaster is great regardless of the branding. I can't wait to be able to ride it again.

October 12, 2015 at 4:54 PM · It's about time that they refurb this coaster. It is just too rough, and rattles incessantly. It gives me a bloody headache, and I avoided it on my last two Orlando trips. I certainly hope it comes back smoother, otherwise this refurb will be a waste.

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