Universal Orlando Announces Major Upgrade for Hulk Coaster

August 14, 2015, 9:50 AM · Universal Orlando Resort announced this morning that the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure will be going down for an extended refurbishment, starting Sept. 8.

Incredible Hulk Coaster

The popular Bolliger & Mabillard launch coaster will be closed for nearly a year as Universal and its contractors make substantial improvements to the attraction. Universal announced today that the coaster will be getting new ride vehicles as well as "new enhancements to its storyline." We have heard that the park also will be replacing the coaster's launch mechanism and will be adding new in-queue and possibly in-tunnel on-ride effects.

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 is in the midst of a building binge at its U.S. theme parks, as Islands of Adventure will be opening the Reign of Kong ride in a new Skull Island land next year, and plans are underway to add a major Nintendo presence in the parks. Universal Orlando is also building a new hotel and new water park. In Hollywood, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open next year as the keystone in a $1 billion-plus "Evolution" makeover of the entire Universal City property, which is also slated to include new hotels.

Replies (23)

August 14, 2015 at 9:59 AM · Yay!!!
August 14, 2015 at 10:06 AM · hopefully they fix that awful head-bob and roughness it has developed over the years that keeps me from riding it anymore...weird that kraken at sea world is only a year younger and is still smooth as silk.
August 14, 2015 at 10:07 AM · Hopefully Disney will follow suite and start renovations quickly and swiftly on its U.S. Theme parks as well. Glad they have done work on Disney Springs and the resorts as they needed some love for sure.
August 14, 2015 at 10:35 AM · This is really good news!
August 14, 2015 at 10:35 AM · Floorless Baby with LIMs
August 14, 2015 at 11:44 AM · Hoping the lame metal detectors are incorporated into the storyline. Secure facility, etc.
August 14, 2015 at 11:58 AM · Where's the people that were absolutely positive Disney was getting Marvel back from Universal Orlando? We tried to tell you. LOL
August 14, 2015 at 12:06 PM · Is it possible they'll be re-theming it too? I wonder given some rumors that are flying around about Hulk and the Marvel attractions.
August 14, 2015 at 12:12 PM · No, it's staying Hulk
August 14, 2015 at 12:34 PM · I was hoping they would wait until after my trip. I guess they didnt get my memo. Very much needed as you needed an hour in between rides to get your head back together. Great Coaster, should be even better in 2016.
August 14, 2015 at 12:45 PM · Man, it's hard to imagine a year without the Hulk. Imagine a year without Soarin at Epcot.
August 14, 2015 at 1:29 PM · This is welcome news... I last rode in May and the narration/sound effects in the tunnel were not even working that day. But more important, I think they will address the roughness that has taken away most of the appeal of this ride for me. I look forward to the new and improved version.
August 14, 2015 at 1:54 PM · We are returning to UOR in 2016, but it will be late July / early August. I find it hard to believe this will be closed for a year. A whole Summer with no Hulk? Not good....

There was a rumor the Hulk could possibly be changed to Iron Man. Not the Tony Stark version, but the comic book version as they could use that IP. The launch would still work with the back story.

August 14, 2015 at 2:12 PM · and Disney's next new ride/area/whatever is when? The amount that Uni has put in during the last five years is astounding. And more so in comparison to Disney.
August 14, 2015 at 2:14 PM · I don't think the "roughness" will go away. It's not like they're be installing new track. The ride might be a little smoother because mechanics will be able to give all of the trains a complete overhaul with complete rebuilt wheel assemblies, but they'll still be running over the same track.

I would anticipate the experience to be much like that of Led Zeppelin from Hard Rock Park. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, because while the total experience was very cool, it was annoying for those just wanting to ride the coaster because you had to sit through the pre-show whether there was a line or not. I wouldn't be surprised if the trains are floorless and equipped with a full sound system, but the actual coaster experience will probably be unchanged after the launch, assuming it's replaced with LSMs/LIMs.

August 14, 2015 at 2:59 PM · Russell - Don't be so sure about the track. With almost a full year down, and with all the money ComCast is pumping into UO, I would not be surprised if a track replacement is in the works here. Just a hunch.
August 14, 2015 at 5:28 PM · Just as long as there are no screens. Please Universal, for the love of everything that is good and holy, NO MORE SCREENS!!!!!!!
August 14, 2015 at 5:38 PM · This is great news and all, but being closed for a year does seem excessive though. Remember this is the same company that built Transformers next door at USF, from the ground up in roughly the same time this refurbishment will take. I'm no mechanical engineer but as someone who follows the industry, I would say it should be pushed to be all smashtastic by early-May for the summer crowds.
August 14, 2015 at 6:20 PM · To me, this is fantastic news. Universal obviously knows what they're doing, and they know that closing one of their most popular attractions for roughly a year is a huge inconvenience to a lot of park-goers. But they're doing it anyway, so they clearly have a long-term vision for the whole UOR, which includes this landmark roller coaster.

I seriously doubt Universal will re-theme the Incredible Hulk to any other character. In a previous thread post, I suggested Venom, turning the entire land into "Spider-Island" - especially now that Fantastic Four bombed, as they can now get rid of those related characters. ;)

No, I think it will remain Incredible Hulk. However, a full year means they're completely overhauling the ride, which could include parts of the track being replaced, specifically in the roughest areas.

It feels to me like Universal is all about "going big or going home", and this is more proof of that. Kudos to U.

August 15, 2015 at 9:04 AM · Glad we made it to Universal this summer ... if Hulk was down during our visit I'd have been bummed out !
August 17, 2015 at 12:07 AM · Yeah. Transformers certainly wasn't built from the ground up. They copied a whole lot from Spiderman, not to mention most of the bugs (no offense, Spidey) were worked out in Hollywood, since it's an exact clone.
August 17, 2015 at 12:37 PM · Sorry Rob, I just don't see a track rework as a possibility here. There's no way they're going to rework the first half of the track, because that would necessitate closing access to Marvel Super Hero Island. It's certainly possible the second half could be reworked, but how much could they really change, and what would be the overall benefit? There's not a lot of room back there, and in order to rework the track, you would need to disassemble the pieces, potentially break up the old footers, rework the land, and rebuild from the ground up. That's just not something that happens overnight, and again, I don't see the benefit there. Universal was able to build Transformers in a little over 18 months, but tearing down an old soundstage and building a dark ride is a little different than tearing out old coaster footers and rebuilding on the same site (it took Busch Gardens 2 years to build Verbolten, and they managed to reuse a number of the old Big Bad Wolf footers). Again, there's not much land to work with there, so you can't really do much with the layout unless they're taking out Dr. Doom or the Storm Force Accelatron, which you would think would be announced if they're taking down Hulk now.

Hulk has been running full boar for over 15 years now, and this year-long hiatus will give them the time to either give all the trains a full rehab or bring on the new floorless trains (more likely). I just don't know why you would mess with a coaster layout that is already a top 10 looper in the world. Put on floorless trains, give the queue a better treatment, swap out the friction wheel launch with LSMs, add some new affects along the way and on-board sound, and you've got more than enough to warrant the rehab time.

August 18, 2015 at 12:04 PM · Whatever they do, I agree that this ride badly needs to become smoother. It shakes and rattles so bad that it gives me a headache. Plus I nearly passed out -- both times that I rode it. Although that could be due to the G forces.

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