Universal rips most rock from Rockit coaster

August 31, 2023, 10:27 AM · Universal Orlando has reduced the number of musical choices that riders have on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit allows riders to pick the song that will hear on the ride's on-board speakers. The ride once featured dozens of options, along with a hidden menu of more choices. (Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" FTW!)

Now those are gone (update: okay, the hidden choices might still be there), replaced by just five official choices - one for each of the featured genres on the ride: pop/disco, rap/hip-hop, electronica, classic rock, and country. Your new menu choices on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit are:

All are new songs to the ride.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit opened in August 2009, so it's been 14 years since the attraction's debut. Universal has to license the recordings that it offers for play on the ride, so I suspect that figured into the decision to make this change. But if Universal wants to make this first step toward bigger changes on this attraction - including removing it or at least rebuilding to address its notoriously rough ride - that would be fine by me... and, I suspect, many other Universal fans.

For discussion, here's my pitch to Universal Creative. Retrack or rebuild Rip Ride Rockit, order new trains and retheme the whole thing to Fast & Furious, allowing us to pick our favorite song from the various "Fast" franchise movies as our on-board soundtrack. Then close the Supercharged attraction and redevelop that space for something - anything - else. Who's with me?

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Replies (13)

August 31, 2023 at 10:52 AM

Great idea to repurpose to F&F! The easy changeover would be to enclose portions of the track and add some type of theming. Similar to what was done with the Incredicoaster at DCA. Wouldn't fix the smoothness, etc. but it would provide something better fit for the franchise.

August 31, 2023 at 2:34 PM

Not just a rough ride, stranded riders more than once at it's peak height. I wouldn't let my kids ridie it for that reason on our January Vacation.

August 31, 2023 at 11:07 AM

Uh oh... I am going to have one upset 8 year old. LOL She picks Hella Good by No Doubt the 14 times she rode RRR last Feb, and we are going back next year. FWIW - I am in complete agreement on a retheme and then ripping F&F out and replacing it with anything. A re-tracking would be nice, this ride beats me up every time I ride it.

August 31, 2023 at 11:21 AM

I believe the "hidden" track list is still available. The change to the standard music options are likely due to licensing rights. For those who haven't ridden the coaster before, you are filmed on-ride, and can purchase a video with a reverse POV and the chosen song playing in the background. That means, in order for Universal to sell those videos, they need to have the rights to the songs selected by riders. If you pick a song from the "hidden" track list, the touch screen warns you that you cannot get a video of the experience.

It's a shame Universal didn't get licenses for more songs (at least 3 in each genre), especially since Universal/Comcast owns a record company, and could probably get a decent deal on licensing fees. I have always wondered how much the park makes from selling on-ride videos - it must be a decent amount since they've chosen to license at least a handful of new songs for on-ride POVs. Personally, I don't care a lick about the video, and would rather select from the "hidden" track list.

This is definitely a roller coaster that never quite lived up to the hype despite the immense potential presented by the on-ride audio and ability to choose your soundtrack (essentially Rock 'n Rollercoaster on steroids).

August 31, 2023 at 11:38 AM

This ride is a cautionary tale to all theme park operators not to hire a company like Maurer Sohne to build a headlining attraction at a major destination park.

August 31, 2023 at 12:00 PM

@MLB - I seem to recall that they are did some retracking of the coaster a few years back, which did help a bit. However, it is still a pretty rough experience by modern coaster standards (the over-blocking of the course doesn't help, but is necessary to increase capacity).

August 31, 2023 at 1:40 PM

The trouble with RRRI is that it just doesn't 'flow' as a coaster. Each element is kind of 'rough' (regardless of the quality of the ride). The whole way the ride is broken down into obvious block sections just destroys what ought to be a huge continuous adrenaline rush for a coaster of that height. Instead they've created a linear wild mouse but without the mouse's charms. I hated it! Oh, and the music seemed to bear no relation whatsoever to the ride. If you're going to have a soundtrack to a coaster it has to match the coaster elements. Slapping a random song onto a fixed track simply doesn't work.

August 31, 2023 at 2:36 PM

That’s a great idea Robert. I’ve only been on this once and was pumped to hear the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage. But the ride itself was so stop-and-go (like a poorly curated mixtape) and spine-wringing that I’ve never had the desire to re-ride. I think the best thing this coaster has going for it is that it’s a great visual “weenie” to look at across the park, with its initial drop right into the big first loop. But seriously, they should have a chiropractor’s office that sells gift shop items and kill two birds with one stone.

August 31, 2023 at 6:51 PM

Robert gets a free bonus track for the article title...

September 1, 2023 at 7:39 AM

initially, i believe RRR was supposed to be an orlando version of japan's hollywood dream, but B&M was tied up with too many other projects (including the superior manta at sea world) so that's how they ended up with mahrer sohne. would love to see them bring in intamin, mack or vekoma to give this thing a much needed overhaul. as far as the music, i never felt it mattered much and i could be wrong, but i thought they bailed on the video portion ages ago.

September 1, 2023 at 8:36 AM

I love the RRR. I like rough and tumble coasters, and I would really hate to see it go. It has always been Kickstart My Heart, as it is timed with the attraction perfectly. I miss the grand old wooden coasters that make you feel like scrambled eggs at the end. Bring on the Cyclone and Giant Dipper any day.

September 1, 2023 at 9:31 AM

Universal Music Group is not currently related to Comcast and Universal Studios.

Vivendi sold Universal Studios (studio and parks) but retained the record label.

September 1, 2023 at 10:13 AM

No more Motley Crue???

Re-tracking or retheming the coaster may prove to be pretty expensive. I suggest an entirely new music catalog to go with the experience:

"Shake it Up" by The Cars
"Shake your Booty" by KC and the Sunshine Band
"Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift
"Brain Shake" by AC/DC
"Migraine" by Twenty-one Pilots

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