There was a four-hour wait and it was growing before lunch on Thursday at Universal Orlando’s new ride at Islands of Adventure. Parkgoers were waiting to get on VelociCoaster, an intense new ride themed for the Jurassic Park movies.
It’s not unusual for fans to line up on the first day a ride opens. The line for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure stretched for 10 hours on its opening day in June 2019.
Because of COVID-19, Universal and Florida’s other theme parks shut down for almost three months last year and attractions such as this were put on hold. This is the first post-pandemic attraction to debut for the summer vacation season.
The parks have relaxed their standards for face masks and dropped their limits on crowd capacity, so it feels like we are back to normal in the parks.
Unlike the Hagrid ride, Universal has had weeks of “technical rehearsals,” soft openings when average park visitors can hop on the ride. So that might account for the relatively short wait time for a new ride.
The Jurassic ride is a pulse-pounding attack on the senses. It spans more than 4,700 feet of track and includes two launches, four inversions and a twisting barrel roll just a few feet above the park’s central lagoon that makes you feel like you are going to be dropped into the depths below. The fastest of the two high-speed launches reaches 70 miles per hour in 2.4 seconds and there’s a total of 12 seconds of weightlessness.