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Mark9

Universal Studios Florida

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All very exciting! And CityWalk has had lots of new stuff recently too. Cowfish opened late last year and that looks fab, and I think the Nascar place is getting a refurb too! 

 

As for Potter expansion, I can't wait to see what's in store, but I can't picture what other HP environments they can do? 

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I'm so glad I got to Studios/IOA this summer, brilliant parks. I guess I'm lucky I got on hulk a few months before it closed haha, it's a great ride but the queue is REALLY dated, I'm glad they're improving it.

 

also that kong ride looks absolutely incredible irl :wub:

 

Same - we visited in April this year - bit of a mission getting to Universal when staying in Disney without a hire car ;)

I'm not a Potter fan at all, but I was blown away by both Potter Lands - felt such a noob not working out you had to go behind the tube station entrance to get to one bit, d'oh! Theming of all things Harry Potter is just off the scale and you'd be forgiven for thinking that was a bona-fide street in London and/or Leicester Square station.

 

Agree Hulk queue is dated.... as to Dr. Doom, I was fearing a Detty style drop but nothing of the sort, in fact it did anything but fill me with "doom" and was rather pleasant :P

 

It's old but we both really enjoyed Disaster! - can't see why that stays in place of Twister but there you go.

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Booking my first "without family" trip to Orlando for early June next year. I know it'll be busy but I found a really decent price for flights/hotel and it's the only time I can do.

 

But my question is, are there any indications as to when King Kong could be opening? I'm not massively fussed about missing out on it, but I'd be gutted if it opened days after we come home!

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Early June actually isn't that busy. It's a pretty moderate time of busyness so you shouldn't have any problems with queues.

It depends really. Kong looks like it's going up really quick so could potentially be done for early June maybe even May. Odds are you'll at least see some soft opening of it if it's not officially open. I would assume Hulk will be the same although that probably won't soft open.

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Time for an update! Firstly Hulk.
21121060443_33ab947f92_z.jpgDSC_0961 by awhenUO, on Flickr
Not waiting around on this.


Kong is progressing nicely.
21743045892_72b421dda7_k.jpgDSC_0990 by awhenUO, on Flickr
21751449771_051e7846b6_k.jpgDSC_0969 by awhenUO, on Flickr
21555272919_51b7fd948c_k.jpgDSC_1002 by awhenUO, on Flickr
No idea what the brown structure will become, part of the queue?


Volcano Bay
21564326015_891dd25a80_k.jpgvb_pano_2 by awhenUO, on Flickr
21376186699_07514129ea_k.jpgvb_pano_1 by awhenUO, on Flickr
Huge foundation space for the volcano itself.

So things are cracking on as ever.

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Looking great! Any sort of indications as to when Hulk/next summer's coasters will be opening? Really hoping we don't miss out on much when we go the first 2 weeks in June.

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It's impossible to tell at the moment unfortunately. They're all good at soft openings out there. I remember Manta soft opened beginning of May in 2009 and officially opened on the 22nd. Transformers opened beginning of July with soft mid June. Hogsmeade soft opened beginning of June with official mid whereas Diagon Alley opened early July with only a few days of soft opening before. So literally impossible to tell.

Mako I would say will be open, that'll probably be a May opening. Cobra's Curse is likely to be the same as track is on site for that now too and that won't be as big as Mako. Kong was rumoured to be opening late this year at one point and the rate they're going it should easily be ready for early summer so that will probably be June. Hulk might be July though. Depends if they want to separate the two openings at Islands or if they want them at the same time. Official dates will probably be released around Easter.

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That picture makes my heart feel heavy, they could've sold or auctioned off the old trains instead of wasting them.

On the positive note, at least they're going full out on this upgrade and judging from the fact pieces of track have been replaced, it well almost be like a new ride when it's finished.

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just to say, really glad they're doing a refurb for the hulk. went in july - absolute brilliant ride, but the queue is dated as hell. really boring to stand in, so glad they're doing it up..

 

but apart from that, when I was at universal (start of august), hulk was breaking down constantly. once a day at least, I don't think I went a day where it didn't break down....so yeah seems like the refurb is really needed.

 

still the ride is great, I'm feeling pretty lucky I got on it just before they closed it :lol:

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Crikey. The first B&M to be scrapped? I never thought it would be The Incredible Hulk. Part of me wonders if this refurb means a complete change to the last part of the ride or whether it's a complete track replacement. 

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There are some rumours going around now that they'll change the second half of the layout to head towards the lighthouse so the area behind Storm is opened up and with Dr Doom supposedly leaving that'd leave a huge area for the rumoured Avengers dark ride. However the ride layout isn't changing, it is literally just track replacement to probably the new colouring style as well. Maybe green with purple running through it?

The launch was supposed to be changing to LIM but Creative apparently really like the feeling the tyre drive gives and if they can sort out through energy consuming problem that causes then they'll probably keep that. The redoing of the launch is all for maintenance and running costs.

The main thing is retheming it entirely. New queue line in style of the Potter ones to make them more interactive. New effects to make the whole experience more complete, talks of special lighting whether that be on the trains or track itself. New water effects on the pool under the cobra. And of course brand new trains and station. If you close your eyes and ears on it it'll just be a smoother/less rattly version of Hulk.

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I struggle to believe massive sections of the track would need actually replacing if it were not getting new layout or at least profiling?

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Surely it's a pretty major redesign if they were changing the actual layout? I expect this to be a replacement of certain track parts. A new colour wouldn't surprise me.

It's a pretty major overhaul, and one I'm suprised is actually happening. I've never found it rough.

It just demonstrates how much money potter has given them, to throw cash at everything, just because they can. The scrapped trains could be used for parts, or given to Busch or SeaWorld, surely?

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This definitely looks to be a massive overhaul for the Hulk, by the sound of the new trains,track,station and queue, it'll almost be a brand new ride once it's done.

 

I guess to an extent, Hulk [mk-1] has indeed become the first B&M in the world to hit the scrap heap. I don't know whether to be sad or happy in regards to this news.

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Hulk is probably the most run B&M out there though. Yeah it's not as old as the others, but it's never had scheduled maintenance days every year like other B&Ms. Instead they run the maintenance throughout the season in the evenings. It's had very few days down at all. Was it down when they repainted it or did they do it in the evenings again? So although it's only 16 years old, it has run for almost 10 hours every day of the year for those 16 years. Dragon Challenge had a few months down during Potter phase. Seaworld and Busch close them for a week each year or so. Hulk never got that. Not to say it was ever under maintained, of course not. But it never got a break as such. I don't believe the supports are being changed minus the lift hill segment which is being rebuilt entirely and possibly over the lake area where they're talking about theming the footers (but even then that can just be done as a layer on top). Yeah it's a crazy partly unnecessary project but it's the ongoing upgrade of MSHI to get it in line with the MCU. Plus the queue was dire and the ride was getting quite dated with its style. They know how much of an iconic ride Hulk is, I really don't see them changing the layout. And as they'll want this open before Kong so you don't have to walk through a construction site at the entrance, can't see the layout being on their minds as something to change. Focus is on retheming and enhancing the ride experience.

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Good point, both times I went it was dead-ish and it consistently ran a three train operation even though it didn't need to. Those American B&M's are really put through their paces actually. I think people are just surprised at how drastic Hulk's refurbishment appears to be. I never thought I'd see it as a ride that would see parts of it scrapped, it's one of the most iconic rides out there after all.

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