Specific Type: Steel, LIM-launched, Shuttle / Continuous-Circuit, Rotating
For some theme parks, installing a new ride is a matter of erecting the columns, hanging the track, putting in a queue, and maybe going the extra mile and spicing up the experience with a little theming. For the Universal Studios theme parks, on the other hand, theming can be half of the experience, or more. Every few years, one of the Universal parks introduces a new
attraction that helps to redefine the limits of what a themed experience can do, and 2004 brought around a new ride like that with Revenge of the Mummy at Florida's Universal Studios Orlando, along with a ride with the same name and theme at sister park Universal Studios Hollywood. For this pair of enclosed, Linear-Induction-Motor-launched twister steel coasters, Universal took theming more seriously than ever and spent forty million dollars in all to renovate the building formerly occupied by Kongfrontation into what it considers to be a psychological thrill ride experience, and just as importantly, the first major coaster for the destination park. For Revenge of the Mummy, Universal was inspired by their Mummy movies, and began developing the ride several years before the attraction's completion.
The theming work involved recreation of Egyptian tombs and chambers and all that go with them, combined with an assortment of just about every type of theming and effect that the Universal team had worked with in the past: fire, water, animatronics, holographic projections... Then, you blend that to work in sync with one of the most complex ride systems ever thought up: forwards, backwards, and upwards Linear Induction Motor launches; transfer tracks; turntables... The end result: an overwhelming ride experience. Theming the four-minute ride involved the creation of three main scenes and then six sub-scenes on top of that, and theming the queuing line, which is understandably the major duration of the entire Revenge of the Mummy experience, took a similar amount of effort. As for the ride itself, four-by-four single cars are taken through a maze of 2,200 feet of track, with two high-speed twister sections following two out of three of the coaster's LIM launches. You won't find any inversions on Mummy, or even a ride that's more intense than your average coaster, but the ride on RotM will likely catch any rider off-guard with its constant surprises and unique tricks to keep passengers on the edge of their seats, never knowing what to expect next.
The story of Revenge of the Mummy begins when guests to Universal Studios decide to take advantage of an opportunity to have parts as extras in an upcoming sequel to the two Mummy movies, and enter the line to try their chances at being cast in the film. Walking along, thrillseekers in their disguise of movie extra wannabes pass storyboards and props from the original two Mummy movies while overhead, a documentary of the current movie set gets guests acquainted with the crew of the production. Rumors are passed along of a 'curse' on the location of the filming brought on courtesy of the evil forces of Imhotep, but future riders have no idea what they're truly in for. Suddenly, around a corner in the line and guests find themselves within the walls of a awe-inspiring Egyptian tomb recreated down to the details, and as they go queue waiters can check out interactive tricks among the detailed theming. After passing through the tomb, thrillseekers enter a chamber where they make their way up into the station between the ride's dual loading platforms, themed as the dispatch point of a mine car line. All thoughts of being cast as extras left behind, adventurers intent on boarding a mine car turn to the right or left to step onto a waiting sixteen-passenger car of four rows and pull down a lapbar nice and snug, not knowing exactly what to expect.
The car moves from the station and onto a transfer table that then moves to the side and sends the car on its way down the main track. It's too late to turn back now. Innocent Mummy riders are taken around a 45-degree left bend and soon enter a tomb lined with mummified Universal guests that previously made the same fateful decision to ride. Mummies warn of the curse of Imhotep, and a member of the production crew becomes mummified after riders are taken around a U-turn to the right. With a left bend, the car rolls into a larger chamber where Imhotep himself is waiting with a tempting proposition: join him and be rewarded with riches, or oppose him and face his wrath. Riders are given a taste of each, but in the end make the right decision and exit the room speedily around a sharp right turn and curve in the opposite direction, only they find themselves at a dead end in a small room crawling with beetles. But behind their backs, a transfer track has set up a clear path for the ride to launch in reverse and fly down a dip. After this happens, RotM riders find themselves in their latest predicament: a completely rotating room, track and all, turning 180 degrees while passengers receive their final warnings from Imhotep. Starting forward again, passengers begin climbing a hill, straight towards Imhotep.
Another blast of the Linear Induction Motors and Revenge of the Mummy rockets up the slope, straight through Imhotep's ugly face at some forty miles an hour, and then over the crest of the hill for some brief airtime before the black rails bank sharply to the right and plunge into a maze of twisting action. A fifty-degree drop curving 180-degrees, a full helix to the left, a carousel curve to the right... one turn after another, banking up to eighty degrees in steepness, all with a collection of sensory effects thrown in and some occasional airtime is the major action of the coaster. The winding track comes to an end after three more small curves and a brake run brings the car to a stop while passengers get set to exit the ride. But the lapbars never get released. Instead, the ride operator is mummified and Imhotep returns, with more wrath than ever. The ceiling of the station is engulfed in flames, and it becomes apparent that Imhotep, just as the ride, isn't finished yet. Another LIM-launch out of the flaming inferno, and the track heads down a quick plunge, into a banked left-hand turnaround, then meandering back around to the right and it's finally time for the final stop and true unloading platform.
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