If you head over to Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure after next month and want to ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster, try not to get angry.
We won’t like it if you get angry.
The 110-foot coaster which reaches speeds of 67 mph will be closed starting Sept. 8 for a major overhaul, the park said on its blog today.
The blog said the ride “will be getting some great, new enhancements to its storyline, ride vehicles and overall experience.”
I’ve always dreamed of getting up close and personal with a dinosaur. Now my dream has finally come true!
Velociraptors have arrived at Jurassic Park in Universal’s Islands of Adventure! That’s right—starting this weekend, you’ll get the chance to see these magnificent creatures face to face in an all-new experience: Raptor Encounter.
The encounter is located between Camp Jurassic and the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.
Your experience begins when you approach a paddock where the raptor will be contained. You’ll learn some cool facts about the dino that you may not have known—like that an adult Velociraptor can reach upwards of 96 kilometers per hour in the open!
After two seemingly related incidents have now occured in two weeks on one of their star attractions, Universal has announced that changes have been made to Islands of Adventure's Dragon Challenge. The pair of inverted coasters, once known asDueling Dragons will now no longer duel according to WESH Orlando. This marks the first major change, besides changing the name and theme, to the coaster in all of its twelve years of operation.
The first incident occurred two weeks ago when the Puerto Rican vacationer Carlos Montalvo was struck in the eye by a flying object while riding the coaster. The incident resulted in him recently losing his eye after doctors were not able to save it according to Click Orlando. Unfortunately, nobody else on the train saw the object, and the park's investigation turned up no objects in the vicinity which could have been the culprit for the injury. After the investigation and inspection, which found the ride to be mechanically safe and sound, the ride re-opened.
The more recent accident happened last week when nineteen year old Jon Wilson was also struck by something in the leg, arm, and face while riding the coaster. In an interview with Click Orlando he said, "My sister was sitting next to me at the time, and when I said I was hit she thought it was a bug or something, but then she looked over and I had blood on my hands, so it was obviously something more."
Both incidents occurred at similar parts of the coaster. They both occurred at the "dueling points" of the ride according to WESH Orlando. These are points when two trains come very close to each other to provide the illusion that a collision is going to occur. The fact that both accidents happened when two trains were near each other suggests that the riders were struck with a loose article that came flying from another guest on a different train, or perhaps thrown by a guest on board.
In an effort to eliminate the possibility of being hit with an object that came from a guest on a different train, Universal has announced that the coasters will no longer duel. This means that instead of both sides of the coaster being dispatched simultaneously they will now be dispatched in an alternating fashion. This will result in the coasters no longer interacting at their dueling points. Click Orlando has also reported that more signs telling riders to secure their loose articles have been placed around the coaster.
In a written statement Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said, "As we continue to study these incidents, we will operate both coasters as separate experiences without their usual intersect points. The safety of our guests is our highest priority and we are taking this very seriously." In the statement, Schroder also noted that over 50 million guests have safely experienced Dragon Challenge since its opening.
A very unusual accident recently occurred on the Dragon Challenge coaster located within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of Islands of Adventure, a theme park in Orlando, Florida. The accident left the victim blinded in one eye.
The incident occurred when Carlos Montalvo, a vacationer from Puerto Rico, reports he was stuck in the eye by an unidentified object while riding the coaster. According to WKMG, Montalvo was riding in the front row of the dueling coaster. Montalvo says that he was hit during one of the coaster's dueling moments when two separate trains come very close to each other and provide the illusion that they will collide. It is possible that he was hit by a loose article from another train, but there is no way to confirm this .
Montalvo was quickly taken to the hospital to try to save his vision in the affected eye. Unfortunately, these efforts were unsuccessful according to WESH. In a phone interview with WKMG, Montalvo said, "This is not a vacation. This is a nightmare."
The park shut the ride down to try to determine the cause of the incident. A statement from Universal spokesman Tom Schroder posted by WKMG said, "We have also spent the hours since then thoroughly inspecting and re-inspecting the ride, the ride vehicles, the tracks and the area underneath the tracks. We have found absolutely nothing that could have contributed to this incident."
The park reopened the ride later that day after failing to find a problem with the ride that could have caused the accident. WKMG pointed out that since its opening as Dueling Dragons, this coaster has had no similar accidents. Montalvo plans to speak with an attorney, but it is yet to be determined if he will press charges against the park or its parent company.