After what felt like an eternity of patiently and then not so patiently waiting, Universal Orlando finally opened up its much anticipated VelociCoaster today. We had boots on the ground in the park this morning, and the energy for the debut was exciting. Unfortunately, the wait time to actually ride the VelociCoaster was a bit less exciting. In fact, by 10:30 AM ET, the queue was up to 180 minutes.
Opening day of a ride at a major theme park is almost always filled with additional lines. That’s the trade-off of trying to experience something first, but there’s always that optimism before you actually know, when you can think maybe it won’t be that bad. Well, this morning the VelociCoaster line was that bad. There’s just no positive spin you can put on a three hour slog (other than that for spurts in the early afternoon, it reduced to 120 minutes). That being said, the ride itself doesn’t need a positive spin because it’s great.
The intense rollercoaster is high energy and an absolute thrill from start to finish. It’s a top tier theme park ride and among the upper echelon of Universal Orlando offerings with a really nice inversion experience and just the right amount of pause before the big drop. It also has a highly detailed and interesting line queue experience, which will come in handy, especially on a day like today when you walk up and see this...
There’s been a lot of chatter around the VelociCoaster, first when it was an unidentified construction project and then even more so when it was officially announced back in September. That excitement has grown with each additional tease, with the opening date reveal and especially as video from the experience started going public. Response from journalists this week was also extremely positive, and I would expect a lot of the same from fans as they start to experience the rollercoaster.
I wouldn’t expect quite so much positivity around the wait times, but every single popular theme park has wait times. In fact, when Disneyland reopened with severely reduced capacity earlier this year, the fact that the rides only had moderate wait times was even a story. The good news is wait times always reduce over time. The initial excitement eases a little bit, and as more people decide to go to other parts of the park, the lines get shorter and shorter. That process will take some time with the VelociCoaster. Fortunately, if you had to make a list of rides worth waiting three hours for, this would be near the top of the list.