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Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is Universal Studios' candidate for the most technologically advanced coaster in the world. Well, that distinction didn't last very long, but for sure this ride has some features we've never seen before. Let's start wit the basics: Rip Ride Rockit is a sit-down X-Car coaster that runs on a 3,800-foot steel track, with a maximum height of 167 feet and a top speed of 65 miles an hour. Manufactured by German coaster maker Maurer Sohne, X-Car vehicles are more maneuverable than most other kinds and use less restrictive restraints, making for an exhilarating ride.
You ascend—vertically—at 11 feet per second to crest the 17-story-tall first hill, the highest point reached by any roller coaster in Orlando. The drop is almost vertical, too, launching you into Double Take, a loop inversion in which you begin on the inside of the loop, twist to the outside at the top (so you're upright), and then twist back inside the loop for the descent. Double Take stands 136 feet tall, and its loop is 103 feet in diameter at its widest point. You next hurl (no, not that kind of hurl!) into a stretch of track shaped like a musical treble clef. As on Double Take, the track configuration on Treble Clef is a first. Another innovation is Jump Cut, a spiraling negative-gravity maneuver. Usually on coasters, you experience negative gravity on long, steep vertical drops; with Jump Cut you feel like you're in a corkscrew inversion, but you never actually go upside down. Other high points include a 95-degree turn, a downhill into an "underground chasm" (gotta love those Universal PR wordsmiths!), and a final incline loop banked at 150 degrees.
The ride starts in the Production Central area; weaves into the New York area near Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon, popping out over the heads of guests in the square below; and then storms out towards the lagoon separating Universal Studios from Islands of Adventure.
Each train consists of two cars, with riders arranged two across in three rows per car. Each row is outfitted with color-changing LEDs and high-end audio and video technology for each seat. Like Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the "Triple R" features a musical soundtrack, but in this case you can choose the genre of music you want to hear as you ride: classic rock, country, disco, pop, or rap.
The ride has dozens of “hidden” songs in its catalog. Press the Rip Ride Rockit logo on the number pad for 10 seconds then enter 113 to hear Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. Press 902 to hear The Muppets sing The Rainbow Connection. See this blog post for the complete list.
When it's over, Universal flogs a digital-video "rip" of your ride, complete with the soundtrack you chose, that you can upload to YouTube, Facebook, and the like. The video intercuts stock footage of the coaster with clips recorded by your seat-mounted camera, but is not a continuous POV of your ride. It costs about $50 and is not included with the My Universal Photos package, though still images can be added to your account for free.
From a Whalton, England, mom:
A fabulous, gut-wrenching coaster that thrilled the socks off my 8- and 9-year-olds. (Mum found it a bit too brutal to repeat.)
A perhaps-jaded Easton, Connecticut, coaster aficionado offers this:
The loud music blasting in our ears cancelled out the sound of the coaster. If only they had a "None of the Above: Silence" button as a selection. The singles-line hint was a real time-saver.
When Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit premiered in 2009, it was pretty smooth. Alas, the wheels on the cars haven’t held up well in the hot Florida sun, and though some of the cars have been overhauled to make the ride more comfortable, none of the fixes have helped much long-term. While perfectly safe, Rip Ride Rockit now subjects you to a lot of side-to-side jarring. To crib a phrase from Ike and Tina Turner's version of Proud Mary, some folks like it easy . . . and some folks like it rough. This reader from Armonk, New York, definitely falls in the former category:
I would note for other readers that despite the fact that I love roller coasters and always have, and I am in good physical shape with no issues, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit hurt my back. My 17 year old daughter who also loves all rides didn't love it either.
And from another in Belgium, Wisconsin:
I've ridden many roller coasters in my 35 years, including some over 400 feet tall and with speeds in excess of 120mph, yet I've never ridden one that was as painful and rough as the Rip Ride Rocket at Universal Studios. With the beating that my head and neck took, I'll never ride that one again.
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Here's roughly how many minutes you'll wait for Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at each Universal Studios Florida Crowd Level.
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