Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Review
Coaster101 recently visited Universal Studios Florida where we rode the new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster. This beast takes you straight up 167 feet before dropping you through a course full of nifty elements all to the tune of a soundtrack that you pick. The ride definitely sounds good and it looks even better but how is the actual ride experience? Well, let me begin by saying what kind of attractions I prefer. I adore rides with loads of airtime. Voyage, Diamondback, and Apollo’s Chariot are among my favorites with their huge amounts of weightlessness. HRRR had almost none. As you might have guessed my reaction to experiencing the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit was just ehh. HRRR fills some major needs of Universal Studios but falls short in the actual ride experience.
The best feature of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit may just be how cool the ride looks: the towering vertical lift, the non-inverting loop, the track bursting through the fake building, the presence out by City Walk. If nothing else the ride looks really good and at night it gets even better.
The videos in the queue explaining how to pick your music selection were very well done and fit right in with the Guitar Hero playing generation. The music selection process is simple and does add a little something extra to the ride to make it even more unique. The seats are very comfortable, maybe even more so than a B&M, which is saying a lot. The lighting package on the cars is pretty cool too, especially at night (too bad the park closed at 6pm). This is also one of the quietest rides I have ever heard in my life.
I was a bit apprehensive and concerned about the comfort level on the vertical lift hill but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was very comfortable and also very fast. You reach the apex of the hill in no time at all. From there it is down and then up into the non-inverting loop, one of the most unique elements found on a coaster. If you are a fan of positive g-forces then you will like this ride. There are a few moments of very heavy positive g’s at each of the far end turnarounds that had me pinned into my seat. The ride was fairly smooth too, no roughness problems as far as I am concerned.
The music selection was a bit skimpy. I wasn’t thrilled with any of the music selections. I had read about secret tracks you could pick on the ride but I have no idea how you could access those. If I had been able to listen to a song I really liked I might have felt more positive about the ride experience in general.
We waited sixty minutes for Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, which may not sound that bad but consider this: every other ride in the park (and over at Islands of Adventure as well) had a ten minute or less wait. When we got off the coaster the wait had increased to an hour and a half. The park was not crowded at all that day and there was a ninety minute wait?!?! I’d hate to visit on a busy day and want to ride the coaster. I think they were running four trains but I cannot be sure. The moving walkway in the station was not operating (does it ever operate?).
All the brake runs on the coaster totally and completely kill the momentum of the ride. The first half of the ride is thrilling but the second half, from the second brake run onwards, is very lackluster. The middle section of the ride is too high and as a result is too slow. If they had lowered the middle section (and there is plenty of room to do so) that portion of the ride would have been so much more thrilling because of an increase in speed and being closer to the guests waiting in line. I sat in the second car so maybe that was a factor but I experienced almost no airtime on the ride what-so-ever. The ride would be significantly improved if those two bunny hops near City Walk before returning to the station had even a hint of airtime.
For capacity reasons alone I think Universal should have went with a B&M similar to Hollywood Dream at the Japanese park. We all know if they had went with B&M the ride would have opened on time too! The ride looks really cool and I think they really needed a big coaster but this ride just does not hit the mark. I feel like it had so much potential and it just fell short. I’d love to give the ride another shot and ride in the front car but I wouldn’t wait another hour for it. All-in-all, not a bad ride at all, just not as good as it should be.
We’ll have more updates about our trip to Florida with pictures and video soon. Stay tuned!