The Incredible Hulk (roller coaster)

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The Incredible Hulk
Incredible Hulk Coaster logo.png
TheIncredibleHulkCoaster.jpg
The Incredible Hulk from across the lagoon
Islands of Adventure
Park section Marvel Super Hero Island
Coordinates 28°28′16″N 81°28′06″W / 28.471168°N 81.468424°W / 28.471168; -81.468424Coordinates: 28°28′16″N 81°28′06″W / 28.471168°N 81.468424°W / 28.471168; -81.468424
Status In Operation
Opening date May 28, 1999 (1999-05-28)
General statistics
Type Steel – Launched
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH
Model Sitting Coaster – Custom
Lift/launch system Tire Propelled Launch
Height 110 ft (34 m)
Drop 105 ft (32 m)
Length 3,700 ft (1,100 m)
Speed 67 mph (108 km/h)
Inversions 7
Duration 2:15
Capacity 1920 riders per hour
Acceleration 0 to 40 mph (0 to 64 km/h) in 2 seconds
G-force 4
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains Multiple trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Single rider line available
The Incredible Hulk at RCDB
Pictures of The Incredible Hulk at RCDB

The Incredible Hulk is a launched steel roller coaster located at the Islands of Adventure theme park in the Universal Orlando Resort, Florida. As the name suggests, the ride is themed after the popular comic book superhero character, the Hulk. The ride opened on May 28, 1999, and has generally been well received.

The Incredible Hulk was the first Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster to feature a launch system; however, this mechanism was subcontracted to another company. The roller coaster is also unique because it features a launched lift hill as opposed to a conventional chain lift or horizontal launch track. This means the train accelerates to 40 mph (64 km/h) in approximately two seconds before speeding through seven inversions. The 3,700-foot-long (1,100 m) ride features a top speed of 67 miles per hour (108 km/h).

History[edit]

In 1991, planning began for a new theme park adjacent to Universal Studios Florida. By the end of 1993, it was decided that one area of the future Islands of Adventure theme park would be themed after Marvel Comics, with a Hulk theme being selected for a thrill ride.[1] The designers of the ride wanted to simulate being fired out of a cannon and subsequently set about prototyping a launch system. Universal Creative and MTS Systems Corporation had a working prototype in January 1995. Methods to achieve this acceleration were investigated into mid-1996.[2] On-site construction of Islands of Adventure was underway in 1997,[3] with Superior Rigging & Erection being responsible for erecting the supports and track of the roller coaster.[4] On May 28, 1999, Islands of Adventure officially opened to the public, with The Incredible Hulk being one of its debut attractions.[5]

Characteristics[edit]

Each of The Incredible Hulk's trains seat 32 riders

The Incredible Hulk is a Sitting Coaster by Swiss firm Bolliger & Mabillard. The 3,700-foot-long (1,100 m) ride features seven inversions including a zero-g roll, a cobra roll, two vertical loops, and two corkscrews. The ride features a maximum height of 110 feet (34 m), and a first drop stretching 105 feet (32 m). Riders reach a top speed of 67 miles per hour (108 km/h) on the 2-minute, 15-second ride. Each of The Incredible Hulk's trains feature eight cars which seat riders four abreast. Riders, who must be at least 54 inches (140 cm) tall, are restrained with ratcheting over-the-shoulder restraints. This train configuration allows the ride to achieve a theoretical hourly capacity of 1,920 riders per hour.[5] The ride features two subterranean dives, is partially built over water, and is illuminated green at night.[5][6]

A unique launch system propels riders up the 110-foot-tall (34 m) hill.[7] The system was developed by Universal Creative and MTS Systems Corporation.[6] A prototype launch system was designed by January 1995. The prototype consisted of a series of boxcars welded together to form a launch tunnel. A track-mounted dune buggy was then propelled inside the tunnel through the use of a weight drop launch mechanism. The designers then experimented with different rates of acceleration, each emitting between one and five times the force of gravity.[2] The final system which was implemented on The Incredible Hulk sees trains launch from 0 to 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) in 2 seconds. Riders travel at an angle of 30 degrees through a 150-foot-long (46 m) tunnel, pulling 1 G.[6] To power this launch the designers investigated a variety of systems ranging from hydraulic, pneumatic, cable, steam catapult, and conveyor belt.[2] In the end a drive tire system was selected, where 230 electrical motors power a set of tires that pinch the train's underside to provide propulsion.[2][6] As this system required eight megawatts of power to launch a train, the park built several customized motor generator sets with large flywheels. Without these stored energy units, they would have had to build a whole substation and risk browning-out the local energy grid with every launch.[2] The park's addition of the launch system to the ride makes The Incredible Hulk the only Bolliger & Mabillard ride to feature a launch.[8]

Experience[edit]

Overlooking part of The Incredible Hulk's themed queue

Queue[edit]

Riders enter the science laboratory of Dr. Bruce Banner with many televisions showing the story of the Hulk.[6][9] Bruce is now trying to find a way to reverse the effects, which the guests are about to take part in. While walking through the lab they encounter items including the generator, the gamma core and the towers of power. Riders are also able to watch the roller coaster through large holes in the walls as well as listen to the ride as it does a number of passes.[10]

Ride[edit]

The 150-foot-long (46 m) gamma-ray accelerator from which The Incredible Hulk is launched

Once riders have boarded the train, it departs the station entering the gamma-ray accelerator, where the anxious voice of Bruce Banner issues from speakers in the walls: "Everything looks good...I think...I think this time it's...going to work!" On cue, a female voice announces that there has been a malfunction. Klaxons begin to sound inside the tube as Dr. Banner screams in terror: "No. No! No!!!" The last "No!" is synchronized with the launch mechanism, which propels the train from 9 to 40 mph (64 km/h) in 2 seconds. Upon exiting the gamma-ray accelerator, the train immediately goes into a zero-g roll, down a 105-foot (32 m) drop, and into a cobra roll over the park's main lagoon. Riders complete a vertical loop, then enter a subterranean tunnel full of mist. The train encircles the gamma-ray accelerator and is sent into the back area via corkscrew. A smaller vertical loop wraps around the mid-course brake run, which is flanked by two over-banked turns. The train is slowed down by the mid-course brakes before being sent down another hill to a corkscrew and turn-around. Riders then travel sideways through an on-ride camera zone and then to the ride's final brake run after a helix.[5][6][11]

Reception[edit]

The Incredible Hulk has been well received. In its debut year, the ride was voted the #1 roller coaster by Discovery Channel viewers, appearing on the Thrills, Chills and Spills documentary.[12][13] Amusement Business described The Incredible Hulk as one of Islands of Adventure's two world-class roller coasters (the other being Dueling Dragons).[14] Dewayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel rated the ride as his eighth favorite attraction in Orlando. He states the ride is "too intense to take back-to-back trips. It rattles our nerves, in a good way."[15] Arthur Levine of About.com gave the ride 9 out of 10 stars. Levine describes the ride as "both terrifying and exhilarating" and "not for the faint of heart".[9]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, The Incredible Hulk consistently ranked highly up until the 2013 poll. It debuted at position 19 in 1999,[16] before rising to a high of 9 in 2001.[17] The ride appeared in the poll every year, up until 2013.[18]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 19[16] 11[19] 9[17] 17[20] 21[21] 20[22] 19[23] 21[24] 30[25] 26[26] 29[27] 43[28] 35[29] 47[30] [18]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, The Incredible Hulk entered at position 3 in 1999, before slowly declining to a low of 55 in 2012. The ride's ranking in subsequent polls is shown in the table below.[31]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best steel-Tracked Roller Coaster[31]
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking 3 No poll 11 14 19 18 28 27 32 36 39 43 No poll 55

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schneider, Mike (July 5, 1998). "Theme Parks Set in Motion Around Conference Tables". Lakeland Ledger. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Total Immersion: Theme Park for the 21st Century. Orlando, Florida: USA Network. 
  3. ^ Cronan, Carl (September 15, 1997). "Disney Finds Another Way To Keep Visitors Entertained". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Services". Superior Rigging & Erection Company. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Incredible Hulk  (Islands of Adventure)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Super Hero Island Is Marvel". Amusement Business 111 (14): 18–19. April 5, 1999. 
  7. ^ "Incredible Hulk Coaster (Islands of Adventure)". Parkz. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ Niles, Robert (February 9, 2010). "2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Levine, Arthur. "Hulk Roller Coaster is...Incredible". About.com. New York Times Company. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ "The Incredible Hulk Coaster Queue at Islands Of Adventure". YouTube. November 6, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Incredible Hulk Front Seat on-ride HD POV Universal Studios Islands of Adventure". Coaster Force. YouTube. November 17, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Universal's Islands of Adventure". Perfect Florida Guide. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Poll Puts Hulk Ride At Top Of Heap". Orlando Sentinel. May 16, 2002. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ O'Brien, Tim (January 11, 1999). "Four major theme parks to debut in 1999; many smaller ones to open". Amusement Business 111 (2): 18. 
  15. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (February 24, 2013). "Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1999. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 13 Year Results Table (1999–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]