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The Incredible Hulk (roller coaster)

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The Incredible Hulk Coaster
NEW HULK COASTER.png
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 Operating
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 115 ft (35 m)
Length 3,800 ft (1,200 m)
Speed 65 mph (105 km/h)
Inversions 7
Duration 1:15
Capacity 1920 riders per hour
Acceleration 0 to 40 mph (0 to 64 km/h) in 2.5 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.
Theme Hulk
Single rider line available
The Incredible Hulk Coaster at RCDB
Pictures of The Incredible Hulk Coaster at RCDB

The Incredible Hulk is a launched roller coaster located in the Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Orlando Resort. As the name suggests, the ride is themed after comic book superhero character, the Hulk. The ride was positively received when it opened on May 28, 1999. It is the first Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster to feature a launch design, primarily implemented by Universal Creative and MTS Systems Corporation. The launched lift hill accelerates the train to 40 mph (64 km/h) in approximately two seconds and reaches a top speed of 67 mph (108 km/h). Riders experience seven inversions throughout the course of the 3,800-foot-long (1,200 m) ride. The roller coaster temporarily closed on September 8, 2015, for a major refurbishment, reopening to the public on August 4, 2016.

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]

On August 14, 2015, Universal announced that the coaster would undergo major enhancement and refurbishment work. The ride closed on September 8, 2015, and re-opened to the public on August 4, 2016 after a few days of technical rehearsals.[6]

Characteristics[edit]

The Incredible Hulk is a Sitting Coaster by Swiss firm Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M). 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 1-minute, 30-second ride. Each of The Incredible Hulk's trains feature eight cars which seat riders four abreast, giving each train a maximum capacity of 32 riders. 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][7]

A unique launch system propels riders up the 110-foot-tall (34 m) hill.[8] The system was developed by Universal Creative and MTS Systems Corporation.[7] 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.[7] 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][7] 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 launch system made The Incredible Hulk the only B&M ride to feature a launch, until Thunderbird opened at Holiday World in 2015.[9] Unlike The Incredible Hulk, Thunderbird uses a Linear Synchronous Motors (LSM) launch system that was designed by B&M.[10][11]

Experience[edit]

Overlooking part of The Incredible Hulk's themed queue before the 2015-16 refurbishment

Queue[edit]

1999–2015[edit]

Riders entered the science laboratory of Dr. Bruce Banner with many televisions showing the story of the Hulk.[7][12] Bruce tries to find a way to reverse the effects, which the guests are about to take part in. While walking through the lab they encountered items including the generator, the gamma core and the towers of power. Riders were 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.[13]

2016–present[edit]

As part of the coaster's major refurbishment, a new, original storyline was added with a completely redesigned queue experience that places guests inside a perilous scientific experiment led by General Thaddeus Ross. The entrance features a statue of Hulk holding one of the ride's vehicles over his head, and arching tracks passing over him. These arching coaster tracks came from the original Hulk Roller Coaster. The televisions now show CGI animations of test subjects being exposed to gamma radiation and being transformed into Hulk-like creatures.[14] As of April 2015, riders must pass through metal detectors and security personnel and must rid themselves of all loose items from their pockets.[15]

Ride[edit]

1999–2015[edit]

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!! 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][7][16]

2016–present[edit]

The new version of the attraction was implemented with new features such as the upgraded launch tunnel and on-board music. After walking through the queue, guests arrive at General Ross' launching platform. After boarding the vehicle, they depart the launching platform and directly enter the gamma core. Riders are vertically lifted into the gamma ray launch tunnel, when the female announcer tells the riders "Initiating Gamma Exposure. Hulk Transformation: Accelerating. Do not be afraid." The gamma accelerator then blasts riders with superhuman strength, catapulting them out from the gamma ray accelerator. Following this, riders experience the same track layout from the original hulk ride with new track pieces and an original score composed by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.[17]

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.[18][19] Amusement Business described The Incredible Hulk as one of Islands of Adventure's two world-class roller coasters (the other being Dueling Dragons, now known as the Dragon Challenge).[20] 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."[21] 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".[12]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, The Incredible Hulk was consistently ranked until 2013.[22] It debuted at position 19 in 1999 before reaching its peak ranking of 9 in 2001.[23][24]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Ranking 19[23] 11[25] 9[24] 17[26] 21[27] 20[28] 19[29] 21[30] 30[31] 26[32] 29[33] 43[34] 35[35] 47[36] [22] [37] [38]

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. ^ Dewayne Bevil (August 4, 2016). "Islands of Adventure: Incredible Hulk Coaster officially open". OrlandoSentinel.com. Tribune Newspapers. Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Super Hero Island Is Marvel". Amusement Business. 111 (14): 18–19. April 5, 1999. 
  8. ^ "Incredible Hulk Coaster (Islands of Adventure)". Parkz. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Thunderbird - Holiday World (Santa Claus, Indiana, USA)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2016-01-30. 
  11. ^ "Incredible Hulk - Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (Orlando, Florida, USA)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2016-01-30. 
  12. ^ a b Levine, Arthur. "Hulk Roller Coaster is...Incredible". About.com. New York Times Company. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Incredible Hulk Coaster Queue at Islands Of Adventure". YouTube. November 6, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Incredible Hulk New Queue at Universal Orlando". YouTube. August 1, 2016. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Universal permanently installs metal detectors at popular roller coasters | Fox News". 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  16. ^ "Incredible Hulk Front Seat on-ride HD POV Universal Studios Islands of Adventure". Coaster Force. YouTube. November 17, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ Engel, Neil (2016-05-09). "Details Revealed for Relaunch of The Incredible Hulk Coaster". Universal Orlando Resort Close Up. Universal Orlando Resort. Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  18. ^ "Universal's Islands of Adventure". Perfect Florida Guide. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. 
  19. ^ "Poll Puts Hulk Ride At Top Of Heap". Orlando Sentinel. May 16, 2002. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  20. ^ O'Brien, Tim (January 11, 1999). "Four major theme parks to debut in 1999; many smaller ones to open". Amusement Business. 111 (2): 18. 
  21. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (February 24, 2013). "Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1999. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  37. ^ "2014 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 18 (6.2): 46–47. September 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  38. ^ "2015 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 19 (6.2): 49–50. September 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]