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Raptors, twists and drops on Universal’s new Jurassic ride

ORLANDO, Fla. – The creators of the Jurassic World VelociCoaster roller coaster at Universal Orlando Resort had more to contend with than just encounters with rabid raptors. They faced a global pandemic that shut down the theme park resort for weeks last year and kept visitors at bay when it reopened last summer.

Now, the roller coaster opened to the public Thursday at the resort’s Islands of Adventure park, becoming the first major ride to debut at the theme park mecca of central Florida since last year’s virus-inspired closings.

The ride takes visitors through a 36,000-square-feet Jurassic environment, including a giant waterfall and lush jungle vegetation, and catapults them at 70 mph along the 4,700-foot track. It culminates in a spiraling 360-degree inversion, inches above the lagoon.

The ride has two launches, four inversions, a 360-degree barrel roll above a lagoon, an inverted zero-gravity stall that sends riders upside down across 100 feet of track and a 155-foot ascent with a 140-foot drop at 80 degrees.

The ride features actors from the Jurassic Park movies recreating their roles, including Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and B.D. Wong.

MORE: A look at Universal’s new species of coaster

Video first impression from our Orlando sister station: ‘A gripping, immersive experience’