Dragon Challenge removal

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 1:30 AM
Walk-Off HBP's avatar

I can see why they're doing this, but it still sucks. While the dueling effect was very neat, I thought the unique layouts are what made them great. Ice was my preference, and for a while it was my second favorite invert behind the Batman clones. I'll be in Orlando next week for Sea World, but it looks like I'll be going to ride Dragons now, too. Nothing against Potter, because I enjoyed reading those books back in the day, but that stuff was kind of one and done for me. I can't imagine being in a rush to return here once half the place consists of it. Luckily for Universal, many millions feel otherwise.

Last edited by Walk-Off HBP, Tuesday, July 25, 2017 1:31 AM

Never has gravity been so uplifting.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2:34 AM

It would be great it someone bought bought this and even better if they had it dueling again. That was really one of the coolest elements I've ever experienced on a coaster. The feet choppers from the other train coming close was really startling on the first ride and like nothing else.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:12 AM

While Universal does dark rides like no one else, it seems to me to be such overkill adding yet another dark ride. And is it THAT much cheaper to build a dark ride the way they build them? The practical effects, custom ride vehicles/ride systems, etc seem like they'd be pretty pricey to build and maintain.

I got rides on Dueling Dragons like crazy in...I want to say 2008. The dueling aspect was so very cool. When I went back in 2012, the ride seemed out of place and pointless, with only the ice side running and obviously no dueling. Both times I went, the lines were minimal for this attraction. Maybe between the lack of ridership and the wear and tear being at its limits, there's just no longer a need for these coasters.

Still, I loved my 10 or so dueling rides, and I remember Fire especially being very forceful and insane. I was fascinated by all that twisting track from a visual standpoint as well. This is a sad one for me.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:24 AM
99er's avatar

bunky666 said:

While Universal does dark rides like no one else, it seems to me to be such overkill adding yet another dark ride.

I believe I read that its being replaced with another coaster so while you could technically call it a "dark ride" if its indoors, I don't think I put it in the same category as MIB. That said the reason dark rides are so popular at Orlando parks is because they are indoors and keep guests cool, the rides open in all types of weather, and can tell the story better than being outside (most of the time). It just makes sense so as new rides are installed, I honestly believe that it will get to the point that less than 1% of marquee rides at the parks will be outdoors.


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.
YouTube | Twitter | Website

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:19 AM
Jeff's avatar

I did the math on here once, and I seem to recall that Raptor or the eldest Batman don't have nearly the number of cycles that the IoA B&M's have had. What always struck me about IoA is that the rides seemed to run constantly after park hours, because their private event business has always been a pretty big deal. I stayed at the Royal Pacific countless times and recall drinking on the "beach" at ridiculous hours with Hulk running.

Mind you, I've always wondered if they really take care of their rides the "right" way. Especially with Hulk, I was always skeptical that they were replacing the bushings in guide wheels on a regular basis because of the lateral shimmy the trains always had. You could sit in the back row and watch the rest of the train through a loop, each row independently shifting around. I can't think of any other B&M where I've seen it so pronounced.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 12:16 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Line length was never a good measure of popularity for DD. That ride absolutely destroys crowds when it's running well, which is a shame because you have to stop and let people past you if you want to enjoy the queue.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 12:59 PM
James Whitmore's avatar

Flight booked.


jameswhitmore.net

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2:43 PM

It's bittersweet, I will miss them but ever since the metal detectors, I ride this ride less. On average getting a locker took 30 min, then you had to hope the line was short enough that you could do both sides before an hour went by and your free time in a locker was up.

A forbidden Forrest ride has me excited, but not nearly as much as the Italian Plumber and friends coming to the Studios park or traveling to a galaxy far far away.


2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:17 PM

Jeff said:

Mind you, I've always wondered if they really take care of their rides the "right" way. Especially with Hulk, I was always skeptical that they were replacing the bushings in guide wheels on a regular basis because of the lateral shimmy the trains always had. You could sit in the back row and watch the rest of the train through a loop, each row independently shifting around. I can't think of any other B&M where I've seen it so pronounced.

Well that's comforting. Thank you for that.

Interesting that you say that though. The one and only time I rode Hulk, it seemed shaky in the second half, so much so that I started to feel pukey, closed my eyes, laid my head on the shoulder rest, and prayed for the end of the ride. Even on Mantis, I didn't have such a reaction (it was more simple pain). To this day, I don't know what happened on the second half of Hulk. The ice dragon did the same to my husband in 2012, and he rode the bench for about 45 minutes afterwards. I was fine that time, but I did notice shaking as well throughout the ride. You very well could be right.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 7:32 PM

I’m sad to see the Dragons go, but I think my enthusiasm to see what replaces it outweighs the sadness. Universal seems to be focusing more on immersive theming rather than trill rides, and I’m perfectly okay with that. I like that Universal and Disney offer an experience different than the local Six Flags. I can go to any major amusement park and ride a B&M invert, but I can only ride things like Escape from Gringotts or Forbidden Journey in Orlando or California (and a few places overseas). I’d miss Dragons a lot more if it still dueled, as that was what elevated it above the typical Six Flags invert and made it stand out.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:34 PM

I understand but really dislike Universal's lack of care towards anything resembling history or nostalgia. I also hope the new ride is thrilling and not the 945th use of the Spiderman ride system. Not entirely holding my breath.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 7:36 AM

Back of napkin math comparing Raptor to dragons. In 1994, CP was open to the public 129 days. 2008 it was up to 142 days due to Halloweekends and staying open until November 2nd that year.

Pick a number of days in between, lets say 137 since there have been more years with Halloweekends than not since Raptor opened. Someone said dragons was 18 years old, and this is Raptors 24th year. If dragons had no downtime for maintenance, then the potential is that Raptor has only had half the operating days dragons have had.

24(years) * 137(days per year) = 3288 Raptor

18(years) * 365(days per year) = 6570 Dragons

3288/6570 = 50.05%

Even if Universal had done 20 days a year of maintenance/refurb on dragons, raptor would still only have about 53% of the operating days the dragons have had.

Note, in both years the average hours CP was open per day is less than 12. It was lower in 2008 than 1994 due to the added Halloweekend Fridays and Sundays being among the shortest operating days on the park calendar. I got the 1994 data from a scan of the park brochure from Jason Hammond's site. 2008 was chosen since it looked like the last year Jason had scanned.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 2:55 PM

By that math, we should be still riding Raptor until around 2034. I can only hope!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 3:08 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

...if the lifespan is strictly a function of cycles and not environmental or fatigue related.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 3:27 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

Ken P said:

2008 was chosen since it looked like the last year Jason had scanned.

Adulting sucks. I have continued to collect, but am obviously way behind on scanning anything.


843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 3:42 PM
rollergator's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

...if the lifespan is strictly a function of cycles and not environmental or fatigue related.

So if I were to paint my coaster in camouflage...would it last longer due to low ridership (no one can FIND it) or would it be due to...."fatigue"...?

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, July 26, 2017 6:49 PM

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 5:09 PM

Also, the math done here doesn't even take into account number of cycles. It's probably a good ballpark guess as to how the cycle wear on each ride compares, but it's not exact. I'm willing to bet CP cycles all of their rides more per hour/day/season than most Six Flags parks. Universal has pretty decent operations, so they might compare pretty equally to CP, but who knows how the actual number of cycles compares Do cycles even cause significant wear on a huge track like B&M's? I can see parts on trains, drive tires, brakes, etc all needing significant work as a result of high cycle count, but is the same true for a modern coaster track? A track cracks occasionally, but is that a function of number of cycles?. Raptor has a crack at the bottom of the first drop since about 2002. Montu operates year round in similar climate to Dragons. Are its days numbered?

I think they have their reasons for removing the rides, but I just doubt that they are no longer serviceable attractions.


-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew
2003 Magnum Crew
2004 Magnum ATL

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 5:32 PM

I stopped at theoretical operating days because beyond that required so much rectal math that it would have been pointless. The difference in operating days is enough to show that the dragon's demise has no immediate correlation to Raptor's life expectancy.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 7:54 PM

I would also think yearly seasonal maintenance does wonders for the rides. I don't know if Hulk or Dragons has ever gotten the kind of love even once that Raptor has gotten for 22 offseasons.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:10 PM

Well if this isn't an I feel old announcement. I remember being in that park once in it's very early days getting into double digit rides on this and Hulk. The whole dueling and the massively empty queue were unique. Fire had some great elements to it. This is kind of a bummer.

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