Dragon Challenge will never duel again at Universal's Islands of Adventure

Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:07 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Orlando said this week it has decided to permanently end the practice of launching the two Dragon Challenge coasters simultaneously. That decision follows an internal investigation into two summer accidents in which riders were apparently struck by loose objects while aboard the attraction. One was gruesome: A 52-year-old Puerto Rico man suffered a lacerated right eye and ultimately had to have the eyeball removed, according to his lawyer.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Related parks

Thursday, October 20, 2011 3:20 PM

Well, having never been to Universal and now hearing this, lowers my interest in going just a bit more. Its not that they stopped dueling it that sucks, its that they really think that stopping them from dueling is going to help...

Hopefully it wont be too long before another loose article injury happens on the ride. Then they can blame the real culprits behind these accidents... the RIDE OPERATORS that don't check for loose articles.


Its going to be a shame if Gemini stops duel running because of Hand slaps during the curves...

Last edited by sealedseven, Thursday, October 20, 2011 3:24 PM
+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 3:30 PM

Jeff said:
I still think that Fire in particular stands pretty well on its own. Ice is a little off-pace by comparison, but the pull up into the cobra roll by the wall, if you're in front, freaks me out every time.

Fire is without a doubt pretty high up on my list of favorites. As you mentioned, Ice's only redeeming feature is the cobra roll.

Definitely a shame, and I'm surprised they didn't at least attempt the net route. As of my visit last Monday, the dispatching was a bit of an operational nightmare, as they were waiting until the previous train had cleared (or almost cleared) the lift before dispatching the other side. With only two trains for each side, this results in some pretty ridiculous stacking situations in that a train can be fully loaded and ready for dispatch before the other side is even halfway up the lift. Thank god that line is so long, or else the wait might actually extend beyond the station on a regular basis now.


Original BlueStreak64

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:20 PM

maXairMike said:

With only two trains for each side, this results in some pretty ridiculous stacking situations in that a train can be fully loaded and ready for dispatch before the other side is even halfway up the lift.

Is my mind playing tricks on me, or isn't DD set up for three train operation on each track (i.e. 6 trains total)?

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:43 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

Was it ever reported what row the guests injured were sitting in? My immediate thought is couldn't eye protection similar to the 3-D glasses given out on Spiderman be required for guests in the front row if it is a "front row only" issue? They already own the sanitizing equipment so it shouldn't be that costly.

I also have to wonder if this is not setting a bad precident for other racing coasters? What is to stop a guest injured, say on Gemini or Colossus, and going to court saying, "Look, Islands of Adventure stopped racing so other parks should have done it too because it is dangerous so pay me millions now!" We all know in America that is the next step.

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:19 PM
rollergator's avatar

Thought I had mentioned it here....turns out it was on someone's FB wall. Short version: Ice's "redeeming feature" of the wall-kick would be excellent if not for the fact that it's the beginning of a headbanging cobra roll (wow do I dislike the "tighter" versions of that element - the stretched out kind like on Hulk induce no headbanging at all). Fire, OTOH, is one of the very best inverts I've been on - almost as good as Carowinds' Top Gun.

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:26 PM

If this were a Paramount park, they'd run Ice backwards.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:36 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

And it'd be called "Frozen Water"


+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:44 PM

I thought Ice was better. Fire was boring to me. There were a couple of places that I felt the ride should have been rolling or inverting or something. Rode it twice the first nite we were there in August (which was a week or two after they stopped dueling). Ice was closed presumably because there wasn't enough demand as Fire had no wait. Two days later we rode Ice which I thought was better. Though maybe my expectations were just lower for Ice after having been disappointed with Fire. I would prefer to ride Raptor and Alpengeist to either Dragon.

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:53 PM

Fortunately or unfortunately, I was there during the final days of the dueling and when one of the injuries occurred. So my family got to experience it dueling and in non-dueling mode. Yes in the front seats it does have a some nice near miss effects, honestly though, in non dueling mode, I still believe they are really decent rides and are better than some of their counterparts up north. I actually like it better than Raptor, ThunderHawk, and Batman, but not as much as Montu. As I mentioned in my trip report from August, I don't believe the injuries were a result of someone on the ride itself but someone in the que area. So what happens now if someone throws/launches something from the que into the ride and more injuries occur? It can happen as we saw happen on the Bride over the HULK. In line and at the entry point they were very proactive about loose articles and would not release the trains if someone had loose articles. This was before the second injury occurred. They also placed a security guard in the que near where it was suspected the injuries occurred, but lets face it, that guard could easily be distracted while some yahoo wanted to do what they were going to do. So yea this knee jerk reaction in my opinion is a bad call, but I don't run the park and have to pay for their lawsuits or injuries.

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:45 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
And it'd be called "Frozen Water"

No, that's only if CF purchased the park AFTER Paramount.


Website | Flickr | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:55 PM
kingdakacor's avatar

I was fortunate enough to ride it when it was just dueling dragon's and a second time when it became dragon challenge. I am beating a horse to death but I can see its a bummer because of the unique design of it. It only is good in the first row(the vertical loop near miss was the best part). I guess the age old motto safety first never dies. Does anyone know if the guy missing the eyeball filed a lawsuit with the park? (Settlement perhaps?).

On a lighter note, I always end up buying coaster shirts at most of the parks I visit. Proud to say....my very first one was a dueling dragon's shirt. Maybe it's worth something now lol.

Last edited by kingdakacor, Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:57 PM

Sky's the limit.

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 7:05 PM

My fear is that this becomes a precedent for other parks/rides that are good as dueling rides, such as LR at HP.


Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:15 PM
OhioStater's avatar

Just a question from someone who never actually rode it dueling; was the actual "dueling" effect something that you actually perceived as a rider, or was it more of a visual for those waiting in line?

My outsider thought has always been that this was a neat effect to watch, but when riding it would make no difference at all. It sounds like a few of you have chimed in about it only being "neat" if you are in the front seat...which begs the question, why make it "dueling" to begin with?

I'm not knocking DD at all...in fact, I think it's a coaster-engineering wonder that they designed a ride with the visual effect...I'm just curious about the rider-perspective.

Last edited by OhioStater, Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:26 PM
+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

Others have said it was only noticeable from the front seat, but I kind of disagree. In the vertical loops, you'd have to be nuts to not see the other train below you. On the over/under, it was pretty obvious as well if the trains were timed well. The corkscrews you couldn't tell, but it looked great from the queue entrance. The final "fly by" before they went off to their respective stations was kind of hard to notice because the proximity was fairly large.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:45 PM

OhioStater said:
Just a question from someone who never actually rode it dueling; was the actual "dueling" effect something that you actually perceived as a rider, or was it more of a visual for those waiting in line?

My outsider thought has always been that this was a neat effect to watch, but when riding it would make no difference at all. It sounds like a few of you have chimed in about it only being "neat" if you are in the front seat...which begs the question, why make it "dueling" to begin with?

I'm not knocking DD at all...in fact, I think it's a coaster-engineering wonder that they designed a ride with the visual effect...I'm just curious about the rider-perspective.

If you know where to look you can see everything; even if you're further back in the train. I could every near-miss from the Red side because I knew where to look (and typically when I ride a coaster, I look at anything/everything that may catch my eye). Mind you, if you were in the middle of a row, in the 2nd of last rows, your view may not be the best...

But yeah, front row was the best for seeing the vertical loop near-miss, but you wouldn't really see the zero-g roll near miss if you're on the red train, since it would happen just after you've past the point of crossing. For that, being near the middle, and if it's not windy, you could usually feel the other train's wind blow under your feet if you were waiting for it.

/nitpick

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:46 PM

Plus what Jeff said

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:57 PM
OhioStater's avatar

It's been said, but remember back when we were in elementary school, and we would all miss recess time because of what one kid did?

What a shame. Just thinking of the time and effort that went in to making such a precisely-timed experience, only to be ruined...

Wish I would have had a chance to at least experience it.

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:33 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

SLFAKE said:
rows... no big loss. Like any invert, you can't see anythign back there

You mean, like any *B&M* invert.


Billy
+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 10:12 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Not true. I see the back of the row in front of me, and dangling feet.


Website | Flickr | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

+0
Thursday, October 20, 2011 10:13 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

^And elbows :) You got me.


Billy
+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2021, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...