Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has fans guessing about the ride's problems

Posted Thursday, October 14, 2010 11:08 PM | Contributed by Juggalotus

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, the year-old roller coaster that towers 17 stories above Universal Studios Florida, has been dark for a month now, ever since Universal abruptly closed it amid warnings of a potential safety flaw. The resort will say little about the closure other than that it is performing "maintenance" on the ride. But with Rockit now a month offline, many Universal fans and industry followers think the resort is grappling with more significant problems than mere maintenance.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, October 14, 2010 11:20 PM

I suspect the mystery is simply modified or replaced trains that meet the spec.

Thursday, October 14, 2010 11:29 PM

It's got a lot of issues, although it's probably the train thing that has it shuttered.

Friday, October 15, 2010 7:27 AM

It combined innovative elements — such as a 90-degree lift hill and lap-bar restraints rather than conventional, over-the-shoulder harnesses — with a sophisticated audio-and-video system that allows guests to choose personalized soundtracks and create digital music videos.

This is what caught my eye when I first read it. When did lap bars become innovative?

The coaster has prompted other complaints, as well. Of the four ride injuries that Universal has reported during the past year, three occurred on Rockit: two guests who suffered back pains and another who experienced chest pains.

Here's the other part that caught my eye. Sure they walked off the ride with back/chest pains, but odds are they walked on with them too after ignoring the ride safety warnings.

I would imagine the delay in reopening is due to an order backlog at Maurer Söhne. Especially if they can't just replace the part and have to replace whole trains.

Last edited by Juggalotus, Friday, October 15, 2010 7:27 AM
Friday, October 15, 2010 8:25 AM

I'm only going on what I've heard and read from people that usually know what they're talking about, but apparently Universal is looking into fixing issues themselves or contracting with another company to do so.

Again, this is just rumor.

I don't see how the ride caused any major back/chest/neck injuries for people w/o pre-existing conditions. I thought the train was one of the most comfortable I'd ever been in, with a restraint that was extremely comfortable and comforting.

Sadly, the ride just wasn't that great, IMO.

Friday, October 15, 2010 8:39 AM

Tekwardo said:
I thought the train was one of the most comfortable I'd ever been in, with a restraint that was extremely comfortable and comforting.

So was it comfortable? C'mon, we wanna know.

Friday, October 15, 2010 10:07 AM

I thought the opposite of Tekwardo, that ride is almost a torture device and I would really enjoy it if I didn't have to spend the entire ride trying not to hurt myself.

Friday, October 15, 2010 3:05 PM

Huh. I thought it was easily one of the cookest experiences in Orlando and a rather great ride.

But then, maybe my enjoyment of ZZTop's Gimme All Your Loving blasting in my ears compensated for the roughness.

Sunday, October 17, 2010 2:36 PM

I thought it was the most boring coaster in Orlando, although I skip kiddie coasters. Just utterly forceless and blah.

But it was silky smooth. Maybe they caught the ride on a day where it had square wheels?

Sunday, October 17, 2010 8:08 PM

I think the ride is generally quite smooth, but pretty much forceless in the second car. Not a big fan of the vertical lift (or beyond-vertical in the case of Drayton's)...but the restraint system is top-notch IMO.

Then again, I'm a sucker for companies that build inverting coasters and stay away from OTSRs. (Small jab at BGT's C-Hunt)... ;)

Sunday, October 17, 2010 11:49 PM

It's fun to read so many varying opinions of one ride. I thought it looked to be very ho-hum from the ground, but the ride delivered past my expectations. Steep, fast, surprising, and smooth as glass. I loved the turnaround. The return trip could be more exciting, but I still thought the little surfing section over the queue was cool. I liked it.

I did not, however, find the restraints very comfortable, or comforting. (I like that!...) We enthusiasts think in general that lapbar- only is the preferred restraint, and normally I would agree. I am a guy of some size, and these restraints hit me the wrong way. For a thinner person they would be great. They're designed so that they not only keep you in your seat but keep you from pitching forward too much as well, so they're more like mid-section bars than lap bars! It wasn't working for me.

Monday, October 18, 2010 9:07 AM

Thought the ride was ho-hum. I sat in the front row of the second car. The amount of play between the two coaches was really distracting.

Friday, October 22, 2010 4:17 PM

Well it must be the lapbar because i rode it and the lapbars got stuck and the emergency brake went off at the second catwalk. So they ended up prying off my lapbar with a crowbar. Well they tried the thing that makes the bar go up but it didnt work so they just pried them off.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 9:25 AM

Someone just Tweeted that it has reopened...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 9:59 AM

^Sweet - some visitors coming in November will be very pleased...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:07 AM

...At least until they ride it, lol ;).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:32 AM

Lead car gets all the airtime - it's not really much harder than that. It's never going to be as good as RotM, but it still adds a LOT to the *sparse* ride line-up at USF...

What the park needs is *something* between the horrendous Earthquake re-do and Jaws. Since the park has no inverting coasters, I'd like to suggest a nice (compact) Zamperla Air Race! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:54 AM

Sparce line up? I dont know about you but Im pretty sure I could do a whole day of just doing MIB and Mummy over again, those rides are great.

Besides how many people go to Universal and do not buy the park hopper? The traffic between the two parks always looks pretty heavy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 12:15 PM

Not saying Mummy and MiB aren't great rides (I totally LOVE them both) - just there's not a ton of different rides there for people who visit more frequently. The Simpsons was a refurb/re-invention of the same ride hardware, and the re-envisioning of Earthquake was an absolute "Disaster (Starring You)"... ;)

In short, HRRR is/was desparately needed in the park...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 12:18 PM

The Earthquake re-do didn't really change anything other than the preshow, and you're right it was lame. Still, I find it pretty easy to spend a lot of time at the park, and probably even more once Simon gets a little older. Another "real" thrill ride would be nice, but it's not a deal breaker to me.


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