Universal Orlando installs last piece of replacement Hulk roller coaster

Posted Tuesday, April 5, 2016 1:34 PM | Contributed by Jeff

From the blog post:

A roar went up from the crowd as the last piece of gamma-green steel was bolted into place. The track of one of America’s most beloved—and ferocious—coasters was ready to go.

Read more and see the photos from the official Universal Orlando blog.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 9:56 AM

Yeah, but that means now I have to decide whether or not to allow a secondary entry in the database for the purpose of track records.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 10:13 AM

I say no need.

When they rebuilt and reprofiled the turnaround on Voyage, let's say, did anyone count v 2.0 as a new ride? I don't think so. And technically it's more of a "new" ride than this is. At least as far as we know. I'll allow the park may have a new trick up their sleeve. (But I doubt it...)

I guess I tend to err on the side of caution as far as my track record is concerned. No moves, no rebuilds, no new theme, no new paint. And that's ok, as big boy notes above, nobody gives two craps about my track record but me anyway.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 11:14 AM

I still am on the fence about counting it as a new credit. (I first rode it back in 2005). Personally, I was leaning on toward a new credit, but when someone pointed out about wood being replaced yearly on wooden coasters, they still remain the same. That situation applies the same for Hulk, it is an interesting discussion because the size of this project have never been done before. Yes we have seen tracks pieces being replaced, but not WHOLE thing.

Look at Legend at HW for example, it will be re-profiled in some area, adding more mini hills. Would you guys count it as a new credit? I personally won't, so why should I count Hulk as a new credit? But RCDB counts it as a new coaster, why?

So my question... is the layout in Space Mountain at Disneyland the same? (Before the 2003 re-build) Did you guys count it as a new credit? And the tracks inside Hulk's station and the launch are the same? Are we 100% sure about that, because I heard that the new tracks are few millimeters wider to accompany the new trains (Banshee for example, its trains and track ties are wider than standard B&M inverts, am I right?) So if the new tracks are bit wider, they should replace the tracks inside the station and the launch, but I may be wrong.

My decision is that if the track is actually wider, Hulk gets brand new train (similar to Banshee's but floorless), also replaced the tracks inside launch and station, then I would count it as a new credit. Not to mention, it probably will feature LSM launch, so that's also new.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 11:25 AM

Has B&M ever changed its track gauge for anything other than the dive coasters? That seems like an expensive change to me in terms of compatibility.

You know, I consider CP's two Wildcats to be different rides, but only because they lived in different parks at various times. The wood coaster comparison is interesting, because over time, in theory, a wooden ride will be totally replaced if you have it long enough. But this one is different to think about because of the total, all-at-once replacement of it. It's physically a different ride, even if it is the same ride.

The stupid **** we over-think...

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Monday, April 11, 2016 11:30 AM

bigboy said:
Why would you think this is overkill? Do you really think the park or their parent company would be on board with spending this type of money if it wasn't necessary or it wouldn't save them money later on?quote] ...

It's a very large investment and I am left wondering if the same objectives could have been achieved by simply replacing / correcting sections rather than re-building it. I am not aware of the issue history of the ride, I am just amazed that they are willing to spend this much to correct the ride. And yes, I am sure the parent company has came the conclusion that this is the best way to go, and I applaud them for doing so. However in this industry you typically don't see this as the plan of action and I am somewhat intrigued by it. There are numerous rides that I wish parks would take this same approach with but from a capital standpoint most company's probably won't expect to see an ROI.

Last edited by Mforcebob, Monday, April 11, 2016 11:32 AM
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Monday, April 11, 2016 1:28 PM

Mforcebob said:

Mainly in the sense that we don't see other parks doing this.

But most parks don't run their coasters 365 days a year. The Orlando parks are, of course, an exception.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 1:42 PM

slithernoggin said:

But most parks don't run their coasters 365 days a year. The Orlando parks are, of course, an exception.

Yeah but some parks do close some rides for a month or few weeks for a rehab, did Hulk ever get yearly extended closure for rehab?

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Monday, April 11, 2016 1:46 PM

It is the same ride, in the same place with the same name. Not a new coaster. .

Not much different than large sections of a wooden coaster being rebuilt (Thunder Road), or new trains being put on a coaster (Thunder Road). Thunder Road was always the same coaster from the day they built it until they destroyed it, regardless of rebuilds and new trains.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 2:44 PM

But most parks don't run their coasters 365 days a year. The Orlando parks are, of course, an exception

Agree, but some do and up to this point I don't recall seeing a total re-build taking place.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 3:25 PM

Someone who would know tells me that the number of hours operated on Hulk exceeds every other B&M to date, including those at BGT. As I said before, track repairs were getting to be almost nightly. That sure seems to warrant a full replacement to me.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 4:32 PM

But nobody has ever done it before, so it must be overkill.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 6:08 PM

Hulk had been riding pretty rough the last five years or so to the point where I would rarely ride it when I was in the park. I'm not sure if more preventative maintenance throughout the earlier years would have helped, but Universal decided this is what made the most sense and I don't know how it became such a hot button issue. It's a great layout and they had no need to change it.

It'll be curious to see in the next decade if any other 90s B&M's get this kind of treatment, or if offseason maintenance at seasonal parks is able to preserve things that just weren't able to be preserved at Universal. I can't think of a single lengthy refurbishment the ride has ever undergone since 99.

I keep seeing visions of Harvey Fierstein's character in Mrs. Doubtfire handing Robin Williams the second Mrs. Doubtfire mask after the first one was destroyed. I just picture B&M delivering Hulk 2 saying to the Universal folks "take care of this one"

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Monday, April 11, 2016 6:12 PM

Jeff said:

Someone who would know tells me that the number of hours operated on Hulk exceeds every other B&M to date, including those at BGT. As I said before, track repairs were getting to be almost nightly. That sure seems to warrant a full replacement to me.

IOA is typically open a 10-12 hour day, with longer hours in the peak season. Hulk (and Dragons) seem to get refurbishments of more than just a couple days quite rarely. BGT is often only open a 7 or 8 hour day, frequently run those coasters with one train, and each one seems to get at least a two to three week refurbishment each year. I would love to know the difference in hours logged between Hulk and Dragons and a coaster at a seasonal park, or even BGT with shorter hours. Heck, I would love to know how many extra laps those Universal coasters do compared with BGT just in relation to BGT's laughably slow dispatch times.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 6:21 PM

super7* said:
It is the same ride, in the same place with the same name. Not a new coaster. .

Not much different than large sections of a wooden coaster being rebuilt (Thunder Road), or new trains being put on a coaster (Thunder Road). Thunder Road was always the same coaster from the day they built it until they destroyed it, regardless of rebuilds and new trains.

Thank you for voicing your opinion, but you're wrong. I'll count it as a new coaster, as is my right.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 6:27 PM

It would be interesting to see the amount of laps each ride has per year. Great points about the length of operating hours between the two parks. With everything Jeff was saying it would be a pain to have to make nightly track corrections. Reminds me of back in 2002 with Wicked Twister, but they were able to correct that in the following off season, which a FL park wouldn't have.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 6:44 PM

Hulk seemed to always be running off-hours too, when I stayed on-property at Royal Pacific. Granted, that park does a crazy amount of after-hour private events.

Hulk seemed more rough than normal for a long time. Sitting toward the back of the train, you could see a lot of lateral shifting of the cars in front of you, which certainly accounts for the headbanging. I always thought that maybe they weren't maintaining the bushings in the guide wheels, but the rebuild makes me wonder if it was something else related to the condition of the track.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 6:45 PM

The Florida parks can do it if they are willing to take the hit and close a popular ride for an extended period of time. To me, the couple of people a day you get in guest services that are all bent out of shape because "they flew all the way to Orlando just to ride this particular rolly coaster" are worth it to keep your investment in good working order.

And yes - that does happen. Daily. I worked at the main entrance of Epcot the summer Test Track was down for the conversion, and I can't tell you how many people claimed to have spent thousands on airfare, hotels, and lodging "just to ride Test Track" when told it was closed.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 6:47 PM

Jeff said:

Hulk seemed to always be running off-hours too, when I stayed on-property at Royal Pacific. Granted, that park does a crazy amount of after-hour private events.

I worked at Universal pre-Potter, when a 6 or 7pm park close during the offseason was the norm. That said, at least two or three nights a week during the offseason we had some kind of buyout or after hours event where the major rides would be open until midnight. Those parks are the king of buyout events in Central Florida.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 8:09 PM

Most of the discussion on the UO FB pages re:buyouts these days is focused on what is apparently a never-ending series of grad nights.

Starting to think that DD won't be too far behind, then maybe we'll finally (*wink*) get our Tri-Wizard Cup....three interlocked Beemer inverts.

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Monday, April 11, 2016 8:12 PM

Then this occurred to me. Cedar Point's Wildcat was shipped off to Valleyfair, and the next year brought WildCat to Cedar Point. Same model of ride, but a different ride, so it was the same ride, but a new ride....

...I'm starting to sympathize with those computers Captain Kirk argued into self-destruction on Star Trek.

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