Authors: Ryan S. & Dan L.

Astringent skeptics have held Universal Orlando Resort’s newest attraction, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, among top of their lists for a stern review. The wait is over as Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is now officially open. We’ve come to our decision on this year’s best ride. Have you?

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is loosely based on Universal Studios Japan’s Hollywood Dream: The Ride. The only difference: this one isn’t a mini version of another cliché Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster. This is an attraction with a manufacturer looking to make a statement for themselves, blaring, customizable music, bright, flashing LED lights in every direction, first-of-their-kind elements, and chaos – all blended in perfect synergy to create this thing known as Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

The attraction sets stage in an outdoor queue line. One that introduces fictitious characters representing each of the five genres riders may select on their journey. As guests pass through the queue riders overhead scream by on the aptly dubbed ‘crowd surfer’ element. Mounted LCD’s introduce guests to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit’s multimedia selection system, and instruct them on selection procedures.

On the loading platform riders are introduced to their first glance of the trains. Two elegant Maurer Söhne X-Car’s comprise each train, for a total of 12 riders taking their journey together. Polished metal, LED lights, speakers, and cameras, these trains suitably fit the profile of a pimped vehicle. Seven of these trains simultaneously travel at any given point amongst the layout.

Unique to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a pair of conveyor belts, or horizontal escalators, integrated into the station floor that travel alongside the ride vehicle. These would create mobile loading and unloading to decrease dispatch times, but at this moment they are only functional for six or seven train operation.

Loose items removed? Check. Lapbars locked? Check. ZZ Top selected? Check! Before it’s comprehensible, riders have summated all 17 stories of the vertical lifthill. A quick glance around and it’s all over. The first drop is deceivingly vertical, and the speed of the lift hill pushes riders over the drop with great force. Next thing riders know they’re up at the top of the non-inverting loop and getting sucked downward. Twists, turns, airtime, and even flying through a fire station, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit never lets up. The audio clarity is so vivid. There’s no overlap of other rider’s music and audio fading; just yourself and a span of red track. The ride ends before you know it, and before you can recover, the computer system has wirelessly transmitted your recorded video into their database.

As riders exit from their experience they visit different viewing stations to see their recorded video. From here riders can order their video on DVD, which is then processed into a customized music video with the audio they selected – the perfect compliment for the digital age of electronic sharing.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is an attraction that takes a broad theme and integrates it to a new level. The strategic location to CityWalk is no coincidence, nor is the lighting package on the attraction. After hours riding, anyone? Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit’s introduction also brings about a new entertainment stage: a state-of-the-art complex where musicians can perform live while Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit takes the backdrop.

To be truthful, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is rather an unusual attraction. There’s really nothing else like it, so there’s no comparison. No comparison to what expectations should’ve been set. Perhaps that’s why words like “excellent”, “awesome”, or “wondrous” come to mind when describing a ride on Rip Ride Rockit.

There’s probably not one agreeable description as to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit’s experience. The ride provides moments of airtime in rear rows, lots of g-forces everywhere, and unique visuals. One of the signature maneuvers is the musically inspired treble clef element, where riders spiral upwards into an overbank before plummeting back downward. As the ride progresses toward CityWalk the elements come at you in a faster order, giving little preparation of what’s coming ahead.

With Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit opening late summer, it’s hard to remember that another coaster opened just down the road – one that created a cross-city competition as the world’s new favorite Orlando coaster. Although many have claimed a T.K.O. with Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit opening so late this year, as far as we’re concerned, the battle has just started.

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Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is officially open. For more information visit UniversalOrlando.com or call: 1-877-801-9720 for vacation info.

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