And just like that, the Hulk is officially back at Marvel Super Hero Island!
After a couple days of technical rehearsals, the Incredible Hulk Coaster officially re-opened to the public today after an 11-month renovation.
In addition to completely new track pieces, the coaster features new trains with on-board audio, a new story line, and a completely new entrance. The on-board audio soundtrack was done by Patrick Stump, lead singer for rock band Fall Out Boy.
The new story has General Thaddeus Ross calling for volunteers for a new experiment, where guests will be “subjected to high levels of gamma radiation through a process called Hulk-a-fication” – a life-altering process first introduced by Dr. Bruce Banner. The new queue takes place inside a state-of-the-art military research compound, commanded by General Ross. Inside, General Ross is conducting an “array of questionable, bio-radiological experiments”. Guests will pass by laboratories containing high-tech equipment his team uses to execute his mysterious tests.
As you move through the queue, you’ll witness the transformation of your predecessors as they undergo the perilous “Hulk-a-fication“ process. The loading platform will be “sparking with electric bursts as the Gamma accelerator powers up to blast you with superhuman strength”.
So what did we think?
The queue has a great look and the renovation was really well-done. The gamma effects are awesome, and the new “Gamma Core” effect plays to a much better effect than the last one. There is a bass that is felt throughout the queue. While waiting outside, the bass of the launch can’t help but get you hyped to ride. Once inside, the tests that happen every so often pulsates lights, smokes up, and hits a hard bass that makes it feel like they are actually testing something.
If there is a small con, it’s that you don’t know what you’re waiting in. It’s clear it’s a Military base, but you don’t know why you’re there until right before loading; but you’re in that area for so little time, you never get a chance to see the video that explains a bit of it. But this is a coaster, and while story is important, it’s not a huge impact on the “meat and potatoes”.
The coaster is great, and smooth like the old days. The loading area glows green and radiates green as each train is dispatched. The new launch effect is great too, with LED screens now adorning the inside of the tube and glowing bright right before you’re hurled 60 mph outside. The soundtrack (which is just an instrumental) by Patrick Stump adds another dimension to the ride and flows along with ride perfectly; even if you’re not a “Fall Out Boy” fan, you’ll be a big fan of this score.
It’s the Hulk Coaster we all know and love, just modernized to a much better result. There are some misses with the story, but it is a coaster and the selling point is the thrill; and what Universal Orlando has done with the new look is huge improvement on an already stellar attraction.
Special thanks to Meg (@Megadis13 on Twitter) for helping out with Opening Ceremony photos & video!