Orlando Sentinel is reporting that testing is being done on the Rip Ride Rockit Roller Coaster at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Tests are now being done on the new moving sidewalk feature, which is theoretically going to be facilitating faster loading times, and increasing the guest capacity per hour. Check out this video:
In other news, Dwayne Bevil of the Sentinel had an interview with Universal Orlando’s senior vice president for entertainment, Jim Timon, where they discussed how the roller coaster will affect the concerts at the Music Plaza for Mardi Gras this year. Given that the coaster runs right behind the stage, guests are wondering if it will be running during the musical performances that are scheduled to take place on Mardi Gras Nights.
Basically, Timon says it depends.
“The operation of the roller coaster in some ways is always going to be a little bit discretionary because of the artist,” Timon says. It all depends on the tone and feel of the artist. During Universal’s holiday concert series, Natalie Cole was one of the performers, and her style of music does not necessarily mesh very well with the high energy sounds and screams of a roller coaster.
“We’re never going to run the coaster during a Natalie Cole concert,” he says. “Now, Flo Rida is here? Sure. Can the roller coaster run during a Flo Rida concert or even during KC [and the Sunshine Band]? Sure. Frankly, the energy of the roller coaster running only adds to the concert experience because it’s big and flashy and exciting.”
Timon emphasizes that they will always defer to the artist and their wishes for how they want their show to go, but for most of the Mardi Gras artists, they don’t foresee an issue. It’s probably pretty safe for guests to assume that the coaster will be running most Mardi Gras event nights.
Mardi Gras at Universal Studios starts February 6th. For more information, refer to our latest Mardi Gras Blog entry.