Universal Studios Florida

Production Central

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster photos

(August 19, 2009 - present)

 

History and photos of the Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster on Production Central at Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt - 2008

In the Spring of 2008, Universal announced future plans to add a major roller coaster to the Universal Studios Florida theme park.

The roller coaster would include technological marvels such as a non-stop loading / unloading station, a 167-foot tall vertical lift hill, a special non-inverting vertical loop, and the ability for the rider to select his or her own music, creating literally a custom experience for each passenger.  Not only that, but a camera mounted on the seat in front of the rider can record the rider's experience on the roller coaster.

Without a doubt, Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt was going to be a highly anticipated roller coaster.  That anticipation would lead to a major disappointment as delays and problems pushed the planned opening of the ride well past the original target date.

Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt - 2009

The construction of Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt was also in conjunction with the construction of The Universal Music Plaza Stage located between Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Twister . . . Ride It Out.  This means that The Boneyard was removed to make way for The Universal Music Plaza Stage.

Land clearing for the two projects began in May of 2008, and actual construction of the roller coaster began in December of that year.  According to the promotional posters for the roller coaster, it was scheduled to open sometime in the Spring of 2009.

Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt - 2010 - 01 Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt - 2010 - 02

The final piece of track was installed in April of 2009.  The excitement was building and everybody was ready to see glimpses of roller coaster trains making test runs along the track.  Those finally took place, but as Spring of 2009 became Summer of 2009, the new roller coaster was still closed to the general public.  My family and I were there in July of 2009, and the frustration of the highly anticipated roller coaster still being closed was intense.  Technical problems would push the coaster's opening back another month.

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt finally opened to the general public on August 19, 2009.

Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt - 2012 - 01 Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt - 2012 - 02

The Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida is themed as us, the riders, starring in a rock music video.  The rock part is emphasized although you can select one of several music genres once you board the ride, from rock to country to techno to rap and hip hop.  If you can access a secret menu and enter in an equally secret code, you'll have even more music options.  But yes, video cameras in the seats in front of us will be recording our reactions throughout the entire ride.

One of the fanciest parts of Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt is the loading station.  The coaster trains do not come to a complete stop inside of the loading / unloading station.  The trains slow down to a crawl as we transition onto a moving sidewalk and then quickly onto the coaster itself.  The roller coaster seats six people in the front car and six more in the back, taking a total of twelve riders on each train.  These small coaster trains help keep this close to being a personal ride.  There isn't much difference sitting up front versus the back, unlike on longer traditional roller coasters.

After we board the roller coaster and lock the fancy lap bar into position, it's time to use the touch-screen control panel to select our music.  You can't go wrong with Motley Crue's "Kickstart Your Heart." :-)  The train then goes up a vertical lift hill (going straight up into the sky) to a height of 167 feet before racing down the first drop.  We then climb into a non-inverting loop (a really cool experience!) and then climb another hill and slow down on a break run.  After that the ride transitions into a more intense experience as we make a sharp dive, race through a building, and then do a bunch of sharp hills and tight turns while we head back to the front of the park.  The Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt does a few more intense maneuvers at the front of the park by Universal CityWalk before finally returning to the unloading station.

Beneath the roller coaster is a place to preview our custom music videos.  For a small charge you can purchase the video and then upload it to your favorite social networking websites.

In the end, Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt is a great roller coaster and a must-ride for thrill riders.  The first couple of drops are fast and smooth, and the second half of the ride can be one intense experience.  For a few of my rides I actually had some minor lower back pains after riding it.  Although it looks and feels like the roller coaster was squeezed in between a bunch of buildings, the way that the coaster stays low to the ground and races through buildings and around its own track and supports creates an exciting and thrilling experience.

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster has a single riders line queue.

Coaster stats:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt stands 167 feet tall and reaches a top speed of 65 mph.  The track is 3,800 feet long and it takes 1:45 to complete the ride.

Each coaster train has two cars, each car holds six riders, making it twelve passengers per train.  During maximum capacity, the coaster can handle 1,850 riders per hour.

Riders can select one of five music categories (classic rock / heavy metal; club / electronic; country; rap / hip-hop; pop music / disco), and each category has six songs.

After boarding the train, riders can access a hidden menu for songs by pressing on the coaster's logo on the screen for ten seconds and then releasing.  A number pad will appear and allow you to enter in the three-digit combination for a song of your choice.

HEIGHT REQUIREMENT You must be at least 51" tall to ride the Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster.
TRIVIA Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt was one of several rides featured in the 2015 comedy-horror film, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

 

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Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - warning sign:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - line queue:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - loading station:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - ride:

CONSTRUCTION of the Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - construction - August 2008:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - construction - October 2008:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - construction - November 2008:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - construction - March 2009:

Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt roller coaster - construction - July 2009: