Everyone knows the Incredible Hulk, a tragic hero made popular through the Marvel universe.
Overwhelming brute strength is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Hulk, and anyone would agree that his adventures are exhilarating.
This is what makes him the perfect theme for a thrilling, over-the-top ride like The Incredible Hulk Coaster.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster is one of the flagship attractions at Marvel Super Hero Island, located at Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure.
With 3,700 feet of bright green track that features 7 different inversions, this is one coaster you can’t miss.
INCREDIBLE HULK COASTER AT A GLANCE
TIRE PROPELLED LAUNCH
7 UNIQUE INVERSIONS (ZERO-G ROLL, COBRA ROLL, VERTICAL LOOP, CORKSCREW, VERTICAL LOOP, CORKSCREW)
2 MINUTES 15 SECONDS
4 TRAINS, 32 PASSENGERS
1,920 RIDERS PER HOUR
RIDERS MUST BE AT LEAST 54 INCHES TALL
PERSONAL ITEMS (CELL PHONES, WALLETS, KEYS, LOOSE CHANGE, HATS, ETC.) ARE NOT PERMITTED ON THE RIDE. RIDERS MUST REMOVE THESE ITEMS AND PLACE THEM IN ONE OF THE FREE LOCKERS, OR LEAVE THEM WITH A NON-RIDER.
HISTORY OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK COASTER
The development Incredible Hulk Coaster started in 1991 when an executive at Universal Studios began with the expansion of a new theme park. Two years later, Universal Studios decided to make a park with a Marvel Comic theme, selecting the Hulk for a thrill ride. Prototypes for the ride came out in 1995, with the idea to simulate being fired out of a cannon.
Construction on the ride began in 1997, with Superior Rigging & Erection starting the project of Bolliger & Mabillard’s design. The Incredible Hulk Coaster opened on May 28, 1999, as one of the premier attractions for the new Islands of Adventure Park. It quickly became one of the most popular rides in the park, likely due to its innovative launch technique.
The ride continued to be popular throughout the next 2015 years, with thousands of passengers riding each day. On September 8, 2015, the ride was closed down for major renovations and refurbishments. It opened up to the public again on August 4, 2016, with new track pieces and a brand-new story for the attraction.
INCREDIBLE HULK COASTER RECEPTION
The Incredible Hulk ride was very well received by the public, especially in the first few years of its opening. During its first year, it was voted the number 1 roller coaster by the Discovery Channel on the Thrills, Chills, and Spills documentary. It also ranked in Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards from 1999 to 2012. It started at number 19 and reached a top ranking of 9 by 2001.
DIRECTIONS TO THE INCREDIBLE HULK COASTER
The Incredible Hulk Coaster is located on the Island of Adventure side of Universal Florida. When you enter the park and turn to the left, you’ll immediately find the Marvel Super Hero Island. The Incredible Hulk Coaster is the first attraction you’ll see, so it is often it one of the first rides that guests experience when entering the park.
INCREDIBLE HULK COASTER ATTRACTION STORY
When you walk past the Hulk statue into the Incredible Hulk Coaster, you’ll enter the lab of General Thaddeus Ross. You’re informed that you will be part of an experiment that will expose everyone to extreme levels of gamma radiation. He calls this process Hulk-a-fication, which is what Bruce Banner goes through when transforming into the Hulk.
While waiting in the queue, you will pass by various things inside the laboratory. This includes a large Gamma core and the results of other experiments. Strapping into the ride gets you ready for the experiment, and you are soon brought to the Gamma accelerator at the start of the track.
An automated female voice is heard over the speaker, calmly updating the passengers about their fate. She says, "Initiating Gamma Exposure. Hulk Transformation: Accelerating. Do not be afraid.” The Gamma accelerator then shoots the train out into the track, twisting and turning through 7 inversions while music blasts from the seats.
INCREDIBLE HULK COASTER FUN FACTS
While it’s not as exciting as going on the ride, we enjoyed learning these fun facts about the Incredible Hulk Coaster.
ZERO TO 40 IN SECONDS
One of the most memorable parts of the Incredible Hulk ride is the initial launch, which rockets passengers out onto the track. The advanced tire propelled system gives the ride this unique feature, which propels riders up the initial 110-foot hill at an amazing speed. The launcher is achieved through an interworking series of mechanics, including hydraulic, cable, pneumatic, conveyer belt, and steam catapult systems.
From the beginning of the track, the cart is able to reach 40 mph in as little as 2 seconds.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster was actually the star of a movie, and we’re not talking about the Hulk movies. In 1999, the Incredible Hulk ride was featured in the remake of House On Haunted Hill. In the film, it was renamed Terror Incognita to fit the theme of the horror movie.
In the movie, you’re shown a first-person view of the ride taking off and going onto the track. Then you watch as two trains go around the track. At the end, the track breaks suddenly, shooting the cart off the track. This sets the mood for the rest of the movie, which had relatively high ratings.
MASSIVE HULK FIGURE
The unveiling of the renovated Incredible Hulk Coaster also brought the reveal of a new marquee, with the title character as the star. The Hulk stands at the front of the ride, holding a piece of the track above his head. He stands at 13 feet tall and weighs over 20,000 lbs.
The pieces of the track at the top of the marquee actually come from the original coaster, along with a passenger cart that was saved from the renovation.
MONSTROUS ORIGINAL SCORE
New features were added to the Hulk coaster during its renovation, with one of the biggest being the inclusion of an on-ride soundtrack. The songs were composed by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and were recorded by a large 70-piece orchestra. The songs can be heard while you are in the queue and play on speakers installed on each seat during the ride.
In an interview for the Universal Studio blog, Stump said he got the inspiration for the score started with the story of the ride. He said that he wanted something to compliment the experience while taking you on your own journey.
“Conceptually, I wanted rumbling drum rhythms that could capture the Hulk’s raw muscular aggression,” says Stump. “I wanted melodies that struck you in the chest as if the Hulk was swinging a bus into a wall.”
HULKING OUT THE POWER
As we mentioned earlier, the Incredible Hulk Coaster’s launching mechanism is powerful enough to blast riders from 0 to 40 in 2 seconds. A feat like that takes incredible power, and unfortunately, the Gamma core doesn’t really cut it. The launching system alone requires eight megawatts of power for every ride.
The Hulk Coaster needed so much power that the park had to make several custom motor generators to keep it running. In fact, Orlando would not allow the park to run using the city’s utility line. Without these generations, the park would have to build an entire substation and risk hoarding all of the local energy.
STORY BEFORE THE REBOOT
Before the ride shut down in 2005, the story behind the Incredible Hulk Coaster actually revolved around Bruce Banner himself. In the original story, riders entered the laboratory of Banner, who is looking to reverse the effects of his Gamma radiation. Walking through the lab showed the Gamma core, along with huge power towers meant to fuel the experiment.
When the riders boarded the train, it departs the station to the Gamma accelerator. Banner’s voice can be heard as he makes final preparations, stating “I think this time it’s going to work!” However, an automated voice states that there is a malfunction. Banner yells in terror and frustration, repeating “No!” three times before blasting the ride off with a final scream of “NO!”
IS THE INCREDIBLE HULK COASTER WORTH RIDING?
If you’re a major thrill seeker, nothing will get your blood pumping like the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal Studio’s Island of Adventure. This exhilarating ride will have you screaming from start to finish, leaving you pumped up with adrenaline. We think that the Incredible Hulk Coaster is absolutely worth visiting, and a great way to kick start an exciting day at the park.