Universal Studios in Orlando has had the worst kept secret for months. Back in 2019 inside the Islands of Adventure theme park a large area of land was being cleared out around the Jurassic Park Discovery center building. As the months went by, large metal support structures started to go vertical and new building started to take shape. Fans were questioning Universal about what was going on and through the parks social media accounts they joking said it was a new churro stand. Obviously this was a joke but one that to this day they have continued to play on. Soon after however there was a flooding of leaked news online about the new coaster and that it was to be called Velocicoaster.
Even from a distance this new attraction is quite impressive. It’s now listed as the parks Tallest and Fastest roller coaster and is the fastest launched coaster in all of Florida. It features two launches with one reaching 70 mph in 2.4 seconds, on a track of more than 4,700 feet, and a top heigh of 155 feet.
I visited the park a few weeks ago prior to the official opening on June 10th, 2021 and it has a surprised soft opening. Now I’ll say right up front this attraction looks a little too intense for me. So far at the time of posting this I have not ridden this, but I will say I’m definitely intrigued by it so the possibility for a ride in the future may still happen.
Even though on this visit I wasn’t going to ride the coaster, the soft opening did allow me to get up close and personal with this new area of the park. Just out front are some pretty intimidating looking Raptor statues.
There is a big courtyard out from of the main entrance to the coaster, but this filled up quickly as the crowds arrive to jump in line. As I stood in this courtyard the coaster vehicle zooms past at top speed in various different spots and even goes upside down right over the pathway with guests screaming the whole time.
Around the other side of the Discovery Center is the initial section of track for this coaster. It twists and turns in and out of various rock structures and you can hear Raptor’s screeching as they give chase to the coaster.
Inside the Discovery Center is a new gift shop for the Velocicoaster. I headed inside to take a look hoping for a new pressed penny machine. This is actually the same location that I previously found a new Jurassic World machine a couple years prior and you read out it here. Unfortunately there was no new machine here, and to add insult to injury that other machine was also missing. Whenever possible I do try to speak with team members to see if they have any insight. Sometimes they don’t have any info, but on this day I lucked out and a very friendly team member named Jennifer told me that she heard there was a special Velocicoaster penny available. She didn’t know exactly where it was but she thought it was near some restrooms. I thanked Jennifer profusely and with this new lead was off to hunt around. I knew of three different sets of restroom nearby and the first two didn’t pay off. The third was a little bit of a walk from the Velocicoaster, past the River Adventure attraction, and around the corner from the Jurassic Outfitters gift shop.
There is was just down this pathway near the restrooms and water fountain. This did seem like a very strange place to put this machine especially so far away from the new attraction and I would think it would get so much more use if it was closer to the actual ride. My guess is this will be moving at some point in the future but if not you will now be in the know of exactly where to find it.
The machine had a fun cabinet design which I assumed was to try and replicate stone or rock. As you can see it also has the new payment system available and each design costs $1 plus the machine will supply the penny to be pressed.
Now there are a few interesting things to note about these designs. First off, the first and third designs are the same ones that were in that machine I had found inside the Discovery Center (mentioned earlier in this post) that on this visit had been missing. Well I guess I found out what happened to it. So those two designs were the same as before, but the second or middle design was brand new and absolutely georgous.
That new design has the Velocicoaster logo on it, some of the track and of course a ferocious raptor. It also says Grand Opening 2021 which I just love. My assumption is this design will be available during this inaugural year of operation and will eventually be retired. But we have seen other dated coins kept around many months after that year has come and gone so I would recommend getting this coin as soon as you can. Otherwise you may lose out.
Oh one other oddity with these designs is that if you compare the pennies I received from the machine with the marquee picture above one of the images is different. On the marquee design #3 looks like a Triceratops skull / head, but in the pennies I received this design didn’t come out. Instead another design was pressed. I’m not sure if the die is incorrect or if the marquee is wrong. I don’t even know if Universal or the vendor that maintains the machines knows this happened. I’ll keep an eye on it during future visits to see if this changes, but wanted to let you know in case you went to press your own set.
Well it wasn’t a churro cart, and even though I haven’t gotten up the nerve to ride this yet I think this was a better attraction for this park. The reviews from fellow guests have been incredible and the wait times have been pretty crazy so I think they have a hit on their hands. This new “limited” pressed penny is just so incredible I hope we see more like this in the future celebrating new attractions. Geez all this talk of churros I feel like I need a snack, now if only I can find an actual churro stand nearby.
Thanks for visiting and Keep on Pressing!