Universal Orlando has refused to discuss when its Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit rollercoaster will reopen, amid speculation that the ride faces major technical problems.
Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit has been out of action at Universal Studios Florida since September 16, with the park initially claiming that it was down for routine maintenance. However, the closure dragged on with Universal eventually revealing that it planned to take advantage of the closure to perform "annual maintenance" on the coaster.
The company denies that the closure of one of Universal Studios Florida's headline attractions is due to a fault in the ride's trains revealed in a recent letter from manufacturer Maurer Söhne, claiming that the issue was detected and resolve prior to the letter even being sent. However, the duration of the refurbishment work being undertaken has inevitably led to speculation that major changes are required to Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit, with some suggesting that the replacement of sections of the ride's circuit could be in the pipeline.
Unlike rivals Disney and SeaWorld, Universal does not publish detailed refurbishment schedules. It claims that ride downtimes are too unpredictable, and insists that it will reopen Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit "as soon as we can do so, but only after we are satisfied all our work is complete."
Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit has had a troubled history, with the ride opening several months late and continuing to be plagued by technical issues thereafter. Universal is still unable to run the ride at full capacity, over a year after it first opened.
The music-themed attraction has received a mixed reception from coaster fans, with some complaining that it is too rough. However, Theme Park Tourist gave it a positive review after attending the ride's soft opening in August 2009.
A new report from the Orlando Sentinel's Jason Garcia looks at the Rockit's closure in depth, including commentary from leading industry figures.