Last year, Universal Orlando Resort announced that its world-famous The Incredible Hulk roller coaster was going to be closed for nearly a year while it received the biggest refurbishment in its nearly 20 year history. And though the resort was light on details about what this massive refurbishment might entail at the time, fans watched as the entire track of the ride was dismantled and then replaced, all the while with Universal staying mum about what was going on with this attraction.
However, with only a few weeks to go until The Incredible Hulk roller coaster roars back to life once again at Island of Adventure's Marvel Super Hero Island, Universal has finally confirmed some of the big changes to the attraction experience that guests will be able to check out when this iconic ride finally opens again later this summer (an opening date has yet to be revealed).
1. Brand new redesigned vehicles
Ever since the refurbishment of The Incredible Hulk was first announced last year, fans have been speculating that when The Incredible Hulk reopens it will feature redesigned vehicles. And it looks like this is one instance where the fans were right, as it has now been confirmed that this attraction will relaunch with new, angular vehicles that are designed to have a sleek, cutting-edge, military inspired look. Which is important because…
2. The Incredible Hulk will now tell a completely different story
On the surface it is easy to think that a roller coaster doesn’t need a story. After all, roller coasters aren't like dark ride where guests can relish intricate details as they pass through various story-driven scenes. However, rides like Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg prove that a strong story can actually really enhance a roller coaster, which is why Universal has gone back to the drawing board for The Incredible Hulk and have created a brand new storyline that somewhat puzzlingly gets rid of the titular character of the Hulk.
Instead of stepping into the torn shorts of Bruce Banner's alter-ego (as they had in the previous version of this attraction), guests boarding this re-vamped version of the ride will now be placed in the center of the action with a new story that revolves around them instead. General Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross is calling for volunteers for a new experiment, and guests will be acting as the first test subjects for a process he calls Hulk-a-fication, which is based on the process first introduced by Dr. Bruce Banner in the first ride.Though not technically a 'sequel', this new plotline builds on the threads present in the original attraction, which is definitely a good thing.
As a whole, new story concept seems intriguing, and while the whole thing might seem a little complex for a roller coaster-style attraction, it seems like a fun way to get guests really invested in the newest version of this classic ride.
3. The queue gets an overhaul to help support the new story
Until Transformers: The Ride came around in 2013, The Incredible Hulk held the dubious distinction of worst queue at Universal Orlando Resort. It was incredibly plain, had peeling green paint everywhere, and had monitors everywhere showing short animated loops of a Hulk cartoon that was never actually produced for TV. It was loud, boring, and the kind of place you wouldn’t want to spend 5 minutes, let alone 50 in the summertime.
However, Universal has overhauled the queue to help make it part of the new story we described previously. The moment guests enter the new queue, which has been redesigned as a state-of-the-art military research compound, guests will pass by laboratories containing high-tech equipment General Thaddeus Ross’ team is using to execute his mysterious tests.
And then in yet another room, guests will be able to witness the transformation of other test subjects as they undergo the perilous Hulk-a-fication process before finally heading up to the loading dock, which has been completely redesigned.