The lightning fast Velociraptor roller coaster at IMG Worlds of Adventure takes guests for a white-knuckle ride through the Dubai desert.
Client: IMG Group
Location: Dubai, U.A.E.
Covering 34 acres, IMG Worlds of Adventure is one of the largest indoor theme parks in the world. Falcon’s Creative Group master planned all 1.5 million square feet of the entertainment destination, including a zone called Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure. Out of the five attractions in this area, The Velociraptor probably strikes the most fear into riders’ hearts.
It was Falcon’s job to provide attraction design and media production. Attraction design can mean many things, but in this case, it came down to theming the experience. How would this launch coaster fit into Lost Valley? That’s what the designers had to determine.
How about simulating the experience of a raptor attacking a pterosaur - one of the largest flying dinosaurs? As one might imagine, the Falcon’s team has its share of dinosaur enthusiasts. They gleefully went about their business, designing the cool ride vehicle (a raptor, naturally), signage, entrance, ride station, and the front queue line. The thematic design features scenic treatments and faux foliage that create an immersive atmosphere meant to produce a bit of trepidation. But of course, once you’re in the seat, it’s too late to change your mind.
The ride starts inside the theme park. After strapping into the vehicle, guests depart the loading station and are taken through an area that looks very much like a jungle, perhaps where dinosaurs once roamed? Steam hisses in their general direction as a gentle breeze flicks the air.
After a short ride through relative darkness, the scene is illuminated by a screen to the right of the track. Content produced by Falcon’s Digital Media is projected onto the surface. Prehistoric creatures take flight on the wide canvas. It looks like a velociraptor is trying to take down a pterosaur, and he’s got help from the ground, as more raptors converge on the scene.
The train briefly pauses here, as if to give everyone a chance to behold the awesome sight of the next dinosaur, the one and only T. rex. He turns and blares an unfriendly taunt just as the flying dinosaur takes off, trying to shed his unwanted visitor. All of this serves as the ignition switch for the high-speed launch through the bay doors and into the desert landscape.
Riders are rocketed into the open air at blazing speed. It takes just 2.5 seconds to reach 62 mph. They assume the role of the raptor as it clings to its flying prey. The intense, wild chase is on!
Before climbing up a steep banked curve, riders pass through a rock formation in the shape of a skull. Upon reaching ground level, they rush through another dimensional scenic element – a dinosaur skeleton embedded into the rockwork. By this point, the eye-watering adventure might become a blur, but the sensation of speeding through more banked curves, barrel rolls, and drops is unmistakable. After one final 360° twist, the bay doors come into view, providing a welcome sight for the riders who just experienced what it was like to take flight as a prehistoric predator.