REVIEW: The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure – May 2019

20 Years of Being Incredible?

The Skyline of Universal Islands of Adventure has changed quite a lot since 2007 (the opening of Hogsmeade). But one of the most iconic sights that haven’t changed is The Incredible Hulk coaster found at Marvel Superhero Island. This is an old school B&M sitdown and was also the first ever B&M launched coaster. With the coaster celebrating its 20th year of operation in 2019, how does this Mean Green Machine hold up in 2019? (Note: I’ve only ridden Hulk after the 2016 refurb, so nothing from its previous experience will be mentioned).

I’ll start my review of Hulk off with its theming. In 2016 the coaster received a massive retheming to better fit in with the current MCU. The queue is mainly a bunch of switchbacks at first and then you go into a lab as test subjects for General Thaddeus Ross. This room has some cool details. It features a massive gamma reactor as the centerpiece and it has some smaller easter eggs scattered throughout; be sure to look for a Stan Lee reference or two. During the ride, the launch tunnel is themed to look like a reactor and the trains have a really nice design to look like a car. I’ll also mention the ride’s onboard soundtrack composed by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. I have to say its a pretty good soundtrack. I’d compare it to the original soundtrack on California Screamin’. Although I do prefer the Screamin’ music, the Incredible Hulk soundtrack is really good and definitely adds to the experience. The ride’s color scheme also just looks good. Obviously, they were going to make the coaster green with it being Hulk themed, but it still does look really good and stands out really well.

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Even with Hulk having some theming in its experience, this is definitely a coaster that is mainly about the thrills, and thankfully, I can say its pretty good in that department. First, The Incredible Hulk Coaster posts some pretty good stats with a Top speed of 67mph, 7 Inversions, a 40mph launch, and a 115-foot drop.  The inversions featured are two vertical loops, two corkscrews, a cobra roll, a zero-g roll, and they all provide some decent forces and the coaster is fairly smooth through them. Another thing about Hulk I really like is that it does a great job of keeping its speed throughout the ride, even after the midcourse towards the end. This really provides the intense ride that you want from a good B&M. And paired with the coaster’s speed throughout the ride is some really pacing between all of its elements. As soon as you launch out of the tunnel to the time you hit the breaks, you’re always doing something. The inversions are all packed in tight and there aren’t any sections of this ride that are just boring straight track or weak banked turns. In fact, the only area of this ride that I think is just ok is the helix at the end which is pretty standard. But even that is fairly tight so it’s not that bad. Hulk also has a strong launch at the beginning taking you from 9 to 40mph in 2 seconds which isn’t bad. The launch tunnel also has some really cool effects that help get the adrenaline pumping. Overall The Incredible Hulk Coaster packs a great punch.

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The Incredible Hulk Coaster is easily one of my favorite rides at the Universal Orlando Resort. It’s theming isn’t perfect, but it has some touches I really do like, and it’s as much of an adrenaline rush as you’ll find anywhere else at Universal and Orlando as a whole. 20 years later, Hulk still comes with a high recommendation and a high score from me.

Coaster Grade: 9/10

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