Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida in the Production Central area. This custom-designed attraction features an on-board sound system to provide a soundtrack for the 3,800-foot roller coaster track, as well as video cameras to record the experience. The attraction began a soft opening on August 16, 2009 after a series of technical difficulties delayed a Spring 2009 opening, and was officially opened by Universal on August 19.
The entrance and queue area for the attraction winds it's way through three of the park's attractions: The Universal Music Plaza Stage, Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast and Blue Man Group Sharp Aquos Theatre. The area contains numerous themeing such as banners and a queue video which plays on various sideways HD television screens showing directions on how to create a custom music track on the attraction, among other segments. Guests board the ride vehicles in a boarding station located between the Jimmy Neutron attraction and the Sharp Aquos Theatre.
After riders have boarded the attraction's vehicles on a moving sidewalk and individual lap bars have been lowered onto each guest, the vehicles depart the station and climb up a vertical lift, while riders choose songs to put into their custom music tracks. The vehicle travels down a steep drop, and does numerous large turns and other drops while traveling past the park's soundstages and into a section of the queue for Twister...Ride it Out, and back through the entrance to the Sharp Aquos Theatre while guests listen to their created music track before the vehicle returns to the boarding station.
After the lap bars on the vehicle have been raised, riders exit and then view their completed music track complete with a music video which they had created while on the ride that features footage of their experience.
After the conclusion of the ride, guests may purchase an on-ride photo of their car, as well as their completed video, which is designed to be uploaded to one's video sharing website.
On January 11, 2008, Universal Parks & Resorts filed a Notice of Commencement with Orange County, Florida indicating that they were to construct a ride system that they had code-named "Project Rumble." The practice of using code-names in theme park attractions is common; it allows the park to begin construction of a project without revealing to its competitors exactly what it is, until such time as the park itself chooses to announce it. The Notice stated that the contractor is "Maurer Rides GmbH," located in Munich, Germany. The address provided on the form matches that for amusement ride manufacturer Maurer Söhne.
The attraction was announced by Universal officials on March 19, 2008. Although officials did not reveal the entire attraction, they did point out some key features. The roller coaster's vertical lift hill will be 167 feet tall, making it the tallest in the Orlando area. Its design will allow four trains to be on the track at a time and will feature six near-miss encounters and a unique form of vertical loop.
Construction on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit began in May 2008 with preliminary land clearing. The first pieces of track were installed in December 2008, with the final piece of the track installed in May 2009. In February 2009, Universal launched a website for the attraction, which includes a construction blog and photographs to chronicle progress of the attraction's construction. Initially intended to open in the spring, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has been beset with design issues that have delayed the opening date of the attraction into the summer of 2009. When asked about a specific opening date, a park spokesman stated, "We will open it when we are ready to do so.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket began public previews in mid-August 2009 after a day of previews for park employees. On August 19, 2009, Universal Studios Florida declared that the attraction was officially open.
The road section where Rockit drops down for the first time was previously used as a tour area on the former Production Studio Tour.
Originally, the park was expecting to run the attraction during it's Halloween Horror Nights: Ripped From the Silver Screen event in 2009. However, it has been confirmed that "Rockit" will not run during the event.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is an "X-Car Coaster," a proprietary design from Maurer Söhne, and is considered the largest roller coaster of its kind in the world. Maurer Söhne expects the attraction to carry approximately 1,850 riders per hour.
In the attraction's queue line, video monitors entertain waiting guests. The programming is hosted by characters who introduce one of Rockit's signature components, its customizable soundtrack. Guests select a musical track from one of five genres—classic rock/metal, rap/hip-hop, country, pop/disco and club/electronica—to hear during their experience. Each genre will have six songs available, bringing a total of 30 different tunes to Rockit's on-board library. The songs will not be re-arranged to fit the roller coaster's design; however, the musical artists granted the ride's designers the ability to select when their songs started and stopped, in order to provide the best match to the ride.
During the development process, Universal officials surveyed guests to determine which songs should be made available on the attraction. Some of the songs considered included "Gone Country" by Alan Jackson, "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" by Judas Priest, "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow, "Pump It" by The Black Eyed Peas and "Staying Alive" by The BeeGees. Other artists whose songs were considered included The Beach Boys, Three Six Mafia and Johnny Cash. Universal officials are able to track the popularity of the selected songs, and have stated that special songs may be added from time to time.
The "choose-your-own-soundtrack" feature is similar to that on another Universal-owned roller coaster, Hollywood Dream: The Ride at sister park Universal Studios Japan. Taking this customization a step further, the ride experience will be filmed, allowing guests to obtain a digital copy of the film, complete with their chosen soundtrack, to add to their webpages or video-sharing sites, such as YouTube. The on-board cameras were designed to withstand a wide range of mechanical and environmental stresses.
The trains consist of two cars, with each car carrying six riders in three rows of two; the seats in each car are arranged in a stadium seating configuration, affording each seat a better view of the ride. Located in the safety restraint of each seat is a touch screen that will be used to select the desired music for the ride. The speakers are located within the headrest of the seat, and have been designed such that only the rider's selected music track will be audible. Further, the rails and support columns are filled with sand and pea gravel, reducing the amount of ambient noise generated by the roller coaster.
The coloration and lighting of the ride track was selected to enhance the ride experience and to minimize the visibility of the track's support columns. The ride vehicles themselves feature color-changing LEDs for a dynamic appearance, with each train having its own display pattern, which itself will change as it passes through each major section of the ride's layout.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit includes a number of safety features. Unlike many modern steel roller coasters, Rockit's seats do not use over-the-shoulder harnesses; instead, there is a large padded lap bar. Louis Alfieri, the attraction's creative director, said, "the entire seat assembly is ergonomically designed so you're completely sandwiched and locked into the seat." Due to the lift hill's vertical construction, Rockit provides a custom-designed evacuation system in the event a train become disabled.
The layout for Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit was initially revealed during Universal Studios' 2008 "Grad Bash" events for graduating high school seniors, and has been confirmed by Maurer Söhne through its release of computer-generated images of the roller coaster track. The station is located between two existing facilities, "Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast" and the Sharp Aquos Theatre in Universal CityWalk.
The station features a moving sidewalk on the loading platform. According to the designers, the riders have about 45 seconds from the time they step onto the loading platform to be seated, lower the lap bar and make their music selection before the train is dispatched. Rockit departs the station and climb its 167-foot vertical lift, reaching the top in just over 16 seconds. It then drops to the ground before entering the "double take," a circular element 103 feet in diameter; it looks like a standard vertical loop, yet the track twists around such that the train is right-side-up at the top of the loop. The train descends and twists again on the way down then climbs to reach the first of several mid-course brake sections.
The roller coaster exits the brakes and drops back towards street level, passing through a building exterior before entering a series of swooping curves called the "treble clef," which appears, from above, to have been inspired by the musical notation of the same name. The train climbs the treble clef and exits into another mid-course brake section. Now returning towards the station, the roller coaster enters a series of sharp turns. The first, nicknamed the "jump cut," is a unique element similar to a corkscrew, but without turning the riders upside-down. The second is the "crowd surfer," an overbanked turn that passes over portions of the queue line for the attraction.
Rockit then enters another mid-course brake section before it prepares to exit the park grounds. It next encounters "drop tuning," named for a type of guitar tuning, which is a quick drop into a landscaped area in front of the Sharp Aquos Theatre. Emerging above the ground, the roller coaster enters a 540-degree helix nicknamed the "plot twist". After the plot twist, the coaster enters its last brake section and makes a small drop called the "chorus" and then ascends again onto the brakes that slow down the train before entering the station.
Universal Studios Florida unveiled the thirty available songs for the attraction on July 6, 2009. There are also a wide range of hidden tracks which can be used on the ride by holding down on the "Rockit" logo on the touch screen connected to the ride's vehicle. However, a music track for the finished music video cannot be completed by using a hidden track.
- Classic rock and heavy metal
- "Bring Me to Life," Evanescence
- "Paralyzer," Finger Eleven
- "Born to be Wild," Hinder (a cover version of the song originally performed by Steppenwolf)
- "Rollin'," Limp Bizkit
- "Kickstart My Heart," Mötley Crüe
- "Gimme All Your Lovin'," ZZ Top
- Club and electronica
- "Intergalactic", Beastie Boys
- "Busy Child," The Crystal Method
- "Keep Hope Alive," The Crystal Method
- "Harder Better Faster Stronger," Daft Punk
- "Pump Up the Volume," MARRS
- "Le Disko," Shiny Toy Guns
- Country music
- "Midnight Rider," The Allman Brothers Band
- "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," The Charlie Daniels Band
- "Guitars, Cadillacs," Dwight Yoakam
- "I Can Sleep When I'm Dead," Jason Michael Carroll
- "Living in Fast Forward," Kenny Chesney
- "All Night Long," Montgomery Gentry
- Rap and hip-hop
- "Sabotage," Beastie Boys
- "Don't Phunk with My Heart," The Black Eyed Peas
- "Pump It," The Black Eyed Peas
- "Insane in the Brain," Cypress Hill
- "Stronger," Kanye West
- "Rock Star," N.E.R.D.
- Pop music and disco
- "Bad Girls," Donna Summer
- "Glamorous," Fergie
- "I Will Survive," Gloria Gaynor
- "That's the Way (I Like It)," KC and the Sunshine Band
- "U Can't Touch This," MC Hammer
- "Hella Good," No Doubt
- Hidden tracks
- 101 - The Temples of Syrinx by Rush
- 103 – Break on Through by The Doors
- 104 – Crocodile Rock by Elton John
- 105 - Do it Again by Steely Dan
- 107 - Drivin’ Rain by Gov’t Mule
- 108 – 8 Miles High by The Byrds
- 109 - Fantasy by Aldo Nova
- 110 - Fool by Rollins Band
- 112 – Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- 113 - Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
- 114 - Just Because by Jane’s Addiction
- 115 - Live by Lenny Kravitz
- 116 - Mexicola by Queens of The Stone Age
- 121 - Runnin Down a Dream by Tom Petty
- 122 - Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones
- 123 – Stockholm Syndrom by Muse
- 124 - Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin
- 127 – Urgent by Foreigner
- 128 - Vertigo by U2
- 129 - Wheel in the Sky by Journey
- 130 - Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who
- 131 – Klein Mandelbrot remix by The Blue Man Group
- 132 – Drumbone by Blue Man Group
- 301 – Float On by Modest Mouse
- 302 - I Want You Back by The Jackson Five
- 303 - In My Pocket by The Cat Empire
- 304 - It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me by Billy Joel
- 306 - Lose Yourself by Eminem
- 307 - Ride Like The Wind by Christopher Cross
- 308 - Run to You by Bryan Adams
- 309 - Save Room by John Legend
- 310 - Vogue by Madonna
- 312 - My Everything by Barry White
- 508 - Pivot by Dry
- 701 – Cyanide by Metallica
- 702 - Endangered Species by Flaw
- 703 - For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica
- 704 - Forever Down by Black Label Society
- 707 - Know your Enemy by Rage Against the Machine
- 708 - Let’s Go by Ministry
- 709 - Mouth for War by Pantera
- 710 – Painkiller by Judas Priest
- 711 - Paranoid by Black Sabbath
- 712 - Temptation’s Wings by Down
- 713 - The Wicker Man by Iron Maiden
- 715 - Wake Up Dead by Megadeth
- 718 - You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ by Judas Priest
- 901 - Movin’ Right Along by Kermit The Frog and Fozzy Bear
- 902 - Rainbow Connection by Kermit The Frog
- 903 - Your Attitude Towards Cuttlefish by Paper Moon
- 904 - Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky