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Islands of Adventure – Marvel:
Dr. Doom's Fearfall

Rating: * * * +
Type: A free-fall ride with oomph
Time: 30 seconds
Short Take: A big buildup with a slow letdown, best for the view

Near the Bugle building is Doom Alley, a part of town that has been completely taken over by the bad guys of the Sinister Syndicate: Dr. Octopus, The Hobgoblin, and The Lizard. Here the archfiend Doctor Doom has secreted his Fear Sucking Machine, in which he uses innocent, unsuspecting victims (that’s you in case you hadn’t guessed) to create the Fear Juice with which he hopes to finally vanquish the Fantastic Four.

The payoff is a fiendish twist on the freefall rides that have long been a staple of amusement parks and which were artfully updated in Disney’s Tower of Terror. But whereas those rides take you up slowly and drop you, Doctor Doom, in the true Universal spirit, turns convention in its head.

Sixteen victims, that is, passengers, are strapped into seats in small four-person chambers. Suddenly they are shot upward 150 feet at a force of four G's. There is a heart-flipping moment of weightlessness before the vehicles drop back, gently bouncing back upward a few times before all-too-quickly returning to terra firma. Most people scream on freefall rides, but this one happens so quickly (less than 30 seconds) and becomes so anticlimactic after the brief takeoff that many riders won't remember to scream until the ride is over.

Tip: You can speed your way through this ride by asking the attendant to point you toward the single rider line.

The best seats in the house. Chambers 3 and 4 look out over the park, while 1 and 2 give a less glamorous view of the interstate.

You've read the excerpt,
now buy the book!

Universal Orlando 2011


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