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Islands of Adventure – Jurassic Park: Pteranodon Flyers

 

Rating: * * +
Type: A mild, hanging coaster
Time: 80 seconds
Short Take: Not worth waiting for

Note: Universal Express Plus is not available for this ride.

Taking off from the back of Camp Jurassic is this “family” ride that glides gently around the camp’s tropical perimeter for an enjoyable but all-too-brief soaring experience. The ride vehicle consists of a pair of swing-like seats, one behind the other, that dangle from a metal pteranodon. Pteranodons, you might remember, were flying dinosaurs with long mean-looking beak-like faces and hooks on their leathery wings. These pteranodons are not at all threatening. In fact, you hardly notice them once you are seated.

Your vehicle glides rather than rides along the overhead track, taking you on a journey that lets you survey Camp Jurassic below and the Great Inland Sea in the distance. This ride is a little more “aggressive” than the sky rides you may have encountered at other parks and offers a few mild “thrills” as the flyers bank and curve.

The main problem with this ride is that it accommodates so few riders. Universal has tried to remedy this situation by imposing a 36-inch minimum and 56-inch maximum height requirement; if you are taller than this, you must be accompanied by a child who falls within the range. This has helped somewhat, but compared to all the other rides in the park, its hourly "throughput" is still laughably low. The result is that the line forms early and lasts a long, long time. You won't be alone if you decide that an hour and a half wait for an 80-second ride is a tad on the absurd side. And Universal Express Plus is not accepted at this attraction. So if you think this is the kind of thing your kid will demand to ride, plan on coming first thing in the morning. The wait also tends to be more reasonable shortly before the park closes.

Note: Be aware that some children, especially those with a fear of heights, might find this ride terrifying. And if they do, they won’t have Mommy or Daddy to cling to since the two seats are quite separate.

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Universal Orlando 2011

 

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