The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster

Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando, Orlando, FL

© Arthur Levine.

You haven't truly lived until you've experienced The Incredible Hulk's wild and unique uphill launch. Not for the faint of heart, this coaster is both terrifying and exhilarating. Because it is located near the park's front entrance and is one of Island of Adventure's premier attractions, Hulk's queues tend to get long quickly. Get in line early -- if you dare.

The Incredible Hulk is one of the top roller coasters in Florida. See which other rides made the list.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 8
  • Type: Launched multi-element steel
  • Highest point (feet): 110
  • Max. speed (mph): 67
  • Height restriction (minimum, in inches): 54
  • Hulk is one of the 12 best rides at Universal Orlando.

The Incredible Hulk's shocking-green track looms ominously over the IOA skyline. The "groarrr" that each train emits as it dives and twists through the course draws even more attention to the imposing beast.

The queue snakes through the lab of Dr. Bruce Banner (the Hulk's alter ego for you Marvel illiterates) where high-tech gadgetry abounds. The theme has something to do with a gamma-ray experiment gone wrong. It's hard to follow the storyline but the industrial soundtrack is catchy and the atmosphere is compelling.

Like Disney's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and other launched coasters, the Hulk doesn't have a traditional click-clack-click lift hill. Unlike the magnetic induction systems that propel those coasters however, the Hulk's train of cars move slowly up the green "Gamma Force Accelerator" tube and a specially designed booster thrust -- the first of its kind -- catapults its pneumatic tires 40 mph uphill. The launch requires the same thrust as a U.S. Air Force F-16 jet. Universal had to build a special power generating plant to accommodate the ride.

The effect is like being trapped inside an old movie that's running way too fast. Quickly accelerating uphill defies logic and feels both exhilarating and terrifying.

Emerging from the tube, the train barrels through a complete inversion 110 feet off the ground and accelerates to 60 mph as it "groarrrs" through rollovers, corkscrews and fog-enshrouded tunnels. The G-forces are quite intense. Hulkamaniacs should look out for the mid-course freefall; a trim brake momentarily halts the madness but it feels as if the bottom drops out when the train unexpectedly takes yet another sharp dive down.

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