Hi-Def Filming on Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure

December 9 and 10, 2008


Hulk Hi-Def Taping
On December 9th & 10th the Florida Region was asked to participate in High Def taping on Hulk coaster at Islands of Adventure. The following article is an account of the two days of taping:

Hulk Taping:
ACE members were asked to participate in a new high def commercial film shoot on HULK roller coaster at Islands of Adventure. The filming took place on December 9th and 10th. Participants had to be at the park by 6AM to sign release forms and wait for the sun to cooperate for the filming to begin.

On the 9th, eleven ACE members joined me for the first day of filming. I was in the parking lot at 5:25AM - only a true coaster fanatic appreciates the humor in this as no one in their right mind would get up so early in the morning just to ride a coaster. We do!!

We were all checked in by 6:15AM and waited for the sun to come up. IOA had some other people to ride with us to make sure the train was full. You could tell they were not the enthusiasts as after a couple of rides, most of them were happy to get off and let someone else ride. One of our members was asked to be on the front row and actually got paid as an extra. We may see him in the commercial!! We did get to ride 21 times by 12:30PM when we stopped for lunch. IOA did provide us with a bag lunch so we had the opportunity to visit with one another and get to know a couple of new people. We also spoke to some of the extras about ACE as most did not know about our club.

The ride opened to the public at 1PM, but the ACE members were told they could continue to ride as much as they wanted as the filming would continue using the general public. There were a couple of people who did stay and rode HULK until the filming was over. Since the general public did not follow the rules very well, the filming did not last much after 2PM.

On the 10th, the second day of filming, I knew that it would not take long to register everyone. I did not get to the park until 5:40AM so I got to sleep an extra few minutes. Seven other ACE members joined me on this day, with three returning from the day before. Yes, that makes four of us that had the opportunity to ride HULK two days in a row without interruption. What a way to start a work day!

Again, the registration was a breeze so we had to wait for the sun to rise. On this day, IOA had 69 students from Dr. Phillips Magnate School of Visual Arts join us. Have you ever been on a film shoot with 69 juniors and seniors ages 16 and 17? Well it makes for an interesting time. They had to be reminded of the rules regularly. On one of the rides, their teacher took a turn on HULK - his first. What a hoot! He sat behind me and screamed the whole time - not a good scream, but a fearful scream. I did get to speak to him later in the morning and he was shocked that I had been on the coaster two days in a row with 21 rides on the first day. He did say he would ride the HULK again, but later in the day as he needed to recuperate from his first ride.

On the tenth ride of the day, power was lost to the HULK so we came to an abrupt halt on the trim brake platform. After about 10 minutes, the maintenance crew and ride ops came to evacuate us from the ride. Maintenance thought it would take two hours before the ride would be up and running. I have to say, they have it down pat as to removing people safely from the ride. I have never been evacuated from a coaster before, so this was a very memorable ride for me.

Needless to say, this put a crimp in the amount of rides for the day, but that was okay. All of us ACE members decided to ride Spiderman (5 minute wait) and Dr. Doom (15 minute wait). While on Dr. Doom, we noticed that HULK was back up and running so we rushed over to ride again. Unfortunately, we did not get on it again at that time as it was almost time to break for lunch. I had to go to work, but some of the other ACE members stayed and rode again after lunch.

All in all, it was a wonderful time. Hats off to Universal for inviting us and making sure we rode all the time. I reminded her that we would gladly come out for Rip, Ride, Rocket opening or even before then to "test" the new ride.

Happy Coastering,
Laura "Mom" Sumner