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 Review of Triwizard Tournament - Chinese Fireball (Red) @ Islands of Adventure
0 Rating Posted by: Canobie Coaster on 9/3/2008 10:12:00 PM
Dueling Dragons has been a ride I wanted to experience for years since it combined two of my favorite types of rides- dueling coasters and B and M inverts. Surely the combination would be flawless right? Even when walking up to the ride, it’s layout still is pretty well concealed from view, but the occasional glimpse of screaming riders flying by only makes me even more anticipated for my ride. Well the experience begins with the elaborately well themed queue (or should I say walkthrough attraction) through an ancient castle’s dark corridors complete with the devastation that both the fire and ice dragons have caused. Honestly, even if I disliked coasters (though that is just unimaginable), I would absolutely enjoy this walkthrough. In fact, Universal has apparently taken this into account since there’s an exit right before the actual ride itself. Anyway, eventually the corridor diverges and a choice must be made- fire or ice.

Whatever side you choose though, a great ride is sure to follow with the quality that has come to be expected from B and M. The entire ride is just a capacity machine, with two separate tracks, two trains on each, and not to mention incredibly quick dispatches. On a Friday I didn’t end up waiting longer than 5 minutes…for the front. Of the seats, I preferred the back on both sides just because of incredibly powerful the Gs are on these dragons. That being said, the front still is well worth trying because of the near-miss collision effect.

Both begin with a side-by-side climb to the ride’s highest point, only to diverge their separate ways, but trust me, they will meet again. Fire begins with a swift and graceful swooping drop to the left that earns the distinction for being the most forceful of any drop on a B and M invert. Those Gs are just incredible, especially in the back. I felt like it would rip my legs right off! Immediately after is a smooth, yet powerful Immelmann that just seemed more disorienting than the others I’ve experienced on B and M inverts. Then comes my favorite element, the massive air hill. Not only does it give incredible floater air throughout the train, but it gives riders some serious cardiac arrest as my feet narrowly avoid those of the Ice dragon as they flip high above the ground. Without wasting a second, another Immelmann immediately follows, but it just wasn’t as good as the first for me. Don’t get me wrong it has powerful Gs for sure, but it just didn’t seem as effective for me as the first. I still really liked it, especially the low to the ground turn that followed that really caught me off-guard with some intense Gs.

Following their close encounter at the air hill, the train barrels head-on into a very powerful vertical loop that really defines what a “near miss” is. Maybe my eyes deceived me due to the forces, but there seems to be just barely more than 5-6 inches of clearance between the two trains. These are moments I crave since usually the ride’s stand-alone elements aren’t enough to give me a real good thrill anymore. Moving on, after a speedy turnaround with you guessed it, more powerful Gs, this dragon flies through a sudden corkscrew with such grace and smoothness some on other B and Ms seem to lack. After another quick turn and a brief straightaway that gives a great sensation of speed, Fire just explodes into the final inversion- yet another corkscrew. Personally, this one was better than the first just because it felt faster and wilder while being smooth at the same time. Still maintaining it’s breakneck speeds, Fire flies around a final turn and hits the break run with one final roar.

Just this is a relentless ride from beginning to end, and arguably the most intense coaster I’ve ever been on. Of the two, this is my favorite thanks to the relentless pacing and unbelievably strong Gs. What it lacks in variety, it makes up for in brute force with some of the most powerful Gs I’ve ever experienced. This has earned the illustrious titles of my favorite invert and best ride at Islands of Adventure, let along the entire Universal Resort (though the Ice Dragon is close). If B and M inverts and intensity are your thing, this dragon will certainly provide a unique thrill.
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