Dueling Dragons | Ice Dragon @ Islands of Adventure
The Dueling Dragons is a popular dueling roller coaster at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. It consists of a red (Fire) track and a blue (Ice) track. The inverted tracks share a lift hill, but after that their layouts are unique. They boast three duels or near-misses where the trains pass within feet of each other.
An Amazing Medieval Castle
The Dueling Dragons has one of the best themed stations I have ever experienced. The ride is located in the Lost Continent area of Islands of Adventure. An elaborately detailed medieval castle acts as the home to the dragons. Guests enter the long queue that has them walking through authentic-looking dimly lit pathways. If it wasn’t for the occasional exit signs you might really believe that you were in some European castle. Finally, you emerge at a fork in your path. Here, guests are asked to “Choose Thy Fate” and either head left for the Fire Dragon or right for the Ice Dragon. Even the trains are adorned with claws and dragon skin to help add to the theme.
The Ice Dragon
While both of the dragons offer fun rides, the Ice Dragon’s is a bit less interesting. Your ride begins with the typical Bolliger & Mabillard swooping drop. After the drop, Ice Dragon traverses a banked curve then heads back down to the ground. Next, is the first near miss. Ice Dragon flies up and into a fun zero-g roll as Fire Dragon passes by overhead. Then, Ice Dragon handles two back-to-back inversions as it does a cobra roll next to the castle. The train returns to the ground and flies over a pond before it performs a synchronized vertical loop with Fire Dragon. Around a turn into the final near miss, an interlocking corkscrew. Ice Dragon finishes by working its way back to the station with a series of turns.
The Near Misses Are Great for Style, Not So Much for Substance
In my opinion, the near misses are over rated. Your best chance to see them is in the front seat, otherwise they don’t really add much for the riders. On the other hand, from off the ride, they look amazing. In that way, they remind me of Griffon and SheiKra’s splash sections which also do nothing (other than slow the train down) for the riders, but look cool for spectators. On my rides on both Dragons I never really felt that close to the other train like the maneuvers suggest. On the trains you are just way too insulated with four-across seating and the track over your head.
My Take – A Fun Ride, But Too Much Filler
Ice Dragon felt kind of soulless. Where the Fire Dragon’s intensity grabs you and doesn’t let up. It’s fun and forceful at times, but most of the time I felt like much of the course was being used to set up the near misses. If you’ve ever tried to design a dueling coaster in Roller Coaster Tycoon, you’re probably familiar with having to add certain filler sections to make the duels work. Still, Ice Dragon is a fun and very smooth ride that’s much better than lesser inverted coasters like the Mind Eraser clones. Final Rating – 7.5 (Good Approaching Great)
Dueling Dragons Ice Dragon is rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale.
What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden the Ice Dragon? What did you think? Leave a comment below.