Shows : Doctor Doom's Fearfall

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: The Show Must Go On...

This review was first published on: Sep 2013.

Background...

The entrance to "Doctor Doom's Fearfall" is tucked down the alleyway nearby the entrance to the Spider-Man ride. The access way may be a little hard to spot, but the twin steel lattice-work pylons of the ride itself are impossible to miss, since at 200 feet in height they "tower" over everything in the park.

In Detail...

Doctor Doom's Fearfall
May 1999 : Review (No SM)
Location:  Universal Islands of Adventure, Florida
Manufacturer:  S&S Power
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Review

The "story" behind the ride is that Doctor Doom is using his tower to extract raw fear from his captives (you included) in order to use it to defeat the Fantastic Four. There's some supporting background dialogue played over as you approach the tower, but really the theming is rather light-weight and irrelevant.

The queue lines were generally empty, since this ride's throughput is more than adequate to deal with its relatively low popularity. I glanced at the decorations and occasional video screen as I ran past them - the predominant theme was green and purple which (a) looked like Hulk colours more than Doctor Doom, and (b) contributed very little to the experience.

The ride itself is a standard "space shot", manufactured by S&S Worldwide (formerly S&S Power). Riders sit on the outside of the tower, four riders on each side (16 riders total per tower). The ride is powered by compressed air. Riders reach a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour (100 kph) in the initial upwards acceleration, then free-fall down, and bounce up and down four or five more times in smaller movements until they come to rest. Total elapsed time from launch to rest is 25 seconds at most.

In General...

Personally, I wasn't particularly overwhelmed by this ride. The G-force from the initial ascent was fun, but not terrifying at all, and the free-fall lasted only a couple of seconds. Perhaps some of the impact was reduced by the zero waiting/build-up time, the lack of any crowd, and the professional, friendly but not particularly enthusiastic attendants.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this ride wasn't fun. It's always amusing to get thrown up in the air! If you're at Universal, this is definitely worth the ten-minute detour.

But despite it's 200 feet of towering stature, Doctor Doom's Fearfall is just another theme-park vertical bouncer. For example, it's basically an identical experience to the Superman: Tower of Power (217 feet, 60 mph) at Six Flags Texas, and many other similar rides.

Overall Rating...

Fun but not inspiring or particularly original. So I'm going to give it a perfectly-adequate but not particularly inspired rating of three webs.

The fact is, Doom's Fearfall just can't compete with the raw power of the The Incredible Hulk Coaster or the technological marvel that is The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. So do Doom once. Then go do the others again and again and again!