Strolling down Sunset Boulevard it is easy to spot Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the end, but Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster waits to stimulate your senses. Your first hint that there is something exceptional waiting for you appears as you come around the corner of the Scoops ice cream shop, where you spot a classic blue stretch limo hanging upside down! It just pulls you in, right? Getting closer you see the limo is on a track that whips around to become the strings of a giant red FenderStratocaster electric guitar.
That guitar is 40 feet tall and the neck is 32 feet long before stretching into a 320-foot roller coaster track. Disney’s Hollywood Studios features several of the performing arts and this one focuses on great music. Aerosmith was chosen due to its popularity and great fit to the ride “story”. Aerosmith has sold more than 80 million records since forming in the early ‘70’s. Fans of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster have talked about other bands that may fit, but most riders agree that Aerosmith is an excellent fit for this attraction.
The “story” of the ride goes like this: you enter the studios of G-Force Records and wind your way through the lobby with all the recording awards and posters of their artists (who are actual artists signed with Disney Music Group). G-Force Records is fictional but the story is that it began sometime in the 1930’s. They are in the shadow of the Hollywood Tower Hotel (Tower of Terror) and when things changed at the hotel October 31, 1939, when five guests disappeared and the hotel was abandoned, the G-Force Record company lost artists and the building fell into disrepair, like the neighboring hotel. After all, one would expect that the artists spent a great deal of time at the Hollywood Tower Hotel when recording here at the Studios. When someone opted to repair and reopen The Hollywood Hotel things started picking up at G-Force Records again. The studio reflects the recording studios of today. You discover the legendary rock band Aerosmith just wrapping up their studio recording session for the day.
The band’s manager (played by actress Ileana Douglas) reminds them that they are running late to their concert that evening, which is across town. Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler doesn’t want to just run out on you, so he invites you to come with them to the concert and gives everyone backstage passes and the manager orders you a super stretch limo! The band takes off and you head out into an alley and the “Lock ‘n’ Roll” parking garage. While you wait to board check out the windows in the apartments above and you can see the curtains move in response to the launch of the limo. The limo driver knows you need to hit the gas to get there on time so hold on. You see flashing highway signs warning of congested traffic ahead. Pay attention to the countdown for your takeoff. You will go from 0 to 57mph in under 3 seconds, plunging you into the darkness of an evening in Los Angeles. The car radio is playing, what else, Aerosmith, which you hear throughout the drive. This crazy limo driver turns, takes you into loops, flying past the lights of famous Los Angeles landmarks including the famous Hollywood sign. Will he get you to the concert on time?
The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster track highlights: 0-57 mph, 3 inversions, 2 rollover loops, 1 corkscrew (roll over, half loop, half corkscrew, half corkscrew, and half loop) ALL of which were firsts for Disney; has a steel construction bringing a smoother ride than similar coasters.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster vehicles were the first of their kind and features: holds 24 riders, carries 125 speakers, 24 sub-woofers, 32,000 watt audio system, each limo has different audio tracks of Aerosmith. The limo license plates/corresponding song played: 1QKLIMO/”Nine Lives”, UGOBABE/”Love in an Elevator” [rewrite of the classic “Love in an Elevator” is now “Love in a Roller Coaster” just for this attraction] and “Walt This Way”, BUHBYE/”Young Lust”, “F.I.N.E.”, “Love in an Elevator”, H8TRFFC/”Back in the Saddle”, “Dude(Looks Like a Lady)”, 2FAST4U/”Sweet Emotion” and there is a back up song that can be loaded to any car if necessary: “What Kind of Love Are You On”.
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Gift shop: You will find Rock Around the Shop at the ride’s exit, which you can visit to the left of the attraction if you don’t wish to ride. You will find attraction-featured items, Aerosmith memorabilia, collector pins, costumed Mickey’s, t-shirts, postcards, luggage tags, drum sticks and guitar picks, guitar hand bags, guitar strap belts and headbands, even dog collars, just to name some of the merchandise. As you get off the ride you can purchase your ride photo. In the courtyard you will find additional Disney World toy and snack carts, jewelry made from Walt Disney World Park Maps, temporary tattoos, and a coloring station for those too small to ride.
TIP: Get a FastPass+ for this one or go through Single Rider Line (you may be riding with someone you don’t know) or be there the first 30 minutes after park opening, or during the last performance of Fantasmic! ; the ride photo is taken within the first couple of seconds on the ride so it will grab your true first impression of the ride! This attraction is open during Extra Magic Hours but that doesn’t mean there will be no line, but it will hopefully be shorter than normal daytime hours. Riding in the front will give you a truly exceptional experience! The more that you ride it, the more you will appreciate what a great ride it is! Those first few seconds of the ride are worth it for me to stand in line.
EATERIES: The closest restaurant is located just around the corner from the attraction entrance in an area known as Sunset Market. You can choose from Rosie’s All American Café (serves sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, soup, chicken nuggets, vegetarian burger, desserts, and drinks), Scoops (serves ice cream, apple crisp ala mode, brownie sundae, ice cream sandwich, ice cream sundae, and bottled water), Catalina Eddie’s (serves salads, pizza, drinks), Fairfax Fare (serves BBQ, specialty hot dogs, chicken, ribs, and pork, salad and beverages; gluten free and vegetarian options available; often has breakfast items in the mornings and Turkey Legs when Toluca Legs Turkey Co. is closed), Toluca Legs Turkey Co.(serves Smoked Turkey Legs, Pork Shank with chips, and beverages), Anaheim Produce(serves snacks, whole fruit, vegetables, pretzels, pickles, and beverages including craft beers). There is a snack and beverage cart in the courtyard of this attraction called KRNR Station resembling a live radio location (serves ice cream, cones, floats, cookie, chips, and beverages).
There are restrooms located to the left of the attraction entrance.
Other cool things about Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster®: A first for Disney with the inversions loops and corkscrew track and the launch system. Each rider has 5 dedicated speakers creating an awesome on board audio system.
- 48” Height requirement
- Big drops, loud, thrill ride, roller coaster, dark ride
- Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering
- LSM (Linear induction Motor Launch) coaster-makes use of electromagnetic technology to catapult the ride vehicle forward at fast speeds.
- 80’ tall, 3403’ long(that is more than ½ mile)
- 3 inversions, 2 rollover loops, 1 corkscrew
- Ride is 1 minute 22 seconds. (Pre-show if 3 minutes 12 seconds)
- 0-57mph in 2.8 seconds, propels you 200 feet makes it the 2nd fastest attraction in Walt Disney World(just behind Test Track)
- G-force: 4.5 (more than an astronaut experiences on a space shuttle launch! They experience 3G’s.)
- 5 cars currently with maximum of 4 running at a time
- Car holds 24 riders, sitting in rows of two having 1800 riders per hour
- Steel track, enclosed and with a launch system
- Over 1 dozen hidden Mickey’s, some on each licensed plate (and the Imagineers each put their birth date somewhere on each plate.
- Padded u-bar over your shoulders is ride restraint
- Offers rider switch
- Pregnant women, those with medical concerns should not ride
- Guests on ECV’s must transfer to wheelchair before entering the queue, and then to the ride vehicle.
- Guests under age 7 must have an adult accompany them
- No service animals permitted in this attraction
- Housed in 68,131 square foot building
- Track was built by a Netherlands company, Vekoma, who built a track for testing in the Netherlands. The ride was built in Florida in a former Cast Member parking lot.
- Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler and Joe Perry rode the attraction 12 times in a row when previewing it. They made a few corrections to their studio set up, primarily moving the guitars to where they typically have them placed.
- Opening date: July 29, 1999-by special invitation only including Aerosmith in attendance. Winners of these passes were brought to Hollywood Studios in stretch limos and were treated to a buffet and bar, then were treated to a ride with one of the Aerosmith band members. The attraction was open to park guests the following day.
- June 2006, a 12-year old boy died after riding without knowledge that he had a congenital heart defect. (Ride inspected and it showed no abnormalities from normal operations.)
- June 2007, a 14-year old girl lost consciousness while on ride, passing away before paramedics arrived. (Ride inspected and it showed no abnormalities from normal operations.)
- 2007-Single Rider lane added to queue
- 2007-Fast Pass added
- 2008-Hanes becomes attraction sponsor