Hard Rock Park’s Headliner Doesn’t DisappointLed Zeppelin: The Ride is the headliner in Hard Rock Park’s ride lineup. Creating a great new rock-themed park is a draw, but nothing catches the eye of would-be visitors like a flashy new looping roller coaster. To that end, Led Zeppelin delivers a thrilling roller coaster that does an excellent job incorporating the music of a legendary rock band. As you approach the ride, you notice the huge steel zeppelin-shaped station with the band member’s respective symbols on the side. In the queue, there are large mural sized representations of their album covers and flat panel T.V.s featuring concert footage. At the end of the queue there’s a room with five doors. The Pre-Ride ExperienceAccording to the Chief Creative Officer, Jon Binkowski, it took years to convince Led Zeppelin to lend their name and music to the ride. A condition of the agreement was that their entire song had to be played from start to finish. Zeppelin’s catalog is filled with some pretty long songs. A coaster would have a ride time as long as Kings Island’s Beast and obviously Hard Rock Park didn’t have that kind of space. So a pre-ride experience was created to solve the issue. In the station there are five small dark multimedia rooms like standing theaters. Inside, riders are treated to a video that includes a short interview and a live performance of the band’s hit ‘Whole Lotta Love’. Click here to watch the video. The performance pauses about midway through and the doors in front of you swing open. The station ride ops cheer as they direct you to the empty train that’s waiting for your group. The enthusiastic ride ops do a great job of keeping the excitement going as you board. The Rockin’ RideThe train dispatches from the station and immediately begins its ascent over the pond. Closer to the 15-story crest, ‘Whole Lotta Love’ picks back up in via the onboard speakers. And then it really kicks in as the train plummets to the pond below. Next, the train travels directly into a large 120′ tall vertical loop with some great g-forces. Then the train maneuvers through a cobra roll with two quick inversions. The rock really adds to the ride as the train traverses the highlight. The signature B&M zero-g roll over the pond is excellent. (Pictured left) Another smaller vertical loop follows and then the trains takes a large swooping turn and does a flyby near the station. Next, the train passes through a short brake run and then drops into a corkscrew. (Pictured below) Your ride finishes strong with an upward helix and then the final station brakes. The first five inversions are pretty much back-to-back. While the rapid fire layout keeps the thrills going, I would have preferred a more open layout. That said, Hard Rock Park really did the best with the space that they had. This is a rather large roller coaster and its location on the pond is picturesque. It was common to see crowds on the bridge between the British Rock Invasion and Rock and Roll Heaven areas stopping for photo ops. At times the ride was a bit shaky for a B&M, but It seemed smoother on later rides with a near full train. So the shakiness may have been a result of the lack of weight on the train. As a total experience, Led Zepellin The Ride is a great attraction. The roller coaster truly delivers and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ blasting away as you perform these acrobatic maneuvers is a pretty memorable experience. While the lengthy pre-ride experience may deter some coaster enthusiasts who are likely to want several re-rides, it does add authenticity and theming. Plus, as the C.C.O. shared with me, most guests will only ride Led Zepellin once. So, for the general public Led Zepellin will satisfy with a thrilling and somewhat unique experience. Final Rating – 8.5 (Great Approaching Excellent) Want to know how good an 8.5 is? Check out my rating scale. This coaster is rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale because it includes several loops. If you fear going upside-down, then you may want to skip Led Zeppelin. What’s Your Take Have you ridden Led Zepellin – The Ride? What did you think? Leave a comment below. 11 Responses Elizabeth June 8, 2008 Rode this 6/7/08 and loved it. Didn't have to wait in a long line, just through the video and it was a very smooth, not jerky, ride. The first drop was not as bad as it looks, the Lochness Monster's first drop makes this one seem like a kiddie coaster, but overall was an enjoyable experience. Reply Anonymous June 26, 2008 I just came back from my first visit to Hard Rock Park and let objectively say it’s a huge disappointment. With a brand like Hard Rock Café to piggyback off, it’s very sad a newly designed “rock park” doesn’t live up to expectations. Comparing this park to Disney is a complete joke and even Family Kingdom can provide more fun with a cheaper ticket!Let’s start off with the good. The merchandise is really cool and relatively affordable compared to the industry standard. Additionally, you can’t find a piece of trash if you tried throughout the entire park! The cleanliness is great but remember the park is new so time will only tell if this remains. Now for the bad, yes…that was all the good! Let’s start off with the ticket price, $50 per person for a park that can be completed in 3-4 hours is just insane! $10 to park is normal compared to industry standard but when you only get minimal attractions to experience, it can only leave a bitter taste of being ripped off in your mouth! Now for the attractions, most of the attractions aren’t unique in any manner. You have the swings, the spider but with a different themed car, a carousel, a water play area, etc. Although Led Zeppelin is a great coaster, one great ride doesn’t justify attending this park with a $50 ticket! The rides are cookie cutters that can be found anywhere in the world including Six Flags and even worse, your local carnival! Let’s now talk about the food! This is by far the worst aspect of the park. Now you’d think that Hard Rock would if anything get the food right because of their long standing history in the restaurant business….WRONG! The service is not trained to expedite a line in any shape or manner! We waited over 25 minutes in a very short line to get a burger and fries and it was like pulling teeth! I can’t even begin to explain how messed up this operation is! The manager in the location was also very rude and you could only walk away feeling bad for the front line employees who were trying their best to achieve a good guest experience! In addition to the awful service and quality of the food, the price is outrageous! Let me say you can eat at Disney World for half the price of Hard Rock Park and get great service and better food! It’s just awful and that’s all I have to say about that! P.S. Don’t plan on eating at a Hard Rock Café because the Hard Rock Park doesn’t offer one! Crazy!Overall, the staff was very friendly and seems to be excited about working at the first ever Rock Park. Unfortunately for them, I can’t see the park lasting the summer based on the lack of attendance and the high-ticket prices. The staff is a nice mix of locals of young and old and I even had some great conversations with a couple international staff members from Russia. In conclusion, Hard Rock Park is anything from Rockin. If the park makes it through the summer it will only be because of the local base annual passholder attendance. The amount of rides are lacking, the price and quality of food is awful, and the place being a ghost town can only make you believe I’m not the only one with hopes the Hard Rock Corporation either corrects the major issues they have on their hands or walk away from trying to enter the theme park industry! Rock your way down to Orlando for a fun time filled with Princesses, Pirates, Simpsons and soon to be Harry Potter! Reply The Coaster Critic June 28, 2008 Anonymous, I'm sorry that you didn't like the park, but I'm a little tired of people predicting the demise of the park already. It just opened!I don't really get the complaints about the food. I enjoyed the meal I had at the Reggae restaurant. With regards to admission, it's only $39 if you're an NC or SC resident. There's also a money back guarantee, so if you check out the park and don't feel like it's worth you can get your money back.It's not a huge park, but I really think there's plenty to do for your money. Hard rock Park just opened and no one should expect this park to be on the level of the Orlando parks, but as I've said it's a completely unique experience and in my opinion, worth a visit.Thanks for the review. Reply Anonymous June 28, 2008 Loved the Zepplin ride and experience! Nice park. Get there early, get a discounted ticket, and re-ride your favorites to get your money's-worth. Take some photos, look at stuff and then get out before it gets any hotter or more crowded.Family of four bought tix online and later learned you can get them for less at the fate if you live in NC or SC – so don't buy early to save. $39 for SC/NC. $43 online if 4 or more. Reply Jonathan August 2, 2008 Anonymous wrote about the food and said dont bother eating at a hard rock cafe cause they dont have one, BECAUSE…Myrtle Beach already ahs a Hard Rock Cafe a couple of miles away at Broadway at the beach! Reply Anonymous August 4, 2008 Just Visited the Park and Im a Local and I have to say the Theme is awesome. Ofcourse I was expecting a little more but I have to say it was money well spent. I arrived around 6 pm on a Sunday evening and rode everything 2 times Zeppelin 5 times Thats a Whole lotta love!!!! I Attended all the shows and was very entertained. I Love the Rodey Show the Best. The Malibu Beach Party was a lil on the lame side but some what entertaining. The food was reasonably priced and served hot. I Like the layout and the themed areas. I cant wait to see what HRP has in store for us Its a baby right now but Im sure in a few years its going to be a Big attraction. Dont let bad talk keep you and your family away from HRP its a great experience and a lot of fun if you are willing to try it out! Dont expect a seasoned park with a whole bunch of thrill rides think of it as a placed to listen to some great music and fun and laughter!ROCK ON HARD ROCK PARK!!!! Reply Anonymous August 7, 2008 Loved the Zeppelin ride. At one point I thought my brain moved inside my skull! It was quite breathtaking. Give it a try.The park is new so you can ride just about everything a few times! I felt kind of spoiled. I thought the food was passable at best, but the atmosphere was nice. Reply Matthew June 29, 2009 everyone dont give this park a hard time. New owners just got this park in there hands. Once the park gets popular, the ticket prices are going to reduce. The only thing i dont like about the led zepplin ride is that video. Man i hate it when there is no one there and you have to keep watching that video over and over again. I had to go on the 2 baby coasters so many times cause i was sick of that video. What do you think about the video Coaster Critic Reply B.L February 28, 2010 I LOVED THIS RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!It shall stay in our hearts and live on but yet we can still thank goodness that the ride is still there but with different music. BEST RIDE EVER BEST RIDE EVER BEST RIDE EVERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reply Quil March 1, 2010 I think your supposed to stretch the E. thankfuly this was on type, I hate it when my ears ring. for anyone who has ridden RRCwA, whichdo you think is better. Reply Shawn January 10, 2014 Now that we know its closed, I guess the 2nd comment pinged it! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.