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They've dueled pretty much every time I've been on them, except the two times my brother has visited from out of state.
Both times they simply dispatched each side whenever they wanted to, and the chains didn't adjust themselves, leaving us feeling ripped off (which unfortunately is becoming much more common with Universal).
Out of the times I was on the ride, it didn't duel once. When I got off, a supervisor was on the platform, so I explained that me and my friends were only there for a day from Canada and expected a dueling ride. He let us ride again.
I was at the park today, it tested all day long, which was nice to see. It ended up stopping right before cresting the lift, and got stuck there for a little bit. But when I checked back it was running, there were crew members out front telling guests information about the ride, but over and over again there responses were "no set date for an opening" But the day was overall fun, and I love watching HRRR run. Can't wait to see it with people on it. But I also noticed the mcbr's doing a little more trimming than before.
I've been to Universal Studios on five separate occasions (once a year) during slow parts of the season and can only think of a handful of times it didn't duel, all because something held one of the trains up in the station after they had sent the other. For example, a man would not put his camera away on Ice so they held the train and there were a few times where parents with children took exceptionally long while loading so they just sent the other train alone. As far as I know, it is extremely uncommon for the ride not to duel, so you must have just been having really bad luck that day. The ride loses so much of its dynamic nature when only one side is going, so it's unfortunate you didn't get to experience it in its true glory.
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