Destination Florida - One Park Max.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002 9:41 AM

I am getting married next month and will be going to Orlando for the honeymoon. This is not a coaster trip, but we thought that we could visit one park while we were there. (This will be my first encounter with any Florida coaster in many years and I can't resist.) It will be either BGT or IOA. It will probably be quite awhile before I get back to Florida, so since I have one shot at one park, I want to make it count. IOA is closer, but do I give up Kumba and Montu, which I have never ridden? Decisions, decisions. We have the week pretty much planned going to other places and just relaxing, but we both agreed we wanted to ride a new coaster while we were there. How do I choose, or do I just flip a coin. (Life will still be good....newly married, 11 days off from work and a trip to Florida. It can't come soon enough!)

*** This post was edited by Lorrie on 3/27/2002. ***

Wednesday, March 27, 2002 9:55 AM

Both are fun parks, but IOA is a little better. It has great themeing, rides, shows, etc. It is a top notch park and one of my favorites. Its amazing just to walk around the park and notice the attention to detail there. The atmosphere there is one of the best of any park anywhere.

The rides are great too - Hulk, Spiderman, DD. I heard that Ripsaw Falls is good too but it was down when I was there a month ago. BGT has the 2 great coasters, but as a whole, IOA is better.

I actually went to Orlando for my honeymoon as well. It wasn't planned though - we were to go on a cruise and the day before we were to leave they called us and told us that it was cancelled for ship maintenance. So, we flew to Orlando for a week and had a great time. Have fun at whichever park you choose.

---------- - Theme Park Brochures and Maps

Wednesday, March 27, 2002 10:09 AM

BGT was awesome. Kumba and Montu are world class B&M masterpieces and they are amazing. AND I only had to queue 10min each ride. BGT staff were doing a really good job, running max. capicity. Gwazi is also another great coaster(s), allthough not duelling anymore, so not sure how different it would be.

IOA was alot busier, more queue time which is always a blow, especially in the heat. This because it being a relatively new park, following the mass media coverage its had over the last few years. The Hulk is a very good coaster, queue was long, but worth it. BUT it's all over too soon, maybe because of the launched lift, which is a great feature. A good coaster, but not a classic - yet. Duelling Dragons was good, not so fast, crossovers are some of the best out there. A long queue again for a short ride, some good station themeing - be carefull not to get lost in the DD queue, yes,you read that right - I ended up riding DD - Fire twice, when i wanted to ride the both of them, ah well. Spiderman is an excellent simulator/3d experience.

Well I think maybe IOA, but the decision, is yours!.....

My way, my way or the highway.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002 11:41 AM
Also noting the road from O-Town to Tampa is NOT all that it could be...BGT is a very nice park, extremely enjoyable if you're into animals, etc. Either choice would be great, but given it's a honeymoon, etc., I would have to suggest IoA. It is THE 21st century theme park, and will blow you away, I promise. Somehow, some way, TinkerBell left the mouse house and put some magical fairy dust on this magical theme park...but you don't have to believe me, read the TRs...
Wednesday, March 27, 2002 2:37 PM
You have your wife, you should take a nice drive to see BGT. Nice neutral action there, with the dolphin show, the animal excursions, and other attractions and shows. And free beer. If it is your neighbors wife, then do IOA.
Thursday, March 28, 2002 3:57 AM
I gotta agree with Agent Johnson (again). Of the two, BGT just has a different feel. The wall to wall theming of IOA is memorable, but it can get to be a bit much. At BGT, aside from three great coasters (I don't care what anyone says... dueling or not, Gwasi is one heck of a coaster), the small but fun Scorpion and the "blast from the past" Python, I found definately a more "relaxed" atmosphere. There is a constant theme there... Africa... that seems much more "natural", not the forced and plastic look of some parts of IOA. The coasters and other rides at BGT will keep you quite busy. So will the coasters and water rides at IOA. However, between coasters and other attractions, I think that BGT lends itself more to just walking around... more time to just stroll and take in the sights... In plain words... more time to "be together" (and since this is a honeymoon trip... well... isn't that sort of the point?) rather than the "rush rush rush" of going from one thing to the next as at IOA.
Saturday, March 30, 2002 7:24 PM
Well SFLAKE, I found that the enormous lines at IOA helped me and my friends "be together" as compared to the 10 minute lines at BGT. I think IOA is a much better park in terms of theming and coasters (back seat on fire is the only air in the whole state ;)), but I found that the crowds were MUCh worse.

AC?, RB?, MF?, DD?, PR? Who can keep track of it all?

Saturday, March 30, 2002 7:42 PM

In terms of coasters and their theming, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay wins easily, IoA may be the top winner over all, but it's nothing romantic compared to BGT.

ApolloAndy said:
Well SFLAKE, I found that the enormous lines at IOA helped me and my friends "be together" as compared to the 10 minute lines at BGT. I think IOA is a much better park in terms of theming and coasters (back seat on fire is the only air in the whole state ), but I found that the crowds were MUCh worse.

AC?, RB?, MF?, DD?, PR? Who can keep track of it all?

Also, tell me how often you find ten minute lines for Gwazi, Stanley Falls, Rhino Rally, Katanga(most extreme ride in the state excluding skycoasters), Montu, Kumba, even the train ride ?

Montu is the best inverted in the country and it boasts a 150 foot lift hill, a huge 104 foot vertical loop, and two first of a kind inversions for an inverted coaster: the Immelman and the Batwing. The layout of the ride is awesome, and several of the inversions are built into Egyptian themed trenches that make them all the more exciting.

Saturday, March 30, 2002 8:03 PM

Vertigo said:

Montu is the best inverted in the country ...

I'll have to differ here. Montu has wonderful visuals, maybe the best on any coaster, but I wouldn't say the ride itself it is that great. I find most of the elements a bit too large to to give it the "snap" of some of it's competitors.

All in all a world class ride, a must ride for all fans of inverts, but not so great to keep one from going to IOA over BGT.

And please remember this is all just opinion.

Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...

Saturday, March 30, 2002 8:11 PM
ApolloAndy apparently has yet to ride DBH...;). IMO, that is the only REAL air in the state...but I still have a couple coasters to ride...(RnRC and the John Allen in the panhandle).
Saturday, March 30, 2002 8:23 PM

rollergator said:
ApolloAndy apparently has yet to ride DBH.... IMO, that is the only REAL air in the state...but I still have a couple coasters to ride...(RnRC and the John Allen in the panhandle).

Yeah, that and the Bayencurve of Python have more airtime. Say have you ridden Dumbo at Disneyworld, that has some killer airtime ;)

Saturday, March 30, 2002 10:24 PM
You just have to find the time to do both, and then you will know that they are both great and yet so different that its an impossible choice. There isn't a woodie at IoA, but then what compares to being front end of Fire or Ice? The launch start and twist into Hulks first drop versus hanging under that huge lift hill on Montu? Its a great choice to have though, whichever you do will be a great day. Will you have more time to play with at IoA, if it is closer though? and the apres park is better at IoA with Hard Rock Cafe and the cinema in Citywalk........
Sunday, March 31, 2002 6:22 AM

Vertigo said that IOA is "nothing romantic" when compared to BGT. I disagree. Let's do some quick checks.

Most romantic restaurant -- BGT has the Crown restaurant, which does have a real nice outdoor seating area up on the third floor which overlooks the animals but the food is mediocre. IOA has two that top it in a heartbeat. In Mythos you have, to me, the best upscale in-park dining experience anywhere, and it's an airy yet romantic setting with waterworks and a beautiful view of the lake. Then you have Enchanted Oak Tavern where you can sit in a rustic faux-bark booth where you are practically isolated from those around you.

Most romantic ride -- Yes, BGT has more coasters, though Scorpion and Python are about as memorable as IOA's Unicorn coaster. I'd much rather than Hulk, Ice and Fire Dragons than Kumba and Montu (though Montu is amazing). Gwazi was a huge letdown for me. But, I said romantic, so, what am I talking about? What ride at BGT can a couple go on, share a laugh, and then turn to each other and realize how radiating the other looks when they're smiling. Sure, you get this kind of effect on a coaster, but BGT has no dark rides at all. Spider-Man and Cat in the Hat at IOA are two of the best anywhere in the world. And, if you want to get wet, I dare anyone to say that Stanley Falls and Congo River Rapids comes anywhere close to Dudley and Popeye. But, romantic ride -- One Fish, Two Fish, at night, all aglow -- BGT closes before the sun sets. IOA, does if it's in-season.

Best Romantic Spots -- Okay, I'll confess to not knowing every crook and cranny at BGT, but most of the romantic parts of the park just happen to be shady paths and sitting areas on the path of the park itself. Top these from IOA:

-- The outdoor seating area of Enchanted Oak. Even if you're not eating there you can still go there and catch a great view over the lake, with plenty of tables, empty even when the park is full.

-- The Sneetch Beach area, between Seuss Landing and Lost Continent. Nothing fancy here, but the foot traffic isn't there as this isn't the main path from the two "islands".

-- The Island Skipper boats, when they are operating. Granted, I'll score BGT points for the Skyway here.

-- When you're done with BGT, you're done. Once outside of IOA you can grab an outdoor snack or drink at Citywalk, take a boat to Portofino or Hard Rock and back if they're not checking for resort IDs, just rest out by the lighthouse and enjoy the great soundtrack.

I've rambled plenty, but if you've never been to IOA or BGT, for a honeymoon I'd opt for IOA. Especially if you're in the area.

Sunday, March 31, 2002 6:32 AM
You cant pass up Python at BGT!!!

Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone

Sunday, March 31, 2002 6:57 AM

Speaking strictly from a woman's perspective, of course, I'd like to put in my two cents...

I haven't been to IOA yet. I'm going there for the first time at the end of April....but from what I've seen, it's nonstop excitement and sensory overload from start to finish. BGT, as someone previously stated, can be classified as the slower-paced of the two parks.

I guess the big question is......what type of a person is your "significant other"? The more kick-back and chill out type? Or a go-getting thrill seeker? Once you decide that, you'll be able to choose which park you should go to with relative ease. After all........this honeymoon is for BOTH of you to enjoy.

*** This post was edited by Lallen on 3/31/2002. ***

Sunday, March 31, 2002 7:00 AM
By the way, Lorrie...........if you choose IOA, I just may see you there! I'll be there April 26-29! :)
Sunday, March 31, 2002 7:52 AM
I visited IOA for the first time in early March and I was quite impressed. The Incredible Hulk and Spiderman are two world-class rides. Dueling Dragons also offers some excitement, but it was a bit of a disappointment for me. BGT on the other hand is a great park, Kumba and Montu are one-of-a-kind, but the rest of the park is kind of blaah rides-wise. If I were you I would go to IOA because of it's location in Orlando and its quality of rides.
Sunday, March 31, 2002 10:24 AM

Go to IOA. I used to say go to Busch Gardens, but a little trip last week changed all that in a hurry. Busch Tampa is an awesome park has a little more variety coaster wise, but IOA has Fire & Ice, that makes it just that much more worthy of your money.

R.I.P Fear Factory 1990-2002. You will be missed.

Monday, April 1, 2002 10:32 AM
I think the fact that IOA has Citywalk right outside of it lends itself better for a day (and night) of fun. The area around BGT is ghetto. Also, if you stay on-site at IOA you can get express access for all the rides and have minimal waits along with a very romantic, classy hotel.
Monday, April 1, 2002 11:34 AM

I'd also suggest IoA, for the various reasons stated above (CityWalk, setting, etc.)

"Wow, [in your life] when it rains, it not only pours, it floods the basement and causes thousands in damage!" -- Vicki Redcay
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