Florida Trip- Part 1- IOA & Old Town

Associated parks:

After driving down for two days from Illinois with my girlfriend, I got to visit my first park of the season last Monday, Islands of Adventure. I had never been there before so I had high hopes. Unfortunately, the day did not start off as well as I would have hoped, as the park was far more corwded than I thought it might be as I arrived there around 9:30.

Still, I was not too discouraged, and headed for Hulk to start off the day. It ended up being about a 40min wait for the front row, which I guess isnt too terrible. I had mixed feelings about this ride, as the launch and first three inversions were great, but the rest of the ride just seemed lackluster. After the big start it was just kind of waiting to get to the end, no surprises, no great moments. Still, it was a fun ride, and would grade it about a B.

Next coaster was Dueling Dragons Ice. This again ended up being a 40 min wait for the front, which wasnt bad considering they also added a second train while I was waiting. I was a little dissapointed by this one. For whatever reason, the dueling aspect didnt seem to come into play much in the front. The cobra roll against the side of the castle was great though. All in all the layout just didnt do too much for me, though it was still a good coaster. B

After a trip on the flying unicorn, which was fun for what it was, it was back to DD to ride Fire. After another 40 or so min wait in the castle and dungeons (which were great), it was into the back seat. The ride here in the back really blew me away. I actually felt the dueling aspect there more than I had in the front. The layout was creative, and it was great to get some airtime on an inverted. This turned out to be the best coaster in the park for me. A-

Having ridden all the coasters, we headed off to do JPRA and Ripsaw Falls. Bot were fun for what they were, though I'm not the biggest fan of walking around wet. Still, for the types of rides they were, they were the best I had ridden. Unlike most flume rides I would actually feel compelled to ride them again.

Then it was off to Spiderman, which had about a 30min wait by this time, which wasn't bad at all. The line managed to be pretty entertaining during that time. This was hands down the best in the park. It lived up to the hype and was unlike anything I had ever ridden before. I only wish I could have ridden it again, but alas, there was more to do.

Next was Dr. Doom's fearfall, which may have had the slowest line I have ever waited in. Not sure if this is usually the case, but it was just creeping along. The videos in line were entertaining, but unfortunately I had to see them over about three or four times. The ride itself was fun, but nothing I would bother to wait for again. It did give some great air at the top though.

Those were all the major rides, though we went on all the smaller ones in between as well. I managed to get one more ride on Hulk in the back, though it failed to change my opinion on the coaster. All in all this was a great park, and the themeing was probably the best I had ever seen. The employees were alright, not especially enthusiastic, but didn't have a "I don't want to be here" attitude.

All the rides, even the smaller ones, were made more enjoyable by the theming, and there was nothing I didn't care for. I would say that a couple of the sections of the park could stand to add a ride or two, as they seemed somewhat incomplete, in particular Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park. Still, it was a great time and worth the price of admission. As a park I'd probably place it behind Cedar Point, Holiday World, and Kennywood on my list of favorites.

After that we headed off to Old Town, which was rained out the evening before. The place had a definite carival kind of atmosphere, which in this case wasn't a bad thing. I went on Windstorm, which broke down for a few minutes before I was about to go on it. Two ride attendants pushed the car into the station and we were ready to go!

For being such a small and short ride, Windstorm packed a good punch. It wasn't anything groundbreaking, but was fun for a small portable-type coaster. C

After that we ate and gazed at the skycoaster and slingshot. The immense proportions of the sky coaster must be seen to believed. It really does put all others to shame. Still, I couldnt justify the price to go on it, as I was already spending too much money on this trip as it was, so we headed over to the slingshot. $20 didn't seem like too steep a price for it, but I could not convince my girlfriend to go on it with me. Not that I would blame her, its quite an intimidating site as well. I didn't feel like going on this one alone, so we passed on this one as well. Oh well, more money for me to spend at the other parks I guess.

Next on the agenda was Sea World and Dania Beach.......

Kick The Sky's avatar
To tell you the truth, the fact that IOA is exactly the same as it was last year, and that there isnt really a whole heck of a lot of attractions, made me skip the park this year completely. I decided to do Disney instead of both Universal parks this year.

I did finally check out Old Town this year, well didnt have much choice, my hotel was part of Old Town. I also thought that Windstorm was a pretty good coaster for a small portable type. It rips so pretty nice G's on that third drop. BTW, I still have three free ride coupons if anyone wants them. I got a bunch of them from doing my timeshare and also from staying at the Days Inn right next to Old Town and there was no way I was going to reride Windstorm that many times over and over again. Especially when the operator was giving free rerides most of the time anyways if there was no one waiting.

Bob Hansen

Operation Wicked Twister
Goal: Lose enough weight (50lbs) to ride Wicked Twister in 2K3
Progress: 25 pounds since 1-1-2003

IOA was crowded, indeed, this past week. However, I found several instances where I slid my ticket through the Universal Express machines and was given a time within 10 minutes (Popeye, Hulk, MIB).

I understand where you're coming from, KTS, but just having Fire at IOA makes it impossible for me to skip it. I've had to stop myself from creating a Fire love thread about 10 times since I got home.

SRM 2003-Look for the guy with my name on his chest

"I also thought that Windstorm was a pretty good coaster for a small portable type."

Actually, according to Zamperla these models are not portable.


BullGuy's avatar
I too just got back from IOA and SWO. Both parks were great, as usual. We actually encountered wait times for DD, somthing I wasn't used to. Everything was just as good as I remembered it, and I still like Ice better than Fire... ;)

Sea World was an entirely different story in terms of crowds, with Kraken being a near walk-on all day. I'd love this park even without a B&M floorless in it. We had no trouble finding decent seats for the Shamu show even though we got there just as it was starting. As for Kraken, the ride itself was good, but seemed somewhat lacking. This was my second time visiting it, and I was hoping to have a change of heart, but it just doesn't seem to pack much of the punch other B&M rides do, so while it is a good ride, I'd say it's the least impressive of the floorless bunch that I've been on.

Sometimes I wonder whether Vekoma would be better off just changing their name...
Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

Kick The Sky's avatar
BullGuy: interesting that you would consider it the lesser of the floorlesses you have been on. Kraken is one of my favorite B&M's ('cept for Bull of course). The zero G roll on Kraken is by far the best element on any B&M looper I have been on including the incredible zero-G on Kumba. I think it is also the smoothest B&M I have ridden and that might be where you are knocking the ride. These old bones of mine dont like getting beat up too much :)

My last visit to SWO was about four weeks ago and I had an amazing time there. Probably the best day out of Busch and the four Disney parks.

Bob Hansen

Operation Wicked Twister
Goal: Lose enough weight (50lbs) to ride Wicked Twister in 2K3
Progress: 25 pounds since 1-1-2003

You should have rode in the singles line for Hulk. Sure, you will probably get split from your group, but for a 5 minute wait, it is worth it.

The top 3 all time cobrarolls.

2)Deja Vu's (times 3)
3)Batman Knight Flight's

If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

rollergator's avatar

Mark W. Baruth said:

I've had to stop myself from creating a Fire love thread about 10 times since I got home.

The only reason I haven't done so is that it would just sound like a *homer* for me to blow IoA's trumpet thusly....but Fire is *THAT* good, at least to me...

Between single-rider lines and the wait times boards, and the capacity of DD, there's really no reason to ever wait too long at IoA...oh, and the virtual queueing is FREE, even to season pass holders...:)
Dr. Thrill IS my family practitioner
Hey look, gator finally posted a TR...;)

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