IOA or Busch Gardens

Friday, April 13, 2001 6:37 PM
I will be on vacation in Florida in June this summer. I am going to go to at least one of these two parks (IOA & Busch Gardens Tampa). If I can not make it to both, which one should I choose. Both seem like great parks and I do not know which one is better. Thanks in advance.
Friday, April 13, 2001 6:54 PM
In my opinion, IOA is a good park, but does not have as good coasters as BGT does, If u want good coasters go to BG.
Saturday, April 14, 2001 5:33 AM
IOA all the way! Dueling Dragons is worth the price of admission alone, and throw in Hulk, Spiderman, Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls, and much much more, and you can easily beat a day at BGT.

"When they come for me I'll be sittin at my desk, with a gun in my hand wearing a bulletproof vest!"
-Catch 22
Saturday, April 14, 2001 6:47 AM
First off, R2KCarez, I strongly disagree with you, especially about the coasters. Let me explain how I feel.

Islands of Adventure in my opinion is by far the better park, and I will tell you why. I have spent alot of time in both parks, and while they both have a special appeal, IOA should be the obvious choice.
The theming at Busch is so so, and in many places of the park even non existant. The theming in IOA is unparralled. There is no place like it. They covered every detail.
Kumba is a good, early B&M coaster. Alot of fun. But, when compared to IOA's B&M sit down, The Hulk, it holds no ground and seems almost boring.
Then there is Montu. Montu is a great ride. Absolutely nothing to complain about there. But, add a punch of insensity, and multiply the coaster by two, and you'll get dueling dragons. Busch does pull ahead however with Gwazi. IOA has no wood, so chalk one up for BGT.
However, where IOA is lacking there, they make up for it with their world class rides:
Spiderman - THE BEST simulator/dark ride ever,
Dudley Doo-Rights Ripsaw falls - One of the best, if not the best flume ride,
Popeye and Bluto's Bilge raft barges-Again, one of the best, if not the best rafting ride,
Dr. Dooms Fearfall - Excellent S&S space shots with "pop top" creating seemingly endless airtime, and
Jurrassic Park River Adventure - A nicely themed boat ride with a great drop at the end.
While Congo river rapids is a pretty good ride, BGT just cannot compete with their poorly themed Stanley Falls, and Tanganyika Tidal Wave. So for coasters, non coaster rides, and theming, IOA takes the cake in my book.

This is all just my humble opinion. No matter which park you go to you will have a blast.

I'd Rather Be Riding Rollercoasters *** This post was edited by FloridaCoasterRider on 4/14/2001. ***
Saturday, April 14, 2001 7:32 AM
Great description of the two parks FloridaCoasterRider! IOA is the best theme park in the world so I would go there.Bgt is my home park, and I have to admit it is less exciting than IOA.
"FEAR the Four!"
Saturday, April 14, 2001 8:09 AM
Ioa baby! its cool
Saturday, April 14, 2001 8:31 AM
IOA....but do both if you get the chance!! Rhino Rally should be opening soon at BGT too.
Saturday, April 14, 2001 8:38 AM
IOA! Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot spend a whole day there and still not have anything to do...the park is big and something very cool is in every themed land! Although Montu and Kumba look awesome, Dueling Dragons and Hulk are so much better.

Good description FloridaCoasterRider :)

Will be at Busch Gardens Williamsburg April 27th.
Saturday, April 14, 2001 9:04 AM
I actually prefer Kumba to Hulk. Hulk dies on the second half. BGT also has Scorpion, which is a good coaster.

That having been said, IOA is still a far better park and has thrills of every kind. I have been to both parks several times.

Let's put it this way. I think IOA is the only park out there that you can have a great time WITHOUT even getting on a coaster. But who would do that!!!
Saturday, April 14, 2001 9:50 AM
I prefer IOA - just. The lines at Busch tend to be shorter but I'd queue all day for Spiderman, its the best ride in the park! Having said that, I've never queued for longer than 20 mins for Duelling Dragons. Both parks have strengths and weaknesses. Montu's second half has been spoilt because of trim brakes on the batwing - it used to be SO much better.
Saturday, April 14, 2001 9:58 AM
IOA is the better park, but I have to say BGT is the better coaster park. Hulk is a great ride, but save the launch Kumba has a more intense, energenic ride. I think Fire Dragon is the best inverted of the three, bur Montu is no joke. And BGT has good wood, a looper without OSTR's, and an Arrow corkscrew.

I'd recommend IOA as the better park by far, but if it's just coasters you're looking for, it's got to be BGT.
Monday, April 16, 2001 6:52 AM
My two cents.

First off, both are very good parks. It all depends on what you are looking for.

BGT is a "Theme" park, but in many cases it reminded me of a more traditional "Amusement" park. IOA is the ultimate "Themed" park. Every square inch seems to be themed, but yet it is not overpowering, and it does not seemed forced or corny.

As for coasters, my favorite ones from these parks were (from BGT) Montu, Gwasi, Scorpion and (from IOA) Hulk. Kumba (BGT) was good but not great and Dueling Dragons (at IOA) is good, but not quite as good as Montu.

If you want coasters, go to BGT. If you want to go "Wow!" over themeing, and to experience the incredible Spiderman 3-D ride, go to IOA.

To sum it up... I liked BGT the best of the two, but then again I like the more "traditional" feel, not the heavily theming (which can get bothersome after a bit to me).

If you are in that area (and don't mind spending the extra admission $$$$) stop off at Sea World as well. Kraken and Journey to Atlantis are worth it. Of all the coasters in the three parks, I would take Kraken over any of the others.

"Twenty three stories tall, painted grey, and the old people said termites was eatin' it up..."
- From Bill Cosby's "Rolland and the Rollercoaster"
Monday, April 16, 2001 7:25 AM
It's a really tough decision. Both parks have really cool stuff. I would have to say Busch Gardens Tampa. They have more basically. With BGT, you get a B&M inverted coaster, a dueling woodie, a B&M sitdown, a schwartzkoff, and an Arrow looper. With IOA you only get a B&M sitdown, B&M inverted dueling, and a kiddie suspended.
Monday, April 16, 2001 9:58 AM
I recently went to both parks and I would have to honestly say that I would choose BGT over IOA just about everyday (posible exception being Arbor Day :)).

Coasterwise: FACT- BGT has more. OPINON - BGT has better. I'm about the only person in the coaster world who was not greatly impressed with Hulk. It was good, but the intensity of Kumba was SO much greater. And while Fire Dragon is an awesome coaster, I was completely taken by Montu. I never rode Montu brakeless, but even with the brake I though it was the best darn invert I've ridden. Ice Dragon was okay, but aside from the castle wall duel was nothing special. And Flying Unicorn was simply a kiddie coaster. Gwazi has two really good twisted tracks. The dueling effects were *minimal* at best, but the coasters themselves were really intersting. Python wasn't anything to write home about, but Scorpion has some powerful Schwarzkof helices.

Flat rides: Both parks are really lacking in this area. IOA has the well themed Dr Doom (space shot) but BGT has the Phoenix (looping starship). There might be a few more flats @ BGT but this is pretty much a wash.

Water rides: IOA wins this one as Dudley & Popeye are about the best of their genre (only rivaled by Disney's Splash Mountain & Grizzly River Rapids)

Dark rides/ sims: IOA wins again for obvious reasons.

Theme: While IOA does a great job with the fantasy theming, there is something to be said about how BGT integrated the animal habitats into the parks midways. I mean as you are walking from Gwazi to Kumba you pass by (komodo) dragons, lorikeets, baboons and white tigers. Sorry, fake dinosaurs dont come close.

Intangibles: BGT has both a walk thru and a ride thru safari in the "Edge of Africa" area. They have a mock up of King Tut's Tomb and (most importantly) two words: FREE BEER!!!! (that alone is a good reason for going).
Monday, April 16, 2001 10:53 AM
I had this same dilemma last year and everyone I asked said IOA, IOA, IOA! I has previously been to BGT just 4 years earlier (before Gwazi) and enjoyed it very much, so I decided to take everyones advice went to IOA. Needless to say, I was not disappointed in the least. IOA has great atmosphere, great rides (I agree they lack flat rides), and good food (albeit expensive.) One suggestion, take your time and don't miss anything in the park. We went with family that had season passes and were "rushed" through the park and missed some things that I wish we wouldn't have.

Thank you for riding America's Roller Coast
Monday, April 16, 2001 11:14 AM
2Hostyl, you're not the only one who wasn't impressed by Hulk. It's the only B&M I've ever ridden that I was disappointed with. It's a good coaster, but not as good as other B&M's like Kumba and Kraken and it certainly doesn't live up to the hype.

I also agree that BGT is the better park overall. I think IOA has the best ride(s) in Dueling Dragons, but BGT simply has more coasters and they're almost all very good (Python sucks). When I think of "theming," I think of all the extras of a park, not just sections or rides or anything. IMO BGT beats IOA in that category easily, with the wildlife and all. It's easy to get carried away and stop riding coasters for a while, so you'd have to be careful. :) Like 2Hostyl said, flat rides are practically nonexistent at both parks.

So any way you look at it BGT is the better park IMO.

Home Park: Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO
Monday, April 16, 2001 11:20 AM
Although, I did find both parks to be Tops in their class, I too found BGT to be superior to IOA. Basically, everything 2Hostyl said I concurred with. Even on Montu being superior to Fire Dragon!

Dayuum, Your HOT!
Monday, April 16, 2001 12:42 PM
Coasterwise- go with BGT, although Fire Dragon is great.

If you want an all around AWESOME park with tons of stuff to do, smack dub in the hub of Downtown Orlando, then go for IOA.

Hulk doesn't hold a candle to Kumba- the one and only.

and Fire Dragon is RIGHT on par with Montu for intensity, but Ice Dragon is not as good.

Totally up to you man, but really try and find a way to do both!

Monday, April 16, 2001 12:55 PM
I was soooo dissapointed in Kumba when I went last week. Loved Hulk. FYI
Monday, April 16, 2001 12:56 PM
How can you say that Fire dragon is right on par with Montu for intensity? Montu is probably one of the least intense B&M invert around, and Fire is one of the MOST intense B&M inverts around! Not saying I don't love montu... It transitions smoothly from one element to the next. It also is very slow after the Mid-course brakes. Fire on the other hand is completely disorienting, and is in the next element before you even realize that you left the last one, its very fast paced, and neither of the dragons have mid-course brake runs which IMO makes them great.

I'd Rather Be Riding Rollercoasters *** This post was edited by FloridaCoasterRider on 4/16/2001. ***

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