IoA/SWO: The Adventure Ends

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, April 30, 2003 3:26 PM
Hello, once again coasting fans the adventure ends where the Islands begin. After visiting SFoG and BGT on Good Friday and Saturday, the crew of 3 with high anticipation travels to Orlando. On this beautiful Easter morning, Glen and I arrived at Sea World Orlando as the gates open at 9am and head back to the Blue Monster leering from the depths.

B&M fills the day and the Kraken is first on tap, since the 'tap' runneth over last evening courtesy of Anheiser Busch. We stayed at the Red Roof Inn at the Convention Centre in Orlando 5 minutes from both parks.

Kraken: We began the day with 8 laps in a row on the Kraken, the first from the first seat on the 2nd train out of the station. I was expecting the usual excitement of this B&M, but it delivered much more. The elements are similar to our ride on Kumba yesterday, but the floorless element created a more intense feeling and I have never, I mean NEVER felt air like I did on the zero G roll. Simply incredible. The theming of this ride is perfect and I loved the eels buried in the unhatched eggs exiting the ride. Journey of Atlantis was another surprise. Good ride, wet in places, but an experience nonetheless.

After seeing the whales, we drove to the hotel picking up our third member of the party heading to Islands of Adventure. Let me preface this: I'm 35 years old, been a coaster lover since 6 and an enthusiast since 17. This was the greatest amusement park experience I have ever had in said years. If IoA had 4-5 more intense coasters it would rival Cedar Point in every aspect of the business. I love CP, always have, always will, but IoA is worthy of respect.

The theming is perfect. I am just not saying this to be nice. Every detail is thought out to the T and every I is dotted. It's perfect. Each section used a roll of film because we knew it was something we would never see again until we visit Orlando in years to come. We walked about the Islands with a childhood gaze, gathering all of the sights. Examples: The cartoon clouds with sayings on them in Toon Lagoon, the Hulk barrelling under the walkway, Marvel Hero's 15-20 foot high on the strip, the wood work in the Jurassic area, and the attention to every bit of detail in the Dungeons before entering the Dragon's lair.

The hype of the 3 monster coasters intrigued me all morning. On the walk into the park through City Walk, the Hulk was already roaring with screaming visitors, so we took a spin....whoops check that, 2 spins, well no.....make that THREE! We abused the single rider line 3 more times in the day, but let's talk about the ride. Nothing will prepare you for the take off, NOTHING! I thought I was prepared, but nope, I screamed like a 2 month old baby. The ride itself is an outstanding B&M with the largest cobra loop I've travelled on and the pacing was cruising into the block breaks after the first 6 inversions. Some say that it lacks punch after the blocks, but I enjoyed the ride in the back section, where the intensity did not seem to decrease.

Duelling Dragons: Now, this is an experience for ALL enthusiasts to partake, WHOA! We took front seat views on our first two laps, one on each. I love how the ride ops work extremely hard to make sure the coasters duel and the controls allow for slack time to make the most of this monumental ride. If a train leaves before the other, it automatically slows down on the lift so the other train catches. Without the duel this is an outstanding ride, with the duel it's orgasmic (sorry kiddies, but it is). Both coasters offer different elements which makes the re-ride process all more enjoyable. For instance, I love Fire for the intense diving helix before the duelling loops and the extra corkscrew at the end kicking the Ice train. Ice has an incredible cobra roll kicking a medieval themed castle wall and a great zero G roll under the passing Fire train. The duels are the best portion of the ride, all 3 are perfectly timed and hilarious. Once, I was riding with tears in my eyes from laughter alone after the final corkscrew duel.

Now: The greatest NON-coaster ride I have ever participated in riding. My goodness, what the heck is with Spiderman? I have read many of your reports, sorry, they don't do the ride any justice. This is one of those special experiences that only YOU can enjoy, no words can match the effects and enjoyment that it provides. I shook my head in amazement on my first trip, laughed my buns off on the 2nd, enjoyed it more on the 3rd and left shaking my head again on the 4th and final trip. Spiderman is something that must be experienced, not talked about.

The rest of the park is just as staggering. Ripsaw falls is the best log flume I have ridden, Jurassic Park the Adventure is a must and Popeye's is even a turn on....a wet one at that. The Pterdactyl Flyers and the Unicorn are also enjoyable for the kids, heck, I loved 'em. Fear Fall is also good. One more thing, if you have kids, Dr. Suess' section is a visual delight, I loved taking pictures of all of the smiling faces.

Overall, I didn't want to leave, in fact, we went to the hotel, showered and returned for another few laps and the laser light show. This park has crawled, more like jumped into the upper tier of any park I have encountered. It's simply amazing and should be visited by all, young and old. I would have still enjoyed the park without Hulk and the Dragons, but it only added to the experience.

Take care and we'll see you in the midwest in the upcoming months......happy coasting to all.

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There's nothing like a woodie...

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Wednesday, April 30, 2003 3:57 PM
Yeah IOA Is awesome there are really no words to describe this amazing park.I think everyone in the world should experince this Park once (if not alot more times) in there life. Sounds like you had alot of fun. I cant wait to go back. Nice TR

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http://groups.msn.com/kylecoasterworld

choose thy fate: freeze or burn

Fly with the Man of Steel in 2003
SFGAm

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Thursday, May 1, 2003 7:50 AM
Don't get me wrong, I loved IOA. It is one of the greatest themed parks will ever see in my lifetime. It has some great rides. It just doesnt have ENOUGH to do. I just cannot see myself ever spending an entire day there. I think if they added another section to the park, added a half dozen more attractions, then it might be worth my time and money to visit the park every year I am down there. Right now I only see it necessary to visit the park every other year. I skipped Universal altogether this year when I was down there. Just did Disney, SWF, Old Towne and BGT.

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Bob Hansen

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

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Thursday, May 1, 2003 8:06 AM
Agree KickTS. Although IoA is more thrilling, Epcot can hold my intrest more.

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Love,
The Mole

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Thursday, May 1, 2003 8:55 AM
Another who agrees with Kick The Sky. I've been to IOA 5 times since it opened. The first trip inspires the same awe expressed in the above TR. After that, it's still one of the most enjoyable but one that can quickly be done after you've "oohed and ahhed" over the theming. The last couple of trips we strolled in around opening and were able to leave by mid-afternoon having done everything (including the requisite re-rides on the coasters and Spidey). If you really think about it IOA only has around 20 attractions. The payoff is that they're all among the best of their type.

Also glad to see Kraken win another fan. I don't care if it's floorless or not, this would still be one of the best out there and I include it at the top of my list alongside Milennium Force, S:ROS (SFNE) and Boulder Dash as one of the best I've experienced.

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www.coasterimage.com

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Thursday, May 1, 2003 9:22 AM
I guess we agree on Kraken to Lord G. I may have only riden about 70 coasters but Kraken is one of my favorites. The pacing is great, the ending isnt boring like a lot of B&Ms, and lets not even get started on the zero-G roll, the best coaster element I have experienced, bar none.

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Bob Hansen

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

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Thursday, May 1, 2003 2:32 PM
Yeah, the zero-g is the cherry on top. I thoroughly enjoy Kraken. It's funny how at first I didn't hear much about it, but with each passing year, I see more and more people naming it one of their favorites. Even in polls like Mitch's yearly steel poll, it still seems to rank a bit higher each year as more people discover it.

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www.coasterimage.com

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Thursday, May 1, 2003 4:07 PM
Nice TR. IoA does set a benchmark for theming, and Kraken's zero-g may be one of the best elements I've ever experianced.

But after four visits to IoA, the only way I can kill a whole day there is to visit both Universal parks. There's a couple very good attractions at the studios, just enough to make it a full day.

Now, if it didn't cost so much to do both parks...

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Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...
*** This post was edited by Chaindog 5/1/2003 8:07:43 PM ***

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Thursday, May 1, 2003 8:09 PM
The zero-g roll is great, and the ride is glass smooth, but Kraken's B&M cousin down south made me smile more. :)

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Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

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Friday, May 2, 2003 8:09 AM
Hey C-Dog, good to hear from you, it's been a while. I hope your trips are coming together well for you. Are you heading to SRM?

One comment about the IoA/ not the full day's package deal. On my first visit to this park, I was in complete admiration for the detail of every ride/ attraction and shop. I sat in Suess Land for 15 minutes just to watch kids and people watch. You are all right about one thing, there isn't much to do after the 8 major attractions. However, that's where our fun came in.....picture taking, people watching and staring at the theming. But, you're right, if they don't get new attractions, you can do IoA in about 5 hours. Add 100 acres and it rivals any park though....too bad this isn't RCT.

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There's nothing like a woodie...
*** This post was edited by Woody 5/2/2003 12:12:28 PM ***

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Friday, May 2, 2003 8:19 AM
If I want to people watch and take my time I will go to Disney...

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Bob Hansen

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

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Monday, May 5, 2003 8:18 AM
Go to Disney, I'll keep spending my money at IoA......just a matter of opinion.....pure and simple.
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There's nothing like a woodie...
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