IoA/USF drive-thru times two...

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Monday, April 14, 2008 4:24 PM
No pics this time around, weather was pretty much uncooperative. Stopped in for some rides on Friday afternoon, and some more on Sunday morning. For the most part, we did USF Friday and IoA Sunday. But there was some stuff I'd been meaning to get to, mention, or just plain figure out. Hitting the parking lot, there was NO mistaking that Friday was "UCF Knight at IoA" - signs everywhere, and every other car with the Golden Knights parking decals/bumper stickers.

Mission One was to get a lap on the new Simpsons ride. Since it had been previewed, I was hoping for some soft-open goodness. Alas, the plywood panels were still up, still decorated nicely with Springfield graffiti, but definitely indicating the ride wasn't yet opened. Stopped in to the Kwik-E-Mart (which has been open for MONTHS), and was told they'd probably begin soft-open in early May.

Continued on for a few MiB laps, the SR line there is nothing short of incredible. 30+ minute waits? We got in 3 rides in about 45, including ride-time. Still hurting a bit from Simpsonslessness, but soothed by racking up shooting up some really bad alien attackers, on to Mummy.

You get too many lines operating at once, and the "grouper" at Mummy gets easily overwhelmed. Good reason to split the REGULAR line at the top of the stairs, right? Now they're dealing with: two lines of "standbys", one line of single-riders, guests returning from the lockers (since the person out front is typically overwhelmed and can't catch all the loose articles - they come back up thru the alternate stairway), and finally, our on-site guests. That's FIVE lines of people to deal with. As soon as we get to the top of the stairs, I see the grouper is, well, overwhelmed to say the least. Doing her best, but a small, shy, quiet young woman unable to forcefully DIRECT guests where they need to go.

Note to USF: Too many lines out front, it's gotten out of control. As much as I *love* the single-rider line, might honestly need to get rid of it. Or, better yet, do a better job out in front of the ride: "Lockers are free, put your junk in one and THEN get in line!"

After a couple laps, (P.S. ALL effects were working, a major plus for the ride experience), time to head over to IoA. Stopped for a quick glance at the soundstage previously used for HHN haunts, almost certain that'll be the "station-house" for the New for '09 USF coaster. Seeing a virtual walk-on for Shrek, and being a pretty big fan, HAD to stop for the show. Afterwards, bolted for IoA knowing that park closing was in about 20 minutes after we hit the gate.

Here's where the UCF crowd was hanging...guess their tickets were only good at the one park, LOL. Navigated our way in, and there was ONE ride that's come up a few times recently in discussion. I've seen more than one or two mentions of "lapbars on Dudley". You gotta be kidding, right, it's a FLUME. I'd known about the seat-dividers, they were put there to prevent riders from leaning forward during the drops (subsequently hitting their heads - a la Revolution). This was SO intriguing to me, not even seeing the posted 40-minute wait time was going to stop me. Probably took all of that, and then some. Getting up to the boats, I leanred why it was taking so long. They really DID add lapbars. This is now the most *restrained* log flume I've ever been on....

Ride's still fantastic, the theming and effects were ALL working, but I'll never get over lowering my lapbar on a flume ride. Weirdness. Asked at the ride exit, the op said they'd been there about 4-5 months.

Came back on Sunday on the way home, just to get in some IoA time. Hulk lap was good, noticed the *bouncing* off the midcourse was MUCH better - think it must be wheels. Dr. Doom was running the SR line, so we caught a few laps there. Crowds were fairly heavy for a cool wet Sunday...

Tried for SR on Spidey, but like Hulk they weren't running that line. 40 minutes, no thanks. Moved past Dudley's and Bilge Rats, weather wasn't really conducive. Kinda wanted to check out those CRAZY lapbars again...another time. Went into Camp Jurassic to look around a little, noticed that even the weather couldn't keep that line down - 60 minutes. Even I don't love the ride THAT much. But it was funny they weren't stopping parties without children from getting in line. More weirdness, LOL.

Hit up JPRA, we always enjoy messing with the tourists when we leave Hadrosaur Cove *accidentally* and head into the Raptor Containment Area. Good times. :)

Now, on to the real IoA fun...checking out the WWoHP progress. Crane on site, check. Plumbing pipes, check. Rebar put in ground, waiting on concrete pour, check. The only thing I can't seem to figure is how this is going to be it's own "Land" - SO small. Takes up the entire area between the Pizza Predattoria and Flying Unicorn....still SO small. If FU is included in WW (which is anticipated) - STILL small. Thought previously about Enchanted Oak and esp. Alchemy Bar moving to WW, but that's kind of a stretch given the location of the bridge. We'll know soon enough....but that's not soon enough. ;)

Lap on Flying Unicorn, even with the wait, to get more looks at the construction site. "Quickie lap" on Fire Dragon (long lines there too), then Caro-Seuss-El and Cat in the Hat (it WAS raining, LOL), and we were out in about 2.5-3 hours. Amazingly crowded considering the weather, I guess we're nowe in "the season". Bummer, didn't take advantage of the Winter as much as I normally do. All three Recon missions completed (Simpsons, '09 USF coaster, WWoHP), it was another successful journey thru "the complex".

P.S. The UCF kids ended up with the park to themselves from 7pm - 1am. A few of them we chatted with while waiting in line....so I recommended PFlyers for all of them. How do WE get a six-hour ERT session? ;)

*** Edited 4/14/2008 8:29:21 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Monday, April 14, 2008 4:42 PM
What do you mean by two stand-by queues for Mummy? I've never noticed this, but I've only been there in Winter.
That queue is WAY too long to walk through when the ride is a walk-on!
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Monday, April 14, 2008 4:52 PM
^At the top of the stairs, the line "splits" and you can now go right or left around the suspended stone. It used to be "stay to the left to board". The right side was mostly for handicapped guests and those returning from the "last-second locker drop-off".

It's now basically chaos at the top of the stairs....LOL, just realized I forgot to include the handicapped guests in my earlier assessment - now I guess I should say SIX lines...but still the one grouper. ;)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008 12:50 PM
Not only do you have all of those lines on Mummy, but there are people approaching from both sides on the left platform. A poorly communicating crew really messes with things. I've always seen plenty of barking about using the lockers when I'm there outside.

I thought the hot rumor was that half of Lost Continent would be converted the Harry Potter thing? Heck, it was even my understanding that what was going on behind JP was in fact a new JP attraction. Wouldn't be the first time I heard wrong I suppose.

I came in through that back "entrance" in 2001 (next to the restroom) for IAAPA's social event that year, and actually being on the road it seemed like a pretty good chunk of land. But I have to wonder, will the school across the street be renamed Hogwarts or Harry Potter High?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008 1:56 PM
Only if they pony up a nice licensing fee. ;)
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