Islands of Adventure: 11/15/01

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, November 18, 2001 6:23 PM
I decided to shell out the $65 for the IAAPA social event at Islands of Adventure, because, while only four hours, the price did include all the food you could handle and three adult beverages. Good thing it was metered, too, because the European vendors and customers sure can slam beers. Of course, what we call beer, they call water.

Because they were dropping off everyone from all of the bus routes off at the same time, they ended up staggering our entries through different places. My bus route stopped behind Jurassic Park. When we got off the bus, they had a faux-burning car in the foggy darkness (7:30 pm), some mangled fences and JP workers tending to the damage. This was just for our benefit, mind you. How cool is that?!

I was first off the bus and first in after getting lei'd. I was supposed to hook up with a few of the cats from CCI, so I hung out for a minute. I soon realized they were letting people in at different locations and decided to get on the move and hope for the call on the wireless. Just inside my entry point was the visitor center from the movie. I went inside and was blown away... the similarities were striking. I grabbed a chicken sandwich and fries for my first bout with food.

After sucking it down, I decided to head toward Dueling Dragons. As I left the JP building, I started to hear the theme music, saw some paddock fences and bumped into none other than Dr. Hammond himself. Walking with his cane, he tipped his hat to me and continued talking to the JP worker he was with about feeding schedules. At this point, I was speechless, and even more so as I stepped through the giant JP arch way. I actually found myself having to fight back the tears it felt so real.

I always loved the first movie, and always identified with the ethical struggle to create something like that, and regret that the end result was inevitable, and essentially what we as humanity would deserve for even trying it. It's a great story. I own a JP pinball machine, and our family room has the three movie posters framed on the wall, with groovy red couches and some tropical vegitation.

There would be more time for Jurassic Park later, so I kept moving. I stopped and did the Flying Unicorns, which is basically a two-train Woodstock Express with a modified ending. The theme was pretty cool for such a small family ride.

Then I got to the Dragons. I sucked down my first adult beverage and just stood there marveling at the entrance. Could that be for real? It was, and so was the queue. It went on and on and on and on, but visually was never boring. When I finally got to the stations, which were brilliantly themed, I jumped on Ice first, front seat. Ice was kind of tame, I thought, but certainly a lot of fun. The dueling was pretty effective, and in particular the head-on shot to the vertical loops was amazing. The other strong point was the wall next to the cobra roll. Very cool!

Second time around I did Fire in the front, and it made Ice feel like a kiddie ride. It was non-stop intensity. Later in the rear seats of both dragons, I found you got a better perspective on the dueling elements because you could see those other feet on the other train.

I navigated up a short cut from the exit to go against the entry sidewalk queue, hoping I might catch the CCI guys, as they left a message for me stating their location when I was on the Unicorns. Wouldn't you know it, I ran into them! I went back for more laps on the Dragons, totaling six overall.

Mike and I went backward from there, doing the Unicorns again, and through Jurassic Park. Having spent a lot of time chatting with the Setpoint folks the last two IAAPA shows, I wanted to checkout Pteranadon Flyers, but they were looking at a half-hour wait there.

We jumped on the Jurassic Park River Ride. The sound system on the ride was the most effective outdoor audio I've ever heard. I couldn't believe it. Seeing the brachiosaurus lean in and check us out just inside the gates was pretty amazing as well. While you could kind of see the trough for the boats, it was cool that you couldn't see the edges of the "river."

The T-Rex effect was very clever and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was overall an amazing ride. Not a lot of people riding, but what the heck, a little water never hurt anyone.

With that logic, we hit Ripsaw Falls. After getting lost in the queue twice (the queue isn't obvious, and it's worse when someone plays with the guiding ropes), we boarded the boats. The story is fun and goofy, though I hate the cheap shots of water they dump in your lap. Just brutal! What I found most cool was that the part near the end where you appear to be at ground level, given the surrounding vegetation. Ha! Not true at all. Up another lift, and off you go down the final drop. Intense air time for a flume, and it's neat going below the water under the "dock." The ride overall is very well executed!

Next up was Dr. Doom's Fear Fall, as four of the wettest guys you've ever seen made their way into Super Hero Island. These shots are shorter than most, but the pop at the top is intense. I very much liked it.

Spiderman was next door, and it was finally to see what all of the hype was about. The good news it that it's all worthy. I've never been on any motion base that felt this good in coordination with the 3D effects. We did it twice in the end because it was just too hard for our brains to process what we had been through the first time.

Finally to Hulk. A little before 11, we climbed in the last row. I figured the launch was maybe two-thirds up the lift or something, but it came much sooner than that! I really liked it! The rest of the ride wasn't bad, as having the mid-course late in the ride made the pacing a lot smoother. I wanted to ride again, this time in the front, to get a better feel for what the ride was about. We were ready to re-queue behind the Setpoint crew, when they closed the ride early. No warning of this at all... they just did it. They said they did it every night. We were stunned. Why would you do that for a four-hour buy-out? Whatever the reason, I don't doubt there were a lot of pissed off executive types who were not pleased. I'm guessing that it won't be a problem next year.

After the Spiderman repeat, we wandered into Seuss Landing so I could at least give it a look see. Mike dragged me on Cat in The Hat, which is, uh, well, Dr. Seuess was one messed up guy, and the people managed to do this ride are nearly as weird. There aren't any straight lines anywhere, which you would think is natural, but it's still odd. The Christmas decorations were up, so if there was a little snow, you'd swear you were on the set of The Grinch.

Just as we were leaving, we took a moment to stand at the edge of the lake and take in the park. There they were... the different islands with their distinct themes. Nothing about anything at the park was left to chance. It was a total well-themed package. It was like aliens built the place, because it was just too damn clever to be human.

I didn't get to do everything I wanted to, but you can bet that as soon as possible, I plan to return, this time with Stephanie. I can't wait! Islands of Adventure is, in my opinion, the greatest theme park I've ever been to, period.

-------------
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

+0
Sunday, November 18, 2001 7:24 PM
I went to the IAAPA social as well and I have to say that this park left me totally speechless. I never in my wildest dreams thought that you could find theming as incredible as that at the Disney, but this goes way above and beyond. I know this place has the Disney folks standing around scratching their heads. This was truly a seamless environment. They didn't skip over one single detail in the design. Hulk and Spiderman were great, but Dueling Dragons was a little bit of a disappointment. (This ride has the longest queue in the world.) I didn't make it on any of the water rides.

*** This post was edited by bigboy on 11/19/2001. ***

+0
Sunday, November 18, 2001 11:28 PM
Finally you made it Jeff!  I'm glad it passed the criteria (as I knew it would...)-  Disney could learn a few things here.
+0
Monday, November 19, 2001 3:53 AM

Jeff said:
Islands of Adventure is, in my opinion, the greatest theme park I've ever been to, period.
-------------
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com


In agreement with ya there. Too bad you didnt get to see Poseideon's (sp) Fury.


-----------------
Dayuum, Your HOT!


+0
Monday, November 19, 2001 4:04 AM

Islands of Adventure is, in my opinion, the greatest theme park I've ever been to, period.
-------------
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com

Apparently, there is a lot more to having a world-class, A-class theme park than just slamming in countless rollercoasters with little or no thought.  Islands of Adventure only has 2 major coasters.   It's sort of a shame that many theme parks have lost their original enchantment by not focusing on maintaining the theming.  


*** This post was edited by super7 on 11/19/2001. ***

+0
Monday, November 19, 2001 5:27 AM
As to the JP gate...
Walking from Toon Lagoon and seeing that gate in its near junble surroundings was good... walking through the gate and being hit with John William's "Jurrassic Park" theme being played on the speakers absolutely gave me chills (I got them again as I wrote this). I was not all that fond of the movie (it was okay... but not one of my favorites), however I was entirely taken by the JP section of IOA... only second to the neighboring Lost Continent area.

As to the following comment on Poseidon's Fury...
Is that still open? I thought I read somwhere that it was closed and being replaced / Re-themed?
-------------
"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 11/19/2001. ***

+0
Monday, November 19, 2001 10:17 AM
I wish I had time to see that as well. That water tunnel alone looks pretty amazing to see!

-----------------
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

+0
Monday, November 19, 2001 12:10 PM
Great trip report. Like you I love this place and it is my favorite theme park, I have taken day trips just to IOA and I live near Buffalo NY(wife hates them but I dont mind flying back and forth in same day plus theme park).
-----------------
Army Rangers lead the way
+0
Monday, November 19, 2001 12:45 PM
I agree with your sentiments about Islands Jeff. It is my favorite theme park.  Dueling Dragons is spectacular, along with Jurassic Park, and incredible Hulk, etc.  I love that park.  Poseidon's Fury is okay.  The tunnel is cool and so is the last scene where the pictures are projected onto the water but other than that the ride is disapointing because you don't get to sit down at all.  Everthing at Islands of Adventure is amazing, I love how the music in the park helps set the mood for everything in the park.  Wasn't the zero-g roll collision and vertical loop collision on Dueling spectacular?  I could go on and on but I wont.  I love that park.  I was there two weeks ago and got to see Halloween Horor Nights which was really cool, too bad you missed that.  One area was inside of the King Kong ride and you got to walk on the set and then see King Kong up close.  The Scary Tales house was pretty cool too.  You could also ride most of the rides at night.  i rode Jaws at 1 in the morning.  Well I know a lot of this stuff is common knowledge but I cant think of enough great things to say about IOA.  Universal has done a great job with the Universal Escape Complex.  Two thunbs up:)

-----------------
Paramount Carowinds: Forgotten but not Gone

+0
Monday, November 19, 2001 6:44 PM
Glad you liked it, Jeff.  I have been several times and am still stunned everytime I go there. This is the only park I have ever been to that I could totally enjoy even if there were no coasters. The theming is incredible and the experience is sheer bliss. To be able to walk out of IOA and have Citywalk there and have a couple of drinks just makes this place that much better.
+0
Wednesday, November 21, 2001 8:56 PM
thanks for the report jeff on all three parks actually....im goin to Orlando in Jan and definitly wanna hit IOA and BGT.  im not sure about SeaWorld, i dont think paying that much for admission just to ride the two thrill rides justifies it....what do you think?  and do you know where i can snag some coupons? 
-----------------
ROLLERCOASTERS....BETTER THAN OXYGEN BABY!!!!!!
+0
Thursday, November 22, 2001 3:20 AM

Islands of Adventure is, in my opinion, the greatest theme park I've ever been to, period.

          Amen! 

+0
Thursday, November 22, 2001 2:54 PM
Can I add an Amen and Alleluia to Jeff's take on IOA being the best theme park he's ever been to in his life. I will take IOA over any theme park in the world.
-----------------
Joey
_________________________
CATHERINE ROCKS! WHEN BIGGER BABEES ATTACK!
+0
Friday, November 23, 2001 6:17 AM
Any other theme park? How about any other park, period. ;)
-----------------
Work like you've just gotten paid, Love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching!
+0
Friday, November 23, 2001 3:38 PM
So true, DWEAVER, so true
+0
Friday, November 23, 2001 7:38 PM

DWeaver said:
Any other theme park? How about any other park, period.

Amen to that DWeaver! Although I'm in touch with the Disney in me as well. :)

-----------------
Danny

PKI 2002- "The Rollercoast is Toast!"

+0
Saturday, November 24, 2001 8:01 AM
Ok, I finally will come out and say I think CP and BGW are better than IOA, while BGT and Alton Towers aren't far behind.

I really did love IOA though, I just wish we had more time there.
-------------
GO CU! Big 12 Champs!

+0
Saturday, November 24, 2001 8:14 AM
I wouldn't even compare the two. CP is a ride park that I love dearly, but it's not IOA. Not even in the same solar system as far as I'm concerned. I'm trying to figure out when I can return with Steph post-haste.

-----------------
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

+0
Saturday, November 24, 2001 11:35 AM
Hmmm, maybe I should elaborate.

Cedar Point just had so much stuff to do, I would never be bored with that park in ten years. I loved just about every ride there, and I was there pre-MF! I only rode 3 other rides besides the coasters (PT,DD,and WWL), and they were fun.

BGW is the king of amusement parks. They are best at pretty much everything.

IOA is a theme park, and you are right, not really comparable to CP. But just from my experiances (rides,food etc) I liked CP just by the smallest of margin over IOA. IOA has the magic, the theming, all that good stuff, but they seem to be missing something. Is it a woodie? I don't know.

Something else I noticed about IOA. Does it seem like a park that could never really expand? The layout seems too "perfect." Anything added would seem out of place. That's just my view on it.

-L (who just noticed BGW is the scrambled initials of our nation's president)
-------------
GO CU! Big 12 Champs!

*** This post was edited by PT300 on 11/24/2001. ***

+0
Saturday, November 24, 2001 7:04 PM
 Jeff said:
...we hit Ripsaw Falls... The story is fun and goofy, though I hate the cheap shots of water they dump in your lap. Just brutal! 
 
I'll tell you, for me, that ride gets better every time, as I always notice something different.  There are so many little jokes hidden in the theming.
 
One you may not have noticed is on, I think, the final lift hill (The lift with the waterfall that cuts off just before you get soaked)...  There is a hole in the wall next to the lift that you can look through as you pass and it says "Scenic Overlook", and it's a nice view.  Then there is another hole a few feet up that says "Overlooked Scenery" and if you look through you see what looks like old scenery thrown away.:)

It's just little things like that which never fail to impress me.

I sure am glad you had a good time here in Florida. 
(It is a shame about Kraken though, because honestly, I have often experienced Millenium Force grade smoothness on that puppy.)
---------------------------
-FCR
I'd Rather Be Riding Roller Coasters

*** This post was edited by FloridaCoasterRider on 11/25/2001. ***

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...