Islands of Adventure 2/18/04

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, February 25, 2004 9:22 AM
Now this turned out to be a much better day weather wise for my fiance and I. Sunny and warmer, not short sleeve shirt nor shorts weather, but the sun and blue sky seems to make all the difference in the world. My Cedar Point hoodie was perfect.
I was very excited about IOA, mainly because I was suffering from coaster withdrawal bad! Gates open and we headed right for "Spiderman". From the trip in November I remembered that line was the longest one all day. We got to the ride so early, we were the only ones in the "car"! :) My fiance loved the ride, I told him he would! :) We jumped off and went right back on again 2 more times. We then headed for "Hulk". I was curious to see what his reaction would be to it since it was his 1st sit down invert. He didn't seem overly impressed, the launch was simply "OK" (thank you TTD, there will never be another launch that can impress us!!! ;)) and we decided 1 ride on it was plenty. That was the same thing my kids and I said in November.

Off to Jarassic Park. It's one thing to know you're going to get wet, it's another when they sit 3 200+ pound guests in the front row, then you KNOW you are dead meat ;) The ride itself was fun (my fav part was seeing "Raptor" written on a bunch of signs ;)) and yes, we did get wet, not as badly as the 3 guests in the front mind you, but wet enough!!! :)

Off to "Deuling Dragons". I knew that my fiance was going to like them both because he likes Raptor so well. How much he liked them however I was not prepared for. He adored the queue line, and this time I did take alot of pictures of just the queue. We ended up riding both Fire and Ice 6x each before the crowd started picking up, although we never had more than a 20 minute wait any time we rode. "Fire" seems to be the coaster with the more substance, "Ice" seems to be more speed and definite G-forces. I again adored both these coasters and can truly say, yes, more than Raptor. Gasp!

The rest of the day was spent walking around the park taking in the sights (Suess Landing is a sight in itself!) We again we saved major $$ by packing our own lunch and drinks.
My fiance had a great time at IOA, it was actually my idea to leave so we could sneak to Cocoa Beach for a stoll on the beach.

This being a repeat trip to US and IOA for me I can easily say both parks can be done in 1 day easily. IOA is an awesome park but there really is only so much you can do there. If you have small children then there is more to do (Suess Landing) but there is only so much for the big kids to do. IOA is the most colorful park I've ever been to, just to walk around and admire the detail that is put into EVERYTHING. The park was sparking clean, the employees were all awesome.

ALL their queue lines make waiting more tolerable, makes me kind of dread the old "here is a metal bar, you're on a line" queues back at CP.

We had a great time and IOA (and US) are definitely on our must go back again list!!! :)

Jo
2000 Raptor Crew
2002 Raptor Crew
2003 Raptor Crew

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 11:03 AM
IOA can certainly occupy a day of my time, perhaps two, and that's in November with a hotel key for Universal Express.

Then again, my approach is different. I'm not much for coaster marathoning (Steph would kick me in the nuts if I tried), and frankly money is no object when we travel (just ask CitiBank!). We take our time, hit the shows, eat at several restaurants, do a bit of shopping, and above all, just take it all in.

During Grinchmas, for example, we've stopped to see the whole Grinch show the last two years. Hopefully we'll do the same next year.

Having the park close at 8 almost makes it so that there isn't enough time, especially if you are staying there and go back to the hotel for a quick nap.

I don't know, I'm just surprised you consider it a one-day affair, especially adding in the studios to your day.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 11:21 AM
I agree that its not really a full day park. Maybe its just me, but even drinking in all the sights and looking in all the shops, I've never been able to spend a full day in the park.

Most ever in one day was last year I hit Fire Dragon something crazy like 15 times, Ice 5 or 6, Hulk 3, Spiderman 4 or 5, but no water rides (too cold that day). My cousin and I even criss-crossed the park 5 times (cause we counted the number of times we passed through Jurassic Park) just taking in all the scenery, even managed to do a few other rides like Storm and the Cat in the Hat ride, and still after only 6 hours, we were out of stuff to do. I would imagine from my very limited exposure to USH that USF wouldn't really occupy that much more time, so I can understand the two together being a single-day affair.

Then again, as you said Jeff, for you money is no object, but for me, its enough of a rip to my account just to get down there, spending a lot in-park is really out of the question!

Edit: Just wanted to add that I love the park, just for the DD castle and the Jurassic Park visitors center, I would visit almost every time I'm in Florida, it just can't hold my attention for an entire day even the way a small park like Kennywood can. *** Edited 2/25/2004 4:22:30 PM UTC by Impulse-ive***

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Thursday, February 26, 2004 9:25 AM
With 2 human kids as well as several equine kids to support, plus an upcoming wedding, money is an object for us. Not to mention, this was my 2nd vacation trip to Florida in 3 months. My fiancé and I were definitely more into the ride aspect of IOA, as opposed to the shows. Kids and I took in some of the shows in November and my fiancé had no desire to see them. That probably explains why I said we could easily do IOA in one day (a matter of hours in some cases!) due to what we planned on doing there.


As for food. My kids and I ate in the parks in November and all I have to say is "blech".

Don’t get me wrong, I know you’re asking for it buying any food at an amusement park, and I honestly don’t mind dishing out outrageous amounts of money IF the food is worth it. We ate at US In November, for the kids and I it was $50.00 for 3 simple lunches. The food was horrific. They do offer the "restaurants" in US (and other parks) which means even more $$ for food. In November, the food at MGM and Disney was just as pricey and just as ucky.

After the November trip I calculated I had spent around $500.00 on just food for the kids and I. The most memorable of those meals? Mostly the breakfasts at McDonalds!!! :)
My fiancé and I decided instead of buying food at the parks (although we did splurge on Starbucks coffee every day) we would pack our own and spend our $$ on better things. Like souvenirs.

If you take in the park like you and Steph do then yes, it would be a whole day trip. If you take the park as a thrill park like we did, then I can say a matter of hours is all you’d need.

Jo
2000 Raptor Crew
2002 Raptor Crew
2003 Raptor Crew

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Thursday, February 26, 2004 9:33 AM
The Italian joint in City Walk is very good. Check it next time.
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Friday, February 27, 2004 4:16 PM
I think that IOA is a great park. I agree with luvraptor how the attention to detail is amazing. I never really got too wet on Jurassic Park, but I did on Dudley and Popeye.

I also love how there is never a line for the Dragons because the Q-Line is so long. :). I've also heard that the both Dragons can handle 3 trains a piece. Anyone ever see this?

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Friday, February 27, 2004 6:59 PM
Yeah i went the weekend between christmas and new years (you know they day they closed disney cause it reached capacity).They were running three trains on each.The line started just behind the split for ice & fire. It was about 30 min wait but the line was moving pretty fast.
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Friday, February 27, 2004 8:14 PM
No question about it, Dragons' capacity could flirt with 4,000 people per hour if they really pushed it. I've never seen more than four on but I've only been there in November. The last pair must be in the refurb cycle because all of the wheel covers are lined up outside of the shack in the transfer area.
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Saturday, February 28, 2004 2:35 AM
I'd say you're probably right, Jeff. That just makes me wonder exactly why they made the queue so long originally. If that thing (before Flying Unicorn) ever got full while running 3 per side (which I've never seen either) - then that would be just nuts.

Every time I've ridden DD, I've gotten into the indivual coasters queue area (beyond the "choose thy fate" sign) before hitting the back of the line - I can't even imagine a line going back into the castle at all, let alone out the front.

Anyone ever seen it that bad?

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Saturday, February 28, 2004 9:00 AM
I've waited from the beginning of the "dungeon" a couple of times (before there are any skulls in the walls). It did move fast, but after waiting through that, my desire to wait for the front was gone. Usually though, the lines start just beyond the Choose Thy Fate sign.

I know I've seen it somewhere on here though that someone's waited from outside before, something like the first weekend IoA was ever open or something. Can't remember who it was, or how long ago, but I know I've seen it on this site somewhere ...

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Saturday, February 28, 2004 7:49 PM
The first time I rode Dueling Dragons was during a soft opening weekend in 1999 and the park was pretty packed. I waited over 2 hours for Spiderman. The wait for Dueling Dragons was about 25 minutes and the line was about half way back into the dungeon. They were running 6 trains.

At the time, I don't think I had ever seen a faster crew operating a coaster. They were really running around and having fun doing it. Now it seems that 4 trains is the norm, at least the last few times I have visited.

-Sean

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Sunday, February 29, 2004 12:00 PM
That's weird, I've been to IOA many times when it's been packed (Christmas Break, Spring Break, NYE, etc) when the line for Dragons was out the castle and onto the drawbridge and the wait was exactly 20mins. The crew was not moving fast at all either!

You sure it took that long with 6 trains, Sean? With an efficient crew, that line never stops moving, just a slow walk to the station.

EDIT: This post was made by Legendary, oops :) *** Edited 2/29/2004 5:01:24 PM UTC by Badnitrus***

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Sunday, February 29, 2004 12:21 PM
During several peak nights of HHN this past year, the line was out to the point where the exit path passes under the queue. I believe the posted wait time was between 60-75 mintutes. There were 3 trains on each track and the line was flying. Those were sold out nights where it was difficult to walk at a steady pace on many of the midways The only other time I've seen 3 trains on each side is during the last 2 weeks of December.
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Sunday, February 29, 2004 11:02 PM

Badnitrus said:


You sure it took that long with 6 trains, Sean? With an efficient crew, that line never stops moving, just a slow walk to the station.


Joe,

I am positive. Perhaps we were further back in line than I thought but I specifically remember the wait being at least 25 minutes and then realizing once we got into the station that they were running with 6 trains. For some reason, I have only seen the coaster running with 6 trains twice.

-Sean

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