Land of Poindexters and Shamu, Nov 20-21.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:10 PM

Post Iaapa, arrived at Uinversal Studios, single rider walk on to RRR. Very rough, but good tunes. 7/10. Rough. Single rider walk on to Mummy. This was the best ride every, smoke, water, all effects going full blast. 9/10. Off to Jaws, 1 boat wait, 9/10. MIB, 10 minute wait, 9/10. Simpsons, 10 min wait, 9/10. Did all this in about 2.5 hours. Even saw a Blues Brothers show, and admired the decorations.

Walked to IOA, and had lunch at Confisco Grille, and the pizza was great. Dr/ Seuss was a walk on, and for the first time in years, it did not stop once. 8/10. Off to Harry Potter land. I was there the previous Thursday on a behind the scenes tour for IAAPA, so this was my first daytime visit. The darkride is incredible, as you ride mythical broomsticks or something. It was a 60 min. wait, but actually 45. It was a pure 60 min from line entry to when you exit the on ride photo, so I give this ride a 10/10. I know nothing about Harry Potter, and don't care to start, but Universal has given 100% to detail. Period.

I was able to wait only 1 train for each of the Dragons, and the q-lines look great. 9/10. I did wait in 2 lines to enter retail shops. I use the 'poindexter' term, as it seemed a switch was thrown, and people of all ages seem to think this Potter is real. People speaking in strange words, well its like the Klingon talk from Trekkers I think. Anyway, its a great addition to the park, and it is making guests happy.

By now its after 4pm and your Premier Pass becomes the Express Pass, so Jurassic Park, Dudley Doo Right, and Popeye's are all walk ons. I haven't ride Popeye's in years, but it is longer and better then the raft ride at Animal Kingdom. I like the newer agressive versions. Water rides, 8.5/10.

Spiderman, a walk on. Know why? It is tired, and needs an overhaul. 7/10. Harry Potter puts it to shame. Hulk had a line, but Express, 2 rides, walk on's, in 10 minutes. Hulk is rough. Needs new wheels. 8/10. Overall Universal visit.....9/10.

Sunday at Sea World. Late arrival, about 12. Off to Shamu. While Tilikum was not present, the trainers did frolic somewhat in the front center. 9/10. Lunch at the Smokehouse, 8/10. Too much food. Then 2 rides on Manta, front seat, walk ons. 10/10. That is one incredible ride. 20 minute wait for front row on Kraken. The crew still sucks, as they did in March. 9/10. The to the Dolphin Show, and the birds got real close, hitting some guests hair, which was funny. 9/10.

Then to my favorites, the Penguin Encounter, and feeding the Sea Lions. 10/10. I still miss Sea World Ohio. Anyway, to the Polar Express, 9/10. Its a great presentation. Also, the Bellagio-stule fountians were going all day to Christmas tunes, and there were dozens of trees in the lake. they were setting up a walk-through village. The whole park is very decorated, and the music was a good touch. They needed Penquins dressed like elves walking the park. So overall, Sea World was a 9.5/10.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 3:26 PM

I need to to learn how to write trip reports like yours. I agree that HRRR and Hulk are rough. But HRRR is worse.....for a 1 year old ride with no OTSR's, I'm befuddled. Spidey, once the star of the show, now pales in comparison to Potter.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 3:32 PM

And that seat divider hump that sits in front of your crotch isn't exactly nice to have either.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 11:48 PM

The front of HRRR, being my first laps post-mod, seemed a little bit jerky to me, but with all the good air it ever had. The back, however, was fairly brutal.

Virtually everything I've ridden pales in comparison to Forbidden Journey. If only I had been able to tolerate more laps - the passholder night thing had walk-on rides for all but the first 15 minutes...of course as always, we had the LONG walk up through the queue.

Mummy having *almost* all effects back (I'll always miss that bug room) is really nice - that ride is still the star attraction at the park.

Did happen to notice that Ice Dragon (Hungarian Horntail) seemed a little smoother than I recall. The elimination of all that incredible theming from the castle...what a shame! The candles in Ice's Lair were a nice Potter touch, but overall, the WWoHP theme isn't really carried over to the pre-existing coasters from Lost Continent....

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, November 30, 2010 11:54 PM
Thursday, December 2, 2010 2:16 AM

Yeah, what did happen to the Spider Vault on the Mummy? I also give HRRR about 3 years before it just implodes. As for the Q's, man, its like a 10-15 minute brisk walk to get to those coasters, and to hop on the 'other', its still a hike.

Our park is assembling its post-iaapa meeting, and all that gets mentioned is that Forbidden Journey is the best dark ride yet, and how outdated Spiderman seems now. I hope they keep it running 100%. I wouldn't want to be dissappointed riding a mythical broomstick.

Thursday, December 2, 2010 9:54 AM

AJ, that "spider vault" worked during the initial testing and up thru Grand Opening as I recall. The next time I went back, about two weeks later, the bug effect was gone, never to return. It was of the single best "effects" I've experienced on any coaster. The screams when the bugs started crawling on people's legs were absolutely delightful.

Offhand, the only comparable disappointment in terms of lost theming IMO...Nessie's missing lair at BGW.

Oh, and I'm not exactly sure how IOA decides when to open the "re-entry door" to cut down on the walk to the *other* Dragon....but it's RARELY unlocked when I'm around. During the event, I managed to convince Jill to use the child swap walk-thru so we at least saved one ten-minute....hike.

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, December 2, 2010 9:55 AM
Thursday, December 2, 2010 8:05 PM

At the IAAPA event, they told us, after some persisting, to also use the swap doors. Leaving Fire, there are about 8 doors you pass on the left before the swap station is found. I wanted to try to open all of them, and see what adventure awaits.

Friday, December 3, 2010 4:58 PM

Forgive my ignorance, but what is/was the "spider vault"? I don't think I got the chance to ride the Mummy until 2005.


Sunday, December 5, 2010 12:16 PM

^It's the room you enter after "savoring riches beyond measure....or suffering the (?) consequences." You leave that spider-vault travelling backwards and drop into the turntable room, pre-launch. IIRC, that's the only time I've experienced an *effect* in a coaster car other than sound (since Premier's drift concept never seemed to be realized in the Italian Job rides)...

Monday, December 6, 2010 2:21 PM

No, I know which room you're referring to. :)

I don't know which "missing effect" you're talking about. How has that room changed?


Monday, December 6, 2010 4:15 PM

When you stopped in that room and the bugs came pouring out...they actually came into the coaster car! OK, not literally, but there were jets of (air, I presume?) that briefly shot out around your ankles from under the seats. To a rider, it clearly felt like the bugs were beginning to crawl up your legs....then the car backed into the next room.

Much like that BRIEF instant on Chiller during the zero-G where you felt like you were leaving the train, it was a fleeting moment of pure joy/terror.

Monday, December 6, 2010 4:52 PM

Oh, interesting. I never knew that had existed at one point.

Though a number of effects seem to come and go, the glass (water) effect seems to work most sporadically, which is a shame because that's one of my favorite effects. I remember when they announced the ride and originally stated the mummies were actually going to jump on the car itself. I still wonder how they imagined that was going to work.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010 3:26 PM

The last time I rode Mums, the animatronic mummy did not emerge from the casket like before. Now granted the robot's plastic fascia was falling was almost laughable how horribly fake it looked. I suspect an overhaul is forthcoming.

Like Nate I didn't experience the spider effect...that would have been amazeballs!!!


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