Only one Florida park

Thursday, February 3, 2005 12:15 PM
If you were taking a trip to Florida and only had time for one (maybe 2) parks, what would you recommend?

Thursday, February 3, 2005 12:20 PM
Park - IOA
Rides (all sorts) - Magic Kingdom
Coasters - BGT

Depends on what you like

Thursday, February 3, 2005 12:23 PM
Uncle Bernie's. Period.

FL is full of good parks. You aren't going to go wrong. Like Ramblin said, it depends on what you like. If you like dragons go to IOA. If you like mice, go to Disney. If you like lions or giraffes, go to BGT. ;)

*** Edited 2/3/2005 5:24:02 PM UTC by Neuski***

Thursday, February 3, 2005 12:25 PM
I'm definitely going for the coasters, but I've heard so much about the atmosphere of IOA.
Thursday, February 3, 2005 12:34 PM
Well, if you are going before SheiKra opens, you might as well wait for another opprotunity to visit the park after it opens, but if it will be open (they are saying May as of now), that would be a big plus.

IOA has an awesome and totally different atmosphere compared to any other park Ive been to.

Thursday, February 3, 2005 12:35 PM
IoA is truly a magical place, no doubt about it...that being said, BGT *is* the coaster capital of FL (even moreso once SheiKra opens). Considering that you can get from one to the other in about 1:15, I'd say MAKE the time to visit both places....

IoA for me at 30+ years was a very similar experience to what I got at Disney as a is THAT good! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2005 12:48 PM
Like Gator said, the Orlando/Tampa parks are so awesome that you should MAKE time to check out more than one. That being said, if I had to choose one, it would be IOA. My favorite park period. Depending upon what time of year your going and how late the parks are open, it is possible to do the majority of the stuff at IOA and USF in one day. You may miss a few things but can get all of the major stuff.
Thursday, February 3, 2005 2:28 PM
Magic Kingdom, no question, you just cant beat Disney Magic.

IOA is a great park but it is small, closes early, and doesnt have a firework show to close out the day.

Thursday, February 3, 2005 3:10 PM
Yeah but when I think coasters, I certainly don't think Magic Kingdom. She did say she was going for the coasters.
Thursday, February 3, 2005 3:16 PM
I haven't been able to ride the coasters at IOA yet but I was most impressed with the coasters at BGT.
Thursday, February 3, 2005 3:20 PM
Thursday, February 3, 2005 3:53 PM
Yeah I personally would say BGT is a very good park, and you might want to give it a whirl.
Thursday, February 3, 2005 9:44 PM
Another one?

I have been really impressed with BGT and it does seem that they are having a hard time competing with the Orlando parks. Their coaster collection is very diverse and complete, and if you like wood, GWAZI is great. I liked that you could see animals between rides, which really seemed to nicely break up the exciting moments. The park was relaxing sometimes and thrilling sometimes.

IOA, is very special as well. Having been employed there for 1 year, I have to say that I never got tired of the place. During my last few weeks there, I was still noticing new details in the theming. I always heard complaints that the park didn't have enough to do; that the park could be "done" in a half day, but that was from people who didn't take their time and soak in the parks enviorment. These were the people who would run from one ride to the next, maybe even (legally) skipping lines, and not stoping to see what would happen if they threw a coin into the fountain...

...And while not a coaster, Spiderman is arguably worth the price of admission alone.

MK is the only park that can suck a little tear out of my right eye. It lacks intense, screaming style thrills, but there is a charm and magic there that is unexplainable.

EPCOT is in a league of it's own, and really isn't the kind of park that I think you are looking for. I would say it is more of a shopping and observing style park, and is incredible for what it is.

MGM, imho, only has Two rides and than you go someplace else. The 600 shows are great, and the park is well themed, but that's all. On the other hand, ToT is one of the best rides I have ever rode.

AK? I liked it for a few hours. It's Three rides (Dinosaur, rapids, and safari. The others don't really count.) are nice, but you can do much better. The few shows are really good also, but there are only a few. NOTAZOO! GOTOBGT!

IOA and/or BGT are what I would do. But I am not you.

Thursday, February 3, 2005 10:06 PM
I vote IOA for all reasons previously mentioned, if you care...
Thursday, February 3, 2005 11:11 PM
I could spend an hour just watching the fountain at IOA heckle kids. In fact, I think I have at least 15 minutes of it on video.
Friday, February 4, 2005 2:08 AM
YOU DEFINITELY HAVE TO VISIT IOA!!! Busch Gardens is ok, but IOA is in a class of its own. I think IOA beats Disney, especially if you want coasters. However, it doesn't have much rides, but the place itself is truly unique. Universal put alotta thought into it, and it succeeded.
Friday, February 4, 2005 10:23 AM
I agree with RamblinWrek.

Best Park - IOA

Best Coasters - BGT

When are you planning to visit? These are differences in how these parks handle capacity on busy days (Summer, Easter break, March break, etc.). Last week, I visited both BGT and IOA. Both were running single train operations early in the day when the crowds were very light. IOA added a second train on Hulk when the line exceeded 30 minutes. I never saw BGT add second trains on Montu, and their line was extending over 40 minutes by the end of the day.

Watch out if you're going on a busy day.

If you are going during busy season, I recommend visiting IOA, Disney-MGM Studios, or Epcot and using FastPass / Universal Express to maximize your day. Why?

IOA: Three great coasters plus a mediocre family coaster. Plus, IMO, Amazing Adventures of Spiderman is better than any of their coasters. Universal Express works like a charm.

Disney-MGM Studios: Rockin Roller Coaster is pretty good. Tower of Terror is one of the best non-coaster rides I've ever experienced. With FastPass, you can experience these repeatedly while visiting the rest of this interesting and not-too-crowded park.

Epcot: No coasters, but Test Track is damn close, especially when it runs along a track at +70 mph. I've also heard great things about the Mission to Mars simulator. Again, FastPass will keep you in the game, while the sheer size of Epcot means that it will likely be the least-crowded of all Orlando themeparks.

not BGT: It definitely has the best coasters, but based on other TRs I've read, BGT doesn't handle crowds very well.

not MK: Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain are classic coasters, and FastPass works, but more people flock to this park than any other theme park in the world.

?? Animal Kingdom: I haven't been since they added their spinning coasters. I have no idea how this affects their crowds.

?? Universal Orlando: Revenge of the Mummy is better than any Disney coaster, but I'm not sure how they handle crowds.

Friday, February 4, 2005 11:46 AM
If you are going for the coasters...sheikra opened-bgt, shreikra still in construction-bgt. I would rather ride sheikra once than ride all of islands of adventure's coasters.

themeing goes to ioa, no question

Friday, February 4, 2005 12:06 PM
Go BGT for coasters, IOA for the general thrills, and Disney Studios for thrill & non-thrill rides.
Friday, February 4, 2005 12:57 PM
I am planning to visit March 9-12 (wed-sat). But we'll only have 2 full days there (thurs & fri). We're also planning on hitting a beach too, so we're trying to see what we can squeeze in.

All of these opinions have been SO helpful, I think we'll definitely make the time to hit both IOA and BGT.


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