Depends on what you like
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***
IOA has an awesome and totally different atmosphere compared to any other park Ive been to.
IoA for me at 30+ years was a very similar experience to what I got at Disney as a 5-year-old...it is THAT good! :)
IOA is a great park but it is small, closes early, and doesnt have a firework show to close out the day.
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.
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.
themeing goes to ioa, no question
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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