We quickly found a space to park and headed down City Walk. Tracy had got a pretty good deal online as far as tickets go so he had to go to Guest Relations to pick them up. I flashed my annual pass at the gate and was soon inside.
Usually, someone from Ohio is amazed at the themeing of Point of Entry because Ohio has never seen themeing like this before (this will change in April). However, Tracy was less than impressed with what he saw. He said to me, "It doesn't matter how good something looks, but rather how well something works that counts for him." To be honest, I do agree with him there, but IOA is known to provide a LOT of eye candy, AND awesome rides. Our first stop....
---The Incredible Hulk---
This is the coaster that made me realize that rating coasters means very little to me. On my first ride on this back in 1999, I came off so blown away, that I decided to stop doing a top ten list and rather enjoy coasters for what they have to offer, instead of for what they don't. Since then, I have increased the pleasure of riding coasters by a LOT!
Since there was almost no one in the park, we decided to wait the one train wait for a front seat ride. What can I say about Hulk that hasn't been said before? I find the launch to be among the best out there. Yea, it's short, and not as fast or powerfull as some of the newer blasts, but for some reason, it feels so right. I can't get shot out of that tunnel without a smile on my face.
The rest of the ride is a non-stop journey through a very unique course. Some say the Hulk doesn't have intensity. I beg to differ. I find it to be incredibly intense, and very re-rideable. Just one ride was enough to convince Tracy how cool this ride is. We then went for a back seat ride and he liked it even more. The launch does feel stronger in the back rows. Well, at least to me it does.
As we were getting off the ride, we ran into Bob Velbeck and Deb Oliver. Both are good friends from the Cleveland area. We waited until they got off the ride before riding Hulk again. We then moved onto one of the best non-coaster attractions out there, IMO.
There simply is nothing else like it out there. Being a HUGE fan of 3-D movies is probably a big factor in why I like this so much. It is SO immersive. We gave this one two rides in a row because there was no line. Tracy really got a kick out of the whole ending sequence as I still do. We then decided to work our way around the park and take advantage of the non-exsistant lines.
--- Dr. Doom's Fearfall---
I don't know what the heck the park did to this ride in the last 4 months, but ever since my ride on it in November, it continues to amaze me. Easily one of the best Space Shot's I have ridden. They run this baby at full power now and it shows. We got two rides on this in 5 minutes!
---Jurrasic Park River Adventure---
I told Tracy he wouldn't get soaked on this ride, but rather a mild mist. He didn't want to get soaked so he trusted me. I have ridden this probably 10 times now and never gotten soaked. Some of the effects were not working while we were riding, but the one effect that usually never works, was. I am talking about the 'Raptor Box' This actually got Tracy pretty good and he felt like a fool for letting it trick him. As far as the splash down goes, we got drenched. We were pretty much soaked. This surprised me because of it being so chilly out.
--- Flying Unicorn---
Having the same layout as Woodstock Express at CP, you would think they would feel the same. For some reason, I find FU to be feel a lot different. It feels faster. The themeing is pretty well as is the two train operation.
I love the line for this ride. It is almost a attraction in itself. Tracy on the other hand was not that impressed with all the walking we did before we rode.
The park was only running one train, on the Fire side. The Ice side was closed. I had never ridden this coaster with just one side running so I wondered how it would feel. With only one side running, it did take away part of the experience for me. I am so used to seeing those awesome duels. Not having them be apart of the ride made it feel like a big part of the ride was missing. Almost like a element was removed or something.
Luckily, they opened up Ice soon after so we got a front seat ride. We also had the most perfect duel. The head on before the vertical loops is my favorite part of the ride. It is done so awesome that it quickly builds up anticipation when you see that other train heading towards you fast. Great ride... or as I call them... rides. =:^)
--- Posiedon's Fury---
Without giving too much away, I thought Tracy would be more than impressed with the ending, but he was more inpressed with the 'middle' section than anything. While I think the new version of this attraction is very well done, I think the old ending was better executed. I just think it worked better the old way. There are a couple of things you can notice during the new ending that kind of give things away, but it is still a great attraction.
As we exited the attraction, it began to pour. We were still wet from the River Adventure so we didnt' mind at all. Also, if the rain keeps crowds away, I am all for it as long as things are running. We made our way through Zeuss's Landing.
---Cat In The Hat---
This is a very fun dark ride. The spinning is still great despite being tamed early on. Lots of color and neat effects. We got a kick out of the rainy theme in the station considering it was pouring outside.
We then left Bob and Deb. They had a reservation at the Hard Rock Cafe. Tracy and I left IOA and went over to the Nascar Cafe. Tracy is a HUGE Nascar fan. I am not. I did agree to eat there though. He was kind of disappointed in the lack of things to look out, but they did have good food. Anyplace that offers veggie burgers is good in my book. =:^)
After eating, we walked over to Universal Studios to do as much as we could before they closed in a few hours. Once again, it was raining pretty heavy out but that didn't stop us from having fun. Once in, we made our way to...
Easily one of the best 3-D movies I have seen. The added on stage action adds to the excitement. The final 'trick' didn't happen though so that a bit of a bummer.
--- Back To The Future---
Part of the line for this ride is outside. It just so happens that this part of the line is where we were standing when it started to pour down BIG TIME. And it was cold. Luckily, we were only outside for about 5 minutes.
I am not the largest fans of motion simulator rides because they rarely provide a sense of motion that feels real. BTTF does a lot better than a lot I have ridden, but if you are riding in the back row, be prepared to be jolted violently. My head kept on hitting the seat back so I had to quickly figure out a way to support myself so it wouldn't happen.
Another reason I suggested to ride it was to check out the pre-show. I know someone that is in it, and hadn't seen the pre-show since I met her. Sure enough, she is in the pre-show (and the sequel of the movie) so I got a laugh at that.
--- Men In Black---
This one is a tricky one to descrive. I could tell you it's a interactive dark ride, but it is much more. First off, I find it difficult to think of it as just a dark ride when I am shooting at things, and I find it difficult to think of it as a shooting gallery on a track, when there is a dark ride around it. It is a great ride and a ride that requires many re-rides to learn how to get big points.
We met up with Bob and Deb again and rode together quite a few times. I have been taught some tricks to get a higher score and they all worked. Each time I rode it, I had a higher score than last time. We must have ridden this close to 10 times in about a hour. It had hardly any wait.
After leaving MIB, we were feeling a bit tired so we decided to make our way back to the front of the park before doing...
I am a tornado fanatic. If I wasn't into this whole coaster thing, I think I would chase storms as many times as possible. It is such a rush being so close to a large storm. Believe it or not but my favorite part of Twister is the out side pre show where raw footage of twisters are being shown. It's all good footage.
The actual Twister show was done just as well as it was the last time I saw it. Some people don't like the show, but I do. There are some cheesy things happening during it, but the ending still freaks people out.
After our Twister show, we left Bob and Deb once again, and headed back to the hotel for a much needed nap. We didn't mean to sleep much, but 5 hours later we woke up and realized it was 10:00pm. We went to a Denny's for some grub, then went back to the hotel and fell asleep again. By this time, it had stopped raining. Tomorrrow we had another trip to do so the sleep was a nice welcome.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Thanks for reading,
I didn't get my fill down there at the 4-hour IAAPA buy-out, so I must make it back down there soon. IOA really is one of a kind!
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.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"
(Eds Note...well, really it's mine, Bill's....must work on paragrpahs and sentence construction)...
Florida needs an Intamin and/or CCI soon...PLEASE!
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
*** This post was edited by rollergator on 2/14/2002. ***
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