Universal Studios and IOA 3 days 6/10/02-6/12/02

Associated parks:
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Friday, June 28, 2002 9:36 AM

First off, im new here, and Id just like to note that this is my first trip report ever. Not that im new to amusement parks, by any means. I have been to CP, Kennywood, PKI SFGAM, SFSTL, Bush Gardens Williamsburg, and the two universal parks I am about to write about, just to name a few. I hope to get to Kennywood, and if im very lucky, also PKI by the end of the year, and hopefully post trip reports for those too. But that is later, this is now. Enjoy.

I stayed in the Clarion Hotel Universal which is like a mile from the parks. Really nice hotel, and really cheap(considering the location) Really nice clean outdoor pool, although the hot tubs werent very hot. Otherwise, I loved the hotel, and I loved the view from my 7th story room. I would Recommend it to anyone. (note that I have never been to either park before)

My first day was at Universal Studios (monday, June 10th). I enjoyed most of the rides...except twister. I just thought the movies they made you stand there and watch(when your in no mood to stand) were kind of boring. And the ride (if you want to call it that)I didnt think was that great, and I didnt think the special effects were anything special. I was also not impressed by Kongfrontation, although I have no good reasons as to why. Jaws was better than I expected actually, although I wasnt expecting to get as wet as I did. Yes I sat on the far left. ET was kind of funny...I laughed at one time when ET perked his head up to clear the path or something, it sounded like he said DIE. (maybe he did)Earthquake was pretty cool, I wasnt expecting the water. Back to the future was a neat simulator, although it shows signs of age. I liked the detial in the cars though. Terminator 2 3D was very impressive. The combination of live action and 3d was really neat, and the smoke was neat too. My favorite ride there was by far Men In Black Alien Attack. First off, the overall feel is incredible...you actually feel like you have stepped into MIB headquaters, complete with elevator, talking aliens drinking coffee, and the main control room. You are briefed on how to work your gun and all that shiznat, and then your there. They seat you in cars with 2 rows of 3 seats each. You have a lazer gun in a holster in front of you, and the ride begins...directly in front of your seat, there is a digital display showing your score...the ride starts out like your on just a training mission, but aliens are on the streets, so soon your in a real mission, blasting away and those nasty aliens. What makes this ride great is riding it again and again to try to beat your previous score. The only thing that was a little strange was that you had to shoot certian parts of the alien, like the eyes, stomach, or tenticales. But once you figure it out, its all good. My high was on my second ride, with a score of 233,000(for those of you who have ridden it,) I rode it a total of 6 times, and I could never beat that score. I give this ride a 9.4 out of 10.

My next day was at Islands of Adventure(right next to universal, if you didnt know) This park is newer and better. The theming is great, and so are most of the rides. 3 rides really stand out here. They are Spiderman, Incredible Hulk rollercoaster, and Dueling Dragons rollercoasters.

Before I talk about the big 3, I will discuss the other rides and attractions. Dudley Do-Rights rip saw falls was a neat log ride. Possibly better than splash mountain. The parts where the train hit a track like a rollercoaster was very neat I thought. 7.5 out of 10. I loved the Jurassic park area, it was cool how the familar theme swells as you go through the giant gate. The Jurassic park discovery center was a neat area, although I couldnt figure why when I looked through the dinosaurs views all I saw was lava. I played the dino trivia game, and beat 2 10 year olds, hurrah for me. Also a great view from the back of the building. As for the Jurassic park river adventure, I was slightly dissapointed. It wasnt a bad ride, I guess I was just expecting amazing things from the animatronics, and I didnt see it. Still an enjoyable ride(but why do I always sit on the left side of these rides, I will never learn...I got soaked...) 7.0 out of 10. The Lost Continent area was my favorite part of the park. I just loved the entire atmosphere. And the fountain OWNZ YOUR @ss! I loved that thing. Absolutely halirous. For those of you who dont know, this Is a fountain that sits in front of one of the entrances to a show. But this aint no ordinary fountain. This fountain actually talks to guests. It can really hear you, and see you. Somebody controls it, I would assume, there is no other way. It can squirt water in several derections at several different places. It tells jokes, talks to people, and then un-expectedly squirts them with water. It also does the best YMCA I have ever seen. Made me wonder how it sees, im assuming through that little hole on its head. And it does a mean YMCA. But why did its voice change? It was deep and throaty, then it was high and squeaky...oh well. I want the job of controlling it. Flying Unicorn was pretty weak in my opinion, but Im sure a 6 year old would dig it. 4.5 out of 10. Posidens Fury was alright, it had some neat effects I hadnt see before. Although I would've liked to sit down, after waiting prolly close to 40 minutes in line. 5.5 out of 10. Now, for the real stuff...

Spiderman is the most expensive ride ever built(over 200 million), and **** it shows. Everything about this ride is incredible, from the line, to the ride itself. Its 3d, its a motions simulatar, its on a track, it combines CG with real elements, and its incredible. You get your 3d glasses(they need new glasses, I acidentally picked up one with a gigantic gash in it, and I could hardly see out of my right eye, luckly it didnt really matter, since it was my 3rd ride.) and your put into cars made by toyota(each costing more that a lambrogini) with three rows of 4 people in each row. And your off on an adventure with spiderman. It starts a little slow, but quickly picks up. The trains you ride in can spin, rock, shake, use water and heat effects, all while moving on a track. The thing that wowed me the most was how convincing it all was. I had to peek over my glasses at times to tell if what I was seeing was CG, or an elaborate backdrop tilted on its side... It perfectly combines real elements with 3D video to create an amazing illusion of flying through the streets with spiderman fighting bad guys. The greatest non rollercoaster ride EVER BUILT. Simple as that. 9.8 out of 10. (prolly would have gotten perfect if it wasnt for the crappy 3d glasses.)

Incredible Hulk rollercoaster is a great ride, and was recently rated No. 1 steel coaster in america. While I think I have been on better rollercoasters, this one is very good. What makes it stand out is the launch. It launches you from 0 to 40 mph in 2 seconds flat and shoots you out at over 100ft and then does a zero G roll and rockets through 6 more inversions. Great speed throughout. Very intense. I would not have it as my no. 1 coaster, but it has to be in the top 3 I would say...9.4 out of 10.

Dueling dragons are 2 unique coasters. One is called Fire and is Red, while the other is called ice and is blue. They are inverted. But what makes them so great is that they are the first of their kind to duel. That means they both run at the same time, and they have several moments where they come very close to touching each other. (12 in clearence) It makes for a fun experience. The two coasters arent exactly the same just opposite, oh no. They are different with different elements in each. One other thing that I love about this ride is the incredibly long line. What I mean is, you walk so far just to get to the ride. They say its a 10 minute wait, but it takes almost that long just to walk through the line to get to the ride platform itself. You start by walking through an outside courtyard type area, but soon you are in a castle dungon type thing, winding through dark paths with things like Old books, skulls, bones, and scary music. It was very fun just walking through all this. I liked Fire much more than Ice, but a lot of people dont agree with that. I liked the bunny hop while ice spirals below...that was really neat. I also liked the incredibly low to the ground corckscrew at the end. And ****, Fire pulls some big time G's at one point.

One other thing Id like to say, I cant see why coasterbuzz voters voted IOA as best food. I could not see anything better about their food over all the other parks ive been to. although I didnt eat at that mythos palce... (unless they included citywalk, heh heh.) I had a real fun time on my third day just re-riding stuff and hanging around the park and meeting a few nice people. Like the girl on hulk, lol.

Me: Hi, you ever been on this before?
Girl: no not me
Girl: does this shoot you out?
Me: no, takes you up nice and easy
Me as the train starts slowly ascending: see what did I tell you.
Girl: oh this isnt baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

*** This post was edited by stljason1 on 6/28/2002. ***

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Friday, June 28, 2002 9:53 AM
The dueling dragons clearence is not 12 feet, its 12 inches. Were the lines bad? I've never had to wait in a line there cause all 14 times I've been there, I've stayed in Portofino, or Hardrock. I pretty much agree with you on your raitings, except for Dudley, I would give it like a 9.2, and I would give Spidey a perfect score, even though it has finally gotten dull (took about 1,000 ride for me to do that!)

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Top 10:
10)MF 9)Medusa 8)Raptor 7)DD Fire 6)S:RoS 5)Boulder Dash 4)Hulk
3)Beast 2)Nitro
1)Magnum

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Friday, June 28, 2002 10:15 AM

The lines on certian rides got bad later on in the day, especially Spiderman. But I got there at opening every day, and from opening to prolly 11 am everything has a short line. Dueling Dragons NEVER had a long line. And then the lines died down later in the day, although I never did stay at the park past 6 PM.(it closed at 7, which made me mad, I wanted dueling dragons night ride)!

and BTW, I meant to say 12 inches...

*** This post was edited by stljason1 on 6/28/2002. ***

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Friday, June 28, 2002 2:02 PM
It's too bad you didn't get dueling dragons at night. The front of ice at night rules.

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This contest can not be decided by our knowledge of the force but by our skills with a lightsaber.
Count dooku episode II

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