USF and IOA 3/29/05

Associated parks:

Well, I finally talked my parents into going to Universal for one day during our trip to Disney from 3/25-4/3. We stayed on Disney property at the Wilderness Lodge, which was very nice. You probably don’t care about my Disney vacation part though, so I’ll get to it.

On Tuesday, the 28th I got up around 7 am. I informed the rest of my family that I wanted to leave the hotel around 7:30 so we could get to the park 45 minutes early. Of course my sister took forever getting ready, and we weren’t on our way until 8:15. We arrived at the park around 8:50 and parked in the preferred parking garage. I had decided earlier that we should go to IOA first, being newer and usually more crowded.

We didn’t actually get in the park until 9:15, and our first ride was Hulk. It had a 25 minute wait, which we decided wasn’t too bad. My dad, sister, and I rode; my mom chose to sit this one out. The ride itself was awesome. The launch was more powerful than I thought it would be, and the zero g roll really made me come out of my seat. The beginning of the ride is great, everything happens so fast. The last part of the ride on the other hand is a little boring. Overall though, it was the second best coaster I’ve ridden, behind Millennium Force. I’ll give it a 9/10.

We continued clockwise around the park and up next was Spiderman. The whole family rode this, the wait was 20 minutes. This ride was set up very well with the whole Daily Bugle thing. Spiderman totally kicked ass! I was so impressed with the different elements the ride used. The fire, the water, the 3D effects, and the movement of the care all combined into a seamless ride. This was the best ride in the park-10/10.

We passed through Toon Lagoon and decided to stay dry for the time being, so we continued on to Jurassic Park. The wait for the River Adventure was only 10 minutes, so we got on. I barely got my mom to go on it because she didn’t want to get wet. So I assured her that she wouldn’t. This ride was pretty impressive; it felt like you were in the movie. I kind of expected more dinosaurs and a longer ride, but the drop more than made up for it. It was funny because my mom screamed her head off at the drop, I guess she was expecting Splash Mountain. JP-8/10

We exited Jurassic Park and went on to the Lost Continent. The theming in this area is great. Our next ride was Dueling Dragons. My mom sat this one out, so the rest of us headed off to the mile-long queue. The queue is very impressive with the theming, but damn, how long do you need to make it? I was just glad we didn’t have that long of a wait that stretched through the whole caste. We finally got to the part where you had to choose which one you wanted to get on. We were planning to ride both sides, so we chose Ice. We rode in the fourth row. The ride itself was pretty good, but forceless from the middle. It was a little slow, but the best part was the cobra roll right against the wall of the castle. Since we rode in the middle the near-miss element didn’t really affect us. Ice-8/10

My dad was a little dizzy after riding so he decided to let me and my sister ride Fire. Luckily the wait was only ten minutes and the reentry gate was open. My sister and I waited for the front row, and let me tell you, it was well worth it! This ride was a lot faster and the first Immelman really pulled you down into your seat. My favorite part however, was the pop of air you get while Ice is doing a corkscrew under you. Overall, I think Fire is much better than Ice. Fire-9/10.

My mom and dad had gone to CityWalk to get a table at NBA City while my sister and I rode Fire. We finally got over there and they had a table and our drinks ordered. I got a bacon cheeseburger, which was very good. This was a great place to eat, and the games were fun to play too.

So after we were refueled, we started the second leg of our journey, Universal Studios. When you first walk into the park, you are not all that impressed with your surroundings. The buildings just look like rundown warehouses. We walked straight to Mummy only to find out that it had an hour wait. We decided to hold that off and we went on Twister. The wait was only 15 minutes. This ride was set up pretty well, and I liked the show. The special effects were sort of impressive, but the only bad thing was that I could see the string that was holding the cow. That kind of took away from the show. Anyways, we stood in the back row, and we got freaking soaked. This didn’t make my mom too happy, and she reported that she hated this ride. I’ll give this a 7/10.

We walked over to Mummy and found that the wait time had shrunk to 30 minutes. We first had to get a locker so my mom could do away with her WALT DISNEY WORLD BAG. I talked my mom into riding this by saying if she could do Space Mountain, she could do this. See, with her you just have to compare everything with Disney rides. It worked, and all four of us entered the queue. Probably the funniest part of the day was when we were walking past the main entrance. One of those mummy guys on stilts was standing quietly, not making any movements. I guess my sister didn’t see him, because he jumped out and she nearly peed in her pants. I had never laughed so hard in my life. We got into the part of the queue where the ceilings are low and the lights flicker. A lady came on over the loudspeaker and said that the ride would be down for an extended period of time. This made everybody mad, and most of the people in line left the ride. My mom was among them, because she was starting to feel claustrophobic. The rest of us were patient and gutted it out until 20 minutes later the ride was up again. I believe they were having trouble with the lab bars, because we kept hearing them go up and down during the downtime.

Anyways, we finally got on the ride and we were off. The first part of the ride is simply a dark ride, but then the real fun happens. I love the coaster part, and the fake ending got me the first time. It’s pretty cool how in the coaster part it still feels like the mummy is chasing you. Overall, this is a great ride, but the dark ride part of it does not measure up to Disney dark rides. I’ll give it a 9.5.

After that we realized that they hadn’t been letting people in during the downtime, so the wait was 10 minutes. My mom agreed to go on it, and the second ride was just as good. She actually liked it, maybe I can turn her into a coaster nut after all. So that was pretty good getting 2 rides in for the Mummy in an hour.

We continued in our normal clockwise route around the park. We saw Jaws with a wait of an hour. We waited that long because my dad really wanted to ride. The line actually moved pretty fast, the only problem was that there were a ton of people waiting. Overall this was a good ride; it was fun because you didn’t know where Jaws was going to pop up if it was your first time. I’ll give this a 8/10.

We walked past MIB and found that the wait was 2 hours, so we kept walking. We walked past Back to the Future and found the wait to also be long. So we finally settled on E.T. Let me tell you, this ride really surprised me. I was just expecting a slow, outdated and boring ride. But it actually wasn’t. The theming is amazing, with the whole Northwest setting in the forest. The ride was faster than expected, and my mom really liked the part where you fly over the city. It was also neat how ET said your ride at the end. ET-7.5/10

We were starting to come close to our dinner reservation, so we walked quickly to T2. A show was scheduled to start in two minutes, so we were in luck. This show is probably my favorite 3D ride. It is amazing how they combine live action and 3D. I’ll give this a 10/10.

Our last stop at Universal was Shrek 4D. My mom had heard that you couldn’t miss this, so we all agreed to ride. The wait was 30 minutes but it went fast with the TV monitors in line playing highlights from the movies. This show was hilarious, on par with the movies. I really like how your seat bounced up and down when Shrek was riding the horse. Shrek-9/10.

It was nearing 8:30 so we excited the park and headed back over to CityWalk. We had reservations to Margaritaville and we got right in. The food was great there as well as the atmosphere.

It was 10:00 by the time we left and everybody was starting to get tired. I wanted to re-ride Hulk, and my mom and sister wanted to walk through the Lucy Tribute. We split up and went our separate ways. My dad and I waited an hour for the front seat on Hulk. It was well worth it! This was probably my best coaster experience other than riding Millennium Force at night. When we got off my mom and sister were waiting, and the park was shutting down.

As we walked to the parking garage, I had mixed feelings. I felt good that we could fit in two parks into one day. I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t ride MIB, Back to the Future, and re-ride Dueling Dragons. But overall it was a great day. The rest of my family inevitably compared it to Disney and decided it did not stack up. My dad however said he liked it and would consider coming back.

So thanks for reading my LONG Trip Report and I hope you enjoyed it. Please give me feedback concerning my TR and how I can improve future ones

Thank you baller24 for this trip report. A fun read! It sounds like you have a great family! I have to agree with your rating on Spiderman. It's the best ride in the Universal complex for me, by far. However, I have not been there since Mummy opened so take that in context.

I agree with you on Fire as well; much better than Ice in my opinion. The first time I rode it I was VERY surprised by the pop of air on the camel hump over Ice's zero-g roll. The queue is completely amazing. Like you said, I couldn't imagine waiting in there for a long time though. It has been stuffy in there everytime I have walked through it. Luckily on my trips to IOA the wait for DD was short each time I rode.

If you have the time I'd love to hear about your Disney experiences as I love Disney! Thanks again for this report. *** Edited 4/13/2005 2:02:02 AM UTC by OHIcOaster***

Jeff's avatar
Back to The Future is horrible. You didn't miss anything. Have someone beat you up, it probably feels about the same.

I can't believe you skipped Ripsaw Falls! Greatest flume ever made. Wow did we get hosed last time we rode it, thanks to the water canons under the bridge. Bastard tourists!

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

eightdotthree's avatar
Man, when we were there in August the waits were all 10 minutes or less. Rides like MIB were walk ons once you got through the pre show! We didnt even need our fast passes.

Glad you got to go. Two parks in a day is tough, even with no waits it took us three days to get through both parks enough to make us happy.

Man...this is bringing back all these memories. :)

Theming sure does make up for the lack of rides at Universal Studios. IOA is my 2nd favorite park because I felt like I left Earth when I's just a complete fantasy world. And he's right, you missed the best water ride ever, Dudley's Ripsaw Falls. Spiderman is amazing, you're right there.

Lastly, great TR!

There's nothing like a woodie...

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