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SoCalCoasters Visits Orlando

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Hello everyone, SoCal here.


I'm currently right in the middle of my first trip to the Orlando. I thought I'd post my reactions here while they were fresh in my mind.


This week I'm visiting IOA/USF, BGT and SWO.


I arrived on Sunday, and I'm staying at the Hard Rock Hotel.


Staying on site at HRH was a great move, as we got early one hour access to the Wizarding World, which was a huge plus. Also the Hard Rock Hotel is the closest hotel to the parks, and is only a good 5 minute walk away.


Yesterday, Monday, I visited Islands Of Adventure first, then Universal Studios Florida.


I arrived for the early access, which began at eight, at 7:30.


The park directors escorted the crowds back to the Wizarding World.


Atrraction Reviews:


Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey


Um.... Holy crap! The overall ride was amazing, with some of the most amazing in house special effects I've ever seen on a ride. The dragon in particular. The Whomping Willow had to be the biggest OH @#$% moments of the ride, and the dementors were very well done.


I did have a few negative points about the ride however...The ride transitions were, in my opinion, very poor. Particularly near the begining into the first screen. You could clearly see the other ride vehicle and the ackstage area without even meaning to. Also, the movements seemed a bit on the jerky side, but that wasn't that big of a deal.


Overall, the entire ride was incredibly well put together, and used some amazing special effects.




Jurassic Park


Having ridden the USH version of this ride, I was expecting a clone, with little to no change. I was surprised at how much the two rides differed from one another. I wasn't sitting in the front row, as the wall of water that hit the riders in row one was the cheepest shot I've ever seen on a water ride. Several of the animatronics were not running, but overall it was great.


They didn't let me on the Petradon Flyers, even though I went first thing...


The first day I skipped the wet rides, so I'll get to those later.


The Amazing Adventures Of Spiderman


My favorite ride of the trip so far! I liked it even more than Forbidden Journey. The ride vehicles were comfy, the movements were smooth and quick. Also, the ride had excellent transitions, which gives it the edge over Journey. The screens blended so well with the in house effects, it was almost unreal! Particularly when the Hobgoblin threw the exploding pumpkin at the wall and caused then fire ball.




Incredible Hulk


I need to get out of row three.... Both times I rode Hulk I got row three and had really rough rides.... REALLY bad headbanging as well....Honestly, it's my second least favorite B&M coaster. The ride was fine, until the exit of the Cobra Roll. I'm going to try again, and see if I can get a different row.


(insert bad score)/10 .... Not sure where to place it...


Posideon's Fury


Definitely and interesting attraction, using both actors and screens. It also has my new favorite line from Universal. As the main character was shining the special flashlight through the first chamber, he started flipping it all over the place and said: God it's like a Pink Floyd Concert in here!" It was really funny. The finale was a bit....unwhelming... I heard the show used to be different, bettter? If so, could someone tell me what they changed?




I have to go now, but I'll add more pictures and reviews later.

Edited by SoCalCoasters
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I need to get out of row three.... Both times I rode Hulk I got row three and had really rough rides.... REALLY bad headbanging as well....Honestly, it's my second least favorite B&M coaster. The ride was fine, until the exit of the Cobra Roll. I'm going to try again, and see if I can get a different row.

Back row - hand right side. Will probably still be a bit rough, but it's a better ride back there....


And remember....


Front row of ICE...back row of FIRE. Don't screw that one up!

Edited by robbalvey
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I wish I knew that back in April. Incredible Hulk is the only B&M to ever give me a headache. It was really rough to me after that first loop.


It was kind of disappointing to me. Still a great ride, just not quite what I had hoped it would be.

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I've only done Hulk in the front row (I can only do front row on pretty much any coaster... if I sit anywhere else on I'll get a migraine like no one's business, though I can do 2nd row on Gwazi ok for now) and it's been fine in the front for me.


When are you going to be at Busch Gardens? I'll be there on Saturday for the morning, then I have to go to Orlando for the rest of the day.

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Glad you had a nice first day, sorry to hear you keep getting crap rides on Hulk. I never really tend to have a problem with it, but there have been one or two times when I decided once was enough for the day. A lot like how Kumba acts really. The backseat is the best place on Hulk, without a doubt. When we hang out tomorrow I'll teach you the way to properly request a row from a ride op so you can experience it right .


Also, as Robb said, Ice in the front, Fire in the back. Couldn't agree more with those two statements. Fire is better than Ice by the way, just saying...


Sorry, correction, Chinese Fireball is better than the wrongly colored Hungarian Horntail, stupid Potter retheme.

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And remember....


Front row of ICE...back row of FIRE. Don't screw that one up!


I screwed that one up.


I rode the front of FIRE and the back of ICE. Now I need to go all the way back to Florida so I can do it right!

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Thanks for the feedback! I'll post little tidbits, but since I'm actually still on my trip, they'll be a little short.


So for now I'll post some food reviews!




Amazing. IS theme park food allowed to be this freaking epic??? I had the chicken sandwhich....with fresh tomates crisp lettuce andn applewood smokeed bacon... and the theming was top notch,


Also the bread was some of the best I've ever had.


Hard Rock Cafe (Citywalk)


Probably had the best atmosphere of any restruant I've been to so far! I loved how they played classic rock music videos all around you! When Thriller cames, the entire place started cheering, and claping in beat.


The food was outstanding. I had the "Twisted Mac Chicken and Cheese" which was one of the best mac & cheese spin offs I've ever had.


Palms (Hard Rock Hotel)


The food was okay. The price was insane. Not worth going to. Almost $150 for two people with on salad and two main courses...


Pastamore (Pastamore)


A decent pasta place, good food with, for once, a reasonable price tag.



Those are all the places I've been to so far.


I need to get out of row three.... Both times I rode Hulk I got row three and had really rough rides.... REALLY bad headbanging as well....Honestly, it's my second least favorite B&M coaster. The ride was fine, until the exit of the Cobra Roll. I'm going to try again, and see if I can get a different row.

Back row - hand right side. Will probably still be a bit rough, but it's a better ride back there....


And remember....


Front row of ICE...back row of FIRE. Don't screw that one up!


Funny you say that, as that's exactly what I did.


I may be one of the few, but I liked Ice (in the front) more than Fire (in the back)


Overall, both Dragons were very impressive B&Ms, and I hope I can get one more front seat ride one Ice today.


I'm actually meeting a fellow TPR member at the parks today, and I can't wait.

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My FL trip ended today


I'll post CRAPLOADS of photos soon, and ride reviews.



Whoever said Cheetah Hunt was slow is lying, the windcatcher tower may meander, but the rest was fast paced!


Whoever said new B&Ms are forceless obviously hasn't ridden Manta, the most intense flyer in exsistence. (it craps all over Tatsu)


Whoever said Rockit was forceless must have forgotten to ride it, as it has ejector air and high Gs.

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Well, it's time for some pictures of my trip!


Backside of the Hard Rock Hotel. It was a short five minute walk to the park, which was very nice!


Rockit as we approached the entrance....


I spy an extra large Universal Globe!


I still prefer Hollywood's entrance, mainly for it's color...though this one has grown on me a bit...


Me and the giant Universal Globe


As we were walking over to IOA for the early morning WWOHP access for hotel guests, Rockit was doing some test runs


Orlando Citywalk was awesome


the IOA Lighthouse!


Buckbeak's Flight...I don;t have too many pics of WWOHP from the first day, I was a bit too engrossed with the environment....


Decent Vekoma Jr. the magnetic breaks were much smoother than Vekoma's traditional pinch brakes.


The Goblet of Fire from the Dragon Challenge Queue...


Hulk from Lost Continent


Great Skyline!


SHOOOM goes the Hulk train


Me in front of Hulk


The sign was really cool looking


Entrance, with a train roaring overhead


They really pumped this trench with mist


The ride looked good in the early morning sun


Smoothest element on the coaster. The launch was butter smooth too!


The ride was pretty big, but actually slightly smaller than I had excepted...


The loop was a bit rough tin the middle rows


Rockit was rockin'


Zooming in a bit...


These crowds were light when compared to IOA!


These guys were playig really good. I always liked how Universal had lots of live entertainment


My new #1 coaster


Ready to Rockit?


The non-inverting loop had some great airtime at the top! It totally surprised me!


The trains were great too!


Very photogenic coaster. It amazes me how shoehorned this ride is! it takes up such a narrow plot of land!


Great location


Me and Rockit


The tower graphic was looking good, and tightly secured ;)


A train of happy riders flies past


Looking up...




Looking up again


Another train flying past


Time to shoot things!




Observation deck


Now to experiement with the zoom on my new camera!


That tower...


non invering loop is non inverting


Airtime experiened in 3...2...1...


Diving into the building Facade


Zooming in reeeeaaallllyyy close


Still my favorite element, besides the pretzel loop


Maurer Trains = Sexy


Treble Celft manuever had some serious forces to it!


Two block sections = two great airtime pops


SHowing off how far away I was


The New York Area was really nice. The restraunts took up 2-3 actually shop facades!


Prepare to treble!


Side view


Rockit Recactions...are you getting tired of Rockit photros? Sorry, still a few more :)


Some of the building facades


Mummy time! I liked the ride, but prefer the Hollywood version.


Mummy's plaza


Ripin', ridin' and rockin'


Looking towards the loop


The many reactions to Rockit


Almost no supports!


Love those trains


Twister was a neat show, but it was one of those, you've seen it, now you never have to see it again type of attractions


Twister's entrance


And I'll end my first update with me and a classic car! Much more coming soon! Thanks for reading!

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I wish I'd known you were here, I'd have happily met up with you and given you some pretty good tips on where to ride, and just general knowledge of the park most of the public doesn't know (just interesting little facts I've learned working there.)


Glad to hear you've enjoyed it, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who places Rockit at #1!


- Oreo

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More FL pics!


Some Fast Five Cars chilling in Universal Studios


These cars were in the movie? I haven't seen it so I wouldn't know...


ET had a cool ride system, but overall, it felt kinda outdated compared to everything else around...


The kiddie coaster.... even this was well themed...


Me and a giant prop plane


Fear Fall. Probably the best themed S&S tower.


It surprised me that the two towers were not connected, unlike all other S&S Towers...


Hulk roaring over Marvel Island


Very photogenic, and with a fresh coat of paint!


The unconnected tower toppers


Good ol' saftey net ruining my shot


Shot from the entrance plaza


Nice little touch




Great looking structure


More plaza shots




I'm sure no one else has those last two shots ;)


Should they start calling it riverwalk?


Hard Rock Cafe was amazing! Great food great service, and an amazing time!


Entire building


More of Riverwalk


The bar at the center of the Hard Rock Cafe, with a giant full size pink 1950's car on top


Beetles signed photograph


Closer shot of the rotating car


Universal Globe


Skyline Shot


Me in the front row on Ice


They're off!


The cobra roll was really fun


The loops are really fun


Although I found this crossover to be the most iconic, or the barrel roll airtime hillcrossover...you know what, all three are awesome and let's leave it at that.


Climbing the lift




They get so close!


Rounding out


It's the castle!


A little off time


Really great ride to photograph


I love this view...you know what would make it even better? Less people!


Hogwarts Express!


Me and the conductor! He was really funny and fit right into his character.


I miss this sign already...


And I misss this view even more...



That's it for now! I have EVEN more photos of not only IOA, but BGT and SWO as well!

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