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Last week my GF Melissa and myself went on a Florida trip that we basically planned at the last minute. We had a blast and I would first like to thank everyone on here who gave me some tips about this trip. Those tips made the trip a lot better than it would have been otherwise, so thank you very much!

 

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures because I'm not really someone who takes pictures. I just like to go to the parks and have fun. I'll split the report up into the different days and add a day here and there.

 

DAY 1: Busch Gardens Tampa and NHL hockey game

 

As soon as we got off the plane we headed to BGT for our very first visit to this park for a little preview before heading to the Lightning vs Sharks hockey game. Now before I go any further I am very much a roller coaster thrill seeking enthusiast and theming and/or other attractions usually don't do much for me. But with that said I do appreciate if the park is nice and the first thing you notice when walking through security and the front entrance is how beautiful and nice looking the park is.

 

The park was extremely busy this day, it was 80 on a Saturday, and the lines were very long for everything not named Montu, Scorpion, and Kumba. And the lines for those 3 got pretty long around 4:00. I did however resist the urge to get quick queue since we had 2 days planned at BGT later in the week.

 

The first coaster we hit was Montu. We did it twice in a row, first in the front and then in the very back. This is a coaster that if I rode it 2 years ago I would have been disappointed because it didn't live up to some of the expectations and become my favorite invert.. but I have really learned to temper my expectations. Montu is a fantastic ride, but I just prefer Afterburn and Raptor because they are more whippy (if that's a word) and more intense because the elements are all back to back. After the inversion after the MCBR Montu has this section that's just really drawn out and not doing much. IMO that's what places it a solid 3rd behind Raptor (my #1) and Afterburn. But it is a very good ride. It's batwing might be my favorite element of any invert that I've ridden, especially in the back. It is glossy smooth and that first half is every bit as good as Raptor and Afterburn.

 

Then we headed toward the area where Falcons Fury is. But that ride was a 30 minute wait and Scorpion was only 15 min so we decided to hit Scorpion and this ride shattered my expectations. That loop and helix is freaking outstanding!

 

Then we hit what is IMO the star attraction of BGT, and that's MOTHER F------ KUMBA!!!!! Holy f------- sh----!!! This thing is so intense it was like it was designed specifically for my tastes in coasters. For as old as it is I was very surprised that it was as smooth as something that is brand spanking new! Every element was flawless and this is easily a top 10 coaster for me. After riding this 4 times in a row the lines for the rest of the rides were ridiculously long so we left to check into our hotel, eat, and go to the hockey game.

 

The game was great, the Lightning have a great team this year! But one thing that almost screwed me up was that I thought the team played in St. Petersburg because for a long time the area was named the St. Pete Times Forum. But the arena is actually located in Downtown Tampa and it has had a couple name changes since then. That almost screwed me because I was looking for hotels in St. Pete, and if I had seen something I liked I would have booked it and we would have had to drive completely out of the way to stay at our hotel. Thankfully I got something in Tampa instead. And BTW can't we go back to the good old days were stadiums and arenas had 1 name and they would stick with it. I mean seriously, when I was a kid I could name every teams stadium or arena and now I probably couldn't name 15% of them...

 

Anyway, it was a great first day!

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Great report so far! Glad you had fun at my home park, can't wait to hear about your second day there. Be the Thunder!

Then we hit what is IMO the star attraction of BGT, and that's MOTHER F------ KUMBA!!!!! Holy f------- sh----!!! This thing is so intense it was like it was designed specifically for my tastes in coasters. For as old as it is I was very surprised that it was as smooth as something that is brand spanking new! Every element was flawless and this is easily a top 10 coaster for me.

Now that's what I like to hear. Welcome to the cult.

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Day 2: Discovery Cove and Fun Spot Kissimmee.

 

First, thanks to everyone who suggested Discovery Cove. The whole experience there was unreal! After getting checked in we had breakfast, which was awesome! Their breakfast was just about as good as any restaurant I've ever been to. Then we headed to the saltwater pool that is supposed to resemble a coral reef and I gotta say it is very authentic. There are deep parts and shallow parts and you can swim with a bunch of fish and stingrays. I didn't get too close to the stingrays because those things freak me out. It was very similar to being in Hawaii and swimming with the fish in whatever bay we were in when I was there. There's also a shark tank connected to the pool and it allows you to get right up next to some sharks. That whole experience was really cool, but then it was our time to swim with dolphins!

 

The dolphin swim was really cool, but I thought we would get a little more personal time with the dolphin. We were in a group of 9 or 10 people and the actual amount of time you get to interact with the dolphin isn't very much. You get to pet it for like 5 seconds right away. You get to take your picture with it, and then your swim consists of you holding on to it while it pulls you across the pool. Aside from that you're standing in the water and watching it do tricks. It was cool, and it was definitely worth it, but like I said I thought there would be a little more personal time with it.

 

After the dolphin swim we had lunch. If you didn't know, all the food and drinks are included, which was awesome! The lunch was just as good as the breakfast. They really take care of you at this place.

 

Then my favorite part of this park is the lazy river or whatever they call it. The water is really warm, and the whole experience is just so relaxing. You go down the river and at one point you go under a waterfall where there are a bunch of cool exotic birds. As you keep going down the river you get to another waterfall where you exit the area the birds are in. Apparently the 2 waterfalls along with a net keep the birds in their area. I have no idea how long we stayed in that river. That was just a very enjoyable experience. I guess the park also only lets a certain amount of people in each day so it doesn't get overcrowded like it does at Cedar Point for example..

 

Then we headed to Fun Spot Kissimmee, and this was a blast even though Mine Blower was disappointing. So I guess I'll get my thoughts on Mine Blower done first. The damn thing is just too rough. It's not as rough as that piece of crap in Santa Claus, IN, but it was just too rough for me to enjoy it. I rode in the front, back, and middle and didn't enjoy it anywhere. Which is too bad because the layout is amazing. It was kind of busy. I read about people saying there are no lines. We were there on a Sunday night, so maybe that's why it was a little more busy, but it was OK. I think we waited at the most 10 minutes for Mine Blower.

 

We did all the other flat rides, which were cool, but I don't want to go into detail on every single one. What stole the show were the 2 massive go-kart tracks. These things were massive and very fun. I almost thought I was going to flip myself off the vortex track a few times. Those curves are sharp and there were people on the track passing me by like I was the grandpa going 55 in the fast lane of the freeway. I also have to mention that they have the worlds tallest sky coaster and it is also the most fun. That thing is just awesome. I've never done one before because up the up-charge, but I think they're worth it.

 

It was a great 2nd day even though the thing I was looking forward to the most (Mine Blower) disappointed.

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That's funny that you hit a rare day that Fun Spot gets any line whatsoever. Also funny that we're calling a 10 minute wait excessively long. But I've been to Fun Spot Kissimmee five times and every time Mine Blower has had no wait with empty seats the whole time I've been there. I've even gone on Saturdays. I think that the park just doesn't bring in enough money for proper maintenance on the coaster. Otherwise, it would probably be pretty smooth and pretty highly ranked. But I still enjoy it. I also like it as a way to get productive after the long ordeals of Disney where I'm standing in lines, and walking through their maze of a park.

 

BGT has been getting lines these days. Some people on this board don't believe me, but I think that outside of the Disney parks, its the park where crowds are the biggest issue in Florida. They'll probably only get worse when Tigris and Twisted Tigers open. But hey, I'm happy for them that they're making money and getting popular. BGT is my home park and I live pretty close. When Twisted Tigers comes out, I may splurge and buy the season length Quick Queue.

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Another person drinking the Discovery Cove kool-aid -- but seriously, glad you enjoyed it. I kind of agree with the dolphin portion because you can see what they are doing from the shore anyways, but it is pretty fascinating having one throw you through the water.

 

Interesting about Mine Blower, it's always very polarized in people's opinions. I'll find out which camp I'm in next week!

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Interesting about Mine Blower, it's always very polarized in people's opinions. I'll find out which camp I'm in next week!

 

For whatever reason I don't seem to enjoy what are widley considered the better wood coasters, and I seem to enjoy ones that others find rough. For example I like Wild One at SFA, Hurler at Carowinds, and Mean Streak. But I hate Voyage, only think Mystic Timbers is OK, and I don't think El Toro is God's gift to the world.

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Day 3: SeaWorld, Fun Spot Orlando, and the star flyer

 

This was my first every visit to a SeaWorld park, and I was really impressed with the coasters, and the park appearance as a whole. Obviously I was there first and foremost for the coasters. Mako has been a bucket list coaster for me for a long time and it was awesome to finally ride it. It was very busy, but that was something I expected with it being MLK day and there not being any school. So for only $30 more we did not hesitate to get Quick Queue unlimited.

 

The first ride of the day was Mako. I basically rode this all day and it never got old. This one definitely lives up to the hype. The pacing is great, every hill provided great air, and this was far more intense than all the other traditional hypers I've ever been on. This is truly a great roller coaster.

 

Then we hit Kraken and this ride was very interesting. Our first ride was one of the roughest rides I have ever had on a B&M. It rode more like an Arrow and I'm not kidding about that. But after trying it out some more I had some really great rides on it that couldn't have been smoother. So I came to the conclusion that it depended on what train you rode. One was a lot smoother than the other and that's something I've really never experienced before. When the ride was smooth it was easily the best floorless coaster I've ever been on. The first half was very intense with the elements coming one after another. And the 2nd half after the MCBR was very enjoyable going through the tunnels and I believe there were a couple more inversions. Overall it is a brilliant coaster but with one train being rough it was a little annoying to have to plan ahead in order to get the smooth train.

 

The last coaster is obviously Manta, and for someone who normally doesn't enjoy flying coasters this was surprisingly more enjoyable. I've been on all the Vekoma's and those are super uncomfortable. The only other B&M Flyer I was on was Superman at Great Adventure and it was very cold that day and I was wearing a few layers with a large jacket so I just felt like a stuffed turkey in there. So maybe because I was only wearing a light jacket on Manta is why it was more comfortable. As for the ride experience it was about what I expected. The pretzel loop was easily the most intense part. Other than that it was kind of mediocre and the pacing wasn't that great. But since it was a lot more comfortable than I am used to being on flying coasters I rode it 7 or 8 times.

 

Other than that there isn't much else to talk about. We skipped the water rides because it was too cold to get wet. We also went on this Penguin ride that I thought was really dumb.

 

Fun Spot Orlando was equally as fun as the other one. The Go Kart tracks were awesome. I was a little more daring on these tracks and it is just a ton of fun. White Lightning much like Mine Blower was too rough for my tastes. The other flat rides were fun. Overall I think these Fun Spot parks might be the best bang for your buck in Orlando..

 

We also hit the star flyer in Orlando. That was pretty fun. Nt that intense unless you're scared of heights. We did it at night, and I wanted to do it again during the day just to see how far you could see, but unfortunately we didn't get the chance.

 

Overall it was another great day and up next are the Universal parks and I can't wait to share my thoughts on those...

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Day 4: Islands of Adventure

 

So first of all as a strictly roller coaster/ thrill seeking enthusiast this isn't the park for me. I was here (and at the other Universal park) because it was a bucket list park for my GF.

 

This was not my first visit to Islands of Adventure. My first visit was in spring of 2000 when I was a senior in high school and I was completely sh*t-faced!!!

 

Small TP from 2000... I went down to Orlando with my friend and his mom. She had some conference there and was able to get plane tickets and hotel rooms for free from her work. We were only there for a weekend and our plans were just to relax at the pool and do stuff within walking distance of our hotel. We didn't even know that Islands of Adventure existed but we were offered tickets and express passes by the hotel for the park, and the hotel had a free shuttle to the park. But before we went we got completely sh*t-faced. I don't remember how we got the alcohol, but we did somehow. We somehow found our way to the shuttle and off we went.

 

When we got to the park we went to the Hulk and tried to use our express passes. The worker said that those passes needed to be put through a computer and it would reserve us a time to ride. We had no idea what the f--- to do so the worker called over this other guy and he took us to the express pass computer. He explained how to do it but we were obviously too f---ed up to understand. So he just took the tickets from us and did it himself and at some point called us dumb and dumber right to our faces. When the computer spit out the passes my friend and I bumped heads reaching for them thus confirming that we were indeed dumb and dumber.

 

I remember riding the Hulk and not liking it that much. And then I remember waiting forever to ride Spiderman and while in the queue I kept turning to the girls behind us about every 5 minutes and in a very sh*t-faced way I would ask "if this is a good ride". Then we finally got on. I remember not liking it and then everything about that day is a complete blank for me.

 

So fast forward to the most recent visit. I was excited to get back and this time in a much more sober state so that I was actually able to remember the experience.

 

The first thing we did was get express passes, and that was a good idea because the park was pretty busy. 30 min at least for all the major attractions.

 

So we worked our way around clockwise. And just like I did a long time ago we hit Hulk first. After not liking it so many years ago I was interested to give it another go. This time around I did like the ride. It was smooth but not very intense. Just a fun ride. I think I had 4 or 5 rides total.

 

Then we hit the drop tower, Dr. Doom or whatever it's called. Except it shot us up, which was something I was not expecting for some reason. Because it caught me off guard it was one of the better drop tower rides I've had in a while.

 

After that it was on to Spiderman. The ride was better than I remembered, but still not something that really impressed me. It was basically watching a bad movie on a screen and then them trying to simulate the feeling of falling and stuff. It was neat, but not something to write home about.

 

Then we got to what appeared to be the water ride section of the park. Since it was too cold we skipped the water rides. And that was too bad because the log flume looked super cool, and I do like log flumes a lot. But it needed to be about 10 degrees warmer for me to walk around wet.

 

We then made our way to Kong Island or whatever it's called. And it is basically a different version of the Spiderman ride. It's a bunch of screens and simulations with a bad story line. Some lady is fighting who knows what and somehow she gets a machine gun out of nowhere and fights all these things off. Then she's surprisingly gets attacked by whatever the hell that thing was. Then there are a bunch of dinosaurs that Kong fights off. You hear the lady say we're safe but I don't ever remember seeing her again. So OK, whatever... Then there is a huge Kong head that appears and it's over... I kind of liked that you had to look to your right and to your left to see what was happening. But I had the same kind of reaction to Spiderman, it's neat, but not my thing...

 

Then there is this Jurassic Park water ride which we skipped because it was a little too cold. Then we got to the Harry Potter part of the park, and I really have no clue who Harry Potter is. I never got into it. Walking through the castle is pretty neat. The actual ride is more of the same looking at screens although it did feel a little more like a roller coaster. My GF loved it.

 

Then there is this walkthrough thing Poseidon something. I thought it had potential but it was just a walk through with some effects. I thought they would make the ground shake or make stuff fall on us, but it was just a walk through looking for someone, getting trapped and then finding a way out. Basically one big queue IMO but at least a little different then all the screen rides.

 

The final section is Dr.Suess world where we did this monorail trolly train ride thing. It was a welcomed break from looking at screens all day. Then we hit the cat in the hat ride, which I actually enjoyed because I knew that story and it was my favorite as a kid.

 

Overall it was fun but not my kind of park. I'm really glad my GF liked it because this basically was just for her. Thankfully she didn't want to ride anything more than twice. Overall not my kind of park but I thought it was a neat experience.

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Its funny, I really do like the Disney parks a lot, and I'm a guy who appreciates really, really good attention to detail and theming. But I just really do think that Universal misses the mark. The older attractions in general tend to be a lot better than the newer attractions in general. Pretty much anything made in the past 10 years is just a conveyor belt to take you from video to video -- its like a lazy person's idea of a good time, like they're one step away from a Wall-E existence. Too lazy to even get up to walk from one video to another. Even Spiderman is pretty bad and people act like its the greatest ride ever.

 

I think that screens can be effective on rides (Flight of Passage is a good example), but Universal is just pigs about them and abuse them. IOA was off to a good start, but since its opening its gone from having three great coasters to exactly one great coaster. The Universal Studios side is beyond cheesy and really everything is conveyor belt screen ride after the next. Ironically, the water rides are probably the best part of IOA, as there are few, if any screens. But obviously, who likes getting wet? Maybe if you had a day to go where it was really hot and you packed a change of clothing, you could take advantage of them.

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Its funny, I really do like the Disney parks a lot, and I'm a guy who appreciates really, really good attention to detail and theming. But I just really do think that Universal misses the mark. The older attractions in general tend to be a lot better than the newer attractions in general. Pretty much anything made in the past 10 years is just a conveyor belt to take you from video to video -- its like a lazy person's idea of a good time, like they're one step away from a Wall-E existence. Too lazy to even get up to walk from one video to another. Even Spiderman is pretty bad and people act like its the greatest ride ever.

 

I think that screens can be effective on rides (Flight of Passage is a good example), but Universal is just pigs about them and abuse them. IOA was off to a good start, but since its opening its gone from having three great coasters to exactly one great coaster. The Universal Studios side is beyond cheesy and really everything is conveyor belt screen ride after the next. Ironically, the water rides are probably the best part of IOA, as there are few, if any screens. But obviously, who likes getting wet? Maybe if you had a day to go where it was really hot and you packed a change of clothing, you could take advantage of them.

 

This is the exact same impression that I have of universal.

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Its funny, I really do like the Disney parks a lot, and I'm a guy who appreciates really, really good attention to detail and theming. But I just really do think that Universal misses the mark. The older attractions in general tend to be a lot better than the newer attractions in general. Pretty much anything made in the past 10 years is just a conveyor belt to take you from video to video -- its like a lazy person's idea of a good time, like they're one step away from a Wall-E existence. Too lazy to even get up to walk from one video to another. Even Spiderman is pretty bad and people act like its the greatest ride ever.

 

I think that screens can be effective on rides (Flight of Passage is a good example), but Universal is just pigs about them and abuse them. IOA was off to a good start, but since its opening its gone from having three great coasters to exactly one great coaster. The Universal Studios side is beyond cheesy and really everything is conveyor belt screen ride after the next. Ironically, the water rides are probably the best part of IOA, as there are few, if any screens. But obviously, who likes getting wet? Maybe if you had a day to go where it was really hot and you packed a change of clothing, you could take advantage of them.

 

This is the exact same impression that I have of universal.

 

I wonder if maybe Universal is so popular because it tries to market to an older demographic (let's say teens, college kids, and young adults) and that's a pretty underserved demographic in Florida, and those tend to be the people most into parks. But I think that even if Disney aims younger, and to make rides that everyone can do -- the attention to detail, and the quality still blows Universal out of the water. Even the impromptu shows on the midway at Disney are better than regularly scheduled shows at most parks. Disney also has some hidden rides that are pretty good -- I call them hidden because they're not available on FP+ and not everyone knows about them.

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OK I have to get the rest of this out while I'm sitting at home with absolutely nothing to do because of yet another snow day closing schools...

 

Day 5: Universal Studios

 

 

First I have to start with the Hollywood Rip Ride Break Run. Aside from their being a break run every 30 seconds I actually really enjoyed this coaster. I thought it was very forceful, especially the first drop and turn. This really did exceed my expectations. I think I took 4 spins on it. Even though I really liked it I can only imagine how good it would be without all the break runs. I definitely thought this was better than the Hulk.

 

Then we did the Transformers ride. Now I think this ride would have been a lot more enjoyable if I knew anything about the transformers, but I don't so the story line was kind of confusing. There were times I was trying to figure out who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. Then out of nowhere someone mentions Megatron, but there is absolutely no sign of Calvin Johnson. So more fighting goes on and all of a sudden I'm told that I did a good job as apparently the good guys won. I actually wanted to go on it again just to find Calvin Johnson but was unsuccessful. Must have been a glitch in the system.

 

It was then on to the Jimmy Fallon Race through New York or whatever it's called. Fallon is the only late night guy I watch so I was somewhat excited for this ride. It was just another one of those motion simulator things going through New York. Then somehow you end up on the moon, and fall back down to Earth. It was kind of dumb. But they can build that roller coaster from the moon to Earth whenever they want. When it's complete I might still be alive...

 

Revenge of the Mummy is next, and I guess it's a roller coaster, RCDB says so.. I actually enjoyed this one. The part where it goes backwards really surprised me. And that's how you have to get me to enjoy these kids of coasters that are all about theming (which I don't care about), you have to have some surprises, like Verbolten. Something that the coaster does to catch me off guard, and this ride did that!

 

We then did the Harry Potter and Escape from Gringotts. This one was pretty well done, but again I have no idea who Harry Potter is, who the Gringotts are, and why we need to escape from them. All I pretty much remember is some bald guy and some witch looking chick doing this Sith force lightning stuff and then getting chased away by a dragon.

 

The rest of the park was honestly kind of dumb. I was kind of looking forward to the Simpsons ride once I saw that there was one because I am a huge Simpsons fan. I remember back in the day when I was in school when kids would get sent home for wearing Simpsons shirts. Anyway, I wish the ride were a lot better, but it wasn’t. There is actually a Moe’s Tavern, which I thought was pretty cool. It was a lot nicer than I imagine the real Moe’s would be.

 

I can see how some people would enjoy these Universal parks. If they like simulation rides looking at screens or if they obviously like the theming. But for someone who’s strictly a roller coaster enthusiast like me it’s not a place worth visiting. That might change with the supposed new Jurassic Park coaster, we’ll see. I might be back sooner than I thought to ride that thing if it’s anything like people are saying.

 

All in all I had a good time though, and like I said before these parks were more for my GF. So since she had a good time so did I.

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Day 6 and 7: Back to BGT

 

Day 6 at BGT was a Thursday and I swear it felt like we were the only people in the park. Every single ride was a complete walk on, and there were times we didn’t see anyone on the paths. It was the most dead I have ever seen a park. So needless to say we had a lot of fun…

 

The first ride we hit was Cheetah Hunt, and I can see why this ride is so popular. It’s kind of that step up from a family coaster because there are thrilling parts, but it’s not too thrilling to scare you too much. Personally I would have loved to see more of a Maverick type ride, but Cheetah Hunt is a great fit for this park. At first the coaster really disappointed me because it wasn’t anything like Maverick. I mean you have that launch only to lose all that speed going through that weird turnaround. So the pacing could have been improved to make it more enjoyable for someone like me. But it’s still a fun coaster the way it is. My personal favorite part is the airtime hill after the final launch.

 

After that we hit Cobra’s Curse, and this might be the best family coaster I’ve ever been on. The elevator lift is really cool, and I love how you go forward, backward, and do a little spinning. It introduces so many coaster elements in a way that wouldn’t be too scary for some first time coaster riders.

 

The final coaster that we didn’t get to from the first day was SheiKra, and this one was a tad disappointing. Some people say that this is their favorite dive coaster so I was expecting it to not be a one trick pony, but that’s exactly what it is. After the drop there’s the one inversion and then it’s like someone hit the auto finish button on roller coaster tycoon. That first drop is as awesome as Valravn and Griffon, but the rest of the layout just doesn’t come close to Valravn. I’ve read where some don’t like Valravn because of the vest restraints, but those have never bothered me. But anyways, SheiKra is a one trick pony, but since there was no line we probably rode it 15 times. So we got the most out of that 1 trick as we could.

 

Then the final ride I have to mention is Falcon’s Fury. Holy crap was that fun. I was expecting it to be the best drop tower and it didn’t disappoint. Facing straight down from that high up was a rush. I think we did this 12 times in a row without getting off. Just so much fun.

 

So day 6 we just basically rode coasters the entire day. Got a ton more rides on Montu and Kumba. I said it before, but I’ll say it again, Kumba f——— rules!!! That’s easily a top 10 coaster for me, and I’m really surprised B&M doesn’t have more rides as intense as this. Just a perfect ride and so incredibly smooth. Freaking unreal!

 

Day 7 was a Friday at BGT and we used this day to go around and see the animals. We got to pet kangaroos, which was awesome and also led me to watch hours upon hours of kangaroo videos on youtube that night.. The one thing that sticks out to me about BGT, and BGW too is that none of their coasters suck. Can’t say tat for too many other parks, including Cedar Point. When RMC Gwazi is completed and added to the lineup this park may be my 2nd favorite park of all time.

 

I’ve always wanted to live in Sandusky, OH for obvious reasons, but I think with a combination of BGT and SWO I may want to live in the Orlando/ Tampa area more. If you combine SWO and BGT you have 2 great parks that are open year round to visit compared to 1 seasonal park. And if my GF wasn’t already a hot Latina, it would be worth it to move there just for the hot Latina’s..

 

So in closing it was a great trip. I’m glad I decided to go, and thanks again to everyone on here who helped plan it!

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Completely agree about Universal. Hopefully it catches up with them eventually and they're forced to be a little more creative.

 

Not sure it will because almost everyone I was riding with, including my GF (who probably has over 100 credits) seemed to be pretty thrilled with what Universal had to offer.

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OK I have to get the rest of this out while I'm sitting at home with absolutely nothing to do because of yet another snow day closing schools...

 

Day 5: Universal Studios

 

 

First I have to start with the Hollywood Rip Ride Break Run. Aside from their being a break run every 30 seconds I actually really enjoyed this coaster. I thought it was very forceful, especially the first drop and turn. This really did exceed my expectations. I think I took 4 spins on it. Even though I really liked it I can only imagine how good it would be without all the break runs. I definitely thought this was better than the Hulk.

 

Then we did the Transformers ride. Now I think this ride would have been a lot more enjoyable if I knew anything about the transformers, but I don't so the story line was kind of confusing. There were times I was trying to figure out who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. Then out of nowhere someone mentions Megatron, but there is absolutely no sign of Calvin Johnson. So more fighting goes on and all of a sudden I'm told that I did a good job as apparently the good guys won. I actually wanted to go on it again just to find Calvin Johnson but was unsuccessful. Must have been a glitch in the system.

 

It was then on to the Jimmy Fallon Race through New York or whatever it's called. Fallon is the only late night guy I watch so I was somewhat excited for this ride. It was just another one of those motion simulator things going through New York. Then somehow you end up on the moon, and fall back down to Earth. It was kind of dumb. But they can build that roller coaster from the moon to Earth whenever they want. When it's complete I might still be alive...

 

Revenge of the Mummy is next, and I guess it's a roller coaster, RCDB says so.. I actually enjoyed this one. The part where it goes backwards really surprised me. And that's how you have to get me to enjoy these kids of coasters that are all about theming (which I don't care about), you have to have some surprises, like Verbolten. Something that the coaster does to catch me off guard, and this ride did that!

 

We then did the Harry Potter and Escape from Gringotts. This one was pretty well done, but again I have no idea who Harry Potter is, who the Gringotts are, and why we need to escape from them. All I pretty much remember is some bald guy and some witch looking chick doing this Sith force lightning stuff and then getting chased away by a dragon.

 

The rest of the park was honestly kind of dumb. I was kind of looking forward to the Simpsons ride once I saw that there was one because I am a huge Simpsons fan. I remember back in the day when I was in school when kids would get sent home for wearing Simpsons shirts. Anyway, I wish the ride were a lot better, but it wasn’t. There is actually a Moe’s Tavern, which I thought was pretty cool. It was a lot nicer than I imagine the real Moe’s would be.

 

I can see how some people would enjoy these Universal parks. If they like simulation rides looking at screens or if they obviously like the theming. But for someone who’s strictly a roller coaster enthusiast like me it’s not a place worth visiting. That might change with the supposed new Jurassic Park coaster, we’ll see. I might be back sooner than I thought to ride that thing if it’s anything like people are saying.

 

All in all I had a good time though, and like I said before these parks were more for my GF. So since she had a good time so did I.

 

Oh man, I love your reviews. I literally LOL'd at several of the parts. I completely agree about how stupid Transformers is. It seems like Universal and Six Flags have the "Universalisms" where they end the ride with the actors turning to you and saying "Great job, you can join our team any time." As the actors take a shot of JD and a snort of coke and swear that they're going to fire their agents for booking them on an amusement park ride.

 

Personally, I think that if you're a stickler for theming, you'll hate Universal. If you love great theming, you need to go to Disney or one of those European parks, where they actually have theming that transcends just watching a video whilst sitting on a conveyor belt.

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I wouldn't expect a person who doesn't care about theming and doesn't like Harry Potter is to enjoy Universal. Clearly you're not the target market. Obviously lots of people share your complaints about screens (personally it doesn't bother me) so that's a legitimate complaint but honestly it doesn't seem like any of the parks in Orlando (outside of the Seaworld / Busch parks) would really be your thing if you're only looking for big un-themed thrilling coasters. Whatever you do, don't ever go to Disney.

 

Ironically, the water rides are probably the best part of IOA, as there are few, if any screens. But obviously, who likes getting wet?

 

Lots of people which is why those rides exist. River Adventure posted an 85 minute wait the last 2 days. Splash Mountain posted a 150 minute wait yesterday. It would appear that tons of people like to ride water rides in Florida. I couldn't believe it either.

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The best rides at the Universal resort are Spider-Man, Men in Black, and Mummy, but I also like Rip, Ride 'n' Rockit, and was pleasantly surprised when I rode Hulk last fall (first time for me since the rebuild). As for the screen-based stuff, Fallon and Fast & Furious don't interest me at all, but I enjoyed Kong: Skull Island.

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Oh man, I love your reviews. I literally LOL'd at several of the parts. I completely agree about how stupid Transformers is. It seems like Universal and Six Flags have the "Universalisms" where they end the ride with the actors turning to you and saying "Great job, you can join our team any time." As the actors take a shot of JD and a snort of coke and swear that they're going to fire their agents for booking them on an amusement park ride.

 

LOL, thanks I'm glad someone enjoyed it.

 

I wouldn't expect a person who doesn't care about theming and doesn't like Harry Potter is to enjoy Universal. Clearly you're not the target market. Obviously lots of people share your complaints about screens (personally it doesn't bother me) so that's a legitimate complaint but honestly it doesn't seem like any of the parks in Orlando (outside of the Seaworld / Busch parks) would really be your thing if you're only looking for big un-themed thrilling coasters. Whatever you do, don't ever go to Disney.

 

No I'm not the target market, and like I said before we went specifically because my GF wanted to. Also, not only looking for big un-themed thrilling coasters. I don't dislike theming, it just doesn't add anything to the experience for me. I have already been to Disney, Disneyland to be exact, when I was 8 or 9, and it wasn't a place I enjoyed back then. I had already been on coasters like Magnum, Steel Phantom, and The Beast so going on the Matterhorn Bobsleds didn't do much for me.

 

Too Fast For Comfort wrote:

Ironically, the water rides are probably the best part of IOA, as there are few, if any screens. But obviously, who likes getting wet?

 

 

Lots of people which is why those rides exist. River Adventure posted an 85 minute wait the last 2 days. Splash Mountain posted a 150 minute wait yesterday. It would appear that tons of people like to ride water rides in Florida. I couldn't believe it either.

 

Yeah I enjoy water rides and getting wet in order to cool down. It just wasn't hot enough when I was there to get splashed and then have to walk around in 60 degree weather.

by cfc » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:22 am

 

The best rides at the Universal resort are Spider-Man, Men in Black, and Mummy, but I also like Rip, Ride 'n' Rockit, and was pleasantly surprised when I rode Hulk last fall (first time for me since the rebuild). As for the screen-based stuff, Fallon and Fast & Furious don't interest me at all, but I enjoyed Kong: Skull Island.

 

This is mostly how I felt. I did enjoy mummy and the coasters. I thought Kong was neat because there was stuff going on on both sides of you.

 

Nice write up! I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoys Rockit. It is easy to poke fun at, but it does have some solid airtime.

 

Thanks, and it was very forceful.

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I don't know, a few counterpoints to the argument that people just love getting wet on amusement park rides:

 

--Water rides always have terrible capacity,so the long lines are attributable to the poor capacity as well.

--People may like the idea of getting wet, but when they're on the ride, they're always trying to avoid the splashes.This is repeatable, and I've observed it from 99% of guests.

--There are many fun aspects to water rides that transcend the wetness that other rides often don't match. And the water rides are often the only themed rides at some of the regular amusement parks. The theme parks really go crazy with the theming for their water rides.

--There's a certain luxury to being on a boat and floating around. One of Disney's bread and butter is the floating boat ride that's all theming and not much else.

 

My hypothesis is just that you could take a regular water ride, and re-design it so that you give the illusion of getting wet, and tease people -- but never actually get people wet -- and it would be a home run attraction that people would love. Splash Mountain attempts this -- as you drop underground (a move that the Imagineers made to keep you dry) -- but there are some accidental splashes that they couldn't help.

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Water rides always have terrible capacity,so the long lines are attributable to the poor capacity as well.

 

The rapids ride at Islands of Adventure has the highest capacity in the park except for Hulk and Forbidden Journey. It had an hour wait on Sunday. The ride absolutely soaks you to the bone.

 

River Adventure does 1,790 an hour which is really solid.

 

It's Florida... people want to get wet.

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