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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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First, my opinion is only worth so much, since I've not been in the park.

 

And that is where I stopped caring

 

I just can't understand your argument. You are bashing one of the most innovative and highly themed THEMEPARKS ever created and you have never even been there. Last I checked the Incredible Hulk, Dr. Doom, and Spiderman were all Marvel comics. The rides blend with a back story, themed environments, and I mean even the queue's are heavily themed. For crying out loud you walk through the bugle in spiderman. How is that corny? Now I'm going to go bash and rant about something I have never done nor experienced!

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^ I would have to agree. Obviously to get the whole experience, and not just an outsider's view, you have to have visited the park, so it's pretty hard to judge the park and say that the theming is corny if you haven't seen it for yourself. But, to each his/her own I guess. I expect awesome theming for WWoHP

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First, my opinion is only worth so much, since I've not been in the park.

 

And that is where I stopped caring

 

I just can't understand your argument. You are bashing one of the most innovative and highly themed THEMEPARKS ever created and you have never even been there. Last I checked the Incredible Hulk, Dr. Doom, and Spiderman were all Marvel comics. The rides blend with a back story, themed environments, and I mean even the queue's are heavily themed. For crying out loud you walk through the bugle in spiderman. How is that corny? Now I'm going to go bash and rant about something I have never done nor experienced!

 

I said several times that I didn't think IoA was a bad park! I'm just saying that from the outside, it doesn't look like a THEME park in the same vein as Disney or the USH or Orlando parks. Of course, I may be (and probably am) totally wrong.

 

As an outsider, though, I still see standard fare: Simulator ride, launched steel coaster, a space shot, a log flume, river raft, suspended coaster, teacup ride, carousel, stunt show, dark ride... And you're not in a magic kingdom, not in a futuristic world, not even in a movie studio. I'm sure it's a great park, but it LOOKS like it has more in common with a great park like Six Flags Great America or Cedar Point than with Disney or Universal Studios.

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Looking at the rest of the themed areas- Jurassic Park, Seuss, Mythical Creatures... It seems completely random- no overarching theme. Nothing to tie it together, which makes it less of a Theme Park and more of an Amusement Park to me.

 

Literature

 

n.

 

1. The body of written works of a language, period, or culture.

 

 

Comics, novels, mythology and children's books are all forms of literature. Sounds like a theme to me. The park even has its own backstory about how the islands were created. And you really should visit a park before giving an opinion of it.

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Why are we derailing this thread by arguing with a guy whose main argument has been formed based off a park he has never been to?!? This is like arguing about how good/bad the Godfather II sequel with someone who hasn't seen the movie. It isn't going to get you anywhere.

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^ Its fun to have debates like this. Kinda like the discussion about adding the heartline roll to HRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR's lift hill.

 

Now personally I haven't been to IOA either so I don't have an opinion on the matter, but I HAVE been to a Universal park and I know firsthand that Universal is second only to Disney in terms of theming.

 

This is judging solely on pictures I've seen...

The park looks very heavily themed. So what if the coasters are out in the open? They suit the overall theme of the island itself (Hulk in Superhero Island and Dragons in Lost Continent). The queue creates a story behind the ride. The coasters don't try to blend in possibly because Universal wants them to stand out to draw people to the area. Disney does the same by creating large structures surrounding the ride (Space, Everest, TOT), but they want to build a sense of mystery surrounding the ride so they hide it in a building or they only reveal certain parts.

 

As an outsider, though, I still see standard fare: Simulator ride, launched steel coaster, a space shot, a log flume, river raft, suspended coaster, teacup ride, carousel, stunt show, dark ride... And you're not in a magic kingdom, not in a futuristic world, not even in a movie studio.

Look at MK, you've got a log flume, teacups, mine train coaster, regular steel coaster, carousel, a bunch of dark rides, a boat ride, and a train... And the themed lands don't exactly fit together either (Old West? Jungle? Fairy Tales? the Future?). IOA isn't a theme specific park like DAK or USH. Its more of a MK-style park in which it utilizes multiple overall themes.

 

The thing is, I wouldn't compare Universal to SF because it's like comparing apples to oranges. One is a massive destination park with a heavy theming, while the other is a chain of regional parks with zero to average theming (although they've gotten better at theming in recent years).

 

We should get back on track... Potter looks great!

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First, my opinion is only worth so much, since I've not been in the park. Just the outsider looking in, really.

 

Well, this makes sense why you see it the way you do. The coasters may be on the outside for IOA, however, it is themed in the queue. If you are visiting, I would definitely visit, then come back and tell us again, how you feel this is not a theme park. Each area is themed, down to the rocks. It was great hearing everyone's varying opinion also on what makes a theme park as opposed to an amusement park! Disney is its own brand for sure, but Busch parks (or whatever they are now) can hold their own. It is just done slightly differently. I'd wait for the visit...

 

Any HP updates? I agree, very entertaining while we wait for something new.

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Sorry to have derailed the topic. Wasn't my real intention. Waiting for more construction photos, actually.

 

I had just always assumed IoA was more of a thrill-based park where the rides were the focus, and the theme adds to the allure of the rides; compared to Disney, where the immersion in the fantasy comes first and the rides support that magic. That's what I see when they build huge, extreme coasters out in the open. It sort of declares, "Come ride our mega roller coasters!" doesn't it?

 

I really like a park where you can almost forget that you're at a park and let yourself really get into the illusion that you're in New Orleans or the old west or somethng like that. I also love parks that throw you up in the air, drop you, spin you around, and leave you wishing that you hadn't just had that funnel cake. They both rock, but they're just different.

 

Really, this can all be summed up as my argument as to why we chose not to visit IoA. The same can be applied to why we didn't visit any other of those Orlando area theme parks. We hit USO on New Years' Day (beautiful, because there was no crowd so we were effectively done before lunch), then we checked into Disney and rode Rockin' Roller Coaster before it went down for refurb (3 hour wait), and spent the next week with the mouse.

 

The post that I replied to implied that IoA proved that US could compete with Disney. I'm just saying that their press crew and their "curb appeal" wasn't enough for me. And ultimately, if you can't get the folks through the gate, what else matters?

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IOA IS a thrill-based park so they build massive coasters are built to draw crowds to that area. Disney is more of a family park, but it follows a similar formula by building very large structures surrounding a smaller ride as well as revealing certain high-thrill points in the ride like a big drop or high speed area. The theming is there to add to the atmosphere and contribute to the "magic" of the area.

 

An extremely well-themed park does have the power to send you into the Old West or Jurassic Park. This is judging solely on pictures, but IOA seems to have a similar effect by putting you right in the middle of a Marvel comic or a Dr. Seuss book. Sure it isn't something realistic like a rain forest or outer space, but IOA still tries to engulf the visitor in a sort of fantasy that is different from a traditional theme park.

 

There are plenty of parks that have massive coasters, but are extremely well-themed like Phantasialand, Europa Park, and Happy Valley, but I wouldn't compare these parks to something like Six Flags.

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Why are we derailing this thread by arguing with a guy whose main argument has been formed based off a park he has never been to?!? This is like arguing about how good/bad the Godfather II sequel with someone who hasn't seen the movie. It isn't going to get you anywhere.

 

Thank you!

 

PLEASE let's get back on topic, no one wants to read an off-topic argument between two people who haven't even set foot inside the park.

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IOA IS a thrill-based park so they build massive coasters are built to draw crowds to that area. Disney is more of a family park, but it follows a similar formula by building very large structures surrounding a smaller ride as well as revealing certain high-thrill points in the ride like a big drop or high speed area. The theming is there to add to the atmosphere and contribute to the "magic" of the area.

 

An extremely well-themed park does have the power to send you into the Old West or Jurassic Park. This is judging solely on pictures, but IOA seems to have a similar effect by putting you right in the middle of a Marvel comic or a Dr. Seuss book. Sure it isn't something realistic like a rain forest or outer space, but IOA still tries to engulf the visitor in a sort of fantasy that is different from a traditional theme park.

 

There are plenty of parks that have massive coasters, but are extremely well-themed like Phantasialand, Europa Park, and Happy Valley, but I wouldn't compare these parks to something like Six Flags.

 

Alright, so maybe a third category is needed. Honestly, I like Six Flags parks. They're fun (although I've not been to many of them), so the comparison isn't an insult. I just meant that IoA looks like a "regular" park (Six Flags, Cedar Fair, etc) on steroids. To fit my idea of a true Theme Park, you should broadcast that from the beginning. If you want to be a Thrill Park or Amusement Park, you should broadcast that from the beginning. Take a look:

 

Magic Kingdom:

11371L.jpg

 

Epcot:

(Of course, the idiotic wand is gone now)

 

Universal Studios Hollywood:

 

Disneyland:

 

California Adventure:

 

Animal Kingdom:

 

In all of these parks, you don't see a single "ride" as you enter. You see structures, yes, but they are all themed appropriately so you feel as if you are entering another world. Now, to compare...

 

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom:

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain (from the entrance plaza):

 

Maple Leaf Park:

 

Sanrio Park Harmonyland:

 

Islands of Adventure:

 

Do you see what I'm saying? The former parks establish a theme first (Theme parks), while the latter parks advertise their thrill rides (Thrill or Amusement Parks). I'm not saying one is superior to the other- they're just different. Please understand that I really do want to visit IoA soon (although I will probably wait until WWoHP opens, which means I won't visit on my Florida Spring Break 2010 trip), but I haven't seen enough to convince me it's in the same vein as Disney.

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Why are we derailing this thread by arguing with a guy whose main argument has been formed based off a park he has never been to?!? This is like arguing about how good/bad the Godfather II sequel with someone who hasn't seen the movie. It isn't going to get you anywhere.

 

Thank you!

 

PLEASE let's get back on topic, no one wants to read an off-topic argument between two people who haven't even set foot inside the park.

 

True dat. I'm just really hoping that US will be able to do Harry justice... but I'm trying not to get my expectations so high as to be disappointed.

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Please understand that I really do want to visit IoA soon (although I will probably wait until WWoHP opens, which means I won't visit on my Florida Spring Break 2010 trip), but I haven't seen enough to convince me it's in the same vein as Disney.

 

Then please hold off on any more comparisons until you've actualy visited IOA. Until then, this discussion is pure speculation on your part.

 

The subject of this thread is the new Harry Potter addition, not "Just what the heck is a 'theme park,' anyway?"

 

And netdvn, I'm talking to you here, too.

 

Thank you,

 

Chuck

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Update ... Check!

This was the last day of my Heroes pass so I decided to come back and enjoy one last, nasty rainy, day.

 

The rain and daylight prevented any test runs of HRRR meaning this ride was actually "delayed" due to a run in with a vampire.

 

Quite a lot can happen in one week. There was more landscaping, more painting, more railings and walkways, and more concrete posts.

 

The cranes are gone (hopefully only temporarily because that big sign needs to still go up) and the railings on the lift are in place. Topped off one could say.

 

There was one area of extreme interest though...

and I didn't get any pictures of it...

the backside of the building break through (aka fail) now has a full construction crew. A large steel girder marked "project rumble" was erected and attached to the building along with the face of the building being covered in electricity lines with exposed wires waiting for something to be hooked up. There should be something good there soon... intrepid photographers, use the Twister queue to get pictures!

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Apparently the cars just sit in the station while the workers work all day.

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Concrete posts. There were actually a lot of these going up at different areas around the station.

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Naked metal for all you walkway enthusiasts.

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Painting fail #2

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Painting fail on the right. It was originally painted yellow at one time.

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Pretty

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There's a really bright light up there.

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Update: May 18, 2009

 

So, um, Harry Potter, yah.

 

In today's edition of through the fence holes, I use the last day of my Heroes pass, steel city gets higher, concrete is sprayed on the entrance, universal starts paying the electric bill for their big box, and my hope that the castle is going to be huge are dashed by a simple realization.

 

I'm just going to cover the important things today and let the pictures say the rest.

 

Let me start this off by saying, "man was I wrong". If you look back a few pages past the very civilized argument, you will see a picture of what I thought were Harry Potter tunnels. Uh, not even close bud. The lights were on, yes bright and on, lighting up the whole big box building from the inside and giving me a great but limited view. Apparently what I thought were tunnels, were actually two hemispheres. White in the center and black around the shell. It may be hard to tell in the pictures, but these things are huge, probably 30ft diameter. I can't see how they are supported either so this is a big mystery. Does anyone recognize what these are? They look very important since they are about the only thing in that area. Put some thought into it guys and gals, they could be quite important.

 

I should say that steel work has begun on the top of the building, but nothing that looks like a building, only walls and ladders. There is bad news though, and I sure hope someone can prove me wrong or think of something else, but I don't believe there is any reason to think that the castle will be large or extend any further back than just that front area that was built off the "bridge side". It's ironic that I would consider this while on Dr. Doom, but I finally got a seat on the side overlooking the central lake and the whole park. At the top of the tower, I noticed the HP building has a ton of AC ducts and vents covering the top of all of the original box. You can't build a steel structure over that! There wasn't even any work being done up there, only the front area. Maybe someone can get a good picture to corroborate this? What do you guy think?

STH71113.jpg.428e944c5c1a63250e387632249055c6.jpg

The entryway in now sprayed and sealed with concrete.

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Unedited view.

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What the alien spaceship?

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Photoshopped to look better. It's very cool in person.

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That is one tall building.

STH71114.jpg.5044851dbbed172129b3d05ec7cd1bfa.jpg

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Update: May 18, 2009 In today's edition of through the fence holes,

Ha love it!!

 

Dude awesome shots, I can't imagine what those are for but the sheer size makes me think something has to go through them

Great Update, I hope to get out there tomorrow!

 

Way to get the topic rolling again!!!

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^^ Hard to really guess about the castle. The concept art shows a courtyard in the middle. Wouldn't be too hard to build a facade around the edge of the box and leave the interior hollow.

 

I'd also assume that the castle, as the most iconic and visible part of the new land, would be either first up or last up. It appears they're going with the latter.

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man. it's not ana, but this rain sure is lasting as long as a tropical storm (incase no one gets it, the first name of this tropical season for hurricanes is ana, and experts were saying this may become a tropical storm). Well testing pics should come soon...and by soon I mean...now...how about now??? now?

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  • coasterbill changed the title to Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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