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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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Thats not what the rides in Orlando parks are about. A flat ride in IOA or Magic Kingdom would look tacky and ruin the theming. I'd prefer the bare-bones flats stay at Fun Spot and the immersive, integrated environment-type rides at the major theme parks.

 

Like Dumbo, Astro Orbiters, Kang and Kodos, Storm Force Acceleration, Alladin's Magic Carpet, etc. etc.?

 

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Flats can be themed and offer extra ride experiences with much less of a time commitment. Heck, One Fish Two Fish is still something I make my friends ride because it's so fun to try to avoid the sprays.

 

Ironically, every single ride that we've mentioned, other than Storm Force, is the same exact flat themed differently. And they all work perfectly where they're placed.

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Hey, guys. I have a quick inquiry about the resort as a whole. How long would you say a trip needs to be in order to truly experience both parks? One day each? Two days? I've been tasked with creating an itinerary for a proposed field trip next spring and I want to make sure everyone going would be able to be completely immersed in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Additionally, do you have any tips for a large group visiting the parks? Any hidden gems in the park, restaurants where we might like to sit down and eat dinner, etc? Thank you in advance for any and all answers!

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How many days you want to spend will depend on what time of year you go, whether or not you have fast passes, and what rides you want to do. During peak operation times I've seen lines on the major rides go over 3 hours and on slow weeks I've been to the park where everything other than Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was under a 20 minute wait. Since the new expansion is opening soon I would probably say 2 days if you want to do absolutely everything.

 

As far as hidden gems the mystic fountain in IoA is quite funny and not many people know about it. If the group is old enough there are two places I know of to get Universal Studios brewed beer. The Simpsons area has Duff, Duff Lite, and Duff Dry, which tasted like Blue Moon, Miller Lite, and Guiness to me respectively. The Hogs Head serves a signature Red Lager that I enjoyed more than any of the Simpsons beers.

 

I've been to 2 quality sit down restaurants at IoA and like both of them Mythos and Confisco. Mythos has won several awards. The Three Broomsticks, while not sit down service, was also surprisingly good. For a large group one of the many restaurants at city walk may be a better option.

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Like Dumbo, Astro Orbiters, Kang and Kodos, Storm Force Acceleration, Alladin's Magic Carpet

 

That is another thing: Orlando parks - with some exceptions - only offer Dumbo/Telecombat clones and Tea Cup rides as flats. Maybe in Germany parks also have to stay competitive with Carnivals which offer loads of flats - and if you put them into a nice green setting it is okay with me. While Orlando parks offer some great darkrides, coasters and waterrides the lack of flats making them non-complete parks for me. Agreed it is complaining on a high level but if I would have to choose for a "home park" I would prefer Phantasialand or Heide-Park over the Orlando parks.

 

Many other US parks even had flats in the past - mostly from Schwarzkopf or HUSS - but as these age they get removed at not adequately replaced. A park is not only about coasters, waterrides and darkrides - at least not for me...

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Am I the only one that wants to see some kind of captain america flat ride?

 

Maybe aside from Fun Spot the major resorts need some more flats - generally missing at least one inverting flat per park. How about a HUSS Inverted TopSpin, a Zamperla AirRace or Mondial TopScan?

 

Thats not what the rides in Orlando parks are about. A flat ride in IOA or Magic Kingdom would look tacky and ruin the theming. I'd prefer the bare-bones flats stay at Fun Spot and the immersive, integrated environment-type rides at the major theme parks.

 

Like Dumbo, Astro Orbiters, Kang and Kodos, Storm force Acceleration, Alladin's Magic Carpet, etc. etc.?

 

Youre comparing spinners and tea cups...children's rides...to top spins and frisbees. We both know that isn't the same. I will be one shocked Orlando native the day Universal or Disney puts in a Giant Frisbee or Sky Swat.

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^It would depend on how they could "theme" a particular ride. For example, while Dr. Doom's Fearfall is an S&S Shot Tower, Universal did an excellent job theming the queue; I'd argue that the queue is more interesting than the ride.

 

But I'm not convinced that "theming" something like a Giant Frisbee would be worth the trouble. It just wouldn't fit in with either the Studio or IOA.

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^It would depend on how they could "theme" a particular ride. For example, while Dr. Doom's Fearfall is an S&S Shot Tower, Universal did an excellent job theming the queue; I'd argue that the queue is more interesting than the ride.

 

But I'm not convinced that "theming" something like a Giant Frisbee would be worth the trouble. It just wouldn't fit in with either the Studio or IOA.

Agreed. I struggle to see where a flat ride would fit in. Just because they have a flat ride does not mean that it is a good idea. When my family goes to IOA, the one current ride that seems blah and out of place is Dr Doom. It also has a relatively short line and people aren't exactly lining up to ride it. They go for the unique ride experiences, not for duplicates of rides from "regular" amusement parks.

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^It would depend on how they could "theme" a particular ride. For example, while Dr. Doom's Fearfall is an S&S Shot Tower, Universal did an excellent job theming the queue; I'd argue that the queue is more interesting than the ride.

 

But I'm not convinced that "theming" something like a Giant Frisbee would be worth the trouble. It just wouldn't fit in with either the Studio or IOA.

Agreed. I struggle to see where a flat ride would fit in. Just because they have a flat ride does not mean that it is a good idea. When my family goes to IOA, the one current ride that seems blah and out of place is Dr Doom. It also has a relatively short line and people aren't exactly lining up to ride it. They go for the unique ride experiences, not for duplicates of rides from "regular" amusement parks.

 

Thats another good point...the Orlando theme park market really isnt begging for flat rides, even at IOA...the rides with the highest ridership aren't One Fish Two Fish and Caroseuessel, its Forbidden Journey and Spiderman, and Im guessing soon to be Hogwarts Express.

 

Sure, O-Town may be lacking flat rides outside of Fun Spot, but do you guys honestly prefer Six Flags flat rides to innovative ride tech systems like Kuka robotic arms and roving simulators..?

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^It would depend on how they could "theme" a particular ride. For example, while Dr. Doom's Fearfall is an S&S Shot Tower, Universal did an excellent job theming the queue; I'd argue that the queue is more interesting than the ride.

 

But I'm not convinced that "theming" something like a Giant Frisbee would be worth the trouble. It just wouldn't fit in with either the Studio or IOA.

Agreed. I struggle to see where a flat ride would fit in. Just because they have a flat ride does not mean that it is a good idea. When my family goes to IOA, the one current ride that seems blah and out of place is Dr Doom. It also has a relatively short line and people aren't exactly lining up to ride it. They go for the unique ride experiences, not for duplicates of rides from "regular" amusement parks.

 

Thats another good point...the Orlando theme park market really isnt begging for flat rides, even at IOA...the rides with the highest ridership aren't One Fish Two Fish and Caroseuessel, its Forbidden Journey and Spiderman, and Im guessing soon to be Hogwarts Express.

 

Sure, O-Town may be lacking flat rides outside of Fun Spot, but do you guys honestly prefer Six Flags flat rides to innovative ride tech systems like Kuka robotic arms and roving simulators..?

 

Exactly--who goes to Disney or Universal for flat rides? I'm not a "flat-ride fan," myself, but if people like them, that's what Six Flags, Cedar Fair, and any of a number of independent parks (such as Knoebels and Fun Spot) are for.

Edited by cfc
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I think no matter where you are, flat rides make good complimentary rides. Something like a Frisbee themed to Thor's hammer certainly wouldn't make me book my next trip to Orlando, but it would probably be something I'd ride after the big ticket rides.

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Maybe it's just me, but I seem to see the Disney/Universal parks of Orlando and elsewhere doing just fine without the big crazy-looking flat rides. Maybe the lack of big flats makes them "non-complete" parks, but seeing as they are the most attended of any theme parks in the world, I somehow doubt the executives who run them are concerned at all.

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I think no matter where you are, flat rides make good complimentary rides. Something like a Frisbee themed to Thor's hammer certainly wouldn't make me book my next trip to Orlando, but it would probably be something I'd ride after the big ticket rides.

 

I think the sheer number of Avengers characters being rolled out in the MCU lend themselves really well to flats, whether they're small or large. I guarantee you're not going to see guests complaining about how they would love the new Captain America ride if it didn't ruin their sightlines so much.

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I think no matter where you are, flat rides make good complimentary rides. Something like a Frisbee themed to Thor's hammer certainly wouldn't make me book my next trip to Orlando, but it would probably be something I'd ride after the big ticket rides.

 

I think the sheer number of Avengers characters being rolled out in the MCU lend themselves really well to flats, whether they're small or large. I guarantee you're not going to see guests complaining about how they would love the new Captain America ride if it didn't ruin their sightlines so much.

 

You clearly havent ever visited a Disney or Universal fan site.

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^...Or like many, just chose to ignore their crazy ramblings and complaints. Disney and Universal are both doing quite well for themselves, despite the rants of all the hardcore fans.

 

If they chose to do so, both Disney and Universal have the ability to take an off-the-shelf flat ride and make it fit thematically. Will they? Probably not. But they definitely could, and I personally wouldn't mind a highly themed flat as a complimentary ride at IoA (I agree it wouldn't work well in the Studios).

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^That's what Disney did at DCA with Maliboomer and Orange Stinger; of course, they didn't do it particularly well that time.

 

I agree that there are more opportunities for flats at IOA than the Studios (although the Kang and Kodos ride there is well done).

Edited by cfc
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^...Or like many, just chose to ignore their crazy ramblings and complaints. Disney and Universal are both doing quite well for themselves, despite the rants of all the hardcore fans.

 

If they chose to do so, both Disney and Universal have the ability to take an off-the-shelf flat ride and make it fit thematically. Will they? Probably not. But they definitely could, and I personally wouldn't mind a highly themed flat as a complimentary ride at IoA (I agree it wouldn't work well in the Studios).

 

Yeah, this. Those people are psychotic about "carnival rides", but suggest to them that Astro-Orbiters, Dumbo, and Mad Tea Party are just that and they flip out hard. There's plenty of ways they could do it with a giant pendulum ride or whatever else. Why they would do it for that sort of attraction is the bigger question to me.

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I would take the complaining of "obtrusive sightlines" more seriously if it didn't come from a group of people who think seeing a German castle appear at the end of a romanticized, synthetic version of small town Midwestern USA was immersive and logical. With enough rationale and hand waving, any of this stuff can be pushed into "making sense," whatever that is supposed to mean.

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^That's what Disney did at DCA with Maliboomer and Orange Stinger; of course, they didn't do it particularly well that time.

 

I agree that there are more opportunities for flats at IOA than the Studios (although the Kang and Kodos ride there is well done).

 

Perfect example. If it was only die-hard obsessed fanboys that cared about flat rides being misplaced in theme parks, then DCA wouldnt have been such a failure. Unless, of course, you seriously want to argue that the entire population of Disney parkgoers are these types of people...

 

Besides, are the parks really incomplete because they dont have large flat rides, when they have the likes of Haunted Mansion, Soarin, Tower of Terror, Forbidden Journey, and Transformers? Or are technologically advanced dark rides not a good enough middleground between roller coasters and water rides? Would we really rather have a Top Spin as a supporting ride, or Hogwarts Express? I dont see how a park with a whole new category of rides like these is "incomplete".

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Perfect example. If it was only die-hard obsessed fanboys that cared about flat rides being misplaced in theme parks, then DCA wouldnt have been such a failure. Unless, of course, you seriously want to argue that the entire population of Disney parkgoers are these types of people...

 

So a bunch of flat rides that are still there are why DCA "failed"? That's a hopelessly simplistic viewpoint, in my opinion.

 

Besides, are the parks really incomplete because they dont have large flat rides, when they have the likes of Haunted Mansion, Soarin, Tower of Terror, Forbidden Journey, and Transformers? Or are technologically advanced dark rides not a good enough middleground between roller coasters and water rides? Would we really rather have a Top Spin as a supporting ride, or Hogwarts Express? I dont see how a park with a whole new category of rides like these is "incomplete".

 

No one is demanding to choose between Hogwarts and a Top Spin. But clearly, based on the empirical data that exists, there is a place for flat rides in large theme parks. Its tough to think of the theme parks that don't have them, actually. The ones that don't aren't run by Disney, that's for damn sure. There are perfectly reasonable questions about whether or not a particular ride can meet the target audience the park is looking to draw, but the idea that they "can't fit" is nonsense. You'd have to be freebasing pixie dust to believe it.

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Perfect example. If it was only die-hard obsessed fanboys that cared about flat rides being misplaced in theme parks, then DCA wouldnt have been such a failure. Unless, of course, you seriously want to argue that the entire population of Disney parkgoers are these types of people...

 

So a bunch of flat rides that are still there are why DCA "failed"? That's a hopelessly simplistic viewpoint, in my opinion.

 

Besides, are the parks really incomplete because they dont have large flat rides, when they have the likes of Haunted Mansion, Soarin, Tower of Terror, Forbidden Journey, and Transformers? Or are technologically advanced dark rides not a good enough middleground between roller coasters and water rides? Would we really rather have a Top Spin as a supporting ride, or Hogwarts Express? I dont see how a park with a whole new category of rides like these is "incomplete".

 

No one is demanding to choose between Hogwarts and a Top Spin. But clearly, based on the empirical data that exists, there is a place for flat rides in large theme parks. Its tough to think of the theme parks that don't have them, actually. The ones that don't aren't run by Disney, that's for damn sure. There are perfectly reasonable questions about whether or not a particular ride can meet the target audience the park is looking to draw, but the idea that they "can't fit" is nonsense. You'd have to be freebasing pixie dust to believe it.

 

Yep...there are several factors why DCA failed, and many analysts cited its prevalent use of "off-the-shelf" carnival rides as one of them. Obviously they arent going to take them out as they're already a sizeable part of the park. Thats the simplistic thinking. If you were to actually think about it, DCA's growing success has been proportionate to its addition of non-flat rides (Tower of Terror, Little Mermaid, Radiator Springs Racers). Is it really that hard for you to understand?

 

And yes, there is definitely a place for flat rides in theme parks...theme parks that host significantly less people than Disney and Universal. Im not a pixie dust 'free-baser', I recognize that non-Disney parks with a focus on story will shy away from flats as well. Instead of saying its ridiculous to think one of these parks could not reasonably fit in a large scale flat ride while maintaining the parks themes and aesthetics, why dont you come up with a way for them to fit? Propose YOUR idea. I guarantee it wont be easy.

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