Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Photo TR: Islands of Adventure


Recommended Posts

From April 15-22, Gnome (Kyle) and myself (Connor) took a Spring Break trip to Florida. This was Kyle’s first trip to Orlando and my first since 2002. We hit Sea World, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Typhoon Lagoon, Busch Gardens Tampa… er… uh… Africa, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure.

 

Day 1-2: Plane flight and Sea World

 

We flew out of Ontario airport at 7:45 AM and after a stop in Phoenix we landed in Orlando at 7 PM. Despite my best efforts to convince my parents to stay on site at one of the Disney or Universal hotels, we ended up at a boring Marriott resort complex. We had a suite, so it was nice and roomy, but I’ve always felt Marriotts are the most conservative and unexciting hotels out there.

 

Kraken became my favorite coaster when I visited SWO four years ago and I was just too anxious to wait any longer, so we made it our first stop. I only had a few hours to spend on my last visit, so I just concentrated on cramming in as many rides on Kraken as possible and didn’t really get to see much of the park. This time we spent a full day and really got to soak in the atmosphere and see everything. Only the waterfront plaza area is themed, but the entire park is very well landscaped and has a nice feel to it. We rode Kraken 21 times throughout the day but also rode JTA, Wild Arctic, and saw a bunch of the animal exhibits.

DSC00908.JPG.2c35387d346dbe59787708c358e4df9b.JPG

We finished the day with a few Kraken night rides before closing. It is still Connor’s favorite coaster.

DSC00902.JPG.8e8a1a97be6dcc74f8759bd24959000d.JPG

We both agreed that Kraken is hands-down the best coaster at Sea World Orlando

DSC01255.JPG.d43eac48a5c132ac9215d239d646f211.JPG

The mcbr barely touches the train before it dives down into an intense vertical loop buried in a trench.

DSC00893.JPG.93f23c56896f75d7361dc5af0e3d9364.JPG

Judging by the size of this shark’s stomach, he is obviously an ACE member. SWO’s Shark Encounter sucks by the way.

DSC00884.JPG.127795005bf1c823a8ee8b3387f1b3b4.JPG

Hey look! It’s the swimming, diving guy show…

DSC00881.JPG.d138c7b6489cb20ae32b5f87d14009ef.JPG

Mmm… Pepsi products!

DSC00879.JPG.7f20973f334667bdb0b7aa98c46d3f0a.JPG

Connor thought the pizza at this restaurant was terrible, but Rob likes it just fine. I guess all Rob(b)s like food!

DSC01534.JPG.fefaa28cc71bc8f2cc3d6683355673f3.JPG

…except for the time it took Kyle’s phone.

DSC00887.JPG.e36bfdd7df72b5685438a234e9c70bc5.JPG

Kraken’s zero-g-roll is the highlight of the ride…

DSC00891.JPG.08badf727178ddfa76d995a6848703bd.JPG

Kraken’s first drop isn’t very steep, but it has surprisingly good airtime.

DSC00871.JPG.72834e9eb13598d3c2753d7e1b5a4926.JPG

According to Sea World’s legend, even Poseidon couldn’t control the mighty Kraken. Connor thinks he can do better.

DSC00877.JPG.b644563bf27ff78c9fa7d4ad978f7759.JPG

The tunnel was filled with mist back in 2002. The waterfalls don’t lightly wet riders on the left side of the train anymore either. Too bad, since it used to be refreshing on hot days.

DSC00853.JPG.964ec922201bdb9b35e276512cf9758c.JPG

For some reason Kyle actually prefers California’s version…

DSC00847.JPG.a4a04b4bb51a4293253bbe24b3e5cfc8.JPG

We took a break from Kraken to ride Journey to Atlantis. It still sucks.

DSC00835.JPG.9c6742f8f3292d3b1d4c911331c797df.JPG

This is the part where you don’t get airtime

DSC00826.JPG.7c216982740e98db3e6a5e9e5a2ef34b.JPG

Kraken has one of the most forceful corkscrews we’ve ever felt. It really could have used an air hill or small helix before the brakes though. There’s plenty of room.

DSC00824.JPG.e8a33a371876cf93592bf7ef9d562983.JPG

If the sun wasn’t so bright, Kyle just might be able to see that he’s about to be gobbled up by the Kraken!

DSC00820.JPG.01c1f8a76a919d33c4f9886208082c2f.JPG

Connor takes his Kraken riding very seriously.

DSC01271.JPG.577467c9becc79d131218a56b3c1605e.JPG

The view of Kraken from a road adjacent to Sea World. Kraken looks just as long and drawn out as the rest of the recent B&M’s, but it takes everything so fast that it feels more like the older ones.

DSC01245.JPG.177e6009fe839d176803bc5f8dc071fe.JPG

This is the bathroom… where you do stuff.

DSC01241.JPG.38da313403e646aaf6339bacc2056060.JPG

Our suite at Marriott Cypress Harbor. It was nice enough, but we still wish we stayed on site at Universal or Disney.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 33
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

And so we move onto day 2. Feel free to skip to photos if thats all that interests you....

 

So day two (which was 2 weeks & 1 day ago from today) was all like awesome and junk. We went to the Animal Kingdom where we didn't see a real animal all day, except for a few birds, and the occasional lizard, and I guess a big butt yeti if you count that as an animal. But other than that, we didn’t' see any animals.

 

So we probably got to the park between 11 & 12, and seeing as how my mother worked for Disney Land for like 25 years, she had these complementary passes that date back to 1989. That's right... its from the 80's... and so anyways we used these passes to get in, and the cool thing about them is that you can park hop with it, so of course we'd use that to our advantage and go to the Magic Kingdom later in the day.. But for now we're still at AK.

 

So we get inside the park after visiting guest relations to exchange our passes into the normal passes then from there we dart strait to Expedition Everest, while at the same time trying to appreciate all the theming. And the theming was pretty nice. I liked all the trees and the land scaping, and plus the actual theming on top of that just makes it better. It's probably one of my favorite parks to walk around. The tree of life was cool to look at, and every thing on it looked pretty real, except for those leaves, but you know... whose complaining?

 

So a bunch of pictures later we finally get over to Everest. The area is really nice and very well themed as all of you should already know by now. And so we wondered around for a fast pass, and we notice that the earliest the current fast passes would be available for use would be 6:40 or something close to that time, so we decided we would wait in the 90 minute line, but first we had to get an ice cream because it was like the temperature of the center of the earth. So we got our ice cream and went in the line and then lucky for us, there was some one giving out 2 fast pass. And Bingo was his name.... O! So we grabbed the passes went in line for it (seeing as how the time listed on the pass was available.) So we basically zipped through the line and when we got to the front, we asked to wait for the front. SO we waited one more train and then we were waiting for the front.

 

So now we're sitting on the train for the ride, and I must say it’s actually kind of comfy and we're waiting to go. Then wouldn't you know it.... they launched the train and the train started on its 2:30 journey. The sculpting of the mountain was very well done and although it didn't look very real to me, it still was enough to satisfy me.

 

And so then you finally get to the top and you stall at the tire lift transfer spot and then you get sent backwards down a double or triple helix in the dark, which I will admit is great fun, and then you see the projection of the yeti (which had the same effect on me as it did when I watched a video of one of the onrides.... cool to watch but seeing it in person didn’t really do much for me.)

 

And then we were off again and plunging down the huge drop (which gives you a decent amount of air in the backseat) and you’re flying through all the helixes and stuff that this ride has to offer. Then you come up to the yeti and then your expecting something grand, and what you get is a total disappointment. We got 2 half a second flashes which didn't reveal much of the yeti at all. So much for the being fully articulated and stuff like that, you can't even see the thing. 

 

But overall the ride was exactly how I expected it to be, feel wise, and the yeti was the only disappointment to me.

 

After Everest we went over to the raft ride where we waited an hour and a half for, luckily, though, they have stuff to look at so its not as bad as it would be if we were waiting an hour for something at knotts. While in line I was watching the onride of Everest that I had taken, and the people behind us thought it was the coolest thing in the world, and they started yapping at us, so of course we started yapping back at them. So that helped pass the time as well. Finally we got on the ride, and I must say it’s a huge disappointment. The best part is when you are going through these trees and everything is all burnt up, then you go down this large drop which gets you pretty wet, and its great fun. But the reason why those burning logs were there was because of this “deforestation” theme that they had going on, which IMO was very lame. They could have done better with the story and with the ride itself.

 

After that we went over Dinoland USA and we went on that spinning wild mouse ride which was kind of fun... except me and Connor were sitting next to 2 hicks, and I just can not stand their accents. But we just nodded at them and tried to mind our own business as best we can. Anyways, the whole Dino Fair area is very, very crappy and is a complete eye sore. I realize the reason they put it in there was to have more rides to bring guests in, but still, no rides and a beautiful park is a whole crap load better than a bunch of small crappy rides, and eyesores every which way you look. But at least its only one section of Dinoland and the rest was pretty easy to look at and enjoy.

 

So since we were at Dinoland we ate at McDonalds, then after that we decided that we would take a spin on Dinosaur: Count Down to Extinction, or w/e they call it these days.

It was pretty fun and there was only a 20 minute line because I guess everyone else was either eating lunch, in line for Everest, or at some other area of the park. So in case if you didn’t know this, the ride uses the EMV system (I believe its called) which is the same ride system they use on Indiana Jones at Disneyland. But what’s different about this ride is that they rely more on sites and sound (mainly sound) for the thrill where as Indiana Jones is movement and sites, but not really sound, so much. Anyways the Carnataur or w/e was pretty cool and the sound effects really did scare you. Along with that some of the animatronics were very well done as well, and it’s a must if you ever go to the Animal Kingdom.

 

After we did Dinosaur, we then went back to Everest for one last ride, and so it wouldn’t take forever we stood in line for Single Riders, which isn’t a bad gig at all because your on the ride in about 30 – 40 minutes. And the only real problem is sometimes you get stuck with annoying people who think they’re all bomb for riding Everest, and they scream really loudly and you want to tell them to shut up... ect. But its not to bad.

So now we head off to the magic kingdom.

 

The first thing I noticed at Magic Kingdom is how much bigger the streets are. Everybody has told me about it so when I saw it, I didn’t think to much of it, but there is definitely a difference in size. The next thing I noticed is the Cinderella’s Castle, which is far superior to DLR’s simply because its more extravagant and cooler to look at. But they have that big badge type thing in the front which is an eye sore to look at, but if they remove that then it would be ok. But other then first impressions… as far as experiencing the park we basically ran through a bunch of rides. We did stitch encounter, which had good animatronics, and I don’t think anyone would find it scary at all (nor was that their intentions when they did the show, imo.) You’ve got people screaming, but it’s more of screams of fun. It also helped me sort of imagine what AE was like, but without experiencing the actual thing, I will still never know. 

Also, even though Magic Kingdom’s Tomarrowland is bigger, and has more attractions then Disneyland’s, I’m going to have to say that ours is better simply because it’s better organized and it looks better. (Which is weird to say or think about…….)

We also went on Thunder mountain which is a slightly longer version than DL, and one of the cool features this one has is a trick track, which is pretty cool It also has a more elaborate themed station than DLR’s, but I think the actual ride theming is better at DLR.

 

We also went on Splash Mountain, which from what I remember, is not to different as far as a queue goes, but the ride is different in that there is no “Boo hoo Brere Rabbit” scene, but they do have a slightly longer ride, and some other scenes to fill on the spot. I think I like them both the same though.

 

Then you got your Liberty Square and Haunted Mansion. Liberty square is pretty cool, but I think overall I like having a New Orleans Square better. The jazz band and everything adds more atmosphere imo. And as for the Haunted Mansion, I think some of the theming at MK’s is more elaborate just like generally everything else at MK, but overall I liked DL’s better.

After that we ran off to Tomarrowland to finish the night. While there, we went on People Mover, or what ever they call it, and after riding it, I still wish that DLR still had theirs. We also decided to finish out the night with Space Mountain. I like the seats more, but the 6 seats per train thing really kill capacity, which is why they have the 2 sides. But if they had 2 trains going with 2 seats, then we could see a major capacity improvement. But oh well. Anyways, I forgot how bumpy Disneyland’s last space mountain was, and MK’s brought back some old memories. Along with that, I also thought some of the different theming at this version was kind of cool, slightly tacky in some instances. (IE the astronauts in between the to lifts) But overall I think the 2 are on par with each other, although noticeably different.

 

After Space Mountain we went on home. And now if you read all that you get to look at the pictures. If you didn’t read all that, you get to look at the pictures anyways! Yay!

DSC00955.jpg.e9bffdfcef23f027ae8ea816ea56f7e6.jpg

And I leave you with one last shot of Cinderalla's Castle, which is x10 better than Sleeping Beauty's.

DSC00957.jpg.8690609002cee82f62a52bbe43a03663.jpg

It's Space Mountain!!! Which is also looking pretty futuristic!

DSC00956.jpg.24da070e2d44f88ccef9e7357f838236.jpg

The entrance to MK's Tomarrowland.... WOOOOoooo Futuristic!

DSC00953.jpg.0700ecc158e40ed9fe13a398a632477f.jpg

Nevermind the bell or the building behind it, look at the beautiful shrubbery!

DSC00952.jpg.5b5792ed344c222a3debf86ccdbe3087.jpg

Unbeknown to the GP, those rafts actually take them to slaughter houses where they'll be slaughtered and repackaged for future park guests.

DSC00951.jpg.9550f3de92c9e0bfa70557c69bbf61de.jpg

Connor's all like, "Tee Hee... I'm cool!" And Strongbad's all like, "No.. your not!"

DSC00950.jpg.908e3895a20dbaef81b6558299d53bd4.jpg

You can't go wrong with Thunder Mountain either :D

DSC00948.jpg.cb773ffb9a273526fcc0e8309fd12a60.jpg

You also can't go wrong with a castle that's 10x better than the original.

DSC00947.jpg.793446e040aa6573addad40eb09258a3.jpg

No Disneyland variation is complete without a train station!

DSC00918.jpg.a1ade07c5fd0877b525efa43c4d04bbf.jpg

One last picture before we go over to the Magic Kingdom

DSC00942.jpg.a1ab957951664f2173595c94d11530b0.jpg

Now that we're done eating lets go puke it back up!

DSC00943.jpg.26654694ebd441fb9bc001b86b067695.jpg

Connor munches on some Elissa Friendly Food.

DSC00936.jpg.e71a0a6df7224d1061ec9499674deb02.jpg

But as far as the ride itself goes... its a let down with a nice enviornment.

DSC00935.jpg.db1e98c261ddbcff0844d926e377102b.jpg

This ride gets you pretty wet.

DSC00931.jpg.ae1adda830520ca353f8180028728e21.jpg

Its pretty hot right now, and we need to cool off. Lets head over to Kali Rapids!

DSC00940.jpg.08d12e69eb0b9330af309c1f5dda868c.jpg

The mountain looks pretty realistic if I do say so myself.

DSC00938.jpg.107aed9e85acfb67b5f23d990f374dd6.jpg

Then you go back inside the Mountain and everybody's all like "Woah!!!"

DSC00928.jpg.10d078f5a837bab3068612c1d0e0d257.jpg

This is the part where everybody screams

DSC00926.jpg.6769252089b57340475416668eb1da06.jpg

The flags are a really nice touch.

DSC00924.jpg.dd06e41c775b66243e66404db190ca3d.jpg

Most people refer to it as Expedition Everest, while all the cool people refer to it as, "That big thing over there."

DSC00925.jpg.bad7edde2e0e6dd17c3954200048bbec.jpg

The theming for it starts long before you even get close to the ride itself.

DSC00919.jpg.8c7d17e529b4a33680e87a9d4fb22b08.jpg

Another thing you notice once the Tree of life comes into view is this big mountain jutting out of the trees.

DSC00921.jpg.4d53ea4778b8d73679c1a6bf11e11c32.jpg

The Tree of Life contains hundreds of engraved animals.

DSC00917.jpg.758489b0522efdb2a453fe9d784bc1b7.jpg

When you first get into the park, this tree is not the first thing you see. You have to go along some trail before the Tree of Life comes into view.

DSC00913.jpg.7d2111b3f40cc1d04780d9c3b2f500d7.jpg

But seeing as how we're not normal, we used our 1989 Complementary Cast Member Passes to get in instead.

DSC00914.jpg.e1ec6d69e63111018998b2430d36729e.jpg

This is where normal people buy thier tickets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Figured I might as well add in my own two cents worth on the day.

 

I was really surprised at how nice a park AK was. I figured we would get in, ride Everest a few times, and quickly hit Kali Rapids, Dinosaur, and Primeval Whirl only to then get bored and head out after only a few hours. It was actually very hard for both of us to leave in enough time to make it over to Magic Kingdom. Even though the ride count is low and I've had my fill of animal parks, I really wish we could have spent a full day there.

 

Everything I saw about AK except for Dino land was perfect and we didn't even step foot in the back half of the park. Dino Land just looked so crappy comapred to everything else. It seems like they probably had something much better planned but then had to scale back for budget. It is not at all up to Disney standards. Dinosaur the ride was great though! Not quite as good as Indy, but it was geared for a younger audience so that was to be expected.

 

I was probably nine or ten the last time I went to Magic Kingdom, so it was almost like seeing a new park for me as well. The only thing I really remembered was riding Big Thunder Mountain and Alien Encounter.

 

I missed some of the Disneyland rides like Indiana Jones and Matterhorn, but I prefer MK overall. It feels and is a lot larger and a few of the major landmarks like the castle are more impressive. We lucked out again with fast passes and someone gave us two for Thunder Mountain just as we walked up to it. I wasn't blown away with Space Mountain. I haven't ridden DL's since the rebuild, but I'm pretty sure I recall liking the old one better than MK's. Stitch Encounter made the best of taming a more adult oriented ride down to something suitable for kids, but I wish there was some way of prerving a bit more of the old attraction.

 

We got everything done that we wanted to going in, but we still wished there was more time to see more of the entire park. I don't know how the other group was able to pull off three parks! Two was difficult enough for us!

 

Sorry about the lack of photos for this update. We were running very low on film that day. You will see a lot more for our Busch Gardens trip tomorrow or Thursday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally love the random Strong Bad attack!

 

^I'll agree with you on the whole Dino-Rama area looking so terrible compared to the rest of the park. I know it was added later after they realized the park had next to no rides and was not going to receive the Beastly Kingdom, but still. Its like they designed this with every intention that as soon as they had everything worked out, they could go away for Christmas vacation. Likke they started it on October 31, and if they finished it November 1, they had off until January 1, if they finished it December 24, they still only had off until January 1 so they wanted to get it out of the way as quickly as possible. "Lets make it look like a parking lot carnival has set up in this area of the park, that's great theming! Ok boys, we're done, see you next year, have a great holiday!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like you got the Mode B of the Yeti. When you saw him did you see a bunch of flashing lights with the Yeti in the middle? If you did that would be the Mode B version which means the Yeti was taking a break after drinking a bunch of Derek's beer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 3: Busch Gardens Africa

 

Busch Gardens was probably my favorite day of the trip. We got there an hour after opening because we had to take the shuttle from Sea World, but drove home with my family so we could stay past the shuttle’s 5 PM departure time.

 

The park itself is very nice, but way too many of the employees weren’t. A lot of them were very lazy and seemed totally uninterested in being there. Kumba’s crew was okay and Sheikra’s was one of the best I’ve ever seen, but that alone won’t cut it when all the employees at Universal and Disney are at that same level.

 

The first thing we rode was Montu. It was running trim-free on my last visit four years ago and it has been in my top five since. We weren’t so lucky this time and I finally experienced the wrath of the trims everyone else complains about. Everything after the batwing felt like it was just chugging along at ¾ speed. The first half is still incredible though. The immelman doesn’t do much, but drop is probably my favorite twisting drop anywhere, the loop still packs a good punch, and the zero-g-roll is easily the best I’ve seen on an invert. Montu is still in my top ten, but it has definitely dropped a few spots.

 

Kumba on the other hand is still without equal among sit down coasters. The new paint brings so much more life to it and it runs a bit smoother now too. The rattle some older B&M’s get was almost gone. Everything about this coaster just kicks so much ass. It maintains intensity throughout the whole ride better than any other coaster I’ve ridden. Kumba is a textbook example of how a coaster can be executed perfectly without an abundance of theming. Busch nailed it the first time around and still hasn’t surpassed it yet.

 

Sheikra broke down for about an hour so we checked out Python and Scorpion next. Both of us wanted to get our first Arrow Corkscrew credit, but Python had a 45 minute line so we scrapped that idea. Scorpion’s crew was one of the slowest we saw so we only rode it once and unfortunately got assigned to the middle of the train. That probably had something to do with it, but Scorpion did not seem quite as forceful as I remembered it. Still a fun ride though.

 

Next we thought we’d try our luck with Gwazi. I thought Gwazi absolutely sucked back in 2002, but only Tiger was running so I wanted to be able to compare both sides this time. We rode Lion first. When we got off we were both completely dumbfounded at how good it was! It was still rough, but not the least bit painful and there was actually airtime! I don’t know how we lucked out like this, but Gwazi Lion was comfortably flying through its course like a good wooden coaster should. Tried Tiger next and it was the exact same thing. Air and lats all over the place! The layouts are obviously different, but we couldn’t notice any big changes with the ride experience between the two. Gwazi caught us completely off guard. It’s always nice when parks throw surprises at you when you least expect it!

 

We finally got over to Sheikra after that. It was everything I expected and more. The first drop has extreme air the whole way down and is second only to Millennium Force’s in my book. The second one possibly has even better airtime, but doesn’t last as long. The immelman was nothing special unless you sat on the far end, but it was still cool to see an inversion on a dive machine. The drop into a mist-filled tunnel felt great but I wish the splash got you just a little bit wet. We easily could have ridden Sheikra all day and not have gotten board with it.

 

We thought this plantation-looking restaurant called Crown Colony looked nice earlier in the day, so we decided to have dinner there. Big mistake… By some pure stroke of genius the sit down restaurant on the upper floor closed at 6:00, exactly 30 min before most people typically eat dinner, so we went downstairs to the “fast food” floor. Easily the worst service I’ve ever seen in any park anywhere. The employees were completely incompetent and couldn’t seem to do anything right. It took them ten minutes to get us one piece of pizza and two orders of fries and chicken strips even though everything was already made.

 

I don’t know why Busch Gardens seems to close early so often, but we ran back to Kumba to get in a few more rides before 8:00. Luckily there was no one in line so we rode three times in the last row without getting off. Overall it was a great day aside from a few instances of poor service. I only wish we had more time.

DSC01145.JPG.6723acf553289a79dc92290b11734311.JPG

The sun sets on Gwazi, now my second favorite wooden coaster!

DSC01152.JPG.c2f21445af8ab26c870c6b9c81a738f4.JPG

Unlike Rhino Rally, Connor gives Kumba a thumbs up. We both thought it was right up there with Kraken for the title of best coaster in Florida.

DSC01033.JPG.7e9d932b92ecb7461d8e1f133ffd1958.JPG

We squeezed in three consecutive rides on Kumba to finish off the day before the park closed at f’n 8:00. What’s with this park and early closing times?

DSC01153.JPG.fc36a4bd630a9e6c0d232a16312d95aa.JPG

Kyle is smiling because they were playing Star Wars music of all things in the Congo gift shops. John Williams music is appropriate anywhere, no matter the time or place!

DSC01147.JPG.f7cc82c0345c3a4b7dd2449ed924bcee.JPG

Rob thinks the service here sucks.

DSC01146.JPG.996833372f129ca9ddb85e9754155456.JPG

But since the actual restaurant closes just before peak dinner time we were relegated to the fast food floor. The Crown Colony- where service is an afterthought!

DSC01139.JPG.27f759292c2fede6b591dd1c3684d8f8.JPG

The Crown Colony restaurant looked like a nice place to eat dinner…

DSC01096.JPG.7d339bbf2aac8d56c70dac99b7dac94a.JPG

Sheikra is probably the best B&M built in the last few years. It’s everything Silver Bullet is not: fun, intense, exciting, and they actually added water!

DSC01124.JPG.517dd339f1155a8cd905647304ec9ec7.JPG

… but Dad rode it twice! (notice Kyle is the only one holding on)

DSC01121.JPG.5989276f195e029fbc3d3cea6af325bd.JPG

Carol and Rob decide whether or not to ride Sheikra. Mom passed…

DSC01125.JPG.e16c094af50800447c8e32b6ae74bea6.JPG

“Sheikra Plaza” is one of the nicest areas we’ve seen for any coaster.

DSC01095.JPG.276d182e5e796b5258ebc13b66e94d5d.JPG

Sheikra’s splashdown gets everyone wet but the riders.

DSC01110.JPG.5d168a757535b39243f3b772e09c3837.JPG

Connor thinks he can pull off wearing an Oakley shirt with Ray-Ban sunglasses.

DSC01093.JPG.0d34714b09898b6e1cd1a4a02bba5a01.JPG

Sheikra’s first drop is incredible. Major airtime the whole way down!

DSC01091.JPG.95ccffb5727fe8c600daa195635fdd27.JPG

Busch did an absolutely awesome job integrating it with the pathways. Everyone around the ride was just buzzing with excitement over it.

DSC01100.JPG.293bca6346c2a98893d84f650880d334.JPG

Sheikra more than lived up to the hype.

DSC01112.JPG.30a074478cc2094fee21cab75e307abf.JPG

The lines were too long to bother with any of the water rides.

DSC01081.JPG.cce4506b4c8af5d63f5142ccf7411691.JPG

Ahhh!!! Kraken!… oh, wait…

DSC01075.JPG.7cc800c66507f5e5f798969e9d49aeb0.JPG

Busch Gardens now has X-Men themed restrooms!

DSC01073.JPG.e54b5b0d1bad919cc6f08e06c2ac9834.JPG

Gwazi was easily the surprise of the trip. All of you are probably thinking we’re insane, but trust us, it was seriously a great ride!

DSC01069.JPG.15a725a5a5d89b017ec673762cf47eb2.JPG

… but it was actually really good! It was running remarkably smooth and both sides had… (gasp)… airtime!

DSC01060.JPG.3ca7f3763cb725fbeff1bb32f0655a01.JPG

We didn’t expect much from Gwazi…

DSC01055.JPG.7bdcfd60037738e49b18ce1c680cbb04.JPG

Connor gives Rhino Rally a solid thumbs down. We didn’t even bother riding it since it was such a waste of time four years ago.

DSC01135.JPG.684d6defbb949dcb7d67a121384a316d.JPG

… and a komodo dragon with an ACE membership!

DSC01053.JPG.526465575bdbf7e9304e42cbc044e5b9.JPG

… some elephants…

DSC01052.JPG.9ced9b4dd7e9728721d3b36973199dff.JPG

Oh yeah, Busch Gardens has animals too! Here’s a camel…

DSC01051.JPG.56b3a88c19d8e2b3750d01fbe5f64aab.JPG

A triple downward helix! You gotta love that old Schwarzkoph guy!

DSC01047.JPG.cb32b609eb7ac4bec99ab2e039a3a2e1.JPG

They might as well just rename Scorpion “Mini Sheikra.”

DSC01037.JPG.12a55aeb2e74f80d0c1621f0a86915a6.JPG

There was absolutely no way we were going to wait 45 minutes just to get an Arrow Corkscrew credit.

DSC01021.JPG.5c6fd7f81a8471894caf6b33d21435e7.JPG

B&M sitdowns have the coolest trains. The whole floorless thing gets old after like three rides and these look so much better.

DSC01018.JPG.c6d839133d1076ff3ea1705406a1af1d.JPG

Kumba is about as far away from Scream as you can get!

DSC01014.JPG.7fc13c512916881e2c9596b59b48fcb7.JPG

All parks should landscape their coasters like this.

DSC01024.JPG.0f87563d705f5f9620d05ef855655f6f.JPG

The main reason we brought Kyle along on this trip was to have someone to hold the video camera.

DSC01012.JPG.eff0c390c9d027e678f44f8b577b2b84.JPG

Like all the elements on Kumba, the loop is loaded with positive g’s.

DSC01008.JPG.280da3ee02d2260cbd198d1506de16f9.JPG

The original interlocking corkscrews are still the best!

DSC01004.JPG.c972839fe0cd503164f5975c23b1c0d3.JPG

Even though you can walk right under it, it is next to impossible to find good shots of Kumba’s cobra roll.

DSC00999.JPG.f4ff5f1da2513abd424fe30cded32482.JPG

Kumba is one of the coolest looking coasters out there and after 13 years it’s still one of the best B&M’s.

DSC00995.JPG.4940f3b1b3890d9494785ab0b7412ada.JPG

The freshly painted Kumba was taunting us.

DSC01003.JPG.6a8ee2a1819899280b6275746ab7fb86.JPG

One of the many cool shots seen from the chair lift. We didn’t get around to Sheikra until a bit later.

DSC00987.JPG.50bc083e3ba37a8ad993169601a98e2a.JPG

Busch’s chair lift has lots of great photo and video opps.

DSC00975.JPG.f5f44ea43147b5f5346b84a381079449.JPG

You can’t tell from this shot, but Montu has to have the most elliptical vertical loop ever.

DSC00972.JPG.266019d86a198de5a686ad5c4d5c8b90.JPG

No trims to hurt the zero-g-roll! One of Montu’s best elements.

DSC01141.JPG.a3b6d4e325a8e5a7ecd920dbfb4b09a0.JPG

Why can’t they just let Montu run the way it was designed to? It’s like the Kwame Brown of roller coasters- so much wasted potential...

DSC00969.JPG.9dafc985cada987674a896dac7fce8cb.JPG

We saw this car on our way to the park. These guys were just cruising along with absolutely no idea the trunk was open.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i agree with you on Gwazi. it blew me away too. really fun and really intense. the whole thing felt out of control which is great in my book. Unfortunatley I didnt get any airtime... but its all good.

 

Nice pics too! thnx.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sheikra is probably the best B&M built in the last few years. It’s everything Silver Bullet is not: fun, intense, exciting, and they actually added water!

 

Hey!! I *liked* Silver Bullet!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 4: Typhoon Lagoon and Epcot

 

Our second two-park day was a lot more relaxed than the first. We spent the first half of the day at Typhoon Lagoon and left around 3:00 for an early dinner before hitting Epcot in the evening. Our first impulse was to go to Blizzard Beach since it's newer and rated higher, but we met several people that had been to both parks during the week and suggested we go to Typhoon Lagoon instead. They had also just added a new water coaster so it sounded like a good idea.

 

Typhoon Lagoon is easily the best water park I have been to. They don't have a huge selection of water slides, but the ones they do have are fun and the theming and atmosphere couldn't be better. Once we got inside we first rented a locker for our stuff and went straight for the water coaster, the Crushin' Gusher. The coaster has three sides all of which are slightly different but have pretty much the same set of elements. We both thought the far left side (I think it was called Bannana Blaster) was slightly better than the other two. All three start out with a steep drop off the platform that has absolutely massive airtime and then hit the first set of water jets that absolutely soak you and propel the raft up into a turnaround. They each head in different directions and drop a second time with more air and then wind around a bit in their own ways. Next it blasts through a second set of jets that push you over a cammelback before turning and dumping you into the pool.

 

The Crushin' Gusher alone was worth the price of admission. It was really, really good! The only problem is that it's also really, really short. Some of the other water coasters like Master Blaster look to be a good bit longer. The airtime on this thing is just insane! I usually just sit calmly on even my favorite roller coasters, but every time we went over a hill on Crushin' Gusher I couldn't help but shout out things I probably shouldn't post here.

 

After that we just walked around the park for a while to take pictures so we wouldn't have to lug our stuff around with us all day. Once that was done we went to the wave pool. Typhoon's wave pool has one big wave followed by three or four short ones every 1-2 minutes. It's not the best I've seen, but it is certainly a lot better than that joke of a wave pool at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas...

 

Next we just breezed through all of the water slides at the back of the park. They had three fairly exciting body slides, a family raft ride that we didn't ride, a typical straight racing slide, and two single-person raft slides. All of them were pretty cool but they need a tall, steep one like Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach.

 

One thing I really have to commend the park on is the employees. Almost every time we got to the top of a set of slides we saw at least one crying little kid who was afraid to ride. The employee stationed up there was able to calm the kid down and convince them it was safe to ride almost every time. One guy told a little girl that she could simply walk down the slide and she immediately cheered up and started to walk and then slipped and laughed as she coasted down the rest of the way! That is seriously good service when even the kids' parents weren't able to calm them down!

 

After that Kyle just had to go snorkeling with the sharks in their well-themed, but crappy little tank. So I just walked around for a while to wait for him. I had already done this a few years ago in a far superior setup at Sea World's Discovery Cove park so I had no desire to do it again here.

 

Once we left the park we met up with my parents for dinner at my favorite restaurant, Benihana, and then went to Epcot.

 

By the time we got to Epcot there wasn't much time left so we were just able to ride Mission: Space and Test Track and then see Illuminations before closing. Trying to squeeze all of WDW aside from MGM Studios into two days made us painfully aware that we will need more than a full week next time we go to Orlando. My parents ended up coming back to Epcot the following day while we went to Universal Studios.

 

Mission Space was very good and the five minute wait sure didn't hurt either! Test Track was alright, but I think they could have made the vehicle take the "cornering tests" considerably faster while still keeping it suitable for families.

 

Sorry, no bikini pictures from Typhoon Lagoon, but if coasters and bikinis are what you're looking for, I just might be able to help!

http://community.webshots.com/photo/548941070/2129762860081625595AmcBKN

DSC01239.JPG.625ef405c86b3815ed93d38c37549f7f.JPG

When you think about it, Epcot is not all that unlike a large, outdoor disco club.

DSC01232.JPG.e4c46baa3885a1572752b144aab8efc3.JPG

The folks at Epcot apparently knew my birthday was coming up, so they threw me a celebration!

DSC01217.JPG.7c44d34c37ed68dedc9f32116c7881fe.JPG

Like I said, no repetitive shots here!

DSC01221.JPG.6c41436005a9c01ba4f514c254ee0699.JPG

I try not to include repeat shots in my trip reports.

DSC01226.JPG.612dd2fb475560b1ad1a30b0a28aa57d.JPG

Epcot is one of the nicest looking parks at night.

DSC01208.JPG.da40ccfb52741f8df95dd3626d7387f8.JPG

I would have refused to ride if Test Track had been sponsored by Toyota.

DSC01205.JPG.3a9af1f7d240c09efdbb4b9fe440d67d.JPG

… but first we will use this anal probe to determine if you are truly fit to be an astronaut!

DSC01204.JPG.612953faec3ac48d90015fadb206acc2.JPG

We certainly weren’t expecting lines like this!

998580834_KingKong.jpg.8d6b79829082231f03f411ad8cc3e5e0.jpg

Kong is not pleased that Mission Space does not travel to the Planet of the Apes. Michael Eisner also hails from Planet of the Apes.

DSC01197.JPG.789610fc2a97f6933a50a382d7cefed2.JPG

In case you didn't know, Epcot has a rather large spherical object up front.

DSC01193.jpg.55d7e1ee72feb48606708b2460e8aed5.jpg

This family sitting across from us thought it was absolutely hilarious that we flew out from Southern California for a vacation in Florida…

DSC01188.jpg.bdf9293ba4e2c93ce4b692ff1dad1ce5.jpg

You can’t beat Benihana for good Japanese food.

DSC01183.JPG.e7adc617c2bc8df49684a1bb188b9ef0.JPG

The racing slides were fun, but not all that steep.

DSC01169.JPG.2fa68340aad08623b9464064a578d319.JPG

Typhoon Lagoon’s theming is just as detailed as any regular Disney park.

DSC01185.JPG.880424ad69ab3cf30cbd6e31cf4a37a4.JPG

Check out that awesome tan!

DSC01163.JPG.629309297573b25f4484304cb1a9b12f.JPG

The shark tank was barely larger than a typical household swimming pool, but Kyle insisted on doing it…

DSC01172.JPG.d7be260072ed4f3d4a9d82150589c015.JPG

The river is themed and landscaped 100 percent all the way around.

DSC01178.JPG.0f71c0b4cf25323df6dfc3adc4ffd0d6.JPG

We unfortunately didn’t have time for the lazy river. This one was seriously huge though. It wraps around the entire park!

DSC01164.JPG.b3334c9a1a9bf6c5c74bbb5c745379eb.JPG

This was a lot better than Sea World Orlando’s Shark Encounter…

DSC01168.JPG.4f06310c2f3a1f27ebdcd0cf319d1f2a.JPG

Unlike Mandalay Bay, Disney designs their wave pools large enough to accommodate actual waves!

DSC01179.JPG.1ed7f855a2c0f901622f303b2855255f.JPG

Typhoon Lagoon’s water coaster has way better airtime than any of the roller coasters at SFMM!

DSC01160.JPG.08688cae2e68f93bb3ab5b3ac47c00e5.JPG

You’d never guess from the sign, but this is the entrance to Crushin’ Gusher.

Godzilla.jpg.1d7a506371b775964751989352f13270.jpg

Godzilla showed up to let everyone know the real reason that ship is stranded up there!

DSC01156.JPG.28a4fe253cabeada2a3131475ca69258.JPG

You would think the entrance to a Disney Park would be a bit more impressive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No replies? Ok whatever…

 

Anyway, here’s Day 5: Universal Studios

 

We actually made a quick stop back at Sea World again in the morning to take more video of Kraken and then got over to Universal around noon. We headed straight for Revenge of the Mummy. Absolutely f’n insane ride! I was blown away by Mummy, it was everything I expected and more! It has several spots of great ejector air that completely caught us off guard and lots of good directional changes and twists. The LIM acceleration was pretty weak, but that’s not the major focus of the ride so no biggie. One thing that kept coming up was they kept messing up the timing of the special effects. We only got one ride where everything was synchronized correctly. The animatronics are pretty bad too. Universal has done things years ago with more realism than the talking mummy and his guards on this ride. The rest of the theming is top notch though.

 

We talked to this one couple in line who was on the last day of a full week at the Universal Resort and spent all seven days doing nothing but IOA and USO! I have no idea how they can pass up all the other parks in the area only to go to those two every single day. They were perfectly happy about it too. Didn’t seem the least bit bored…

 

We rode Jaws next. Still a fun enough ride for its age but obviously not a real thrill ride. It’s a Universal classic though, so I think it’s still a must ride at the park.

 

After that we went over to Men In Black. We were actually very disappointed. I had never done a shoot em’ up dark ride like this before, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. My score was actually ended up being pretty decent, but it was impossible to tell which laser sight was yours and there was a long delay between when you pulled the trigger and you actually got confirmation of a hit.

 

Rode Terminator and Shrek 4D next. Both were pretty good and I especially liked Shrek.

DSC01339.JPG.bb4eb364f1c07a0eaeb47be1eaff12e4.JPG

CityWalk lit up at night.

DSC01341.JPG.4c14e7aef7ce812ae859bd51224b429b.JPG

Same deal with NBA City. Both are on my list of things to do on my next visit.

DSC01337.JPG.e6f8941bf02e46e94bad15c9c6f2f315.JPG

Hard Rock Café looks like a cool place to eat, but we didn’t have time.

DSC01332.JPG.aee0b94cd73b419df8e633d0bcbd78d7.JPG

ET is actually a fun ride. Too bad USH couldn’t keep theirs.

DSC01328.JPG.2684906986b897ba6bd06161e4647f4e.JPG

Kyle seemed more excited to ride ET than Revenge of the Mummy!

DSC01327.JPG.94882ad5a3847a9399726a32cc8dd1a3.JPG

We didn’t get a chance to ride the Woody Woodpecker coaster. The wait was way too long.

DSC01321.JPG.7bb15f7e4ab54cc25e3ffa601d39d85a.JPG

This so needs to be the next big ride at IOA or USO. Kongfrontation R.I.P.

DSC01322.JPG.9ec0aa4c6ebcb0362d6ec7e161fe909a.JPG

T2 3D is a good show, but I’ve seen it enough times in CA that I’m kind of bored with it now.

t-red.jpg.2ef367584282e2d939079911414d0cd0.jpg

… but Connor IS the Terminator!

DSC01307.JPG.b6e2563f793f6a2033c079ad715a1426.JPG

Kyle may think he’s an agent…

DSC01303.JPG.54071c9036bcb7c17ca0ef67ce5e0504.JPG

MIB: the disappointment of the trip…

DSC01298.JPG.bc37dceeb8e19807284f1371c412de31.JPG

We think we might be on to something with this shark idea. I’m calling it right now, pretty soon everyone will be doing it!

DSC01292.JPG.14de95f1c5d17faeb308640336c70a92.JPG

Our lone Mummy photo for this trip.

DSC01294.JPG.3a5cc581b9aab6f76dff63649db5a549.JPG

Universal’s fearsome five- Dracula, Wolf Man, Beatlejuice, Frankenstein… and Connor.

DSC01290.JPG.e07504d42b82d9cfa64aa77a35f1fae0.JPG

A giant backdrop. The cheapest way possible to make a theme work!

DSC01284.JPG.16d8e5187ed6bd2f67fd55a084be9c59.JPG

Universal doesn’t even bother with a monorail. They have boats that take resort guests to and from the parks!

DSC01286.JPG.b583e85d6f767d1bc497d30f4ae13af9.JPG

The whole lakefront area between the two parks is very nice and has two interesting restaurants apart from CityWalk.

DSC01278.JPG.5e3e2da7beddb14ec57e9c9100488d2a.JPG

The sign for CityWalk. Just in case you couldn’t tell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice pictures. It does seem like that Woody Woodpecker coaster always has a huge line. Last time I was there I think it was an hour wait. No way I would wait an hour for a ride that lasts less than 20 seconds from the end of the lift hill to the brake run.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/