Florida TR

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Re: Florida TR

Postby AndrewA86 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:23 pm

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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Re: Florida TR

Postby Too Fast For Comfort » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:50 am

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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Re: Florida TR

Postby thrillrider » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:29 am

Too Fast For Comfort wrote: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.


:nina:
This is the exact same impression that I have of universal.
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Re: Florida TR

Postby Too Fast For Comfort » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:36 am

thrillrider wrote:
Too Fast For Comfort wrote: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.


:nina:
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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Re: Florida TR

Postby AndrewA86 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:01 pm

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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Re: Florida TR

Postby AndrewA86 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:02 pm

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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Re: Florida TR

Postby prospekt88 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:48 pm

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

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Re: Florida TR

Postby AndrewA86 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:28 pm

prospekt88 wrote: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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