Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Islands of Adventure

Probably the best park in Orlando (sorry Carlsberg) which we visited pretty much every day.
Some great theming, amazing food and just a great place to kill the day!

The first coaster of the trip. Very large, very green and like the character it's based on has 2 sides to it. It starts out great with a superb launch and first few elements, complete with water splash. However the second half is a bit rough and I got beat up on it, so although I rerode it, there were better coasters out there. As with Spiderman (see next) skipping the pre-show means you won't know what the hell is going on. The throughput on this was superb with I think the longest queue being 10 minutes, for the front row.

I never understood from people's reviews how this actually worked so was quite looking forward to it. Needless to say I wasn't disappointed, it has a great mix of 4D cinema and motion ride with some great interaction between what is on the screens and the scenery you move through. However it didn't seem to have a huge re-ride factor and I wasn't as amazed after the 15th ride. Also a down side to having small queues is that you miss the pre-show and so don't really get what's going on if you walk straight on.

Duelling Dragons
Probably the best queue line I've ever seen as you're taken deeper and deeper into the castle and it's dungeons. I really like the animated stain glass windows which I blindly ignored for the first few weeks before realising they told a story. Of the two coasters I preferred the fire dragon, just for the airtime hill which I don't remember seeing on any other coaster. Ice is alright but not as good however both coasters have to be ridden in the front row to get the best scare of any coaster. Throughput on this ride was poor compared to Hulk because they were only running a single car on each side.

Popeye Rapids
One word sums this ride up - WET!! We got soaked on the first turn and the ride did not relent.
By far the best rapid attraction I've ever come across, even the lift hill that returns you into the station (or does it??) has more water cannons on it than you're likely to see anywhere else.

Dudley Doright Flume
Another great themed water ride which although it doesn't get you as wet as the rapids is still wetter than most rides. I particularly liked the "inappropriate theming" sign which offers a view of the back end of the park which you're not supposed to see. I was however confused by the side by side drop which only allows one to be used at any one time. The final water cannons are particularly brutal too (especially number 5).

Jurassic Park
The third water ride in the park and very disappointing having ridden the one in California.
The biggest difference is that the T-Rex has no water curtain to burst through and you can see it coming from a distance. Also the dinosaur that knocks you off course failed to emerge from the water, a broken effect I guess. Finally there was a huge rat floating dead in the water which clearly wasn't part of the theming.

Flying Unicorn
This was the park's kiddy coaster which unlike the pteranodon fliers, we were allowed to ride on. It was OK but not great. The staff member at Skull Kingdom rates this as his favourite coaster in the park (we knew he was a bit weird, this confirmed it).

Dr Doom's Freefall.
This is their drop tower ride, which is similar to anyother tower attraction.
One nice touch is that having been assimilated (the theme) as you leave the ride, it plays the sound of a marching army.

Poseidon's Fury
This is one of their walk through shows which isn't too bad. The main attraction is a room that suddenly turns into Poseidon's palace. However due to a mistiming in the effects we got to see how it worked. The ride is excellently themed outside though.
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