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  • Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

    I'm considering heading back down to Orlando in the next few months to visit Universal Studios. We definitely plan on taking in the main park, but the last time I was there IOA wasn't. I've heard it's mainly a coaster park and neither the wife nor I are very big on roller coasters. Is their enough in this park to keep us entertained. Jurassic Park and Spiderman seem like lots of fun, but I don't want to visit a park for just two rides.

    Any thoughts?


  • #2
    Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

    Good thread! When us Micechatters head down there in October some of us expressed interest in making a day trip there one of the days and I too would like to know what people who have been to IOA have to say about the park. I'd rather go there than USF just because USH is 10 miles from my house!

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    • #3
      Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

      I visited IOA in 2001 and found it to be a fun, unique park. The highlights were:

      -Spider-Man: Immersive 4-D ride that rivals Indy.
      -Dudly Do Right's Rip Saw Falls: You get more wet than Splash. It's a long log ride with a thrilling final plunge, but not as entertaining a float through.
      -Incredible Hulk Coaster: Amazingly smooth multiple looping
      -Dueling Dragons coasters: Fire & Ice. A bit rough for my taste, but I enjoyed the queue.
      -Cat in the Hat: a fast paced dark ride in their Suess-land.

      Overall, the park is very well themed for a non-Disney park. It's well worth a side trip from the WDW resort.





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      • #4
        Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

        We love both IOA and USF! I go to Disneyland about once a month and have been to Orlando twice in the past 2 years. Both times we went to IOA and USF and had a great time. Really, the only coasters are Dueling Dragons and Hulk. I feel kind of sick on Hulk, but love Dueling Dragons. I would go there even without going on the coasters. Jurassic Park and Spiderman at IOA are worth the trip. Revenge of the Mummy at USF is my favorite ride anywhere and it blows the Hollywood version out of the water. It is worth it to also go to USF to experience Mummy and Men In Black.

        I hope you all decide to go there. IOA is wonderfully themed and a great park!

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        • #5
          Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

          Buffy and I went a few years ago, and we loved it! Go go go!
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

            Is it a full day park? Or can we do pretty much everything from say, late morning until early evening? I mean we will have 6 day park hopper passes and I'd like to do SOMETHING that day "on property" so as not to miss a day

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            • #7
              Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

              I've heard that Spiderman is worth the trip to IoA.

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              • #8
                Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

                I love Disneyworld, but I have to admit that Spiderman is the best ride in Orlando... imo.

                My wife agrees, with the qualifier "now that Alien Encounter is gone"

                Yes. IOA is worth it. Though it should be said that is almost all thrill rides.

                they do have sort of a walk though show.. Posidon's fury I think it's called... My wife insistes. That was pretty fantastic. really fantastic.

                Dueling Dragons is beyond belief fun. Duddly DoWright's falls has the most thrilling flume drop I've ever been on... except for the Jurassic Park ride.

                Hulk is alot of fun too. It really does have enough to keep you entertained for a whole day. When I lived in Orlando, and could visit Disney World for free, I still bought a season pass to Universal so I could visit IOA..

                Oh, the Dr. Doom free fall ride is pretty nice too... Seussville is nice, my wife doesn't agree though.

                Frankly though, I would have paid for a ticket just to ride Spiderman. That ride is beyond belief.
                St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

                "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert




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                • #9
                  Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

                  I would have to say if for some reason I could no longer ride thrill rides and Roller COasters that Spider-Man would be reason enough to visit Islands of Adventure. It is one of those rides that you MUST ride at least once in your life. it is a instant classic. I don't kow anyone who wasn't completely fooled by the effects. It's one of akind.That said, the rest of the park is not all dips and dives. There used to be an Atlantis attraction that was opened after I visited that I've heard nothing but good things about. I saw the building it was housed in and it was truley mesmerizing. It looked like genuyine ruins of some ancient civulization.Most peopl can stand Splash Mountain type rides and if so, then you'll like Jurassic Park. Don't forget, if you go, to check out the Dino Encounter directly across from it. They have a living breathing Stegasoarus that you can pet and touched. Don't worry, he's been "sedated" but he still reacts to your touch. I didn't get to ride Dr Suess. I'd go again just to get shot at it as I hear it a charming ride. There's also a lot to be said about the parks ambiance. They went to a great deal of trouble to make each island unique and themetic. Just seeing the gates to Dueling Dragons is an experince as they spent no expense on some of the facades.So, in my humble opinion, I think the two, well three if you like Dark Rides, rides in the park and the visual feats make it well worth the effort. Plus there the flume ride that you could probably stomach if you can deal with Jurasic Park. Since you have to pay for their Express Pass now, then you'll lkely be waiting in line at most attactions, and it will probably be a day before you know it. I think you'd enjoy it no matter what.


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                  • #10
                    Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

                    IOA and USF are both a lot of fun.

                    Just do yourself a favor and try to avoid the comparisons to Disney parks. Nothing can compare, especially in the realm of "magic". Disney parks have it, no other park does. That said, you will enjoy both IOA and USF for all of the attractions mentioned here already.
                    These are the games that never end.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

                      thanks. I don't expect that magical feeling I get just walking up to Epcot or MK. I was just curious if my wife and I would find enough to warrant the cost of a ticket to there. I had heard the park was all roller coasters. Glad to find out that's only a couple of rides. We can handle pretty much anything other than the loops and twists of roller coasters.

                      I've heard Spider Man is amazing and I'd love to do Jurrasic park just because I still have a childhood crush on dinosaurs left over. I'm surprised to hear that Dr Seuss is so good. We'll definitely do the original park. I've been there a few times and Jaws was never open. I've heard it's open again and would love a chance to ride it at least once before it's gone forever. Mummy and Men In Black sound like great new additions. I'm sad to hear that the Hanna Barbara ride has been replaced with Jimmy Neutron as I loved the Hanna ride. And ET is to this day one of my favorite rides at any theme park. I just felt like the theming on that ride was perfect.

                      BTW, when I was a kid and we went there, Nickelodeon studios was a part of Universal. I noticed that's been removed. Does anything occupy that space now?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

                        One of my family members remarked about IoA after visiting there:

                        "They only really have two rides:
                        1) Get you sick (Hulk, DD, Spider-Man, Cat-in-the-Hat, etc.)
                        and
                        2) Get you wet (Ripsaw, Bilge Rat, JP)"

                        Granted, they were people who couldn't ride roller coasters and
                        didn't particularly enjoy getting soaked to the skin....

                        Their show maintenance leaves a little to be desired. I don't like
                        seeing open control panels inside the attractions (Bilge Rat Barges),
                        some characters in attractions with definitely visible oil leakage (Bilge
                        Rat again), and some dinosaur skins split open revealing workings (Jurassic Park).

                        Though I must admit IoA is a very nice-looking park, looking at the
                        show elements, rockwork, etc.....


                        -sc.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

                          Originally posted by kcnole
                          thanks. I don't expect that magical feeling I get just walking up to Epcot or MK. I was just curious if my wife and I would find enough to warrant the cost of a ticket to there. I had heard the park was all roller coasters. Glad to find out that's only a couple of rides. We can handle pretty much anything other than the loops and twists of roller coasters.

                          I've heard Spider Man is amazing and I'd love to do Jurrasic park just because I still have a childhood crush on dinosaurs left over. I'm surprised to hear that Dr Seuss is so good. We'll definitely do the original park. I've been there a few times and Jaws was never open. I've heard it's open again and would love a chance to ride it at least once before it's gone forever. Mummy and Men In Black sound like great new additions. I'm sad to hear that the Hanna Barbara ride has been replaced with Jimmy Neutron as I loved the Hanna ride. And ET is to this day one of my favorite rides at any theme park. I just felt like the theming on that ride was perfect.

                          BTW, when I was a kid and we went there, Nickelodeon studios was a part of Universal. I noticed that's been removed. Does anything occupy that space now?
                          I hope they've improved Jaws since I last rode it. It was very dissapointing when finally did after it had been closed for so long. Still, I like big explosions.


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                          • #14
                            Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

                            Go for it, it is okay.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Is Islands of Adventure worth visiting

                              Originally posted by Digital Jedi
                              I would have to say if for some reason I could no longer ride thrill rides and Roller COasters that Spider-Man would be reason enough to visit Islands of Adventure. It is one of those rides that you MUST ride at least once in your life. it is a instant classic. I don't kow anyone who wasn't completely fooled by the effects. It's one of akind.
                              True - Spidey is the best dark ride anywhere - hands down.
                              Originally posted by Digital Jedi
                              There used to be an Atlantis attraction that was opened after I visited that I've heard nothing but good things about. I saw the building it was housed in and it was truley mesmerizing. It looked like genuyine ruins of some ancient civulization..
                              This is Poseidon's Fury and it's worth checking out if only for the awesome theming, but the old show was better than the "updated" one.
                              Originally posted by Digital Jedi
                              Most peopl can stand Splash Mountain type rides and if so, then you'll like Jurassic Park. Don't forget, if you go, to check out the Dino Encounter directly across from it. They have a living breathing Stegasoarus that you can pet and touched. Don't worry, he's been "sedated" but he still reacts to your touch.
                              The Jurassic River Adventure is one of my fave rides anywhere and is a must.
                              The "Triceratops Encounter" was great, but it been closed for some time now with no sign of re-opening. (It was great being able to touch a full-size dino whilst her handler run various medical checks. Sometimes John Hammond himself dropped in to check on her progress!)
                              Originally posted by Digital Jedi
                              There's also a lot to be said about the parks ambiance. They went to a great deal of trouble to make each island unique and themetic.
                              Again, true. The theming of each island is great - goosebumps time as you walk thru the gates of Jurassic Park and see the visitor's center, electric fences and and jeeps. The park is full of neat touches like the talking fountain outside the Sinbad show in The Lost Continent or the phones you can pick up on Marvel Hero Island to listen in on various hero-related conversations.

                              It's just got to be done.

                              You can check out a guide to the USF/IOA attactions in this other thread...


                              "I'm gettin' kind of fond of you, kid.
                              Not that I want to pick out curtains or anything."

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