I just got back from a week in Orlando and spent 2 days at Universal Orlando Resort. I get to go to Florida almost every year so I have been to Universal quite a bit. This year, I got 2-day park hopper tickets and did everything that I wanted to do. Since I have been here before I will just point out some major things I noticed this year. First off, I would like to point out that both USO and IOA are some of my favorite parks that I have been to, and it really sucks to see the parks keep adding screen-based attractions. I hope that they will go back to their roots and add more thrilling attractions as that what makes the parks different from Disney, which is more family oriented. Anyway, I'll just write down some thoughts about my recent trip to both parks.Islands of Adventure
This was my first time riding the refurbished Hulk and was pretty worried as old Hulk was one of my favorite coasters. The fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo on this ride are much better and hope that they will use this system for other rides. The entrance area is much better with the track and Hulk statue. The line is basically the same and just looks more modern, but the station I thought was very impressive with the green lights that go off when a train leaves the station. The launch tube looks really cool but will always miss Bruce Banner freaking out
. The ride itself was the same but loved the onboard audio. while the ride is smoother than before, it still throws you around a little bit which I don't mind. Overall I thought the refurbishment was a success and Hulk is still one of my favorites. Kong was also a new ride for me and I heard mixed reviews about it, so I had pretty low expectations for this ride. I was lucky enough to be more towards the back for all my rides. Overall it exceeded my expectations as I thought that going outside, the 360 room, and the kong animatronic were all impressive. The first two screens were pretty disappointing as I would rather have had more practical sets instead of the screens. While Spiderman and Forbidden Journey are better, I liked it better than Gringotts and Transformers. With all the rumors, I was worried that Dragon Challenge would close before I got there but luckily it didn't. I still think that it is very smooth and intense, so I hope it doesn't get replaced with a family dark ride as that would really ruin IOA's attraction lineup. Universal Studios
Fallon had soft opened about a week before I went which was a plus as I didn't expect to get on it this year. I also had low expectations for this ride as a lot of the reviews have been pretty negative. The queueless system worked out really well and only had to wait about 15min when I was in the building. The ride itself is pretty average. I think it is better than Simpsons, Despicable Me, and Shrek, but of course not as good as their more E-ticket dark rides. Twister has always been a ride that I went on once every time I visited and Fallon will probably be the same. Also when I went on Rocket it felt just as fast as years past so whatever is on the first drop isn't trim brakes (for normal operations at least).
Overall I am pretty excited and scared for the future of Universal Orlando. On one hand, you have volcano bay, Nintendo world, and the new land they bought. At the same time, some of my favorite attractions are rumored to be removed and the only attractions the resort is adding recently are screen based rides. Only time can tell whether or not I am going to enjoy what Universal is doing to both of the parks in the future.