Photo TR: Islands of Adventure

After much delay, the final update of our Florida trip
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Archived Photo Trip Reports of Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, and Donkeys!
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Postby Immel Man » Fri May 05, 2006 11:34 pm

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 fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo 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! ... 5595AmcBKN
You would think the entrance to a Disney Park would be a bit more impressive.
Godzilla showed up to let everyone know the real reason that ship is stranded up there!
You’d never guess from the sign, but this is the entrance to Crushin’ Gusher.
Typhoon Lagoon’s water coaster has way better airtime than any of the roller coasters at SFMM!
Unlike Mandalay Bay, Disney designs their wave pools large enough to accommodate actual waves!
This was a lot better than Sea World Orlando’s Shark Encounter…
We unfortunately didn’t have time for the lazy river. This one was seriously huge though. It wraps around the entire park!
The river is themed and landscaped 100 percent all the way around.
The shark tank was barely larger than a typical household swimming pool, but Kyle insisted on doing it…
Check out that awesome tan!
Typhoon Lagoon’s theming is just as detailed as any regular Disney park.
The racing slides were fun, but not all that steep.
You can’t beat Benihana for good Japanese food.
This family sitting across from us thought it was absolutely hilarious that we flew out from Southern California for a vacation in Florida…
In case you didn't know, Epcot has a rather large spherical object up front.
King Kong.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.
We certainly weren’t expecting lines like this!
… but first we will use this anal probe to determine if you are truly fit to be an astronaut!
I would have refused to ride if Test Track had been sponsored by Toyota.
Epcot is one of the nicest looking parks at night.
I try not to include repeat shots in my trip reports.
Like I said, no repetitive shots here!
The folks at Epcot apparently knew my birthday was coming up, so they threw me a celebration!
When you think about it, Epcot is not all that unlike a large, outdoor disco club.

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Postby Immel Man » Thu May 11, 2006 10:22 pm

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.
The sign for CityWalk. Just in case you couldn’t tell.
The whole lakefront area between the two parks is very nice and has two interesting restaurants apart from CityWalk.
Universal doesn’t even bother with a monorail. They have boats that take resort guests to and from the parks!
A giant backdrop. The cheapest way possible to make a theme work!
Universal’s fearsome five- Dracula, Wolf Man, Beatlejuice, Frankenstein… and Connor.
Our lone Mummy photo for this trip.
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!
MIB: the disappointment of the trip…
Kyle may think he’s an agent…
… but Connor IS the Terminator!
T2 3D is a good show, but I’ve seen it enough times in CA that I’m kind of bored with it now.
This so needs to be the next big ride at IOA or USO. Kongfrontation R.I.P.
We didn’t get a chance to ride the Woody Woodpecker coaster. The wait was way too long.
Kyle seemed more excited to ride ET than Revenge of the Mummy!
ET is actually a fun ride. Too bad USH couldn’t keep theirs.
Hard Rock Café looks like a cool place to eat, but we didn’t have time.
Same deal with NBA City. Both are on my list of things to do on my next visit.
CityWalk lit up at night.

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Postby YoshiFan » Thu May 11, 2006 10:31 pm

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.

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Postby Canadmos » Fri May 12, 2006 9:19 am

Great pictures and reports again! Typhoon Lagoon looks like a really nice water park, how were the lines on the slides?

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Postby Worm » Fri May 12, 2006 10:32 am

Can't wait to see IOA :br :b !
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Postby Blue0ctane » Fri May 12, 2006 11:08 am

I've ate at both the Hard Rock Cafe (lunch) and NBA City (twice for dinner), as well as Margaritaville. They have really great food; you should check it out sometime in your life.
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Postby JT3000 » Sat May 13, 2006 9:37 am

The animatronics are pretty bad too.

Imhotep is the most advanced AA Universal has. They purposely made the guards static figures.

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Postby Immel Man » Sat May 13, 2006 2:45 pm

I know a lot of engineering went into Imhotep, but I personally don't think it was as well spent as it could have been. Body movement is fine, but his face doesn't move an inch when he talks like some other recent animatronics do. I may have been a bit too critical, but I still think it could have been pulled off a bit better.

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Postby Gnome » Mon May 15, 2006 9:56 pm

and I shall finish up the TR later on this week. It will be exciting, and climactic! Just like something else... :roll:

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Postby Erik Johnson » Tue May 16, 2006 4:35 am

Immel Man wrote:I know a lot of engineering went into Imhotep, but I personally don't think it was as well spent as it could have been. Body movement is fine, but his face doesn't move an inch when he talks like some other recent animatronics do. I may have been a bit too critical, but I still think it could have been pulled off a bit better.

Sometimes his mouth moves well, other times it does not move at all. I guess it really depends on Imhotep's mood that day. At least he did decided to say "hello" for you. There are times he decides to stay in the coffin for the day and they roll the silly Mode B image on the front of the coffin instead.


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