Sea World Orlando, Islands of Adventure, and Busch Gardens Tampa

July 10-20, 2001


    My mom, brother and I decided to visit Florida and go to IOA, SWO, and BGT. I knew this was going to be an awesome trip: four coasters with seven inversions including the tallest in Florida, Montu, and six B&M coasters including the worldís only inverted dueling coasters, Fire & Ice Dragons. We got the Orlando Flex Ticket which lets up go to five parks (IOA, Universal Studios, Wet Ďní Wild, BGT, and Sea World) for one price. We figured getting that would be a better deal than paying admission each time for parks, and we saved a lot of money. And this trip happened a few days to two weeks ago, so if I left things out or got some things wrong, it was because they happened a while ago. I did take notes after visiting parks, but some of my notes are weird and I donít know what I scribbled. Iím just saying that this TR might have great detail in some parts, and none in another. Whatever, on to the trip report!

7/10/01-SWO

    Went straight to Kraken. I wanted to ride this coaster at least three times because it looked too awesome! This was also my first floorless. I only waited about 30 minutes each time and I rode in the front first. It is awesome! I love the dive loop and zero-g roll. I also noticed trims before the cobra roll and after the second vertical loop, but they werenít on. The mid course brakes are barely on so the drop into the vertical loop was awesome! Ride up front, people! My second ride was in the back. I got airtime down the entire first drop and got whipped through all the inversions. The corkscrew is the best in the back! The drop out of the station is cool, too. The third ride, I rode in the middle. It was basically like the front without the floorless feel. The zero-g roll is the best in the middle. It rocks! I gave Kraken a 9/10. My #3 coaster now!

    Journey to Atlantis. 45 minute wait. We got to ride up front. The big drop was cool and I liked all the effects inside the ride. The part where the ride turns into a coaster was cool, loved the helix. The airtime hill then splash at the end was cool, but we didnít get very wet. Iíd say itís better than Escape From Pompeii at BGW. 7/10.

    We ate at the Waterfront Sandwich Grill. I had an $8.00 burger with fries and a drink. It was pretty good.

    We watched some shows at Sea World, also. Cirque De La Mer was funny and cool! Before it started, there was some strange guy walking around the theater bothering people by stealing their stuff and sitting on them. It was really funny. This guy acted so much like Harpo Marx! The show had dancing and stuff and a guy who threw a flaming thing around. It was a pretty good show. The best part was when the Harpo guy grabbed some men out of the audience. He made four of them stand in a square and he wrapped tape around them. He then had another guy step in the square and ring a bell. Another guy stepped in and Harpo and him boxed! It was so funny!

    The other show we watched was Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island. This one involved sea lions and a walrus. It was pretty funny; they got the little kids into it. There were some parts that seemed like they were going wrong, but they might have been staged to make it funnier. Neither of these shows can compare to ďRockiní the BoatĒ I saw at BGW in 1999. All around, Iíd give Sea World a 7/10.

7/11-IOA

    If there was a park that would make me move to Orlando, it is definitely IOA. This park is just amazing! It is by far the best theme park I have ever been to. They sure dropped the bomb when they came up with IOA! We got there just as the park opened and went to Spiderman because people said that has the longest line. We only waited five minutes the first time! I will have to say this is the best dark ride EVER! Itís too awesome! I love how everything on that ride interacts with the screen! The ladder moves when Spidey jumps on it, the ride gets hot when Doc Oc turns that flame on you. Everything about this ride is perfect! I loved the part when we climbed the buildings, I felt like we were really going up. Then we fell down that skyscraper! That was too cool! This ride gets a 10/10! We rode it again later that day and the wait was 45 minutes, but it was worth it! We decided to go to Dueling Dragons next. Whatís the deal with this queue line? Itís so long! I heard that itís the longest in the world! I love the themeing, too. Itís the best queue Iíve ever been in! Anyway, we eventually got to the station. Weíve heard that Fire was more intense than Ice so we went to Fire first. Of course we had to ride in the front row. Hereís the cool part, the park was not crowded so we only waited for 5 minutes for Fire! The cars look awesome, too. I love how the restraints on the front cars are red like the tongues of the dragons. We got on the ride and started moving out of the station. We climbed the lift hill but Ice was nowhere to be seen! NO! It wasnít going to duel! Then we slowed down, Ice sped up and caught up with us at the top of the lift. I love the Immelman! The airtime hill was so cool, too. Airtime on an inverted coaster is the coolest airtime I have ever experienced! With Ice right below me, I lifted my feet up! What a leg-chopper! The sidewinder had nice Gís and so did the vertical loop. Heading down the straightaway into the loop, I pointed at the people on Ice, and then we went into it. Too cool! The corkscrews at the end were nice as well. I give this coaster an 8/10.

    Now Ice on the other hand is a good coaster, but itís not Fire. We rode in the front row and left the station after Fire. Fire slowed down at the top of the lift and we sped up. We werenít even halfway up the lift when Fire dropped. WHAT?! We werenít gonna duel! NO! I was upset, but not as upset as the person next to me. This guy cussed through the entire ride! He was an idiot! I like the zero-g roll and the log-chopper into the cobra roll, but the ride wasnít much without Fire. 6/10. (The cussing guy next to me called it bull**** dragons. He was mad!)

    We decided to take a break from coasters and ride the water rides. Iíve heard much about Dudley Doorightís Ripsaw Falls with the longest, steepest drop on a flume ride. This ride looked awesome! We waited in line for 45 minutes. The queue on this is cool, too! Is it me, or does this ride ROCK! I hate water rides, but this ride totally made up the bad experiences I had at others! It actually has a story going during the ride! And there are two spots of AIRTIME on it! Thatís amazing! I loved the drop! I love it, I love it, I love it! Going below the water level was great and we got soaked down the entire thing! Then we hit a small hill, get airtime and get soaked even more! What a ride! 9/10! This is by far the best log flume EVER!

    We were wet so we decided to go to Popeye and Blutoís Bilgerat Barges. We grabbed ourselves Express passes and went straight to the front of the long line. We only waited 2 minutes if not less to get on! I love the themeing on this ride! And you get totally soaked! We werenít even halfway through the ride and we had six inches of water in the raft! I like the story this one has, too! This is the best white water ride ever! 8/10

    We waited 15 minutes for Jurassic Park River Adventure. Iíve been on the one in Hollywood, and the one at IOA is better. They basically start off the same, but when the dinosaur turns you the wrong way, thatís when the two rides are different. I loved the raptor above your head in the cage and climbing the lift was awesome with dinosaurs popping up all over the place! When we do that small dip into the water from the lift hill, the T-Rex makes a claw mark to your right and thatís awesome! I also love how you can see the entire Rex except for its tail. I didnít notice the feet in Hollywood. Then we dropped. An awesome drop on an awesome ride. 9/10.

    We ate at the Burger Digs. The $6 burger was good and the fries were a little salty.

    We also rode Dr. Doomís Fear Fall. The launch is cool and the airtime at the top is cool, but it just kind of stops after that. I was let down, but my mom loved it! She rode it five times this trip!

    That was our first day at IOA. This park is definitely worth a revisit. And youíre probably wondering why we didnít ride Hulk, right? Well, it was closed that day. They said it would be open tomorrow so we decided to come back to ride it.

    IOA gets a 10/10.

7/12-IOA, take two

    We went right to Spiderman after finding out Hulk was closed today. We got an express pass before we went on. The wait was only fifteen minutes and it rocked! We left and got right back in line using our express passes. The line was only five minutes then. This ride is just too cool!

    We went to DD again. Rode Fire up front. I love the g forces on this coaster. After that, we got in line for the front of Ice. We went up the lift, Fire didnít catch up, and we DIDNíT DUEL AGAIN! AHH! Am I cursed or something? Why wonít it duel?

    We took a break and ate at Mythos. We made reservations earlier in the day so we got right in. I love the atmosphere of this place. I had a Mythos Burger and very skinny, salty French fries and unlimited refills for drinks for $9.00. Eat here. I liked seeing the chefs cook the food in the center of the restaurant by shoving the food in a face-shaped oven. Then it started to rain. And when it rains, it pours in Florida. Iím from Arizona and the place we stayed at in Kissimmee got more precipitation in two days than the town I live in gets in a year! AnywayÖ

    We got an Express pass for Poseidonís Fury, but the power went out and killed something in there so we had to wait for them to fix it. They fixed it and we got in line. The Express pass did nothing; the line was short anyway because people ran from the rain. We finally got to go on the ride after being in line for 10 minutes. They put all these people in this room and your tour guide person tells you about the main archaeologist guy who has disappeared. You hear his voice, the lights go out, you find a hidden spell the tour guide reads aloud and a door behind you opens. We walked in a room and Poseidon starts talking saying something about coming into the center of the ocean. Another door opens and we walk through the coolest part: the water shooting all around you in that tube thingy. That was cool. The rest of the show was boring and didnít impress me. When I thought there would be an explosion, there were just light effects and a noise. 7/10

    After that I rode Flying Unicorn. This is a fun, little kiddy ride. Iíd say itís better than Canyon Blaster at SFMM and there was a little spot of airtime on it! 4/10

7/15-IOA, take three

    We were driving to IOA and I looked at Hulk just sitting there. I could see the zero-g roll and the cobra roll from the highway, but it wasnít doing anything. I wasnít going to ride it this trip, so I guess I have to wait a few more years WAIT! IT JUST WENT THROUGH THE ZERO-G ROLL! I started screaming in the car and my mom and brother told me to shut up, but I couldnít. It was running! I flew to the entrance and waited with the crowed for them to open up Marvel Super Hero Island. Let me tell you, people, get there early on Monday! It is not crowded and it doesnít get too crowded on Monday, either. They let us in and my brother and I ran to Hulk. My mom wasnít riding this time, but she got Express passes for all of us. Is it me or is that thing loud? That is the B&M roar! We wanted to ride up front and we were in line for five minutes. My brother and I finally got on the ride up front! We pulled down the OTSR and buckled the seatbelt and we were on our way. A small turn and then we see all those wheels. Awesome! The next part gives me chills every time I hear it: ďEverything looks good. I thinkÖI think this time i-itís going to work. No! No! Nooooo!Ē Then BOOM! Youíre gone! That is the absolute coolest launch ever! Itís so smooth! I love the placement of the zero-g roll; you get airtime down the entire drop! This coaster was ultra-smooth and too cool! I also love the airtime before the MCBR on that turning hill thing (is that an oblique loop?). The drop out of the brakes is cool and the ending twists and turns have nice Gís. I donít think the photo-op is in a good location, though. We got off, grabbed our mom, and rode again. She loved it. We used our express passes to get on it later that day and we rode with my mom in row three. 10/10. My new #2 coaster! Side note: someone in line for Hulk said that it was exactly like Medusa. Ha!

    We rode Spidey again. We rode DD again, too only this time, Ice dueled! YES! The timing was off a little, but at least it dueled! On a side note, has anyone noticed that Hulkís first five inversions are exactly the same and in the same order as Iceís? We ate at Captain America Diner. $6.00 burger better than the Burger Digs. The fries were also good.

    We watched the Eighth Voyage of Sindbad. It has lots of explosions and I thought I was blind after looking directly at an explosion. Donít do that.

7/16-BGT

    We decided to take a break from IOA and go to BGT. We took a free shuttle there and got there about an hour after the park opened. We went right to Gwazi and decided to ride Lion first since people say it has slow loading time. Boy, are they right. They have to check all the seatbelts and then let the lap bars down. It takes too long to load! I was really let down by this coaster. In my mind it was taller, longer and had more near misses. I liked all the airtime, but it was really rough. My brother hated this ride. It also loses points for the low capacity and my experience. Hereís what happened when I got on: I buckled the seatbelt and a rode op asked me if I had a camera. She noticed my camera bag that was clipped to the side of my fanny pack. Itís easier to carry it like that so we can easily take it out to take pictures (not on ride, we arenít stupid!). She asked me if I had 50 cents and I said I didnít (I only had fivers). She went up to the station area where the people who operate everything are and got two quarters from them. I took the camera bag off and put it in a locker nearby. That really slowed the loading. They could have had an employee at the entrance take it from me like they did on Kumba, but I had to slow down loading. That stunk. We waited 50 minutes for this one. 5/10.

    We went on Tiger next. We only waited 30 minutes. Same as Lion. Disappointing. 5/10.

    Montu was next. We waited 30 minutes for the front row. I didnít like how this one guy was smoking in line and the employees did nothing. The drop was good, and I like Immelmans, but all the space between inversions bored me. There seemed to be way too much time before the next element. And there was a brake before the batwing! It was on hard, too. I really felt that one! The MCBR is on too tight! Being in the front row, I slid to the side of the restraint/seat before we finally started to actually fall down the drop. Thereís a point between the second vertical loop and the corkscrew that we just crawled through. Stupid brakes! 6.5/10

    We decided to ride Scorpion since Kumba was down. I am happy that I have now ridden a Schwarzkopf Coaster in all its glory! Lap bars, no brakes anywhere but the end! Awesome! The lap bars are small, too with no padding so I was a little scared. The Gís are good on it. 6.5/10

    We ate at the Crown Colony Restaurant and I had a sandwich, which was very good. I like the view of the animals, too.

    World Rhythms On Ice would be todayís show. It featured people ice-skating around to different music from around the world. It was cool up until the end when these streamers fall down from the ceiling. One of them didnít unroll all the way and the ball of streamer hit me in the groin. Ouch!

    We went on the train to get some views of animals and then we took the sky ride to the front of the park. From the sky ride, we say Rhino Rally sitting there with people working on it. Too bad.

    As we were leaving the park, we saw Rhino Rally trucks driving around a course next to the water park. That was cool, but Iím a little mad it wasnít running.

7/17-BGT, take two

    Kumbaís open! Yes! We go to the back of the park via the sky ride to ride Kumba. This is one awesome ride! I rode this four times this day (front, middle, middle, and last row). This ride is the best in the back! I love it! You get whipped though every single inversion and the zero-g roll rocks in the back! The dive loop was cool, as well. I love the interlocking corkscrews, they were my first. This is by far the best ride in the park and one of the best back seat rides on Earth (behind the Beast, of course). Up front, there is airtime into the MCBR and the drop out of them is awesome in the back. This was also a milestone! My 50th coaster! 9/10.

    Python. Classic Arrow first-generation inverter. I rode up front and it was a little rough. Small drop, no airtime on that turning hill before corkscrews. The corkscrews were a surprise to me because for some weird reason, I forgot this ride inverted. I guess I just wasnít thrilled and it bored me, but I had just ridden Kumba. This coaster was good for its time, but itís nothing now. 3/10.

    We ate at the Vivi Restaurant. It started to rain when we ate so we decided to stay there and wait for it to clear up. It sort of did so we went to the Ubanga-Banga Bumper Cars. Whatís with the lap bar? These things seemed to move a little slow, but it was fun. We hopped on the train so we wouldnít miss:

    Moroccan Roll. The singing and dancing was cool and they even interacted with the audience. We got to sit in the front row and this guy on stage bugged us. He stood my mom up and said she was a psychic and she predicted it would rain (of course it did). She got a coupon for a free game of ring toss that would later win her an enormous dragon we had to lug around the park. Back to the show. At one point that guy had a fake camel he called Camela Anderson and it spit on me. He grabbed me and made me come on stage with him. He dressed me in funny clothes and he left. Three women walked out and sang a song to me. That was pretty cool and my mom and brother got lots of pictures!

    BGT gets a 7/10

7/19-BGT and Old Town.

    I rode Kumba three more times to bring the total to seven rides on it! We left the park, Rhino Rally was still down. After the bus dropped us off, I decided to ride Wildstorm, Old Townís big roller coaster. This coaster is a junior steel and it seems very scary. It makes a lot of noise in the brakes and doesnít seem safe, but I wanted to raise my coaster count. I paid $4 to ride this coaster. I rode up front. I have never been on a coaster where the trains rock back and fourth climbing the lift! Scary! The drop is small, you get a little airtime after it, turn around, then a ďbigĒ drop. You swoop by the ground then up into a banked brake run (this brake run consisted of a single tire to slow it down a bit). You do a 180-degree turning drop and swoop around into a helix then into the brakes. Meh. This coaster was not worth $4. 2/10.

7/20-IOA, take four!

    This would be our last day to do anything and we decided to spend it at IOA. I got a total of five rides on Hulk today. I took advantage of the two rides early in the morning and three more rides in the single rider line. I love that! If youíre not with a group, go in that line, ride by yourself. It cuts your wait a lot! I only waited for a minute or two in that line all three times! The disadvantage is you canít ride up front. We rode DD in the back, which rocked! These rides are awesome in the back! It scared me since we flew down that drop and into every inversion! Coming out of the airtime hill on Fire, you get airtime down the entire drop! You miss the dueling aspect but the ride is better back there! Ice even gained a point since the back is a good ride. Ice got a 7/10 for the good back ride! We also rode Spidey once. That is one awesome ride that I canít get enough of!

-Alex

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