Florida Trip 2017: Part 5 Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure was not originally on our agenda. With the announcement of Dragon Challenge closing on September 4th, we added this park, buy purchasing a 2 day pass to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Orlando. My only visit to Islands of Adventure was in 2001, and I was impressed with the park back then. Islands of Adventure ended up being my son's Hayden, favorite park of the trip.
At opening ww ran back to The Harry Potter land. Our first ride was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It's a dark ride that mixes 3D screens with 3D animatronics, while moving in many different directions. I was actually very impressed with this ride. We rode it twice in row, before a line formed, and it was my second favorite non coaster ride of the trip. I actually likes it more than Escape from Griggots at Universal Studios. That entire midway/land is spectacular. The castle that the ride sits in, is just awesome. We also rode a Kiddie coaster called Flight of the Hippograff while in that area.
Dragon Challenge is also in that land as well. Now this whole area has changed a bunch since my last visit. The huge status of those Dragons are gone, and the que line is now different. We grabbed a first and a back seat ride of Chinese Fireball, and a front seat and back seat ride on Hungarian Horntail. These 2 B&M inverts are both good rides. Such a shame they are closing. I actually prefer Chinese Fireball, but both kids liked Hungarian Horntail better. We meant to ride them again before we left, but ran out of time. So those 4 rides were our last ever on that iconic coaster. At least my kids got to ride them before they were removed.
The other major coaster is Hulk, a B&M sit down looper with a launch. They have just retracted Hulk the year before and put new trains on it. I rode it 8 times in 2001. Thus visit I got 3 rides and the kids grabbed an extra ride while I was shooting some photos. The ride itself is very good in the first half, and a little more forceful than I remember it. The second half isn't nearly as good. We sat back seat, front seat, and middle. Front seat was our favorite seat. Now this will be Islands of Adventure's only major coaster.
Right near Hulk is The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman. It's a dark ride that was extremely impressed with in 2001. Well I'm still impressed. W only rode it once, but it's a nice mix 3D screens with some special effects. My son really liked this ride.
The 2 water rides we rode were Dudley Doo Right's Rip Saw Falls and Jurassic Park River Adventure. Dudley Doo Right's is my favorite flume, that has excellent theming, 3 drops, one of which is a double down, that provides air time, and you get soaked. I loved this ride last time, and it's still my favorite flume. Jurassic Park River Adventure is now a little outdated for the time. It's sort of like Dinosaur's Alive, but in water. My daughter said it reminded her of Escape from Pompeii, but with Dinosaurs. Still a very solid attraction.
We did take a ride on the S&S drop tower, Doctor Doom's Fearfall, and the tea cup ride Storm Force Accelerator. Their newest ride Skull Island: Reign of Kong, was our longest wait of the day at a little over a hour. You board safari trucks and it's full of 3D screens as the truck moves in various directions. It was good, but I wouldn't wait that long ever again. Kind of wish we would have spent that time getting more rides on Dragon Challenge.
We ride a few rides in the Seuss area, like the carousel, which is a really neat one, but very uncomfortable. The Cat in Hat was a pleasant surprise, as it was really well done, even though it was a kids ride. And we rode the The Trolley high in the Sky, a monorail type ride. We did do one show called Poseidon's Fury, which was really good.
All in all Islands of Adventure hasn't changed a whole lot, expect for that Harry Potter section, and they are taking out Dragon Challenge to add another Harry Potter ride. The park itself is elaborately themed in every area, and is my second favorite park in Florida, with Sea World being my favorite. I really hope they add something stellar in place of Dragon Challenge, because it's a shame they are removing one of my favorite ride at the park. Next up Universal Studios Orlando.