IOA - my thoughts


DIS Veteran
Sep 14, 2000
After listening to the hype and reports for the past year or so, I just spent the day there on Thursday. Firstly, I should say that it was totally dead. No lines at all.

Well, the architect should get an award. The buildings are simply wonderful, highlighted by the Poseidon Fury building which is just so dramatic, and the whimisical use of colour for the kid's areas. Jurassic Park is very evocative of the movie. The best area though was Port of Entry with a dazzling array of off-beat buildings generating a terrific theme without looking like anything you'd find in reality. Overall, the design and buildings get very high marks.

Dr.Suess's area would have enthralled me as a child, but there wasn't much in the way of rides. Certainly nothing to compare with say, Roger Rabbit. Nothing for me to do but walk through.

Unfortunately, the attractions housed in those wonderful buildings are a mixed bag.

SpiderMan - lives up to the hype. Very clever concept and thrilling execution. Rode it four times (no wait), and it really took until the second to realize just how awesome it was. If I had to nitpick, I might say there could have been more sense of motion and less of villians sticking their faces in our face like an MTV video. But hey, it's 3-D. The line is also pretty rudimentary, but the ride is fantastic with a great climax. A+

Hulk - A good coaster but not a great one. The launch and first roll are good, but then it goes downhill, so to speak. B-

Dr. Doom's Fearfall - still baffled by this one. The lady next to me asked if it would be scary. I explained I didn't know, but I'd ridden similar rides. By the time I finished explaining, the ride was over. I was still waiting for it to start. You go up, you bob a couple times and that's it. Did I miss something? Was is not working? If that's it - a dismal D.

Jurassic Park - I've ridden this in L.A. and they still can't get that first dino to lift it's neck. Lame first half, super second half with the raptors and the T-Rex. A solid B.

Dueling Dragons (four times)- stop the presses. This comes in three sections. The castle line-up is wonderful. I love castles. I had to chuckle though after reading the stories that they'd borrowed the idea from Disney. As simply a coaster, both Fire and Ice are awesome. Lots of swoop-ability (key to hanging coasters), great turns. Terrific variety. But of course, they're dueling coasters and that puts them over the top. Sitting at the front and playing chicken with the other coaster. It doesn't get much better than that. Only drawback -ugly coaster. Grey beams for fire and ice? A+

Poseidon's Fury - Totally pointless. What the heck was this? Major lame-ville. I was frankly shocked. This must have been a late Friday afternoon metting when they came up with this. Utterly pointless. Fire and water shooting up! That's it. D.

Sinbad - As Universal stuntshows go, this is several cuts below the grade (comparing with say Wild West). Not much in way of stunts. Nothing spectacular. Cute and corny without being funny. When Sinbad said to the Evil Queen, "Is that your final answer?" I knew the writers weren't getting paid enough. C.

Ripshaw Falls - Hmmmm. Excellent final plunge, but totally horrid theming leading up. Pathetic actually. The paint looked worn, parts were just drab grey with no theming. Trying hard to be Splash Mountain-ish I suppose, but just cheesy with a wet finish. Final Drop - A. Theming - D.

I think this is everything I rode. They should keep Spiderman, Dueling, Jurassic and toss everything else. Keep the buildings and Lost Continent. I was done at 1pm. No shows, or entertainment. Not a big effort for my attention.

Other than Spider and Dueling, don't know what all the fuss is about. Only twenty attractions, seven or eight for thrill-seekers or the rest for kids. Not a lot in the middle.

Overall, an OK day.

You said "They should keep Spiderman, Dueling, Jurassic and toss everything else."

Using your logic, I feel that....

Epcot should Keep Test Track and toss everything else.

MGM should keep TOT and RNR and Toss everything else.

Magic Kingdom should keep Alien Encounter and Space Mountain and toss everything else.

Animal Kingdom should keep Countdown to Extinction and toss everything else.
I'm not sure what you expected. Most theme parks open with less attractions than IOA. Look at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Which is a beautiful park however not worth full admission for a half day at best. And they opened up without Asia. (Can you say Rip-off?)
DD is a fantastically themed coaster. There were a lot of ex-Disney Imagineers responsible for that. Hulk, although I've never ridden, is consistently named best coaster.
Spiderman is absolutely incredible and mind blowing. JP is fantastic and beats Splash Mtn for overall theming and final drop.
Popeye and Bluto is the best raft ride hands down period!
Ripsaw Falls is nothing special as a log ride (It's no Splash Mtn) until the drop which is fantastic.
We really liked Poseidon's Fury, especially the water tunnel.
The rides for kids in Seuss Landing are wonderful. I'm sure they'll add more in time. Cat In the Hat does stand up against Roger Rabbit in my opinion.
The restaurants on average are much superior to WDW and the colors and theming throughout the park are real eye-candy. I challenge anyone to take a bad picture at IOA. And I also believe there is great value for your admission.
Kudos to the designers and I look forward to a return visit in May.
Hmmm... I suppose I'll put in my two cents worth...
I thought overall theming was great. I was very impressed in fact. Great atmosphere and very creative.
Spiderman- Very cool. Rode it twice even though the line was huge. The first time it took forever in line because it broke down three times. Luckily we were already in the air-conditioned building... but it was very cool. A+
Seuss landing- I love Seuss and I thought this section was excellent. I thouroughly enjoyed the ride and hope they continue to expand this part of the park. A
Hulk- I love it! What a thrill to be shot out! It was hair-raising, but not too much so. Just the way I like it. A.
Dr. Doom- I agree, it was over before you knew it. Fun ride, but I would never wait over a half an hour for the 5 sec. thrill. B.
Jurassic Park- Umm... I didn't see what the big deal was. I thought it was incredibly short and the dinosaurs were fake looking. And the drop didn't seem all that long to me... I don't know what it was about this ride but it didn't thrill me at all. Don't hate me for this, but C-.
Dueling Dragons- Definitely a thrilling coaster. Rode both, one right after the other, and had a blast. I liked Hulk better though... A.
Posidon's Fury- I thought it was pretty cool! And the actor was really good too. B
Sinbad- Not the best show I've ever seen, but not terribly bad. B-
Ripshaw Falls- Definitely agree. The last drop was fine, but especially compared to Splash Mountain, the themeing was more than pathentic. They could have done soooooo much more with this ride and I hope they do someday! D
Bilgerat Barges- The best raft ride I've ever been on! Very long, fairly thrilling, very soaking, and I love the bubbles! That was great. Now, put some of this creativity into the Falls and you might have something... A+

Well, there's my ever so humble report. I really enjoyed IOA! Once again, just have to mention that the theming was great. Probably the most umpleasant part of the day was our character lunch. The characters were great, but the employees were impatient to the point of rudeness. Not very fun. But other than that, it was great!

"The magic is as wide
as a smile and as
narrow as a wink, loud
as laughter and quiet
as a tear, tall as a tale
and deep as emotion.
So strong, it can lift the
spirit. So gentle, it can
touch the heart. It is the
magic that begins the
happily ever after."
THAT is Disney! ;-)
A agree about spiderman as the best! I think IOA is great but Posidien is awful...Dr Fear was too short as well but my son liked it. We expected a really awful park at IOA but were very pleased with the look. The landscaping was incredible! That FLying Dino ride was neat but too short. I was impressed with the leg strap on my 4 yr old as he had to ride on his own.
Wow, WTG not much child left in you, I see. I loved Suess landing. I have never seen anything more colorful and cheerful. It warmed my heart. The theming here overwelmed me. I guess even at 40, I still have a lot of great childhood memories. My DH loved Jurasic Park, not for the drop but for when the music played and they slowing opened the big doors.

What are comparing everything to? The rides beat any ride at Disney hands down.

Maybe you should try it again only this time open your mind and your heart, you may love it everyone else seems too.

Well, I did say I loved the theming and the colour, which sounds like an endorsement. Suess does have only three rides, a merry-go-round, a spinner sort of like Dumbo and the Cat in the Hat. I didn't ride them, as I don't at similar Disney rides either. I actually wanted to ride the flying dino thing at Jurassic Park but couldn't since I didn't have a child with me.

It's funny how whenver you don't like something, someone always tells you to try it again with your heart and mind open. As if I went there deliberately to dislike it and waste my $48. As if it's not permissible to have your own opinion. I thought my ratings of the rides were quite honest and even-handed.

Well, I don't think I was comparing it to anything, just taking it on its own merits. I have visited Universal both in Florida and California several times. Of the three, I would say the Hollywood experience is probably the best, although I would rank Spider and Dueling with BtotheF as the best Universal attractions (and Earthquake).

I guess I was comparing the coasters to others I've been on, and I have been on some of the best and biggest in the world. Hulk just doesn't measure up, but Dueling certainly does, as I mentioned in my post. I think I also compared Sinbad with Wild West, and Ripshaw with Splash. Both were far inferior, I felt.

I'm always suspicious of carte blanche statements like everything here is better than everything there by a mile with no explanation. That seems to be a biased view. People who like everything the same seem to have no discrimination.

I agree it's a nice moment when the doors to Jurassic open. It would have been nicer if there had been an actual dinosaur to see.

I'm sure I'll go back when they offer some new attractions.
Sorry didn't mean to sound cliche. I guess just comming back myself, your comments really surprised me. Also having kids with me gives you a different perspective on things. My 14 year old who grew up on Dr Suess had a play fight with the Grinch and thing 1 & 2, my ever so cool DD was laughing and had a real kodak moment. These things are still very fresh. They actually spent time with her.

Not a big coaster fan myself but I love simulator rides which is probably why I prefer USF & IOA to Disney in some ways.

But we do agree with Spiderman, my favorite by far. But we enjoyed Sinbad, corny as it was. Never had a problem with any of the staff.

I'll jump off my soapbox now, see you on Canadian board. :)

I agree. I don't think your opinions were unfair. In fact, I thought they were very objective. I didn't come away with the impression that you thought the park was terrible, just that there were things you thought could have been better. And we are certainly all entiltled to our opinion, even if we like some DW rides better than IOA ones. ;-) And why do we always have to compare the two anyway? I think all the rides have their good points and some of them are completely different from each other. Both parks are wonderful and I think it'd be nice if people would see the good points to both and not also have them competing against each other. Do I make any sense? I don't think I even make sense to myself. Oh well, I tried.

"The magic is as wide
as a smile and as
narrow as a wink, loud
as laughter and quiet
as a tear, tall as a tale
and deep as emotion.
So strong, it can lift the
spirit. So gentle, it can
touch the heart. It is the
magic that begins the
happily ever after."
THAT is Disney! ;-)
It's natural for people to compare as a means of reference.

When someone says, for example, that a roller coaster is the best, it really doesn't mean anything unless I know what other coasters they have ridden.

I agree that Universal and Disney both have a lot of good things and it's great for the patrons that both exist, and better if they both prosper.

Wouldn't it be great though to be able to take your favourite rides and make one big park! If I ever find a magic lamp that could be one of my wishes.
Well, that certainly makes sense. First you claim that there's nothing in Seuss Landing to compare to Roger Rabbit, then you state that you rode nothing in Seuss Landing. (as you apparently don't at Disney, either) Well, that's certainly an informed opinion.

"No need to ride the Cat in the Hat, I'm sure its not as good as Roger Rabbit."
You're right. I'm sorry I didn't ride Cat in the Hat, but at the time I thought it was a kiddie ride like the one in Jurassic Park that prohibits adults unless they're with a child. Glad to hear it's in the same guise as Roger Rabbit. I'll try to catch it next time.
I think it's an everybody is entitled to their opinion thing, myself. I agree with your comparison of Ripsaw to Splash 100%, and nothing, anywhere beats Spidey! When I went in Nov. it was an adults only thing, and we did EVERYTHING!!! With no line, you probably should have invested the time to try the "second string" rides, if only for the experience.

When I read this, though:

wtg: "I agree it's a nice moment when the doors to Jurassic open. It would have been nicer if there had been an actual dinosaur to see."

I LOL! If an actual dinosaur shows up in ANY theme park at ANY time, I'll pay the price of admission and not even search for discounts!!! LOL!!!

Patti <---who is not being witchy at all, really thought it was funny!


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