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Which Orlando area theme park?


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   BrianShort

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Posted September 09 2007 - 01:04 PM

I'll be with some friends in Orlando in October for a conference. We arrive at 7am Wednesday and have that day free, so we would like to hit one of the theme parks. I'm mostly interested in roller coasters, as I've never been on what I would consider a "real" coaster, so that would be my number one consideration. Can I get some recommendations? From what I've seen, Busch Gardens seems to have the biggest selection, but it's a little ways away. Would Universal Studios be good enough?

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted September 09 2007 - 02:54 PM

Busch Gardens isn't in Orlando. It's in Tampa, about 90 minutes or so away. But it does have the best roller coaster selection in Florida, including one that used to be considered a top 5 steel inverted coaster.

If you're going to stick to a theme park in Orlando and are looking for multiple roller coasters, I'd recommend Universal's Islands of Adventure. Both the Incredible Hulk and Dueling Dragons are pretty good.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted September 09 2007 - 03:12 PM

Agreed. Universal in October is a good day; you'll get on rides with little waiting in line. The Hulk is a fun coaster.

I also strongly recommend the SpiderMan ride, though that may be in the other half (the movie-themed portion). Absolute best 3D roller coaster ride I've scene. I rode that 4 or 5 times in a row. Brilliant!

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted September 09 2007 - 10:33 PM

We always liked Universal Studios best of all the parks for its atmosphere. Whenever I'm in Orlando, I certainly go there (and if possible some others too, of course).

And for roller coaster rides, add Islands of Adventure. Spiderman is fantastic.

The total is a bit much for 1 day, but it's feasible. Don't forget Revenge of the Mummy (in the regular park), which has some roller coaster characteristics. Terminator 2: 3D has always been a must for us, as is Back to the Future (the last one for sentimental reasons).
If there are no kids, skip ET, and probably Men in Black.

Earthquake is much fun, as is (quieter but longer) Jaws, but consider Twister a must (we went in the trial week, years ago, when it appeared to be almost really dangerous even; they toned it down - a tiny bit - since then, but it's still great). Listen to a performance of The "Blues Brothers". Choosing several other rides or shows may depend on your time and taste. As well as some simple walking around.

All of the above are my personal opinions, of course (and mostly those of my kids too).


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#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

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Posted September 10 2007 - 07:53 AM

We usually make our way to the Orlando area every other year and it's always been about the Disney. Now my boys are finally old enough that they're chomping at the bit to go to Universal this spring instead. I can't wait.
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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Armando Zamora

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Posted September 13 2007 - 01:45 AM

I went to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on back-to-back days last September. It's definitely a good time of year to go. Of the two, I enjoyed Islands of Adventure more. I've ridden many rollercoasters in the past and have fared well; however, for the first time ever, I was brought down to one knee after riding the Dueling Dragons rollercoaster. Man, that coaster rocked my world!!! Oh yeah, the Incredible Hulk coaster wasn't far behind. Maybe it's taking my equilibrium a little bit longer to recover as I creep up in age. We opted for the Express Plus Passes as well. It certainly helped getting us on the more popular rides without the long wait...VIP, baby!!!

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Brian D H

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Posted September 13 2007 - 02:25 AM

I agree with everything above. The best coasters are at Universal. For the most part Disney has one or two coasters per park and many of them are in-doors. Since it's Disney they excel at the themes of the rides, but less so at pure thrills and speed. But, since you're new at this, you may prefer these "slower" roller coasters (still pretty fast). I think the best one is Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom - but the park was my least favorite since it's newer and therefore more crowded.

My favorite park at Disney is Disney MGM Studios. It's less crowded, smaller (so it's easy to walk around) and it does have at least one really cool coaster (Aerosmith Rock'n'Roller Coaster) plus some other good rides.
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#8 of 9 OFFLINE   AllMetalWeaver

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Posted September 13 2007 - 02:53 AM

I prefer Epcot but that is because I like to look at stuff rather than ride coasters. Most of the Disney parks have some ride that is pretty fast, but Universal has a bunch. Have a blast and hopefully it doesn't rain on you too much.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Todd H

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Posted September 13 2007 - 03:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllMetalWeaver
I prefer Epcot but that is because I like to look at stuff rather than ride coasters. Most of the Disney parks have some ride that is pretty fast, but Universal has a bunch. Have a blast and hopefully it doesn't rain on you too much.

Plus Epcot has two of my favorite Disney rides...Mission Space and Soarin'. Mission Space will definitely provide some thrills.