A Disneylander Goes to Islands of Adventure – Part Two

IslandsOfAdventure 68It’s time for the second part of the journey around the Islands of Adventure!  We hit some of my personal favorites, so let’s go!

Jurassic Park

We’re going to skip over the area past Lost Continent and head to Jurassic Park.  At the time i went, Jurassic World had premiered about a few days before, and there were fresh decorations to promote the movie.  In addition, a new Raptor encounter debuted a few days before my travels there.  This Raptor is a meet and greet of sorts, where a cage keeps the “raptor” in and it poses for guests to snap selfies in front of it.  I was surprised at how it really seemed like a dinosaur was there for anyone to take a picture with!

The whole island was one of the better ones.  There was so much to explore here.  And, there is more construction for it with a King Kong themed structure and attraction.  The dense jungle environment made it a little maze like to get through, but there was always something around the corner to see.  And, you could even hear some dinosaurs in the bushes making it seem dangerous as well.  Among the attractions are Pteranodon Flyers, Camp Jurassic, Jurassic Park River Adventure, and the Discovery Center.  Among them all the only thing I ventured to was the Discovery Center.

The Discovery Center was something I stumbled upon but wish I had spent more time there.  By the time I found it closing time was imminent.  It’s supposed to be the welcome center that is in the fictional dinosaur theme park.  Inside are large statues of dinosaurs that allow guests to move around.  There are egg hatcheries with exhibits explaining how they hatch and grow.  It may all sound like a museum, but keep in mind, it’s supposed to be real dinosaurs!  That dawned in me a few steps in.  It looked like any old welcome center until it hit me that these are supposed to be creatures I can’t see in real life.  That’s why I wished I had more time to explore it.

The one attraction I wanted to do, Pteranodon Flyers, requires a child to go with you.  I did not have one to spare and was not about to cause stranger danger to a family by asking to accompany a small kid.  If there’s one complaint to the park it’s that this attraction requires too much, and looks so cool.  The River Adventure looked fun, but I’ve been on it plenty of times in Hollywood to skip over this one and hit up the more unique attractions within the park.

I did manage to eat in Jurassic Park.  I had a delicious roasted chicken, corn on the cob, and potato meal at the Thunder Falls Terrace.  It had a great view of the drop finale of River Adventure, and the food was very good.  It was my second favorite place to eat out of both parks.

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Toon Lagoon

One of the liveliest islands and full of eye candy is Toon Lagoon.  This was another space that I wanted to have more time to explore.  The main theme is with comic strips, although with the attractions some classic cartoons are brought in as well.  It’s sort of a catch all for timeless toons that hopefully will not be forgotten.  And lagoon fits well with this island, as the main water rides are found here.  Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges are located here, as well as Me Ship The Olive.

Ripsaw Falls is a flume ride through a Dudley Do-Right cartoon.  Anything could be a gag here, and it sure seemed like it.  I was afraid of having very sparse decoration here or it not being enjoyable while getting wet.  I was wrong with that fear!  It certainly gets you wet, but there is so much to enjoy as you go through.  It felt like a true Do-Right script, and had great scenery to accompany it.  There are quite a few drops, and in all was a great ride to refresh during a hot day.

Bilge-Rat Barges got people soaked.  Which is not bad for a Florida day.  It’s just a good warning.  This was a fun cartoon to go through also.  I say cartoon because there was definitely a plot through it all, which was nice.  Great animated figures were scattered throughout.  I only wish there was a little more transformation for Popeye when he ate his spinach.  It was a great raft ride full of surprises and figures.

Toon Lagoon had a great atmosphere to walk around and observe all that is around.  I found myself following dotted lines to see where they went, or trying to figure out what character was from what comic strip.  It was a great homage to older cartoons and strips.

Marvel Super Hero Island

An area that is up for some debate is Marvel Super Hero Island.  Up for debate?  I say that because it’s an area that has exclusive rights to Marvel characters for quite some time, and prevents Disney from using their own in their parks.  But, it was still a very fun place to be at.

Marvel Island had a very colorful and very comic book setting.  I got a kick out of how many things were generically labeled, yet fit to have that be.  An example is a name of a store being called Store.  The other thing about the area is the mashup of comic buildings and characters in one place.  Being a longtime comic reader, I know that all these characters and buildings do not take place in the same area.  But, Latveria with Doctor Doom is right beside Spider-Man’s New York.

There are some very popular attractions here.  The Incredible Hulk Coaster, one of the top coasters in the world, is here.  Amazing Spider-Man has become an example of a new generation of ride experiences.  In addition to these two is Doctor Doom’s Fearfall and Storm Force Acceleration.  I didn’t experience Storm Force, but the others I certainly did.

Doctor Doom’s Fearfall is a drop type attraction.  The twist is that it launches up first and then lets the seats drop down.  What I liked about it is that it’s the old Maliboomer from Disney California Adventure with a story.  Yeah, a story.  The whole thing is supposed to be a machine that is harnessing energy to defeat the Fantastic Four.  There’s even “propaganda” videos in the queue.  It was just what you would think would be a Doctor Doom machine.  And, there were even a few effects to make it not a plain drop ride.

The Hulk Coaster was fun, and big!  It was something that could be heard throughout the park at times.  Part of this was because of a tunnel that caused the roar of a car.  It created sounds that would happen if the Hulk were really rampaging through the park.  It was a great feature for this reason.  I must be disillusioned by how many coasters I’ve been on in my time because it was fun, but not the most outstanding coaster I’ve ever been on.  The launch was a lot of fun, with some light effects and Bruce Banner voice over.  The ride was smooth and fast.  A great coaster indeed, just not one of my favorite attractions at the park.

Amazing Spider-Man took a while before I could ride.  It was closed the first day I went, and then didn’t open until towards the evening the second day.  But, it was worth the wait!  There’s a reason why people say it’s one of the best.  It was the first to use a similar ride system to Transformers, but with the Spider-Man story and effects.  There’s a fairly strong story to it, where guests are special reporters assigned by J Jonah Jameson to cover Dr. Octopus’ gang of villains stealing the Statue of Liberty.

Spider-Man had some great effects that made use of fire within the ride and even a moment of “what’s going on?” where I couldn’t tell if we were actually flying up or if walls were or if anything was happening with the exception of the 3D projection!  It was one of my favorites from both parks.  The only one to top it were the Wizarding World main attractions…

And that is the segue into the next post which will feature Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade!  Yes, it takes a whole post to cover!

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