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Islands of Adventure 20th Anniversary

Discussion in 'Islands of Adventure' started by Joe, May 28, 2019.

  1. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    Twenty years ago today Islands of Adventure opened to guests. Billed as part of Universal Studio Escape the new park broke the mold with fully themed lands and attractions.

    Parkscope: Islands of Adventure Turns 20



    I’ll be sharing more videos and articles throughout the day. Happy birthday IOA!

    :cheers::party:
     
  2. AlexanderMBush

    AlexanderMBush Legendary Member

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    If there's anything that I get to share with IOA, is that we both have one final year before we get to legally drink. ;)

    It's still amazing to see IOA as it stands now, especially with June 13th rolling around the corner.
     
  3. Frankyg123

    Frankyg123 Rookie

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    I remember when IOA was under construction I was so excited because Jurassic park was my favorite movie as a kid in the 90’s. my parents refused to take me because they considered there wasn’t enough to do for my little sister. I didn’t get to visit till 2002 for HHN. It’s because of IOA that I started visiting this site back when it was IOA Central
     
  4. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    :cheers:...and...IOA just gets better & better with age......Once Hagrid's Coaster & the new Hogwart's night show debuts, it will clearly be the superior of the two Universal Orlando parks, even though USF has the "GREAT" Diagon Alley/London. .
     
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  5. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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  6. JungleSkip

    JungleSkip Premium Member

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    Happy 20th anniversary to (IMO) the best theme park in Orlando and the best ride in the world in Spider-Man. I love IoA from top to bottom, and can't wait to see Hagrid, JP coaster, and whatever else happens in the coming years
    I think IoA has always been better than USF from day 1. IoA is just everything a theme park should be, IMO
     
  7. SailwiththeTide

    SailwiththeTide Member

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    But USF has the best ride - Fast and Furious Supercharged. :'(
     
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  8. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    It's a VERY tough choice between Spidey and Forbidden Journey, but I think I give a skin of the tooth-sized edge to Spidey just because of a more coherent story.

    Dragons in its ORIGINAL form would be right up there as well. Here's to hoping Motorbike can join that group! :cheers:
     
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  9. Stryker

    Stryker Rookie

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    Woah... You're only 20? Man, I feel old. When I was 20, the internet was a toddler. Anyone remember dial-up modems, AOL, BBS, IRC?
     
  10. traveller

    traveller Rookie

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    I remember so many site's would come and go.My 1st visit to Universal(my 1st theme park ever) was in 98, I remember seeing that bright green monster rising up and I was hooked. Been every year since. I seen it grow to in my opinion the best vacation destination.I became a passholder in 04, We used buy up those 7 day park to park tickets for $99 . That was a great deal back in the day.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  11. HThomas

    HThomas Newcomer

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    Yep, Google was just a search engine.
     
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  12. AlexanderMBush

    AlexanderMBush Legendary Member

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    If it makes you feel any better, I actually remember AOL in part to the various times I saw ads on VHS when watching Scooby Doo (The James Gunn one) when I was a kid. ;)

    It's amazing though, to see the decade both open and close form Potter. And it's influence, will never be second-guessed to what IOA has had the ability to become.
     
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  13. Spaulding

    Spaulding Member

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    I remember my first visit in 2000. 13 year old me was in heaven with Hulk, Spider-Man and Jurassic Park.
    Loved Dr Doom, Dueling Dragons and Dudley Do-Right as well. All fantastic rides.
    It was my favourite Florida theme park for a long time. I think US has taken that crown from it in recent years, but it could definitely become numero uno again soon with the developments going on.

    Are they doing anything in park to celebrate?
     
  14. GadgetGuru

    GadgetGuru Premium Member

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    Anybody have any pictures of the old Lost Continent (pre-Potter)?

    I never got a chance to see Dueling Dragons or the Enchanted Oak Tavern
     
  15. Freak

    Freak Veteran Member

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    My very first visit wasn't until 2004. It was my first time to Universal Orlando and I was 11 at the time. I remember begging my parents to take me there for several years after seeing that Spider-man ride I kept seeing on the side of Ritz Bitz boxes. I finally got to check out the park and it was awesome. Spider-man was the coolest ride (And still is one of the coolest rides) I have ever seen.

    Happy 20 IoA! Look forward to hopefully going back this Fall to experience Hagrid!
     
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  16. rhino4evr

    rhino4evr Veteran Member

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    My future wife and I visited IOA that opening summer. We were beyond impressed. Fond memories include going directly to Dueling Dragons and meeting Merlin, and being blown away by the queue. Not realizing just how many water rides there were and getting soaked with no change of clothes...luckily it was an extremely hot day, and we dried off quickly. First time on a launch coaster which again caught us by surprise. Going on Cat and the Hat and thinking it was really intense for a kids ride (it would be toned down later), Finally riding Spider-Man and having our draws hit the floor. We’ve been to the park many times since, but that first trip was easily the most memorable.
     
  17. MLevell

    MLevell Newcomer

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    Oh man so many memories, growing up the only child of divorced parents in southwest Florida meant a lot of my childhood was spent at the parks. I still remember when you could park right in front of Universal Studios, so seeing each step of the transformation into a resort was so exciting, the preview center, the parking garages, the hotels, the water taxi, it all seemed to happen so fast.

    I still distinctly recall visiting Universal with my Dad in early 99 and seeing Hulk and Doom going and hearing riders scream, we ran up the gates and screamed "Let Us In! Let Us In!" and then an employee came out and told us that sadly this was an employee only day and the new park wasn't ready for us just yet.

    And then finally getting to go that fall for my 8th birthday; we stayed at Portifino, which was the most amazing hotel ever, we rode the water taxi to the park, I remember be scared that this was a secret Jaws ride, and then finally walking into the park to that iconic music, and quickly making our way to Marvel Superhero Island.

    Well what can I say, as life time Marvel Zombies this was pretty incredible, and we went straight to Spider-Man, who was already my favorite fictional character ever so I would have been excited even if they hadn't made that incredible commercial with Spidey and Doc Ock on the wing of the plane, and then of course I got so scared of the Super-Villains (they seemed so real) that I kept my eyes shut for most of it, thankfully we re-rode it and I fell in love.

    I remember being blown away by Cat in The Hat, astonished by Triceratops Encounter, shocked by the O.G. Poseidon's Fury, and drenched by Popeye, it was the coolest place I had ever been, My childhood had seen plenty of time split between Disney, Universal, and Sea World, but that trip sealed the deal if I could only have one it would be Universal.

    And so over the next ten years Universal took up the majority of my theme park trips and as the resort grew and so did I going on bigger scarier rides, I recall the next year when Storm and Unicorn opened, when Hard Rock Hotel came, when Poseidon changed, when they brought in a random motocross show to the Toon Lagoon theater, when my beloved Triceratops closed, finally gaining the courage to conquer Hulk, Doom , and Dragons, I recall being thrilled when I saw a construction worker up above in Suess Landing and we shouted "Are you finally finishing this ride?" and they replied with Yes, and then when the announcement came that one of my favorite properties Harry Potter was coming to my favorite park.

    And then for my 19th birthday my father and I returned and for the first time did not rush to Marvel but instead to Harry Potter and were blown away by Forbidden Journey, and then it just sort of stopped, shortly thereafter my mother would take me to Bush Gardens for a day out before she moved away and I couldn't fit on a regular seat on Montu, ashamed I subconsciously backed away from theme parks for nearly a decade until last year for my 27th birthday my Father and I returned to Universal and I fell in love with it all over again, although I admit I purposely didn't ride anything with over the shoulder restraints, so yeah I have a lot of memories attached to Islands of Adventure even if most of them are a little out of date now (I still think of Royal Pacific as the new Hotel) but I'm so happy it's still there and I promise it won't be so long between visits this time.
     
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  18. belloq87

    belloq87 Veteran Member

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    Visiting the park for the first time in November of 1999 remains one of the greatest days I can remember spending in Orlando. I was floored by the level of detail then, and the park has only gotten stronger and more formidable in the two decades since.

    Of the major parks in Orlando, I think only Magic Kingdom offers a better and more varied selection of attractions than Islands of Adventure. It's a joy and a delight to spend time there, and as my enjoyment of USF has dramatically lessened, I have grown to appreciate IOA even more than I already did (which was a lot!).
     
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  19. GAcoaster

    GAcoaster Veteran Member

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    I remember reading Bob Coker's article about IoA on Thrillride! (back in the early days of the internet) and I knew I needed to go!

    ThrillRide!

    I remember going in September of '99 and loving it so much. I thought "this is the park I would have built, great theming and great thrill rides!"
     
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  20. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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