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Islands of Adventure 20th Anniversary

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

  1. Disneyhead

    Disneyhead Veteran Member

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    My first trip to Orlando was in December '71 when I was 8 to see the newly opened Walt Disney World Resort. We stayed at The Poly and thus started my life long love of theme/amusement parks. We traveled to Orlando numerous times during the '70s and '80s. In 1990, I brought my future wife to Orlando for her first trip to WDW and we took a day and visited the newly opened USF. We loved it. In 1993 we moved to Orlando for me to go to Full Sail. While at Full Sail I actually had 2 classes at USF. Alas, in Jan. '95 we moved to Denver. I kept up with all the changes happening in Orlando (DAK and IOA), but I didn't make it back to Otown until a business trip in 2006. On that trip I hit both new parks. I loved DAK, but was totally blown away with how UOR had changed and IOA was the most amazing park I had ever visited. In 2009, I moved back to Orlando just as Potter construction was starting. I still absolutely love the entire UOR complex. But IOA is my favorite part and probably my favorite park anywhere. Spider-man, Potter, Hulk, JPRA, Kong, Bluto's, CITH, and soon Hagrid's is a hard line-up to beat.
     
  2. UAN17

    UAN17 Rookie

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    Visited in July 99 as a 9 year old kid and was utterly blown away by IOA. It wasn’t until 2015 I got to revisit but that impact it made on me back as a child lives on to this day.

    I only every got 1 ride on Spiderman in 99 and it left such a rare impression on me (from that era of my life) that it felt like I’d never been away when I got back. I also recall very vividly how the park had the best rapids ride I’d ever been on, and Jurassic Park stood out to me too.

    There’s a sense of excitement as you’re walking in that few places can match. I’ve often ranked it as my favourite theme park...it’s got some competition now but it has my heart. Here’s to the next 20!
     
  3. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    To tie it back into the title, I'm so old I remember being on this site when it was called "IoAdventure." I think it's had a minimum three name changes since then.
     
  4. Freak

    Freak Veteran Member

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    I just realized Wizarding World turns 10 next year.

    The realization of age is setting in. :(
     
  5. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Old man. :lol:
     
  6. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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  7. GAcoaster

    GAcoaster Veteran Member

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    belloq87, Mad Dog and Joe like this.
  8. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    I used to view that web site often. Always great photos. Didn't realize that was yours, though I recall you often referenced, in the past, that you had a website. ...Those were some really excellent photos of Merlin's area. :thumbsup::cheers:
     
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  9. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for showing how TERRIBLE CityWalk got for a few years there.
     
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  10. UniversalRBLX

    UniversalRBLX Veteran Member

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    Where's my 20th anniversary cupcake?!?!

    Universal really does not like to celebrate anniversaries huh? In 2012 they had a somewhat huge celebration, but that was for their company/studio, not the park. Really wish Uni celebrated the parks a bit more.
     
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  11. tideblue

    tideblue Rookie

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    I worked at IOA for half my nearly six years as a UOTM. Time spent on the Dr. Doom/Storm Force, Spider-Man, and River Adventure crews. I do love the park, even if it’s skews to the tourists more than the locals, especially with the three water rides (though Kong does break it up a bit and create a consistent draw outside Marvel and Potter for APers).

    IOA has been a big part of the Universal identity, with a lot of its DNA showing through in later parks and expansions, even with competitors’s projects (look at how many other coasters opened in Florida around 1998-2000). And as a whole, the themes moved past the studio aesthetic.

    And then, it was the launchpad for Potter played a huge role in revamping the resort and Universal parks brand as a whole. Looking forward to what the future holds for this park, even outside the new coasters. There are two empty theaters, Lost Continent is barely holding on as a themed area, and there’s still an expansion pad in Seuss. Plus my own conspiracy theories about the Marvel contract being dissolved (don’t @ me).
     
  12. TommyJK

    TommyJK Rookie

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    IOA was the first Universal Park I ever went to (Not counting Universal Studios in Hollywood that I went to in 86, as it was just a Studio Tour place before they made it into a Theme Park with rides).

    We were down in Florida primarily for a Disney Trip, and threw in a day to Universal and picked IOA because of what I had heard about Spider-Man, The Hulk and the new "Harry Potter World".

    And that one visit got me hooked on Universal, and pretty much ditched Disney after that. Spider-Man and FJ (along with it's rediculously themed queue) opened my eyes as to what the pinnacle of attractions could be and the themeing that went along with them.

    To this day FJ is my favourite ride anywhere and it still gives me goosebumps every time I ride it. The child-like wonder and awe I had after riding it for the first time is a feeling you seldom (if ever) can capture as an adult. Getting off that ride for the first time I felt like proverbially opening my wallet to Universal and say "take all of it. You've earned it!"

    At that point I had not seen any of the Potter movies or read any of the books. But Hogsmeade as a whole and FJ turned me into a huge Potter fan now having seen all of the movies and read all of the books several times over.

    Thank you IOA for bringing me into this obsessive fandom of all things Universal.
     
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  13. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    What 'Magic" Universal did with Potter worked the same way with me. I really had no idea who Potter was before my first visit to IOA in 2011 (I had 1 day at USF back in 2004). Now I'm a bit of a Potter fan and finally watched all the movies. But I'm mostly a fan of what Universal has done with Hogsmeade, and even more so with Diagon/London.
     
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  14. GAcoaster

    GAcoaster Veteran Member

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    Thanks! I wish I had tome to devote to the site and adding more pictures...
     
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  15. GAcoaster

    GAcoaster Veteran Member

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    Don't know if they're selling these, but they were giving them away to some of the TMs the other day:

     
  16. tankart150

    tankart150 Member

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    I’m almost 21 years old, got 28 more days left :)
     
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  17. SkiBum

    SkiBum Veteran Member

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    Visited IOA in September 1999. A hurricane had just blown through and missed my trip by two days, thankfully. My car needed a head gasket replacement that took longer than expected. So, instead of leaving at noon from Nashville, TN (where I lived at the time), I ended up leaving at 7:00 PM. I arrived at Fort Wilderness campground at 4:00 AM, set up my tent, and slept for four hours. Woke up and dressed and headed to IOA for one of the most amazing days at a theme park ever. Was blown away by level of detail, immersiveness, music, and the rides. For a trip that started out so rough (I was pacing in my apartment for hours until my car was finished), IOA was completely worth it. Rode Hulk first and then Spiderman. Worked my way around the rest of the park and kept doing circles. No lines at all which was so much fun. Bought the soundtrack and that was my music for the rest of my trip (which included one day at BG Tampa and then back to Nashville).
     
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  18. Stryker

    Stryker Rookie

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    Happy early birthday to you! :cheers: What an exciting time to be in your life. I remember counting down the days until I turned 21. Immediately hit Vegas and partied like there was no tomorrow. Good times! :grin:
     
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  19. shiekra38

    shiekra38 Veteran Member

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    In the trash, where all theme park cupcakes belong
     
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  20. Danielle Otaka

    Danielle Otaka Newcomer

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    Can they FINALLY reveal who voiced Bruce Banner and Doom?
     

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