TUES 11th JAN 2000
to wake up at 7:00 and, although not perfect, India is
feeling much better. After breakfast in the room we leave
for Islands of Adventure, arriving at 8:30.
The multi-storey car parks are very impressive and we
take the precaution of noting down our space, Jurassic
Park 304. It must be very easy to lose your car here.
We exchange our vouchers for tickets where we realise
that we are definitely not in WDW anymore as the women
behind the counter has all the enthusiasm of a dead slug.
The park opens early and in we go. The Port of Entry is
lovely, very pretty with plenty of flowing water. They
have certainly learned from Disney.
We head straight for Super Hero Island and Spiderman. Tam
and I ride first. Wow, absolutely sensational! I can see
why so many have called this the ride of the future.
Everything about it is right and the impression of depth
from the 3D is stunning. I know that India would like
this but we will let her settle down a little today
before doing anything too rough. Tam goes back on with
Grandma and they both come off smiling.
We walk through Toon Lagoon to Jurassic Park. It does
remind you of the film as you walk through the gates.
Again Tam and I go on the Jurassic Park River Adventure
to try it out. We are not entirely impressed by this. It
is OK, but is spoiled for me by the fact that, as the
gates open and you supposedly float into Jurassic Park,
you see the huge white ride building looming in front of
you. This definitely detracts from the immersive quality
of the ride. Also the T.Rex that is supposed to frighten
you at the end is visible well before you get to it and
so wouldn't frighten a small child with a dinosaur
phobia. The actual drop is less intense than Splash
Mountain. The animatronic dinosaurs are good but they
seem to be few and far between.
We have to find something for the girls to do next so we
head into Camp Jurassic for the Pteranodon Flyers. You
can only ride this with a child, so Georgia and I go with
Grandma and India. I really like this. You get great
views of the park, even though it is very short. Georgia
wants to go again, so she goes with Tammy. I am
sniggering to myself because Tam is not too keen on
heights and I know she won't like it. Sure enough she
comes off saying never again. (Stifles laughter with back
We then let the girls have a run around in the play area
for a while. The girls opinion: better than the Boneyard.
Back to Toon Lagoon and we all go on Popeye's Bilge Rat
Barges. I get drenched, the rest get merely soaked. This
is much better than Kali River Rapids. Why did Disney not
make Kali as long and rough as this? The only problem is
spending the day trying to get dry. It's a good job it's
warm and sunny again.
The girls and Grandma then go to play on Me Ship, The
I think one problem with this park is that the two big
roller coasters dominate. You can see and, even worse,
hear them from practically anywhere in the park. This
detracts from whichever area you are in. By the way,
there is no way I am riding either coaster. All I would
succeed in doing is making myself sick, so there is not
much point. Rock 'n Roller Coaster is about my limit, I
We backtrack to the Pandemonium Cartoon Circus Show. None
of us can believe how incredibly bad this is. I realise
it is supposed to be for children but even they are
embarrassed by this. They ought to get a clue by the
number of people that walk out half way through. Remove
it quickly please.
India and I go off to do Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls
but just as we get to the front of the queue the ride
goes down. What actually happens is that the ride is
being loaded and just as the log starts to move off
somebody decides to jump in the front. One of the ride
attendants hits some sort of emergency stop and they have
to reset the whole thing.
While India and I have been queuing the others take the
opportunity to avail themselves of a hot fudge sundae or
two. (Well, 3 to be precise but at least there is some
left for me and Ind.)
Walking back through Jurassic Park we go to the
Triceratops Encounter and India gets to stroke a real
live dinosaur. Honest! This is very clever and
The Discovery Centre is pleasant enough but nothing
On to the Lost Continent. By general consent this is the
most spectacularly themed of all the islands. Just the
right blend of ancient sorcery and eastern mysticism.
Even the shops are varied and interesting.
We stand in front of Duelling Dragons (or as India thinks
it is called Drooling Dragons) and watch the fools going
to their certain doom. Are these people daft?
Next is the 8th Voyage of Sinbad. This is a theatre show
and the stage is stunning based around a huge cave filled
with wrecked ships. The show itself is very good but does
contain some loud bangs. Georgia's earplugs are doing a
sterling job and she watches it all.
We wander around the shops and come across the wishing
well. This is a pleasant surprise which I will not spoil
for you but we watch the interaction for a few minutes.
Poseidon's Fury is set inside a visually amazing
building. A half destroyed ancient temple with the
remains of a giant statue of Poseidon lying around. The
show itself never quite seems to lead anywhere. The
vortex is impressive but in the main show you are sort of
waiting for a big finale that never really happens.
We like the look of the Mythos Restaurant and decide to
have a late lunch there. If you are looking for something
more than burger and fries then give this place a try.
Tammy has chicken in a balsamic vinegar sauce and I have
herb crusted swordfish on a bed of polenta. Both are
excellent, not too filling, just very good quality.
Dessert is orange pecan bread pudding and ameretto creme
brulee. Again both are good. Total for the 5 of us
including 2 children's meals, 3 beers and a coffee is
$75. Good value when you consider the ambience, service
and high standard.
Seuss Landing has the girls going on the Caro-Seuss-El
and then 1 fish 2 fish. Here we once again witness a
family with children too numerous to count clambering
over everything in sight. Three of their brood ride twice
in a row by hiding on the opposite side of the ride from
the attendant and then jumping into one of the fish.
Their parents are watching and smiling. They try it a
third time but get caught. Instead of leaving by the exit
they clamber over the railings and trample all over the
plants in the process, while mum and dad look proudly on.
If the parents allow them to do this then what chance do
the children have?
The Cat In The Hat ride is good fun and Georgia enjoys it
greatly. The girls then run around in the play area for a
while. This is a beautifully designed place with lots for
little ones to do and lots of devious ways to get them
It is now 5:00 and, with the exception of the couple of
big roller coasters, we have done nearly everything.
Islands of Adventure actually looks much bigger than it
is and can easily be done in a day if the crowds are as
low as today.
Is it better than WDW? No.
Is it worse than WDW? No.
It is a different park with a different feel and many
different things to do. Spiderman, to me, is a ride that
pushes back the boundaries of what is possible and
something that I'm sure Disney will take notice of. Some
of the scenery is spectacular and stunning but being able
to see one totally unrelated area from another is a
little off putting.
Should you visit Islands of Adventure when you are in
Orlando? In my opinion, yes. However, I also agree with
those that say that it is more thrill oriented than WDW.
You tend to notice this more if you visit with children,
a large part of their day is spent waiting for you to
ride. Seuss Landing is the only true kiddie area, even
Toon Lagoon has more adult rides. Having said all that,
the children's play areas are excellent and India and
Georgia still had a lot of fun.
We walk back towards the Port of Entry but then decide to
ride Spiderman again. This time India rides with Tam. She
enjoys it enormously. Tam now thinks that this is the
best ride in any theme park, due in no small part to it's
It is now 6:00 and the park is closing, it is also
starting to get dark. We now do something that often
happens when we tour the parks. Instead of leaving we
decide to walk around the park to look at it at night.
The Lost Continent is lovely in the growing gloom and
Jurassic Park is more foreboding. This is as far as we
get before an Islands of Adventure employee turns us
We finally head for the exit and walk through the Port of
Entry (Exit?). This is very prettily lit and we go into a
couple of shops which are unusual and fun. Georgia thinks
we should go to Epcot to watch Tapestry of Nations but,
knowing the long day we have had, I don't think this is a
Back to Dixie Landings for a snack in the food court,
showers and bed by 10:00.
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