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Thread: Dad's Taxi's Biggest Fare - Part 4

  1. #1
    Florida Chatterbox Dads_Taxi's Avatar
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    Dad's Taxi's Biggest Fare - Part 4

    Wednesday saw a great improvement in the weather, thank goodness. Today we were doing our re-scheduled trip to Universalís Island of Adventure.

    So yet another early morning, holidays arenít supposed to require the setting of an alarm clock, surely? The coolbox is filled with bottles of frozen water and a selection of canned pop, and hauled into the bus, and off we go.

    Once in the park, itís a swift march to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Itís impressive Ė very impressive.
    We join the queue for The Forbidden Journey ride, which even this early is a 90 minute wait. The queue has very welcome fans which blow a fine mist over you, lovely. Then the designer seems to have made an odd decision Ė letís make them all stand in a greenhouse for half an hour !! The greenhouse is supposedly the domain of Professor Sprout, the Herbology teacher, and is an annexe to the main castle. Smashing, all part of keeping to the story, but A GREENHOUSE ! Itís torturously hot in this section of the queue, and I can only assume the designer was confused about the climate whilst looking at artistsí impressions of the village

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    Eventually the queue enters the castle, which has enchanted air-con or something, thank goodness. And here they got it wrong again. I donít know how it had happened, but inside the castle there was hardly anyone queuing. So weíd stood outside in blistering heat for over an hour, and now weíre in the cool and canít wait to enjoy the moving portraits, the sorting hat, and most of all the holographic scenes featuring Dumbledore, and our three heroes Harry, Ron and Hermione. But do we get to enjoy them? Do we bleep. The huge gaps in the queue need to be filled, and some upstart Ďprefectí is bullying us all into rushing along to the entrance to the actual ride, where we arrive with no idea what the ride is about, and having missed the whole point to the story.

    As to the ride itself, I was gob-smacked. My Engineerís head kept asking how the hell have they done that? all the time I was on it. It is amazing, fast, frightening, hang on, Iíll grab my thesaurus, oh yes, nauseating ! On my list of Ďthings to do sooní is to do some research into how the heck that ride works. Itís not for the faint-hearted, there are some fairly scary creatures in there, and I could see why we passed so many warning signs about sudden changes of direction and motion sickness. It certainly made me wonder if I was about to be the first person to spray the place with breakfast at some point. Mrs Dadís Taxi said she just closed her eyes eventually and waited for it to stop.

    We have in our party some very keen Harry Potter fans, so theyíre quite happy after the ride to explore the village, and partake in the local brew, butterbeer

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    Which works out more expensive than enjoying a real beer in somewhere less touristy like, say, Paris.

    The big star, in my opinion, is the Hogwarts Express

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    The whole village is done really well. The girls love the sweetshop,

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    but really itís hard to pick out any part of the village which wasnít done superbly. Even the ATM, which is an essential device when everything around you costs a fortune, is from Gringotts Wizarding Bank. And, as expected, those robbing Goblins charge you $3 to withdraw cash !

    Eventually we drag ourselves away from Hogsmeade, and have a look at the rest of the park. Ripsaw Falls is, in my humble opinion, the best log flume there is, so thatís where we head next. Iím afraid the story of this ride continues to allude me. A combination of funny voices that arenít quite comprehendible, and the fact that Dudley Do-Right is not a cartoon character I know apart from his featuring in this ride, mean that I only have a vague concept of baddies tying goodies to rail tracks, and somehow by us plunging at break-neck speed down a 75 foot ramp into an exploding pool the day is saved. And we get very wet.

    Still, itís a hot day, so not to worry. Where next? Might as well continue with the water. We go along to Popeyeís Bilge-Rat Barges, and I get a sudden recollection of getting very wet on this, last time we came to IOA around 2001. Mrs Dadís Taxi does the sensible thing and holds everyoneís bags, cameras, hats, butterbeer mugs, and 10 of us board a raft. And we get WET. Not just wet, but totally, utterly soaked. My wallet is now full of papier-mache receipts, and very soggy $$$s. We are dripping, but the Sun dries us, eventually.

    The rest of the day we wander around, I snap photos whilst the kids go on stupid rides like The Hulk and other things designed to make you throw up. Oh, and we carry all the bags.

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    Eventually weíve all had enough, so we head for the villa to shower and put clean clothes on. Despite the drying effect of the Sun, certain garments were still a bit soggy, if you get my drift.

    Dinner tonight was at Ponderosa on the West end of the 192. It was Yummy. Another great day.
    Dave.


  2. #2
    Gold 5 Star Member eagleydo's Avatar
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    Love the descriptions, we are still to see Hogwarts for the first time in September. Love ripsaw falls and popeye!
    Jan


  3. #3
    Florida Expert reemur's Avatar
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    Enjoy the rest of your stay & keep the reports coming I have realy enjoyed reading them
    Carol


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dads_Taxi View Post
    As to the ride itself, I was gob-smacked. My Engineer’s head kept asking how the hell have they done that? all the time I was on it. It is amazing, fast, frightening, hang on, I’ll grab my thesaurus, oh yes, nauseating ! On my list of ‘things to do soon’ is to do some research into how the heck that ride works.

    I can help, I think, with the answer to that one ...

    The ride engineering is, if the rumours were/are true, based on a robotic arm that is mounted on some kind of moving platform - almost certainly a track type system. A simpler ride on a track (think Spiderman) can can throw you around pretty well, but the big advantage the arm brings is that it can put you into orientations where you cannot see either the arm, the track or any other pieces of the motion system. In effect it can have you just dangling in space with the only thing visible (or perhaps not visible with the ride being in the dark) being a huge screen onto which the visuals are projected.

    I had a fair bit of fun following the rumours about the design and build of this ride. There's a snippet here:
    http://www.orlandovillas.com/florida...and-facts.aspx

    I don't know for sure if it was RoboCoaster who provided the technology, but to get a good feel for how it works, check out the photo gallery for their G3 platform:
    http://www.robocoaster.com/gallery/g3-robot-systems
    Steve



  5. #5
    Super Moderator florida4sun's Avatar
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    If go back for another ride, sit on the end sit at the end and you can see the others cars (and arms) with a little effort. I found this out as I get motion sickness and kept looking away. It is indeed a huge tracked robotic arm.


  6. #6
    Florida Chatterbox DisneyPrincess's Avatar
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    The Forbidden Journey is my favourite ride in Florida! Love HP! x


  7. #7
    Florida Savvy
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    Loved this report. Looking forward to seeing Harry Potter in Universal in November but I'll give the rides a miss.
    Helen


  8. #8
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    "My wallet is now full of papier-mache receipts, and very soggy $$$s."

    Serves you right for not giving it to Mrs Dads Taxi with the instruction to "go into whichever shop you choose to keep out of the hot sun and treat yourself for looking after everyone's bags"
    Babblin Boo


  9. #9
    Florida Savvy spaners's Avatar
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    Harry potter had to be the highlight of our visit last year as our 8 yearold grandson is harry daft.
    pleased your having a great time in florida.


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