Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Orlando - Universal Islands of Adventure

The first and biggest thing is that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is not here.  While Potter is an incredible achievement in themed design, it came at the expense of two other great works (the Enchanted Oak Tavern & Dueling Dragons queue).  Without its 'Merlinwood' section, the Lost Continent is not really up to being its own island.  So,  I’m giving Potter bigger & better treatment at a new, third Universal franchise theme park, where the boy wizard will have several new rides & themed areas dedicated to him.

One thing I’ve tried to address at IOA is ride diversity.  So in islands with only family rides, I’ve added something for teens & adults and vice versa.  Seuss Landing gets How the Grinch Stole Christmas – a coaster similar to Big Thunder in size & intensity, entered through Who-ville and moving in and around Mt Crumpit.  There is a kid-friendly dark ride in Marvel Island based on the Super Hero Squad.

Closed attractions such as Island Skipper Tours & Triceratops Encounter are back.  The Lost Continent features the opening-day Poseidon show.  Dueling Dragons gets much more landscaping around the coaster tracks.  The coaster support beams are extensively themed to look like trees or castle ruins.  This is no longer a naked steel coaster.  Its classic queue is preserved.  I’ve added a rather larger & extensive, yet gentle, family dark ride based on the animated film Quest for Camelot (not sure who owns the rights).  It is a Disney-style fairy-tale that fits the Merlinwood theme.

Jurassic Park sees the addition the Helicop-Tours (above Isla Sorna, the back-up island from the 2nd book) attraction that was once planned.


Ron said...

I see you said Lost Continent will feature the original Poseidon show--by this do you mean with the water vortex, because it just returned very recently. Also, I see you have plans for a Franchise theme park. While this sounds interesting, how will it be any different from IOA. Jurassic Park, Spiderman, and Fantastic Four are all franchises, as are Shrek and MIB in the studios, yet they are still in your version of IOA. IOA is a story/ literature based park, where Harry Potter fits perfectly in concept. Why not keep Potter but move it up above a re-designed Lost Continent? Or better yet, make an entire Lost Continent 3rd gate instead which would better compliment the literature based IOA, and movie based studios. Sorry for rambling. haha.

'RandySavage' said...

Hey Ron, good to hear from you.

I'm glad the vortex is back. By original I also mean the first script that was employed for the first few years of the park's existence (you may be able to find it on youtube). I found that version of the show to be superior to the current script.


The reason I'm doing another Universal franchise park, which is exactly like another IoA (could be a 2nd Gate to Universal Japan or USH) is because there are number of other properties or 'franchises' that I believe are land-worthy, but not quite park-worthy. Batman, Star Trek and Wizard of Oz are among these. Each of these (and Potter) will have multiple major attractions.

Potter was brilliantly done at IoA, but I want to give it an even fuller treatment(there will be a Hogwarts Express ride (circlevision simulator), a Shrieking Shack, etc..

Now there are two major franchises - maybe the biggest - that are conspicuous by their absence in this discussion: Star Wars and Middle Earth (LotR & Hobbit). I've already done site plans for a full Star Wars land in my idealized Disneyland Paris (adjacent to Discoveryland) and an entire Middle Earth theme park (which is sort of like your Lost Continent idea) - which I will post here at a later date.

So if Disney gets Star Wars, rival Universal will have Star Trek.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say that IOA is a literature-based park. To me, "literature-based" would be an attraction not connected to a film that covers a classic work of fiction (Tom Sawyer Island being the prime example). While the books for Jurassic Park and Potter came first, the lands at IoA are based on the look & feel of the films. Toon Lagoon is Sunday Comics, Marvel is comic books and Seuss Landing is children's books - not what I would call "literature."

Now, I would appreciate more attractions based on classic literature - they are certainly underepresented. That is why I have put in many original literature-based (not connected to any film) attractions in many of my parks (including Moby Dick (Anaheim DisneySea), The Odyssey (Paris DisneySea), Gulliver's Travel's (Hong Kong Dreamport) among others). This is an area that is ripe for theme park exploration.

Ron said...

literature isn't the exact wording, "story telling in the form of writing" works better. Every land follows the pattern, even though many of the books and comics have been made into a movie. Toon Lagoon is based on comic strips, Jurassic Park and WWOHP are based on the books, but takes it's inspiration from the movies, even the original Lost Continent took inspirations from stories, legends, and fables.

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stitch101 said...

Randy, I just found this recently, it shows a person at Universal Creative discussing the stuff he helped design for IoA. Many of the stuff he mentions (and shows concepts of) have been scrapped projects that I don't think anyone knew about before. To summarize, here are the scrapped ideas for IoA he discussed.

*DC superheroes were indeed originally slated for an island, rather than Marvel.
*Toon Lagoon was originally going to be based entirely around Looney Toons characters.
*A "Walking Safari" attraction was originally proposed for Jurassic Park.
*The Camp Jurassic he helped design had several differences from what actually made it.
*The Triceratops Encounter he helped design was also different from what actually got approved.
*Poseidon's Fury was originally named "Journey to Atlantis" and had significant differences from the final product.
*"The Curse of the Pharaoh's" was a concept designed for LC, but scrapped.
*"The Magic of Merlin" was another idea tossed around, but again scrapped.
*After the idea of Looney Toons fell through, several other cartoon characters were considered for Toon Lagoon. These included Casper, The Simpsons, The Peanuts, Hanna Barbara characters, and several Nicktoons from the 90's. (Ren and Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, Rugrats, and Doug were the ones they looked at)

The full article can be found here:

Just thought it would be something that you would be very interested in.

Armchair Ashley said...

@RandySavage What everyone means when they say IOA is based on literature is that, in my wording, the park is based on things you read, not necessarily "literature."

Ludovic Lefort said...

You should make a park for every studio as Warner, Paramount, Fox, etc.... In that of Warner, there would be Batman, Harry Potter, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, Superman, The Mask, The Lord of Rings, etc...