Universal Florida, FL
Today we went to the Islands of Adventure park within the Universal Resort. What a beautiful park! Wonderful theming and just a pleasure to explore. We had a thoroughly good time there. Arrived about 830 but could only get as far as the initial area Port of Landing. So, we sat and had coffee and enjoyed the views until Marvel Comics land was open at about 845. We first tried a ride that was very similar to the old fairground waltzer but here was called the Acceletron ! Spiderman was not open as yet and no one felt up to the Hulk rollercoaster or Dr Dread’s Drop of Doom, so we wandered on into Toontown.
This is a watery sort of area with quite a few rides involving contact. Now here’s a fundamental difference between Disney and Universal. When Disney says “riders may get wet” on a ride like Kali River Rapids, they mean that out of maybe 12 of you in the raft 2 will get a bit wet. Universal mean that all of you will get well and truly soaking wet. As wet as if you’d jumped in a pool. That sort of wet. Anyway, the first ride was Dudley Do Rights Ripsaw Falls which was a ride with a flume drop at the end and I opted to be photographer for this. I should have realised when the girls and Bob got so wet that all of the other rides would be similar!!!! Anyway, we walked on into Jurassic Kingdom and did the Jurassic Park River Adventure. We split this one. Bob rode first with the girls and I photographed and then I rode again with the girls and Bob photographed. What a great ride. You are in a full size river raft boat and it all starts very sedately with a trip through Jurassic Park viewing benign dinosaurs on the river banks. Then it all goes wrong of course and you end up detouring by mistake through the raptor area and then being attacked by one at which point the raft drops 85 feet almost vertically down through total darkness, landing with a huge splash into the river again . To say the splash made us wet is the understatement of the year. It DELUGED on us!!!! hahaha. Very refreshing to be honest with temperatures up in the 100s again. Shame about our shoes is all….
After that we thought in for a penny in for a pound so we had a ride on Popeye’s Bilge Rat barges, another raft ride from hell and more drenching. Some people on our boat had entirely the wrong idea and wore plastic ponchos with the hood up!!!! Wimps!!! We were literally wringing our clothes out! It took a couple of hours to completely dry out.
Spiderman opened at this point and we went back and rode on that. A brilliant ride, one of the best in all the parks in my opinion. We rode in a “car” as reporters for the Daily Bugle while Spidey fought a battle with various villains lead by Dr Octopus. Then our car got involved and we had hair raising plummets with Spiderman catching us and flying us on. It was 3D simulation brilliantly done. Most enjoyable.
Stopped for a snack at this point and then walked back into Dr Seuss Land. This is a charming children’s area with lots of colourful rides based on the Seuss books. We had a go at the aerial train which was nice. Then it was time for Sindbad’s Adventures which is a stunt show with a spectacular set and lots of action and fireworks. Lucy got picked for the preshow which was funny for us and embarrassing for her but she played up well. The show itself was ok but not as good as the Disney stunt shows.
Afterwards the girls went on and rode Duelling Dragons which was a frightening looking double rollercoaster. Bob and I sat in the cool!
Finally we went into Poseidon’s Fury which was a weird attraction. The building/set is very spectacular like a great temple and it’s a tour, you walk from room to room and in each there is an actor and multiple special effects recreating a battle under the sea between Neptune and his arch enemy whose name I forget . It was really good but my feet were aching too much at this point to enjoy standing for so long.
Once it was over we limped back to the car and went to the Mall at Millenia for a break. Lucy was looking for clothes and more household things and Daisy was looking for clothes. Its not a discount mall but many of the shops had sales on and there were some utterly amazing bargains. Got some great things for Xmas presents and for use now.
Left the mall at 615 and the plan was to return to Universal Cityscape, their entertainment area, and have dinner and then go to a movie in the large cinema. However, we couldn’t face the walk from the multi-storey carpark to the cinema (wimps) so we changed plans and went to the Longhorn Steakhouse on International Drive instead. Really delicious prime rib. Its good value here and the food is good. We still intended to go to the cinema (a nearby one) but that plan also bit the dust and we ended up coming back to the condo and turning in. We will fit the cinema in over the weekend.
Its been a really good day today. My feet are very sore but in a good cause.