Jul 272012

2 days, like 20+ rides, this place is nuts.

Hot, HOT Florida weather was finally becoming second nature to us, we weren’t cooking as bad as Disney, but it was still hot. Universal Studios is, for the most part, split into 2 distinct areas. There is the Islands of Adventure, and theA�Universal Studios FloridaA�which are split with a store front walkway withA�restaurantsA�and the like. Both parks are great, but logically we decided to go to one on each day.


Click ‘Continue Reading’ to see a breakdown of each park, and our experiences.

Islands of Adventure

Our first day was spent at theA�Islands of Adventure, which is themed as a bunch of broken up islands based around famous Universal Films – such as Jurassic Park, Marvel Super Heroes, Dr Seuss and the newest area based on Harry Potter. The Harry Potter area is pretty damn amazing, based on the Hogsmeade village from the books/films, and a replica Hogwarts Castle that houses the ride ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey‘ – which is an unbelievably awesome mix of a virtual ride (using big screens to give you the impression you are visiting huge areas at great speeds) and proper movement that takes you past animatronic monsters and the like – it’s REALLY immersive. I have no idea how far you *actually* move during the ride, but the entire experience makes you feel like you have been on a huge journey. It’s. Awesome.

A picture taken while Juanita and I where on the ride. I am generally sure at this point an animatronic dragon head reared up and spat hot smoke on our legs a�� I am holding my glasses because the ride did move a lot.

Other rides we enjoyed included “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man”A�- which is a 3D trolley driven ride where you get into mock ‘news’ cars and go out to get some ‘news’ for J. Jonah JamesonA�while several villains are using a levitation ray to steal landmarks. It was the only 3D I saw at the parks that really seemed to work, and the Spiderman + Villains were really well animated, I freaking loved it. We also went on the Jurassic Park river raft ride, and we were warned before we were going to get wet – but the rain that hit us, even BEFORE the splash zone was so incredibly torrential that by the time the splash came, we were already soaked. The gift shop made a killing on towels that day, and now I am a 26 year old man with a Jurassic Park towel (I couldn’t be happier, shut up).

Universal Studios Florida

Juanita and I hit the Universal Studios ready to kick some serious ass. We came packing Express PassesA�that would allow us to walk straight past any PLEBS that were queued up and jump straight onto a ride / into a show. We beelined to the Shrek 4D adventure because it’s so heavily advertised – it was pretty good, sadly I can barely see some forms of 3D, but oh well. Juanita had a squeal at some simulated spiders crawling around our legs, I’ll be honest – it made my skin crawl. We then smashed through whatever was closest, jumping onto ‘Despicable Me’, Terminator 2: 3D, E.T: The Adventure… we were ride hopping machines. Helps that the rides are air conditioned. Sat in on a show based around Horror film make up, which was really funny and awesome to watch (He showed us the face morph rigs from the new Wolf Man film).

We managed to spot one of the major street shows that they haveA�occurringA�around the park, which was based on the movie ‘Hop’ (did ANYONE see that? really?) and then we jumped across to The SimpsonsA�roller coaster, which again was a cool virtual ride in a A�moving booth. The entire ride was based around a cool storyline that started in the ride’s line, suggesting that Sideshow Bob had broken out of Springfield prison and had now forced you onto the ride, as he now worked on destroying the Krustyland Theme park while you are still on the rollercoaster. I’m a sucker for Kelsey Grammer so I had a blast. We basically wrapped up the day having done every ride that didn’t involve vomiting, and that only left 2 rides that boasted that they go so fast your eyeballs will dry out – so we decided to pass on those. The last ride we jump onto was ‘Twister – The Experience’ and it was amazing. It was so unconventional – basically you go onto a mock set of a small town intersection, and then they blast it with a simulated tornado – fast winds, rain, roofs shaking – even a flying cow. It ended with a vortex of fire that must have been one of the hottest things I have felt close up – it was incredible.

We ended the day by going to see The Amazing Spider ManA�at the Universal Cineplex, and I enjoyed it greatly. EXCELSIOR!

VERDICT: Universal Studios? Really really cool.

I’ll leave you with a picture of me with a movie legend.

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