Visiting Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure

Thursday, July 7

I was both so excited to go to universal and nervous too. I didn't want to go on big roller coasters (or any rides at all actually) but I also didn't want to spoil Scotts holiday by being difficult. As I said in my previous post we bought the Orlando FlexTicket Plus which gave us unlimited access to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Wet n Wild. We had only been in Florida for two full days before we decided to go to the theme parks. In total we went three time, twice during the day and then again for a little while after our dinner in the Hard Rock Cafe. I could talk about Universal all day but I will try not to ramble on. 

The first place we went when we arrived was Krustyland for the Simpsons ride. Scott thought it would ease me in gently and his mum had recommended it too. I did have butterflies to whole time we queued but in the end I really enjoyed it. Just enough 'roller coaster' for me... or so I thought!

The next place we went was the 'Revenge of the Mummy' where Scott said to me "Do you want to go on this one? I think it's in boats". I agreed nervously thinking how bad could a boat ride really be. We were 10-15 minutes into the queue when I saw the warning signs for the 'high speed roller coast'. That is when the nerves really kicked in... I felt so sick and shaky by the time we sat down in the cars. Despite closing my eyes when it got too much I actually kind of enjoy it - my first roller coaster. 

I don't think we went on many more rides the first day just walked around and took everything in. I know alot of people do the two parks on different days but we just walked between them. Seeing parts of London, New York and San Francisco was pretty amazing. Jurassic Park was another place I was in awe of too. Everything was very very cool - even 'Toon Lagoon' and 'Dr. Seuss in Seuss Landing'. I think, however, we all knew what I really came to see!  

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was everything I'd hoped it would be and more. Split over the two parks we spent plenty of time in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. We rode the Hogwarts Express both ways between the two parks which was another magical experience.

Even knowing it was all fake I couldn't believe how realistic everything was. Going into Honeydukes and Weasleys Wizard Wheezes to browse. I also couldn't resist a trip to Ollivanders which although extremely busy was everything I hoped it would be - I spent a lot of time deciding on the wand I wanted. I also got to speak to the conductor of the night bus and the shrunken head which was also amazing.

There are a few rides in these sections too but we only had time for the one - Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Despite it being another coaster it was so much fun. The 3D graphics were incredible as you traveled into the vaults of Gringotts and get thrown around by the dragon, escape Bellatrix and the trolls. Even the queue keep you amused because the inside of Gringotts lobby is amazing and the goblins which are freakishly realistic.

I did my best to soak up everything it had to offer but I'm not sure I managed it. Annoyingly we didn't go on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey because I didn't realise you got to see inside the castle while you were in the queue. I'm still a scardy cat at heart.

Above is the happy face of someone who has just been on her first roller coaster. On our second last night we walked through Hogsmeade and Jurassic Park in the dark as the park was closing. It was oddly creepy like a dinosaur might be lurking behind the trees. I wish we had time to go on the jurassic park water ride and the Pteranodon Flyers which scott refused to go on with me. Luckily though there is always a next time. There is always the new attraction - skull island to visit too.

There other rides we enjoyed were Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls - although I was pretty tense the whole way about the big drop at the end. Another water ride we enjoyed was Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. It was much more on the gentle side though. The Shrek 4-D ride was also pretty fun and Scott and I were both laughing alot. It isn't worth the 60 plus minute queues we saw some days though.

Everything in the two parks is so breathtaking I could have spent days just walking around and looking at everything. The amount of detail in the whole place could never be taken in on just one trip. 

I planned to talk about the other part of Universal, Wet n Wild, in this post too but I feel like it is long enough already. Honestly I hope my love for these two theme parks comes across in this post - just writing it has made me sad we don't have plans to go back. 

If you've not seen it already I have another post all about Orlando which you can read here

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