^^Glad to hear you're enjoying the report. We eventually saw the One Mans Dream on another day so more on that in due course.
I noticed that I titled that last report about learning to draw, realised that that isn't until our next visit, whoops. September 6th - Islands of fun!
The original plan for today was to just go to Universal Studios but as the evening show wasn't on due to some corporate event we decided to spend the day at Islands of Adventure. We had booked the night before a Mears shuttle from our hotel. The guy was really early and we were the last to get in and we had to squeeze into the back of this vehicle which was a little awkward. Still we were soon on our way and before we knew it we had arrived at the Universal Resort.
We went straight over to the park via CityWalk and as soon as we entered I was happy, the theming is amazing, one of the best park entrances I've seen. Just so much to look at.
Our plan was to head into the Marvel area first and work our way around. So first up was The Incredible Hulk. I was looking forward to this, a launched B&M, what could go wrong? We had to put our stuff into lockers first which was annoying and a running theme for the rest of the day. The queueline was empty which meant we just walked past all the TV screens, I'm sure it would have helped the boredom if there was a queue. We walked straight into the back row, it's odd, it was like no one wanted to go for the back row.
So, what did I think of the actual ride experience? Not as good as I was hoping, the launch was great and the ride had some great moments but overall it was a little too rough. I don't get how it was rough though? Is it something to do with the Florida weather?
So yeah, not a fantastic start to our day. We hit up Spiderman next, another ride I was uber excited about riding. There was once again no queue, this park was totally dead - excellent. The random Merlin-esque green screen photo opportunity that you're forced to do half way through the queue was odd and I don't really understand why it's there.
OMG, this ride is so friggin' amazing, I loved every second of it, the music, the effects, the amazing 3D, I was just totally blown away by how good it was. It was really weird seeing a poster for Iron Man in the background of one of the scenes, nice little touch.
We walked straight through the Toon Lagoon area and into the Jurassic Park area. I wanted to take a nice photo of the entrance sign but some lady was taking about a year to pose in front of it so I got impatient and she is now in my photo too, we can call her Mandy.
The sign for River Adventure said 10 minutes but this was a lie, it was walk-on. OMG I was loving these empty queuelines. This ride is really well done, the indoor section I could actually feel my heart starting to race, the tension they build is brilliant. I liked how all my fav dinos from the film made it into the ride. The drop at the end is brilliant too, a nice amount of air time and the splash doesn't get you too soaked (well, unless you sit in the front). It was just refreshing because despite how early it was the heat was already being quite burdenous.
We tried to get on the Jurassic Park coaster but despite the park being empty and about 6 adults all trying to get into the queue at the same time the staff member was having none of it. I don't think any of us could quite believe what we were hearing, the ride was made to allow adults to sit in the carriage so why couldn't we go on? Not like there was a 30 min queue for kids waiting. It looked like fun too which was the worst bit about it.
So because it was hot we decided to head back and do the two water rides. Question, why have Universal put all three of their water rides in the same area? Just seems like a silly idea.
Anyway we decided to do Rip Saw Falls and stupidly didn't pay to put our bags into a locker. It's a shame the whole theme of this ride was totally lost on me but I've just never seen the TV show it's referring to before - Did it even make it over to the UK? The ride itself is pretty good though with lots of drops and it gets you absolutely drenched. However I was getting a little concerned about my bag's contents towards the end of the ride so on the big drop when we got towards the splash I leant over it to help protect it which resulted in Patrick getting double the amount of water - LOL.
So we were suitably moist already, what harm could going on the rapids ride next do? I'd heard many stories about this ride and I wasn't risking my valuables again so placed them in a locker. The queueline was empty yet it still took a good 10 minutes to get on the ride, why are they so long even if they're empty? We were sat in a boat with a family and I've never laughed so much in my entire life. The entire ride is just an assault on the boat, it's like they're trying to drown you at every turn. I don't even know what was going on for most of it because I got so wet so quickly that the wax in my hair was starting to make its way down my face (such a gross feeling). I think the most hilarious part for me was when we were going up the lift hill, as every other rapids I've been on ends with one I thought "oh, maybe this is the end, thank God for that". No, it really wasn't, it was yet another descent into copious amounts of water. The look on the Mother's face was priceless when we all realised what was about to happen.
Oh Popeye & Bruto's Bilge-rat Barges, you are so evil but so amazing. I felt like I'd just jumped into the Sea or something, I was just dripping water for hours, not even the hot Florida Sun could help. It should be said that it may have put Patrick off rapids for life. There's no way I could do it again unless unless I'd lost the plot but I won't deny how brilliant it was and an experience I'll never forget.
So because we were both so wet we sat around for a bit and then wandered towards Potter. Patrick loathes Potter and it made him keep saying bad things about the new area without even entering it which was a little annoying. It's a shame that if you're outside the Potter area you can tell that the main ride is just in a massive warehouse.Look to the left of the photo
However I thought once inside the area it was so immersive and the attention to detail was amazing. Obviously we headed straight for Forbidden Journey. It was advertising a 20 minute wait but it turned out to be more like 5 or 10. Apparently this is pretty unheard of. The queueline was amazing once you enter the actual school. I was a little sad that there wasn't a queue because we walked past so many effects. We did stop and watch the Dawn French painting because she's amazing.
I loved the ride, it all works really well, I like how there is onboard audio as well as general audio, helps create a fantastic surround sound. I thought some scenes were quite scary, especially as a lot of kids would be riding it. Still, a fantastic ride if a little disorientating.
The faff of trying to get belongings out of the lockers at the end was really annoying. The person in front of us was taking forever because it was having issues reading his fingerprint and then he let us go and it was having issues with mine too, urgh. We called an attendant over who was able to sort it out for both of us. It was just all so frustrating though and takes up so much time.
We were getting quite hungry now so we went in search of food. We ended up going all the way over to the Suess area. It's quite a fun and quirky little area, very colourful. We ate in the big tent, the staff in there were all really happy and cool. I think I had spaghetti and meatballs with some epic dippin dots desert. The food was really good and filling if a little on the pricey side.
As we were in the area we decided to do the rides. We went over to Cat in the hat. We had no idea what it was so you can imagine the massive smiles on our faces when it turned out to be a really cool dark ride. It did love to spin though which wasn't such a great idea after food. Still, we both loved it, I had no idea it even existed and it was just so much fun.
We then rode the The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride which is totally a powered rollercoaster. It was quite cool going through the big tent which we ate in...
It was quite good fun. It probably had one of the longest queues of the day too which was odd. Oh and the staff member loved talking to us because we were British, she was fab.
Heading back towards the Potter area we fell in love with the Lost Continent area and decided to do the Poseideon's Fury attraction. We had no idea what it was but it looked epic and I'd heard it was a must-do. Patrick was a little concerned it was another water ride (we still hadn't dried off completely after the rapids) so we asked an attendant who said it wasn't. The ride itself is very cool and I have no idea how to talk about it without giving anything away. It's just mind-blowingly epic, how the hell the last scene happens I don't even know. I really loved it but it's not exactly something you can go through more than once in a trip.
It's a shame that more of the Lost Continent area is getting eaten up by Potter. They had started construction on the train line that runs to the other park and they were in the process of tearing down what looked like some market stalls.
Talking of Potter we went back in for Dragon Challenge. We placed our stuff in a locker and headed into the very long but empty queueline. The queueline is once again really well themed and there were some really nice touches here and there. Once again everyone seemed to be avoiding the back row so we walked straight onto the back row of the red one. It was a fantastic coaster, quite intense and had some brilliant moments. It's a big shame that everything outside is just over dirt, grass and concrete, it lets the whole ride down. Seeing all the backstage buildings and air con units just looks really unprofessional too. The fact it didn't duel was also a massive let down but at least I knew about that beforehand.
We then went straight back around for the blue one. This was no where near as good as the red one, not as intense and full of long straight bits (clearly so it could duel). I found it a little boring in comparison.
We then got our bags back and went to ride Flight of the Hippogriff. It was good fun, I quite like these little family coasters. The little area it sits in is quite nicely themed too.
After we got off the weather had turned and it had started to spit/drizzle. We headed back towards the Jurassic Park area and it then started to really chuck it down so we had to run to some cover. The next indoor area was the Jurassic Park discovery center. I'd heard that it was just a shop and fast food place but downstairs it's full of awesome. So glad the rain forced in there. When we got downstairs there was a guy holding a small animatronic dino which was just so cool.
There were loads of interactive things to do including a cool 'what dino would you be' DNA thing which had the DNA strand from the film talking you through it.
They also had a lab where they taught you how to look after dino eggs and one of them hatched like in the film <3
This place was a Jurassic Park fans dream. However we made the decision to move over to the other park due to the inclement weather. We left the building because the weather had calmed for a moment but as we made a break for it the weather started to get worse. We ended up hiding in the Marvel area for quite some time. The weather wasn't getting any better so to help kill some time we did Spiderman again. It was still brilliant second time around.
Once we exited the attraction the weather was a bit more calm so we made our break for the exit and headed over to the Studios park. The first thing we did was head straight into the new Despicable Me attraction. It was good fun and the minions <3 "BANANA!" I love how after the simulator section you enter a room where you party with minions, was pretty cool.
After that we headed into Twister. Ha, it is such a random attraction but pretty cool. The cow <3 The pre show videos are looking very dated though and is probably in need of a little update.
We then went in to do Revenge of the Mummy. It was walk on so we managed to just run round and do it twice in a row. It's not really what I was expecting, the two proper scenes were really awesome but the dark ride section where you're just whizzing around a bunch of glow in the dark cardboard cut outs, yeah just like Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, I thought it was lame and a bit pants. So overall the ride is good because of the epic scenes but I just wasn't a fan of the actual coaster sections.
After our second go the parade was just about to start. We were both quite intrigued by this as it is Universal's first go at a proper parade. It was actually really good. The music mix was really fun, there was loads of characters and dancers and that an it was generally very entertaining.Bit of a random choice but it worked quite well
After the parade we decided to grab a snack. I went into Starbucks and Patrick grabbed some Ben & Jerrys. After our little snack we went over to Men in Black. The first room you enter, the confusion on all of our faces was brilliant and then we entered the main queue which was empty but it was really cool, looks like it was just ripped straight out of the film. The ride was really cool but neither of us really knew how the points thing was working. Sometimes we'd get points and sometimes we wouldn't yet we'd both be constantly hitting the aliens - are you only meant to hit certain ones? So we were a little confused and with the park about to close we managed to run round and go on again. Yep, still confused as to how the points work, pretty sure the queueline tells you but we just walked past everything.
Oh well, that was our day in the parks. We then had a long wait until out shuttle back to the hotel so we went for some dinner. We opted for the Hard Rock Cafe. OMG I love this restaurant so much, our waiter was called 'Vegas' and he was awesome and just everything about the place was epic. I loved all the murals with Rock legends and the stain glass windows and the massive interactive screen where you can view all of the memorabilia they've got at all of the restaurants. The food was really good too and if I end up in Florida again I'm totally going back.Patrick's burgerBBQ Pulled chicken sandwich of awesomeness
We then looked around the shops and took our time until we could get our shuttle back to the hotel. We were the first to be dropped off which was nice. It was such a fantastic day, the rides at Islands of Adventure are just fantastic and it's one of my favourite parks now, the theming is just superb too, love it. Universal Studios seemed like a really nice park too and we couldn't wait to check out more on our return. It's a shame the weather turned sour in the afternoon but it didn't really ruin our day at all.Thanks for reading - Next time we have MORE Water