Universal had so much more to offer – so they made a second park! The cost of two different parks did not bother us as we had bought 14 day passes which included both and several other theme parks. So day two of our Florida epidemic was spent at Univseral’s Island’s of Adventure.
We started off in Marvel land. The place looked great with giant cut-outs of Marvel Superheroes and the buildings were painted brightly like a comic book. Look how empty the streets are!
We started on the Spiderman simulator. Having been on simulators in Universal Studios I was expecting a similar ride. But this simulator is a different experience. Firstly the car moves around the environment and you stop at screens that show clips of Spiderman and the Villans. The ride interacts with the screens like a 4D ride (water sprayed, ‘electric shock’). Plus as you move around in the car you are given frights as well. It is a perfect ride, especially for the whole family to enjoy.
The Hulk ride was epic as well. We had already been slightly spoiled about what the ride contained but it wasn’t something we hadn’t experienced in UK theme parks already. It was just a heart-pumping rollarcoaster. We ran round and round for more goes.
The main problem I had with all theme parks in Florida was the unavoidable water rides. It was our fault we went in mid-November but I still hate getting my hair wet at any time of year. I have very unfortunate hair that expands when wet. It is a complete wreck. My James insisted on riding Jurassic Park, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and Popeye and Bluto’s rapids so I got a poncho and stuck it out. Jurassic Park was probably the best, not much story but the final fall you do not see coming! Ripsaw Falls is a generic water flume but very fun. And I’ve never got as wet on a rapids as the Popeye Rapids.
Now I know I’m a miniority but I do not have an obsession with Harry Potter. I was at school when the books started coming out and I watched as my class all read the book religiously. I tried reading it, and I am a person who likes to read, but I couldn’t get into the fantasy world. When we knew we were heading for Universal with their brand new ‘Harry Potter World’ we knew we had to get the films and swot up. And I am so glad we did. Just look at Hogwarts;
We started off just wandering around Hogsmead and feeling the atmosphere. We hadn’t seen many people around the park and thought we had got lucky again. We were wrong. Everyone was here. The shops sold all the merchandise. The Three Broomsticks restaurant was packed out. Everyone was dressed in capes grasping their wands. We took a look at the replica wands and were shocked at them being $30.00 each. Their were hundreds of kids running around with these! Not to mention the capes which were $100.00! I just don’t get it.
We headed to Dragon Challenge which had a makeover to make it similar to one of the books. The point of the ride is that there are two rollarcoasters going around made to look like two dragons fighting. The idea of being up against another train of people was exciting. So we were disapointed to find that they were only running one coaster at a time. Even when both trains left at the same time ours stopped to let the other coaster go first! Bit of wrong advertising there.
Then we headed for the queue. Our longest queue so far. But that had the upside of letting us explore Hogwarts as we waited to load the Harry Potter simulator. My favourite part was the talking paintings. Most were regular but some were screens set up to talk to each other.
The ride itself was amazing, similar to the layout of the Spiderman ride but with the added aspect of feeling like you are riding your own broomstick. It is comfortable though, you’re not balancing on a stick. You have a seat next to your friends but there is a wall between you so you feel like you are riding by yourself. And this ride should have a warning because it does get a bit scary. The ride even stopped for us while we were lying underneath the Whomping Willow! A ride that was deffo worth the wait. (Plus when we went back the queue had shrunk majorly!)
The food we ate here, Fire Eaters Grill, was not nice at all. The only let down of the day. We should have waited for Three Broomsticks. But the quick service meant we got back on the rides quicker and we had a great meal at Hard Rock Cafe in the evening anyway.
Compared to Universal Studios, the atmosphere wasn’t as electric. But that could be because it had been our first day. The rides were epic though!