Amusement park

A No Parents Allowed Vacation – Universal Studios…Day 1

After our great evening in the Magic Kingdom at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and a day of rest, we were ready for more adventure.  Our daughter in Iowa, arranged for Universal Studio tickets through her teacher’s union.  They had a great discount, which was better than any deal we could obtain.  We settled on a 3 day park hopper pass, and we checked the Universal schedule before we left and found out there was a big Christian Rock festival at the park on Friday and Saturday evening.  Therefore, we planned to be at the parks on Wednesday and Thursday and then use Saturday as our water day, as there are numerous rides were you get very wet.

Universal Studios Florida opened in June of 1990, with Islands of Adventure opening in 1999. Both parks have movie themed rides as well as numerous 3-D experiences.

We went to Islands of Adventure with the plan to hit the different areas, then we could come back if the kids wanted additional fun. We started at Seuss Landing. We were fortunate to met a couple of Dr. Seuss characters and rode One Fish Two Fish as well as the High in the Sky Trolley Train.

We went to the Poseidon’s Fury show.  Lost of special effects, flames, and strobe lights!!20180905_104850

We enjoyed the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad.  Jim and Wyatt were selected to participate in the preshow.  The actual show was funny and exciting.  Later in the day we learned that it will soon be closing for renovations.

We continued around the park to Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade, were we rode Flight of the Hippogriffe.

Islands of Adventure is set in a circle around a lake.  We were walking the park counter clockwise.  Our next stop was the Jurassic Park Discover Center.  We learned about fossils and dinosaur eggs and even watched a dinosaur hatch”.

There is an area, where you can move the dinosaur’s head and arms, as well as roar.

We back-tracked to Harry Potter and since we had a park hopper pass, we could take the Hogswart Express to the Universal Studio side of the park.  This ride option is only available with a park hopper ticket.  You are seated in a train compartment and as the train moves, you can watch the scenery change outside the train window.

After arriving on the Universal Studio side of Harry Potter called Diagon Alley, we went on Escape from Gringotts.  There was a short delay, much to Whitney’s disappointment.  The ride proved to be a bit scary and Whitney and Wyatt decided that 1 time was enough.

From there we walked to “San Francisco” and rode the Fast and the Furious ride.  You board the party bus and then have to escape from the city.

We enjoyed the construction street band.  They made music with drills, buckets, garbage cans, and the scaffolding.

We grabbed a quick lunch at Mel’s Diner and then enjoyed the afternoon Superstar parade.

We enjoyed the Twirl n’ Hurl in Springfield, Home of the Simpsons.

The crowds in the park were small, so it was nice to take our time and choose what we wanted to experience.  We took note of those rides we wanted to do the next day.  We caught the afternoon Animal Actors Show.  Whitney and Wyatt loved meeting one of the dogs after the show.

We played in Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone, and went on the Nuthouse Coaster as well as Fievel’s Playland water slide.

Wyatt was thrilled to meet Optimus Prime until it came time, then he was a bit intimated so Jim stood beside him.  As we left, OP said to Wyatt, “til we meet again Freedom Fighter”.  Wyatt was ecstatic.

After going on the Transformers ride, it was time for the evening extravaganza of Cinematic Celebration on waterfront. We found our spot early and waited until it got dark.

The show did not disappoint.  It is a water, music, and light show, with movie images projected onto the spray from the fountains.

It had been a wonderful first day at the Universal parks.  We couldn’t wait for tomorrow for the new adventures that were ahead.