I have so much to share. Posts on Disney Studios, Gatorland, and Sea World to come. Today’s post is on Universal Studios. Want to read other posts I have written? My impressions on the hotel. Traveling just you and your child. Including photos in tweets. Keeping in touch with family while on a trip.
The mom bloggers and kids were treated to a VIP Tour of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Let’s just say that my perspective on visiting a theme park will be forever changed after being treated like a VIP. From the behind the scenes tour of how the Spiderman Ride works to walking to the front of the line for every ride…we were spoiled and we loved it!
Our tour guide kept up a running commentary while leading us through Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. She guided us through both parks…told us the history of each park…explained to the kids how the rides were built…ushered all of us on rides…escorted us in to a fabulous restaurant for lunch — Mythos.
Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure are adjacent parks. Both parks border a lagoon. Our hotel — the Loews Royal Pacific Beach Hotel — was a boat ride from both parks. On the other side of the lagoon from the Parks was the Universal City Walk. City Walk would be a good spot for a late night dinner date or shopping. My son and I walked past the restaurants and shops, but didn’t stop. We did see the Blue Man Group — this show needs its own post. My son loved the show!
We saw so much in one day. The best way to describe our day at the parks is to list the rides we loved.
Shrek 4-D — a 4D seated movie adventure. We howled when Donkey spat on us. We shuddered when the theater seats moved.
Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast — Jimmy Neutron takes us on a tour of favorite Nick characters.
Men in Black Alien Attack — What can I say about MIB? Our tour guide led us to the ride, but in minutes we were ushered to a room. She told us that someone on the ride dropped a cell phone resulting in the ride shutdown. A few minutes later she let us know that when the ride was stopped someone tried to get off the ride, which further closed down the ride. I was disappointed, but safety wins out in any situation involving an amusement park ride. The next day my son and I made a beeline for the MIB ride — the ride was closed down again. So, we rode ET.
ET — My son had seen ET, but I gave him a few reminders about the film before we rode the ride. The ride was fun…we sat on bikes, with a basket on the front in which ET sits. The ride is not 3-D or high tech, but I liked its simplicity. The only downside…while reaching down to grab my backpack from under the seat I dropped my sunglasses. I was so mad at myself!
Simpson”s Ride — This was the ride that I had the best time riding. Cartoon characters come and go, but Homer Simpson is a legend. The ride was a journey through Springfield. Our group were passengers in a carnival car on a new ride at Krusty the Clown’s theme park. My son knows the Simpson’s Movie, but I have watched the cartoon for years. Many of the people and places shown during the ride were from older Simpson’s cartoons.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure is a blizzard of color. We sampled the Cat in the Hat Ride and the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Ride. I loved Cat in the Hat — largely because the ride depicted the classic Seuss book rather than the movie. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the movie. Mike Myers is hysterical. The ride mimics the pages of the Seuss book even to the tilt of the ride’s cars — I love when movies or rides are faithful to literature.
We got soaked on the Jurassic Park River Adventure, learned about dinosaurs and hatchlings at the Jurassic Park Discovery Center, and wandered around Jurassic Park.
I’m sure you know that the latest ride to open at Universal’s Islands of Adventure will be The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Grand opening is June 18th. I am intrigued by the ride.
My son and I saw Hogwarts Castle and another Harry Potteresque building (perhaps shops or maybe another ride?) as we walked through Islands of Adventure. As we crossed over the bridge, I know I was shocked at the sheer size of Hogwarts. It towers above the bridge. I was hoping with our VIP status we might score a sneak preview of Hogwarts. No such luck, but looking at the outside of Hogwarts was a treat. Wish I could be at the June 18th Opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
On our second day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure my son and I rode Spider 3 times and the Storm Force Accelatron twice. We got good use out of our Express Passes that day — the Express Passes were our room keys from the Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
My son and I were part of a bloggers’ trip to Orlando. Our trip was paid for by the Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau. The views expressed are mine…and my son’s!