Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Orlando 2013 - Days 3-5

First time we've been to Universal, and a great time was had by all. We arrived pretty early, and had a plan hatched for the rides we wanted to do.

First up was "The Simpsons", a fab simulator ride we all did, despite there being a few in the party not keen on drops or anything resembling a coaster. From there it was a walk on to "Men in Black", a superb 'shoot up the aliens' ride.

We then progressed to "Revenge of the Mummy", an indoor coaster. Despite reservations from some, everyone did this and following it all said they loved it (and we returned to do it again later in the day).

By now, the coaster freaks were getting twitchy, and legged it over to "Rip Ride Rocket". If you don't know about this one, Google it. The start is a vertical (i.e. sit on car literally goes up vertically (with you sitting or rather lying) looking straight up for 17 storeys, before rolling over the top and plummeting you down into superb, but fast coaster experience. Awesome, and not as scary as it looks - honest.

We also did "Shrek" a 3D show which was Ok, but not brilliant and the "Terminator" - part 3D, part show, which was great. A second stint of the "Mummy" and "MIB" was also done.

In the early afternoon a huge thunderstorm hit, so we called it a day. In the evening we ate at the local "Texas Roadhouse". Steaks & ribs to die for.

Unfortunately, I succumbed at some stage to a nasty tummy bug which changed our plans as we swapped Wednesday's rest day to Tuesday. Frankly it was all I could do to lie on my bed. The others went shopping or chilled by the pool. There was another huge thunderstorm in the afternoon.

Feeling a little better, but still delicate, we descended on Islands of Adventure on Wednesday morning and headed straight for "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter". All sources say this simulator ride gets huge queues, and despite being in the park for 8.30am, the 'line' was already at 75 mins when we got to it. It was sort the wait though. Once through the outer queuing, you enter a brilliantly themed 'Hogwarts’, before a fantastic and quite dramatic simulator ride.

having done the ride and bought some butter beer, the wuss's did the "Flight if the Hippogriff" ride, a fairly tame and short coaster, whilst the daredevils opted for the rather more furious "Dueling Dragons". Still a bit under the weather I opted out of both and stocked up on fluids.

After this we walked round to the "Jurassic Park" ride. This is. Boat ride though the park past the more gentle dinosaurs before it inevitably all goes horribly wrong and you end up with the raptors and T-Rex. At this point you're plunged down a huge slide that ends with an enormous splash. Great fun and. Not too wet.

Most of us wanted to do "Ripsaw Falls" next, but a 90 min wait put us off. "Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges" on the other hand had a 20 min wait (though turned out nearer 30). And on this one you DO get wet. VERY wet! It was a blast even though we we all soaked to the skin.

After the usual park lunch of burgers and sodas, a long wait for "Spider-Man" put us off and we opted for "The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad" an action and stunt show. It was OK, but no where near as good as "Indiana Jones" at Disney's MGM Studios.

A quick trip back to Potter-land for sweets and that was us done. We'll probably be back to both Universal and IoAon this trip, but for the next 3 days a trip to Miami calls. We're booked in for 2 nights at the Marriott South Beach, courtesy of our friends.

So out for. Nice meal tonight, then a lazy drive down the US 27 tomorrow to Miami. Cool.

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