Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Our First Visit To Universal Studios Islands Of Adventure

The couple times the family and I have been to Florida, we never went to Universal Studios. I think back in the day, it wasn't as well known as Disney World so it just wasn't on our radar. Spring forward nearly 14 years and I've got 3 kids who've all read and love Harry Potter. Top that off with the guys in my family loving all things Marvel and BAM, you know we've got to visit. Now, we were told that we should get two days in at Universal if we wanted to do both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.

The first day we went to Islands of Adventure. Riding Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station is something not to be missed! Walking through the train station and riding the train were quite the experiences! The walk to the train transports you into the world of Harry Potter. Riding the train both ways you can "look out the window" to see centaurs running alongside you, the Weasley brothers flying on broomsticks, an owl flying next to you, Hagrid riding on a motorcycle of some sort, and the car that drove Harry and Ron to Hogwarts. The door also has Ron, Harry, and Hermione talking outside of it. It's just all around a cool experience.

When you get to Hogsmeade™ you feel as though you know it's going to be an incredible day. The designers really brought the Harry Potter world to life for visitors. They built a castle! A Castle!! Does anyone else wonder if there are actual rooms to walk through in it? I would love a behind the scenes tour just to check it all out.

To start, Fred and Buddy rode the Dragon Challenge™ (closing Sept 5) as soon as we got to Hogsmeade. Getting to the park early gives you the chance to get on these popular rides pretty quickly. From there, we all did Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™. I have GOT to say, Universal Studios has done a spectacular job on these virtual rides! You go between seeing things around you to being part of a virtual ride. It was incredible and not to be missed.

What was fabulous was, my brother gave us a tip via Facebook as we were getting ready to do Forbidden Journey to do the single rider lines. THAT was a huge time saver. Unless you're set on riding with your friends and family, that's definitely the way to go! True, you don't get to experience the ride with people you know, but rides like this, you aren't paying attention to the person next to you anyhow.

After we got done with both of those, we had lunch at Three Broomsticks. That was quite the "feast". We opted for the Great Feast to feed the 5 of us. I actually wasn't very hungry and only ate the veggies. The rest of the crew got butterbeer but I held out. I figured I could have a sip of theirs and if I liked it I could get one for myself. Well, only 1 of the 4 actually drank their whole drink, although my hubby will say he only left the foam. lol

We wandered around and went to some of the other rides. Fred and Buddy did the The Incredible Hulk Coaster® and that looked terrifying to me. hahahaha All of a sudden you're shooting out of this tunnel at some horrific speed. My hubby may have told me it kind of freaked him out at the beginning. While those two rode Hulk, my other two and I had a more dizzying ride on the Storm Force Accelatron®. It took us 4 tries, by my youngest son and I finally got on the fastest spinning one and Fred got a great video on the amusement ride!

Two rides that we all did which were also amazing with the virtual reality were The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man® 3D/4D and Skull Island: Reign of Kong™! Again, two very impressive rides. I could spend my whole day doing those types of rides. I'll admit, when we were "falling" with Spider-Man I may have closed my eyes. Don't judge, it has a very real feel to it!

There were a couple of rides and shows we didn't make time for that I would love to see when we go back: Poseidon's Fury (which is a walk through experience), The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad (a show), Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. I'd also love to see the park at night. From the pictures I've seen it looks beautiful.

We finished the day by eating a dinner of dessert at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. Initially we'd wanted to eat a full dinner, but we had to send the kids to the time share on a shuttle so we could go pick up my other daughter from the airport. We only had time to get two shakes and three sundaes.

If you want to see more pics, check out my Instagram page and scroll through them! Day 2 is up next.

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure


Dianna said...

We were supposed to go to Universal Studios last fall but my husband needed to schedule his surgery, so we cancelled. I really want to go back, JUST for Harry Potter experiences!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.