Sunday, December 11, 2011

Universal Studios Orlando

On Wednesday of our family vacation week (16 Oct 2011), the two big boys and I decided to spend the day at Universal Studios Orlando.  We had a great afternoon riding roller coasters and seeing shows.  It's certainly expanded quite a bit since I went some 20 years ago with an  Army buddy!  It was a blast.  My only regret was that it closed so early in the evening that day.  Even so, we still managed to squeeze in nearly every ride.

Best things in the park?

  1. "Rip-Ride Rockit" Roller Coaster!"  Straight up, then straight down while listening to great rock music!
  2. The Incredible Hulk ride!  
  3. The Mummy!  A spooky, darkened indoor roller coaster with ghosts, flames, and twists galore!
  4. The Harry Potter castle ride!  Part roller-coaster, part simulator, but completely excellent!
  5. Disaster!  Be an extra and help make the movie, but watch out for the subway crash!

Here's a few shots from our day.  We didn't get to take pictures everywhere that day because so many of the rides were too fast and furious to shoot pics.

Mason and Clark clowning around in front of the JAWS boat ride!  Somebody (and we won't name names because that's not important here) jumped a little when our ride entered the abandoned boat house and the shark tried to surface next to us. 

You really have to experience the Simpson's animated thrill ride!  You sit in a mechanical simulator car that juts out into  (essentially) an IMAX theater.  While Simpson escapade unfolds on the big movie screen in front you, your car jerks  up, down, and all around as it simulates the roller-coaster ride with Bart and Homer. 

Ahh, the Penguins of Madagascar!  These fun fellows were parading through the park as we made our way to the Terminator show.  (Sorry, no pics of the Terminator, but the show was pretty cool.)

Go on.  Admit it.  I've still got it.  Don't hate the player!  ;)
(Just a little something to keep Lisa on her toes, you know) 

The Hulk roller coaster was probably the 2nd best ride in the entire park.   Your car begins creeping up the  ramp just like any other roller coaster -- but halfway up they engage the jet thrust and shoot you out like a cannon into one of the wildest roller coasters we three have ever been on!  We rode that ride 3 or 4 times that day!   If you go, don't miss this one.

A little fun in Kid Town

Now if we just knew what he had been plotting ...

So true, so true.  I was exhausted for 3 weeks after that trip.
The Hogwarts Express!  You know where that goes ...
To the Harry Potter castle!   Now, that is a GREAT ride!  It's a cross between a roller coaster and a simulator.  The dragon's steamy snort is close enough to feel the heat.  The spiders practically climb in the car with you.  The simulated flying scenes have you grabbing at your seat bar to be sure you don't fall out!  We rode it twice and would have ridden it more if we had had the time! 
And the snow-topped village just outside the castle.

The boys stopped for some "ButterBeer."  It's a creamy soda that seemed to have a taste of cinnamon and butterscotch.  Very delicious.  We really enjoyed it. 

Taking a seat before the Sinbad action-adventure stunt show.  We were worn out by the late afternoon, so we rested while taking in a great stunt show.  

Sinbad, our hero (right), and his loyal sidekick.  I tried to get a picture of the Princess, but they all turned out blurry.  Too bad.  You would have loved her.  You'll have to go see the show for yourself.

It's Dr. Seuss-land, but of course!  Tons to do here for the little kids, but we didn't stay long.  We were on a mission to tackle the biggest and best roller coasters in the park.  

And to think, we saw it all on Mulberry Street!

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