On the second day of our trip, we ventured into Universal Studios. Greeted by a crowded (slightly claustrophobic) atmosphere of kids, teens, and adults swarming into City Walk, I was a bit overwhelmed. City Walk is the entrance (full of restaurants and shops) into Universal Studios’s 2 parks: Universal Studios Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventures. Day 2 consisted of exploring Universal Studios Orlando.
Walking into Universal Studios Orlando was like going back in time into my favorite classic movies. On my left was Marilyn Monroe in her iconic white dress; to the right was Scooby Doo and Shaggy. In front, was a parade of various characters and creatures, such as Dora and monkeys swinging on vines. After snapping some photos, we finally made our way into the park’s hull.
Here’s Tip #1: Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. If you have flat feet like me, bring Dr. Scholl’s footpads. The parks combined, let alone by themselves, required extensive walking. And waiting in lines can take up to 70 minutes, like the Despicable Me ride. If you are riding rollercoasters, wear shoes that you can tie up. Unfortunately, I wore slip-on Vans that almost fell off on the rides!
First, we walked down to Harry Potter World: Diagon Alley. Knowing the reputation of the J.K. Rowling series and judging from the massive mob of tourists, I’m pretty sure this was the most crowded area of the park. Everything from the books and movies were recreated phenomenally. For example, Ollivander’s Wand Shop, Honey Dukes Candy Store, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Gringotts Bank, just to name a few.
Before this trip, I had heard so much about Butterbeer, Gilly Water, Chocolate Frogs, and Bertie’s Every Flavour Beans. But if I had to rate it, I’d give Butterbeer a 6/10. It was sweet (like made from treacles), but too frothy and fizzy in texture (like soda). I did, however, enjoy the Jellybeans because it’s just fun to see which flavor you get, from watermelon to soap. For lunch, I ordered the Toad in a Hole (which was a sausage in pudding) from the Leaky Cauldron.
The Gringotts Bank ride was one of the first “simulation rollercoaster” rides that we rode, and it did not disappoint. The normally tedious 35-minute wait on the line was sidetracked by the realistically Medieval architecture. The simulation was super cool. Basically, you are seated into a cart with a few other people, and experience 4-D sensation of twirls, loops, drops, fire, wind, water droplets, spins, etc. It was a great 5-minute ride.
Throughout the park, there are many of these types of rides, such as the Simpson’s Ride, Transformers, Shrek, Despicable Me, Revenge of the Mummy, etc. I loved Revenge of the Mummy, because it was an indoor rollercoaster that rode backwards.
Two rides, E.T. and The Terminator, underwhelmed me mostly because I haven’t seen those movies. This brings me to Tip #2: Make sure to educate yourself prior to visiting. Immerse yourself in these movies, so you understand the references on rides and shows.
I also didn’t really like Men in Black either, because I was moving at 5 mph, just shooting “aliens”.
I am a crazy rollercoaster enthusiast, so the “Rock It” Rollercoaster definitely appealed to me. It was awesome, not only because it goes 50 mph, but also because you can choose the song you listen to on the ride. Once you get properly seated, you have the choice of genre and song to accompany you on this thrilling ride. Since the selection was limited, I went with the first song I saw, U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer. This was the appropriate song for such an exhilarating ride. Luckily, we had purchased the Express Pass or else the wait would’ve been 40 minutes.
Tip #3: Make sure to purchase an Express Pass beforehand, unless you are a patient person who doesn’t mind waiting hours in line. Originally, we would’ve had to wait 70 minutes for Despicable Me, but instead the wait was around 10-15.
Similar to Disney World, there are an abundance of shows and parades. We saw Fear Factor Live, which as you can imagine, was just that. They had volunteers come 70 minutes prior to the show, and prepped them for what they would throw at the contestants.
For example, one participant had 5 scorpions dropped on his face – I really couldn’t believe my eyes! In another instance, 2 guys tossed octopi into buckets, climbed ladders, jumped on cars, and “blew up” the set.
That’s all that we did that day, and then we headed back to our resort. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on Islands of Adventure!
WHAT I WORE:
Off the Shoulder Top: Zara (scored it for $15!)
Black Jeans: H&M
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac
Necklace: Forever 21
Sheryl C. ❤