Day 12 (Monday 19th)
Spidey 'n' Marshmallows
Published: Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Well, we've been here almost 2 weeks living in the Disney bubble so we had to face up to Universal Studios. We all love the rides they have at Universal but the actual experience itself always seems a chore rather than a pleasure. The whole setup there just doesn't seem to be on a par with the Disney organisation.
My main gripe with Universal is their FastPass system. You can pay $100 per day, per person and then they want another $50 per person to use their 'express' system. I think Disney have it completely right with their Fastpass system which costs....ermmm...nothing, it's a free service.
Anyway, we arrive just before lunch and as there is a queue of only 20 minutes Josh and I jump on Doctor Dooms Freefall. This ride shoots you 150 feet into the air in what seems about 1 second! I close my eyes, Josh shouts in excitement.....he has no fear on this...I have plenty. I open my eyes and we can see right across the parks and it's an incredible view. It's worth the ride just to see this.
Once i'd stopped shaking (hee hee) we head over to probably my favourite ride in the whole of Orlando, 'The Amazing Adventures Of Spider-Man'. This is the first time i've ridden this since they updated the screens with 4K resolution. WOW WOW WOW! When Spider-man jumps onto your ride car at the start you can immediately see the difference. The visuals are crystal clear and ultra colourful. It is AMAZING! It's also the first time Joanne and Jack have ridden it and both agree it is something really special. As soon as 4K TV's and content are available at a reasonable price i'm there!
Next up is Jurassic Park River Adventure, a 'log flume' type ride with one large drop. Most of the ride is a trip around parts of Jurassic Park with huge animatronic dinosaurs looking menacing or squirting water at you. Jack LOVES water rides like this so he was in his element.
Jack then wanted to ride Pteranodon Flyers. This is a suspended chair type ride for families and takes you on a 90 second swinging ride around the Jurassic Park area of the park. Good fun...good choice Jack!
Lunch next...$40 on the worst food this trip. The choice was really limited and because for years we've seen people wondering around the parks gnawing on huge turkey legs we thought we'd give one a try. ACK! I can still taste this hideous thing....it was AWFUL! I don't know how people eat these things. Never....ever.....again! The photo below shows how much we ate of it. Maybe I should have taken it back but we saw people around us enjoying theirs so maybe it's just our refined tastebuds ;-)
Up next was 'Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges', a Rapids ride similar to Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom and Alton Tower's Congo River Rapids. However, the similarities end there. On those rides you get wet, on this ride you get SOAKED! There is absolutely no escaping the water on this and we were all drenched from head to toe.
After that we were ready to head off. We were going to hit one more ride and maybe head over to the other side of the park but we decided to come back another day and finish what we started. I don't think any of us like Universal more than Disney so everyone was happy to head off and do something else for the evening.
As we were over that way we popped into Florida Mall to pick up my MacBook. I was kinda nervous but all was OK. The repair was just a battery and the total was $129 + tax. BIG sigh of relief. I'm now back in business....
We all showered and had a wander over to the Polynesian Beach to (once again) gaze at the view of Cinderella Castle, The Grand Floridian and the superb Contemporary Resort while the boys toasted marshmallows at the fire pit. I think Josh must have eaten about a dozen! Never realised he was such a fan :-)
Dinner was at Buffalo Wild Wings. A casual restaurant whose speciality is great chicken wings. It's quick 'n' easy but very very tasty food.
A quick trip to the supermarket for a few supplies then home to bed at silly o'clock again :-)
Tomorrow WOULD be a relaxing day, we were determined :-)