Day 22 (Thursday 29th)

Universal Studios

Published: Saturday, 31 August 2013

day22

As our Disney passes had now expired we spent our last full day in Orlando at Universal Studios.

Although Universal have some world class attractions, this is easily our least favourite park and was only the second visit here this trip. It’s always ridiculously hot as they just don't have as comfortable queuing areas as Disney have. At Disney, a lot of the ride queuing is inside with air conditioning cranked up. Not so at Universal, you can really get too hot while waiting in line here. Perhaps a ploy to sell more drinks?

Anyway, Josh and I rushed to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, an INSANE rollercoaster that neither of us had ever ridden. It was brilliant even though I wanted to lose my breakfast at the end of it ;-) It has a very long vertical climb at the start which then goes straight into a vertical descent. It’s really intense with loads of stomach churning twists and turns. A great feature at the start is that you get to choose the music you want playing through the speakers in your ride car as you go along the coaster. Great touch and great fun (we rode it one more time before we left and it’s a DEFINITE must ride in the future).

The new Despicable Me attraction next which we could all ride together. These new generation 3D rides are just incredible and they are so difficult to describe. You sit in a theatre and the whole seats move which you watch an eye-popping Despicable Me animation. A truly amazing experience.

My favourite ever ride at Universal Studios is Spider-man. A new ride has now opened based on that same concept but is themed on Transformers. I heard this ride has cost Universal $180 million! They are spending billions on new rides here over the coming years and really going all out to beat Disney.  If these new rides are anything to go by they’re going to really ‘WOW’ everyone.

Transformers was really good but I don’t think it’s a massive leap from Spider-man which has been there a good few years now. In fact, I’d say Spider-man is still my favourite of the two.

We jumped onto Disaster! next. This is one of the original rides at Universal and it shows. This, ET and Terminator 3D are REALLY showing their age in my opinion. I remember back in the day they seemed amazing but now look really dated. It’s amazing to me that 40 year old Disney rides have stood the test of time while these 25 year old Universal attractions haven’t. I personally can’t see Universal keeping these rides going for much longer.

We rode The Simpsons ride next…BLEURGHH! This is a motion simulator ride which replaced the Back To The Future ride some years ago. That ride also gave me motion sickness but I liked that theme much more than the Simpsons one. After the ride we walked through Springfield (an area of the park designed to be like the town where The Simpsons live). This is a brand new area of the park  and all I can say is that it looked much more impressive on paper.

I’m actually sat on the plane home writing this and it may seem like I’m just bashing Universal. I’m not really, some of their attractions are world beaters and we love riding them, it just seems a bit of a hassle trudging around these parks compared with the relative ease of the Disney parks.

Joanne was feeling nostalgic for ET so we rode that next. It was fun riding through the forest on bikes and saving ET but it really is showing it’s age.

After Terminator 3D we walked over to the Islands Of Adventure park as Josh had been wanting to ride The Hulk since he was about 5 years old. I think I’m getting too old for these rides. I still love them but after a ride like this I feel like I’ve just run around in a circle 20 times. Dizzy and feeling sick is the order of the day but it doesn’t seem to affect Josh at all which is fine by me. I’ll ride any ride with him as he just loves them so much.

Our last ride of the holiday was Spider-man. I’ve mentioned how great this ride is many times  and we all really loved riding it one more time. The new 4K projection footage is just eye-poppingly beautiful. Spidey has never looked so good.

The boys both had temporary tattoos on their arms on the way out and we headed off to The Polynesian for showers and a meal at ‘Ohana.

‘Ohana was good and as Wishes started the lights in the restaurant were dimmed and we could sit at our table and watch the Fireworks spectacular over at the Magic Kingdom for the last time.  They pipe in the music to the restaurant as you watch and it was a great end to the holiday.

We then swam in the pool until midnight and then hit the sack for the last time this trip.

IMG 5728
IMG 5729
IMG 5730
IMG 5731
IMG 5732
IMG 5733
IMG 5734
IMG 5737
IMG 5738
IMG 5739
IMG 5742
IMG 5747
IMG 5748
IMG 5749
IMG 5750
IMG 5751
IMG 5752
IMG 5753
IMG 5755
IMG 5756
IMG 5757
IMG 5758
IMG 5759
IMG 5760
IMG 5764
IMG 5765
IMG 5766
IMG 5769
IMG 5777
IMG 5778
IMG 5779
IMG 5780
IMG 5781
IMG 5783
IMG 5784
IMG 5785
IMG 5786
IMG 5787
IMG 5788
IMG 5789
IMG 5790
IMG 5791
IMG 5792
IMG 5793
IMG 5794
IMG 5795
IMG 5796
IMG 5797
IMG 5798
IMG 5799
IMG 5800
IMG 5801
IMG 5802
IMG 5803
IMG 5805
IMG 5806
IMG 5807
IMG 5808
IMG 5809
IMG 5810
IMG 5811
IMG 5812
IMG 5813