Universal Studios, Orlando
We went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for two days each the week of 8/4/14 - 8/8/14. While there were rides and shows I likes, the parking, the crowds, the lines, and Thunderstorms conspired to make it a trip to forget.
All of the newest, most popular rides had wait times of at least an hour minimum, ranging up to 2 1/2 hours sometimes. This includes both Harry Potter rides, the Minion Mayhem ride, the Hulk roller coaster, and the Rip Rockit roller coaster. The Simpsons ride, the Dragon challenge roller coasters, the Spiderman ride, the Mummy ride, the Pteradon flyers ride, and the Men in Black rides all usually ran a 30-45 minute wait.
Parking is $17 and can be a really long walk from your car to the entrance. It rained a large part of one day during our visit and a shorter portion of a second day. All of the outside rides were closed during the thunderstorms for safety, making all of the wait times on the indoor rides skyrocket.
As with any crowd, you are going to have some jerks to deal with. We experienced line cutters, tons of people walking in front of us as we tried to take a quick photo, parents not controlling their unruly smaller children, and too many people who obviously didn't use deodorant that day.
I may go back some day, but if I do, it will be off-season, when the lines & crowds are smaller and less of a hassle to deal with.
I am not a Furry Potter--I mean Harry Potter-- fan in the slightest, but I still thought the Harry Potter World at Universal was pretty cool, other than the the throngs of people it attracts. The town is so authentic the wood is real wood, the stone is real stone, no plastic junk here. Even the butterbeer is real butterbeer, but only if you pay $5 for the butterscotch and whip cream drink.
While here, we rode the forbidden journey ride in the big castle, the Dragon Challenge roller coaster, and the "Flight of the Hippogriff" family roller coaster. We also stopped in Honeydukes candy store, Dervish and Banges magic shop, and Three Broomsticks pub.
This was a great theme park, and maybe the one I loved the best, as it had all those reminders of some fantastic films I had grown up with, like Jaws and Terminator. In fact the Jaws ride was great. All the rides were great actually, as you can imagine at a place as well known and as huge as this.
The highlight for me though, had to be the Blues Brothers tribute, singing was great, and reminded me of when I was younger in Australia, where everywhere I went there someone was shaking their tail feathers.
Check out the Blues Brothers tribute on my video.
At Universal Studios' Islands of Adventures, one of the more interesting areas is called Seuss Landing. This theme park is designed after Dr. Seuss' books, and is a real hallucinogenic trip back to the 1950s. This area of the park, very popular with the younger children, features The Cat in the Hat ride, a One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish ride, and the The High In The Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride (!).
We rode the Cat in the Hat and the Seuss trolley train, and otherwise just enjoyed the odd sights and interesting characters.
Come hang out with Sneetches, Things (1 and 2), the Grinch and even a few Dog-a-lopes.
Universal Orlando Resort is the second largest theme park in Orlando after Disney World. The resort has a few hotels and two theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Universal studios was opened in 1990, and it consists of six different areas: Hollywood, Production Central, New York, San Francisco / Amity, World Expo and Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone. Islands of Adventure opened in 1999, and it also has six areas: Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (what does Wizarding mean?). In 2009, Islands of Adventure had 4.5 million visitors, ninth among United States parks. Universal Studios has about 5.5 million guests; combined the two parks' 10 million visitors is fourth most in the U.S. behind Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, and Epcot.
Entrance into Islands of Adventure is very expensive, about $80 per adult each day, with discounts for multi-day passes. We rode a ton of rides during our day here including Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Poseidon's Fury, The Cat In The Hat, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, and Flight of the Hippogriff.
Another excellent theme park in the Orlando area, Universal Studios Orlando offers visitors a journey into many award-winning movies through rides and performances. Movies such as Shrek, Jaws, ET, Men in Black, and Twister each has its own unique, unforgettable attraction. The streets in the park are filled with restaurants and shops, and there is usually a daily parade in the middle of the day. Just outside the park is Universal Orlando's CityWalk, a very popular nightlife spot. This park should be tons of fun for both adults and kids.
Went to Universal Studios Orlando and no line was longer than 8 minutes!! This is the absolute best time of year to go! It was during the 1st week in Feb, but I assume that weekdays from mid-January through February are similar. We did both parks in one day easily. We saw most shows and went on a lot of rides. yes, we hit some chilly weather that time of year, but it was still worth it for the short lines! It took us longer to walk through the miles of ropes than to get on the ride!
Ride Reviews: Universal Studios- Jimmy Neutron, good, rocks you around a bit, a little motion sickness, lost my sunglasses. Shrek 4D, my favorite ride, not too much motion, great accompanying video, entertaining. Twister, okay, may not be worth it if the line is too long, not a ride, more just an effects show. The Mummy, inside roller coaster, fun, flashing lights and darkness. Disaster, best ride/show length in comparison to line length, interactive, a show and ride together. Jaws was closed. MIB, fun, you can "shoot" the aliens, more fun for kids. Simpsons, a virtual ride with lots of motion, got motion sickness, used to be the Back to the Future ride. Terminator 2, great show, it has video with live action, well done.
The Blues Brothers show is fun! So is Fear Factor Live!
Islands of Adventure- if you don't like roller coasters, stick with Studios! Sinbad, show, good comedy, action, be careful of the "wet" seats! Jurassic Park river ride closed. Pterodactyl flyers, they looked fun, but the line was way to long, the ride is only 80seconds. Instead check out Camp Jurassic ropes/playground, you can get great views from the top, its fun to be a kid again. Ripsaw Falls, the best water/flume ride I have ever been on, but don't go on when it's cold out, you will definitely get wet! Spiderman, fun, some motion, unique ride, spiderman fans would love it.
Universal Studios is a theme park that pays homage to some popular movies and characters. The rides vary from 3-d theatre attractions to a high speed adaventure with Mummies. It's a park that's easy to do in a day if you stay on Universal Property. Your room key from one of the hotels (ours was the Hardrock) gets you in front of the lines. This made it easy to see some of the more popular attractions such as Shrek 4-D, Twister, Revenge of the Mummy, Jaws, MIB, E.T., Disaster and Terminator 2 3-D. We really enjoyed Shrek 4D, Twister, Terminator and the Mummy. Jaws was a bit lame and predictable and E.T. was geared more towards little kids.
Universal is definitely a different experience from Disney. There is no "Disney" type experience with overly friendly staff and impeccable service. The rides are great but the staff reminds me of Six Flags in New Jersey. Just going into Universal not expecting Disney service and you'll be just fine.
The Universal Set for movies was established a long time ago. That then expanded into a water theme park, and Adventure of Islands. They both are great fun to go through. The movie stage and sets were the more important we saw. Ticket prices can be a shock, so enjoy.
The Incredible Hulk: They refused handicapped persons on this ride. There were a line of us waiting to give it a try, but they refused. I showed that I could transfer to the seat, even though it was slightly uncomfortable (it was hard plastic!) Just skip it. It might do some damage.
Jurrasic Park River Adventure: In the morning, there is NO one in Toonland or Jurrasic Park! NO ONE! Now...I found out that all the ride attendants will try and sway handicapped people from riding any of their rides, but if you insist, they will let you. To enter this ride after being turned away, go through the gift shop, through the exit, park your scooter and walk right up to the boat. Ride it twice on demand! They listen to you after they know not to mess with you. Great ride! It was fun.
Dudley Do Right Falls: Go through the exit until you see the lane with the wheelchair symbol, take that to the boats. Ride it..it's great!
Popeye's Barges: The ride attendant was very rude! He made fun of my party (two of us in wheelchairs) and another part of four in wheelchairs that we couldn't walk. He blocked the wheelchair access...so take your scooter through the exit...people are happy in this park so they will move out of the way, and take it to the boats. GREAT RIDE!
We avoided the right side of the island because of a tip from someone here that the rides are rough and just not worth it. Not handicapped friendly, but if you want to ride specific rides...go for it!
THE BEST PARK! They go out of their way for disabled guests! EVERYTHING is accessible and they pamper you and take care of you...I can't say enough about this park. Everyone, including guests, are friendly!
Shrek 4D: Go right up to the front doors, they let you in first and seat you first. Great show!
Twister..Ride it Out: They let you in first, take you in first, and you ride out a dustdevil to us Texans..but it's fun! Some pyrotechnics...but not very hot.
Mummy The Revenge: My mom even rode this one. Comfy seats, GREAT ride...shield yourself in the scarab room from the heat...it's intense! TERRIFIC RIDE!
Eat at Bennigan's or something like that...wonderful restaurant...so nice!
Beatlejuice's Rockin' Review: Handicapped reserved spots, good view.
Earthquake: They let you in first, park your scooter and enjoy the earthquake.
Jaws: The ride attendant will take you to the exit, park your scooter, board the boat and have fun.
Now everywhere in this park are resting areas with fans...just terrific!
Men in Black, Alien Attack: Funniest ride I have ever ridden. Comfy. Go through the standard queue line (shaded) to the elevator, take that to your car. Wheelchairs can actually board this ride too...but transferring if you can is no problem.
Back to the Future: Now this ride messed with every senses I had. Go through the handicapped entrance We got right on, but it was rough...fun!...but rough.
ET: Okay...go through the baby swap entrance on the right side of the gift shop, check in at the computers (or don't...) go through the 'Production Only' door and right up to the ride..comfy seats, fun ride!
Horror Makeup show...and other shows...easy access...in and out...a lot of room. Don't miss anything! Although we missed T2 3D. Shops too! A lot of room...this park was made for everyone!
Universal Studios is one themepark one should not miss. As you enter the park, the famous big revolving logo will welcome you. The place is so nice especially for people like me who is not really much into wild rides! The 3d and 4d shows are really fun with moving chair, splashing water and tickling air effects. The set up of the whole park gives you the feeling of being in a movie scene. Walkways, shops and other displays looks so cinematically real :-)
Never miss the "Jaws" ride and be one of the MIB agents and fight the unwanted aliens.
Check Universal Studios website for promos. When we purchased the tickets online they had the "Mastercard" promo wherein you can get 1 ticket free for a minimum of 4 pax (adult and child pay the same rate). The 2 days park ticket includes 3 more days free, access to citywalk and pleasure island.
“Universal studios” is really huge park, with many different studios with funny programs.
I remember little Manhattan where “Blues brothers” performed their show, small lake and big “Jaws”, cowboys show, “Back to the future”,” King Kong”…
“Earthquake” impressed me the most, and if I’ll ever have chance to return in “Universal studios” I won’t miss “Earthquake”.
I think that these two parks are by far the best - especially if you get there early enough in the morning. We went in the middle of October and it wasn't that busy so we were able to jump on and off the rides!
Rides such as the Hulk, Spiderman and the Ric-saw are all worth while rides!
If you go at Halloween then they convert the whole park into a Horror Theme Park - it is soooooooooooooooooooo scarey! When we were there, there was a cornfield that you had to go through with guys with chainsaws that ran after you...it was scarey! There were big screens errected with horror films been shown and fog covered the park to give it that extra eerie feel! A definate must if you go around Halloween! I think that this was an over 18 thing though so not suitable for those with children!
If you're in Orlando you have just got to take yourself over to Universal Studios' new theme park called Island Of Adventure. It's just purely roller coasters and other similar rides. This was the first theme park I visited while in Orlando and it just blew me away.
Similar set up to other theme parks throughout the world but the rides are like no others in this world. Some of the outstanding ones for me where: Spiderman 3D, The Incredible Hulk, Dr Doom's Fearfall, Duelling Dragons and Poseidon's Fury. I wont spoil it for you by going into too much detail but all I can say it "GET YOURSELF OVER THERE!"