Theme parks day four: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

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Universal studios was much more a park for adults, a pleasant change from Disney. But we arrived late because Dad and Naomi went to a time-share meeting to get cheap tickets so we had to rush it a bit.

We brought fast queue passes so we didn’t have to wait long for any of the rides. The queues weren’t particularly long, as the park was quite, but they did help us out on some rides especially as we had limited time.

Universal Studios has another park next door called Islands of Adventure. Islands of Adventure is where the big rides are so we rushed around Universal to make sure we had time to do all the big roller coasters next door before the parks closed at 7pm.

Outside the park.

Universal we probably the best designed park we went to. Each section represented part of Unites States history. There was a part that looked like an old Wild West town. There was a traditional American diner with 50s style American cars parked outside.

The first ride we went on, and one of the best of the day was Shrek 4D. The story line was very clever and featured all the best characters from the Shrek film. The fourth dimension was a moving seat and effects such as water bring squirted on you whenever there was a splash on screen. All of us thoroughly enjoyed it and it was relaxed enough for Uncle John, although he’d never herd of Shrek before!

The best roller coaster in Universal was probably the Mummy. It was different and the cart kept turning around and going back the way it came, by the end you had no idea where on the track you actually were. Then it took you into a room and set fire to it. The heat was intense and people have said this was the scariest part of the ride. It was good but realistically you know it’s not going to burn you – a very clever idea though.

Jaws was the one ride at Universal I really wanted to go on because it’s a classic. Everyone has heard about the Jaws ride. It was very cleverly done with the ‘boat drivers’ acting out their roles very well. The sharks were very mechanical but certainly made you jump if you weren’t expecting them.

The newest ride at Universal is the Simpsons ride. In the queue we were able to watch Simpsons episodes on TV screens – a good thing as those without fast passes had to queue for an hour to ride! Once at the front of the queue we were ushered into a small room with four other people. Here we watched Crusty the Clown open a theme park and Sideshow Bob escape from prison to kill crusty and Homer. As Sideshow Bob began chasing them around the park the video was stopped and we were taken through some doors into a simulator. The simulator rose up to reveal a big screen. With that we were dropped onto a roller coaster with the Simpsons. It was incredibly well done. You really did feel as though you were on that roller coaser. It made me feel sicker then any roller coaster ever does! It was easily on the best ride there.

The Simpsons.

Another really good ride was the Men In Black Alien attack. We were sat in a car of six and in front of each person was a gun. Throughout the ride you had to shoot at the aliens and were given a score based on how accurate you were. It was a lot of fun. Naomi won with 109,000 points then me with 89,950 Dad and Uncle John did pretty badly, uncle John only managing 57,000. But he claimed he didn’t know what he was doing as he’d never been on a ride like that before!

Once we’d exhausted everything we really wanted to do in Universal Studios we headed next door to Islands of Adventure.

Our roller coaster extravaganza began on the Hulk Coaster. Pretty good and very big but noting spectacular.

Next was Doctor Doom’s Fearfall. A tower that according to the description: “rockets you 150 feet into the air then drops you faster than gravity itself.” I guess it did do this but was thoroughly disappointing – it was over far to quickly.

We moved onto the water rides and got well and truly soaked on the log flume then did the rapids just to ensure we couldn’t get any wetter! They were both pretty good rides and got us well and truly soaked. Although how wet you got on the rapids depended entirely on where you were sat, Uncle John was sat in the wet seat which was hilarious!

Our last stop of the day was the duelling dragons coasters – two roller coasters side by side that take different paths. We did the first then got straight back into the queue for the second, much to Uncle Johns dismay! They were both good but noting spectacular.

By the time we finished it was almost 7pm and time to head home.

Uncle John, Dad and Naomi with the Universal logo.

* Posted by j150vsc on 25/05/2008.

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