Day Two at Universal & Final Thoughts

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A good nights sleep does wonders....we all felt much better and were raring to go. Breakfast, shuttle and off the Islands of Adventure at Universal. We immediately headed for the Harry Potter World, knowing how busy it would be.

Unfortunately, you had to be staying at the park or have an Express Pass to go straight there. So we opted to do the Spiderman ride followed by the Pteranodon Flyers® in Juraissac Park since we had to walk through those areas to get the Harry Potter World.

We got to the first Harry Potter ride, Dragon Challenge™, turned out that Amanda was too short. The sign said 15 minutes so we waited....an hour, for Stu and Sam to get done with the ride. About 5 minutes before they finally got on, they added two more coasters. Jeesh!

We headed off towards the other two coasters in Harry Potter world, knowing that Amanda was tall enough for both. Not to be....90 minute wait on the sign. Sigh....

So we continued on and here is our Day Two schedule:
Stu, Donna, Samantha, Amanda
      The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®
      Swing Above the Streets in 3-D
Stu, Donna, Samantha, Amanda
      Pteranodon Flyers®
      Get a prehistoric bird's-eye-view
Stu, Samantha
      Dragon Challenge™
      A high-speed roller coaster chase across the sky
Stu, Donna, Samantha, Amanda (we went twice)
      Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges®
      Better eat yer spinach!
Stu, Donna, Samantha, Amanda
      The Cat in the Hat™
      Whirl Through the Pages of the Book
Stu, Donna, Samantha, Amanda
      The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™
      A High Flying Ride Through Dr. Seuss' Imagination
Stu, Donna, Samantha, Amanda
      The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®
      Swing Above the Streets in 3-D

SKIPPED:
      Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™
      Join Harry Potter™ and his friends on a new adventure

      Flight of the Hippogriff™
      Swoop and soar on this family-friendly coaster

      The Incredible Hulk Coaster®
      Feel the Rage

      Doctor Doom's Fearfall®
      Takes Fear to New Heights

      One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish™
      Steer your fish through an obstacle course of fountains

      Caro-Seuss-el™
      World's Most Unusual Merry-Go-Round
Stu's favorite overall was the Dragon Challenge™ and my overall was Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges®. Men in Black from yesterday was the second favorite for most of us.

Here are some photos from day two, the rest are in our SmugMug Album.


We weren't as tired since we had a better night sleep, but our bodies told us different. LOL! We had dinner at the park, headed back on the shuttle and the girls headed back to Nickelodeon Resorts with their parents. They still had a couple of vacation days left and planned to hit Disney again.

So our final thoughts on Universal....it was okay but it's no Disney. The tickets cost more, there are a lot less rides and way less to do for all ages. We knew several things would be closed for renovations (same as at Disney) but we didn't realize the lack of "free" things to do other than the rides.

Both parks have at least one boardwalk type area where you can pay to play games....more money out of your pocket. Due to height restrictions, Amanda didn't get to ride the coaster she wanted. Add in the terrible lines....not our cup of tea. The characters were much less appealing...the superhero costumes were ridiculous. LOL!

We also noticed that the park wasn't as clean as Disney and that was especially true of the bathrooms. Ugh! While friendly and helpful when asked, the staff often seemed more interested in chatting with each other. Most were teen and twenty somethings, only saw a couple of older folks. The music was often deafening and very repetitive.

The food ranged from very average to surprisingly decent...think it depended on the time of day and restaurant. The chicken fingers were much better than the burgers and the pasta was pretty good, too.

If you have teens, this is a great place to let them go and tell them when/where to meet you. Otherwise, younger ones have little to do other than the Curious George area and Dr. Seuss. Oh, speaking of Dr. Seuss....that area was a feast for the eyes. I could have taken hundreds of photos...really enjoyed it.

We can now say....been there, done that, won't bother again.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

9 comments:

Dennis and Donna said...

Oh yea, I spent most of the time staying with our 18 month old in his stroller, while Dennis did rides with the rest...I'm no rider, for sure...It was fun, but I still like the Magic Kingdom...Good job Grams and Gramps!

Kimberly and Jerry Peterson said...

We felt exactly the same way about Universal Studios. We will be going to Disney World the first part of March. I was there many years ago, Jerry has never been, we have been to DisneyLand but there is NO comparison. We know we will love it more, but so far our best is Discovery Cove, then Sea World, then last is Universal Studios.

The restrooms were nasty later in the day, at first they were clean but were not kept up with the flow and it was not a busy day.

Leno said...

Thanks for the review.. Haven't been there yet and now, maybe won't bother. We love Disney!

Kevin and Ruth said...

Glad the kids had fun. Thanks for the info on the park. I think when our Grandchildren are old enough we will skip it and just head for Disney. Only been there twice before many, many years ago and loved it. Sometimes it better to stick with what you know.

Kevin and Ruth
www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

squawmama said...

Oh so sorry you were not happy with Universal... We love both Universal & Disney.
Have fun & travel safe
Donna

where's weaver said...

Okay...I am totally exhausted!

Kathy and Robert said...

Reminds me of a song...♪♫"waiting is the hardest part..."♪♫ but it's usually worth it. Your pics prove that!
Enjoy! Kathy

Michael said...

Hey!....back 15 years ago, thiz ol' Fart was one of the "after hours" artists that kept both Disney World and Universal Studios...uh, "Pretty" for ya folks!...hee hee...yep!...I went "in there" at mid-night,...and wandered around with my paint kit,...touching sht up, makin' it "pretty" again...so that it all looked "brand new" the next morning when the gates were opened and ya'll came running in....hee hee...

...best 21 dollars an hour I ever made in this ol' Fart's life!....

Hope ya..."Enjoyed!"...hee hee....

Michael said...

Psssst:Donna, you n Stu get into the Lady Lake area...look up Doug Bloodworth ( he and I painted the Lynx buses down in Orlando together for 3 years)...that man was my "mentor", Hon....an "amazing" artist!

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