Recent Posts

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Park Day 2

Before I share our time in Universal Studios, D-man has asked me to clear something up.

Apparently, he feels I mislead you and cast doubts about his intellect in my Technology Assistance post.    He feels as though I implied that he was planning to buy a Kindle Fire to use in college, when he was, in fact, just planning to buy a Kindle Fire because it was cheap ("just $50").  I wanted him to slow down and use that ("just $50") towards the purchase of something he could actually use in college. that better, D-man?  My faithful readers now know that you aren't are just a teenage boy.

Okay, onto Universal Studios.

This is actually us as we are heading out of the park, but it is the only picture with all of us in it....

I had been to Universal Studios back in.....hmmm....I guess it was 1992.  Boy, oh, boy has it changed.  I remember it being spectacular fun.  The Back to the Future ride was incredible.  There was a ride through the backstage lot of t.v. show sets....The Golden Girls comes to mind.  There was a King Kong exhibit/ride.  There was a disaster ride....where you rode through earthquakes and floods or something.  There was something to do with Jaws.  It was lots of fun.

So, this time, when we were discussing parks we wanted to go to, D-man mentioned Universal, because of the Harry Potter stuff and I piped in with my opinion that it was a great park and it was going to be fantastic.


It started off pretty well with a Shrek 3D movie.  We had to wait in line about 40ish minutes to get in.  It was hot.  Have I mentioned how hot Florida is in October?

But, it was good.  There were theater seats and it was just good fun.

We exited the theater and lo and behold there was Donkey and Fiona and the line was small!  So, we popped over to visit and get pictures.

Donkey was hysterical.  Cracking jokes.  We told him where we were from and he proceeded to tell us that he had just been nearby filming for the show Sleepy Hollow.  He was funny, and I am fairly certain that Donkey, the actor, probably was here filming something or other.....because he really sounded like he knew the area.  It would be fun to see what he really looks like.

Then, we walked across the street to the Despicable Me ride.  Line was longer, like 55 minutes, I think.  But, they were sort of smart, they put in a snack and drink stand in the middle of the mouse maze line that they file you through.  So, we got a few drinks to share as we shuffled along.  It was hot, but the Despicable me line was in the shade.

This ride is more of a 3D experience.  You are in seats that are only 4 people across.  They buckle you in like a roller coaster.  Then, then lift this bench thingie up, so your feet are off the ground and it feels like you are actually in the movie with the minions.

Have I ever mentioned to you that I am prone to motion sickness?  It used to be really bad before I faced my limitations.  It was also bad when I was pregnant.  But, I haven't been too bad lately.

Well, this ride just about did me in.  I was sitting next to V-girl who was laughing and squealing with delight.  She kept looking at me like she was saying, "Isn't this awesome?!?!?"  I was laughing too, because the little movie thingie was funny and my kids were all having a blast.  But....

My hands were sweating.  In a few minutes, my forehead had broken out in a cold sweat.  Oh no......

I was reminded of all those times as a child, before I faced my proclivity for motion sickness, where I would beg and beg my mom and dad to let me ride a ride.  I remember the Scrambler being one of them.  They would try to talk me out of it.  I would assure them that this time would be different.  All the cool kids were riding the ride, etc. etc.....they would give in and let me ride and then I would spent the next......I don't know, hour or so through the rest of the day.....being sick and ruining their day at the fair.  I can remember once, it may have been the Scrambler day at Bethel Days, when my dad had to actually take me back to the car so I could lay down....while he just stood at the door watching the fair from a distance.

Anyway, I recognized the signs that this was NOT good.  So, I closed my eyes and didn't watch the rest of the movie and..... I prayed.  I actually prayed that I would make it through this ride without throwing up in front of my kids and the 50 other people that were on the ride with their families.  Whew!  I made it.  I wiped my hands off.  I wiped my face/head off and shuffled out of the theater with my family who were all shouting things like, "That was great!  Let's do it again!"

The problem with the new Universal Studios is that all of their rides are basically different versions of the same ride.  So, Despicable Me was the last ride I rode that day.  I couldn't risk it.

We did have fun at a few other places though.  V-girl was super excited about the "Monkey George" part of the park.

This was a GREAT little water fun park area.  I was still recovering from both the Despicable Me ride and the 90 degree walk from there to this part of the park.  So, I just sat.  But, Rainman and all the kids ran around this area shooting each other with water guns and foam balls and trying to dodge the water springing up from the ground.

Then, they road their first, of many, roller coasters.

At this point, there was another playground thingie nearby that the littles wanted to stay and play on.  However, D-man and L-girl and I were anxious to get to the Harry Potter section of the park.

So, we split up making plans to meet there when they were done.  I had actually been torn about even going to Universal because of the Harry Potter stuff.  Only 3 of us have read the books, or seen the movies.  I didn't want this to spoil any of the magic or secrets for the kids who hadn't read them.

But, it was okay.  Most of the Harry Potter stuff was shopping and people watching and that just felt like you were in Old England.

There is one ride in this section of the park....another roller I sat and did this....

Drank my really fantastic Butter Bear, while I watched this guy....

Super cool.  They had like a 45 minute wait for the ride, so I was able to do a lot of really, quite enjoyable people watching.  Can I just say that there were a LOT of people walking around in 90 degree weather....wearing long black robes/capes and carrying wands?  A LOT.

It was a fun area.

D-man and L-girl had a blast checking out every shop and trying to decide on which shirt to get.

We were running out of time at the park because we had gotten there a little later than we had planned thanks to the timeshare presentation breakfast we had agreed to sit through....AND...Universal was closing early for a special Halloween event that you needed a separate ticket for.  Grrrr.....

So, we went out in the park to try and find other things we could do that didn't have huge lines.

Everyone (except me) was able to go on the Transformers ride....and we snuck into someone else's picture, so we didn't have to wait in that line.

The last ride they went on was called Twister.  I am fairly certain this is one of the rides that I went on back in 1992.  They came out and were so disappointed, it was kind of funny.  They pronounced it totally lame.  It wasn't even windy.  That cow.  But, that was the last thing we had time to do because they were putting up barricades and generally making it hard to get really hot.  So, we decided we were done and headed home.

Universal Studios was a fun park, but it was not our favorite.  The consensus was that every ride was pretty much a version of the same thing and that got old....for everyone.  They wanted more variety.  I did too...since I didn't do anything except sit for most of the day.  However, as I type that, I will tell you my feet didn't agree that pretty much all I did was sit.  It was a long walk to each area of the park.  Long and hot.  Yes, whine, whine, whine.  I got to be there.  It was fun.  My personal favorite was sitting in the Harry Potter world people watching and sipping the Butter Beer.

Yes, I am an old lady now.

Oh, they did have the Back to the Future car on display.

And a Spongebob Store that was fun...

Overall, Universal Studios was.....okay.  Not great.  Not horrible.  Just....okay.