On December 6th, 2002, I went with my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparent, lovely wife, and of course, my beautiful child, to Orlando, Florida. Actually, we flew into Orlando on JetBlue Airways, and then drove to Orange Lake Country Club and Resort to stay there for four nights. However, we did go to Orlando, since that is the location of Universal Studios!
Parking is done in several parking garages, all which are about four levels high. Parking costs $8 a day, but it does include parking for both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.
Parking is organized by recognizing the name of your Universal character. This includes Spiderman, Jaws, E.T, and King Kong. Each row in each section is marked with a number. This helps you remember which row and lot you were parked in.
After parking, moving sidewalks take you to the entrance of both parks. In this case, we started off by going to Islands of Adventure, then we headed over to Universal as they are within a five minute walk from each other.
I had bought the tickets in 2000, but decided to use them this year due to rates going higher and getting full value of my tickets. The price in 2000 was $44, and this included being able to Park-Hop .This means that I could go to both parks with the same ticket!
Unfortunately, my other relatives had bought the One-Park pass for $40 and didnt realize it. They used up their one ticket for Islands of Adventure, and were told that they would be able to upgrade their tickets by paying $20 per ticket. Fortunately, after a lot of confusion, frustration, and madness (a baby crying and complaining children for 20 minutes in a crowded are is what I call madness), the Universal staff gave them the upgrade for free.
Merry Christmas! From Universal Studios.
This was our 6th time going to Universal Studios, so we already knew which rides we would go on and which to skip.
Back To The Future is one of my favorite attractions at Universal Orlando. It comes from the 1984 (?) movie Back To The Future, with all your favorite characters, including Biff. The dilemma is that Biff has stole the Timemobile and is going back in the past to change what happens in the future. You get to go back in time and save the world from Biff! This includes going through volcanoes, gas station signs, and ice. Of course, it is all virtual reality. You actually dont go out of the room where your more contemporary Timemobile car is in.
Earthquake is a ride that takes place in a subway in Oklahoma City. Actually, it may be San Francisco, but I remember that it is in one of the major cities. The subway takes you into a tunnel right outside a fake subway station. Then, trucks and cars come sliding down from the wall and come close to hitting the subway. The subway shakes, and makes you feel as if you are in a real Earthquake. The only thing is that it is all fake.
Men In Black comes from the movie...Men In Black. It is where you sit in a car and help fight off the aliens. You go through the dark and city streets of a city and shoot at aliens with your fake laser guns. The more times you shoot an alien, the more points you get. I ended up getting 60,725 points after the ride broke down while we were on it. This gave me extra points since I was right in front of one of the aliens and I constantly shot it to get more and more points.
Jaws comes from the movie...JAWS!. You take a boat tour around a small lake in a small town when a message comes in from the harbor saying that there is a shark in the lake! The captain (a trained actor) tries shooting the fake shark and then you somehow end up in a boat garage in the middle of the lake. This is to save you from being shark food. As you exit the dark garage, you see the shark jump up near the boat as it tries to attack the passengers. Of course, it is all fake and at the end, the captain kills the shark.
Twister comes from the movie Twister. You enter a dark room and the video screens come on. From there, they show you a preview of the movie and some of the actors from the movie tell you about twisters (they are on the video screen, not in person) and how dangerous they are. Next, you enter another room and watch another preview of twisters. Then, you enter a very large room with a fake gas station, car, and cinema. From there, they put you in a real life situation of a twister, and they show you how dangerous it is. The cinema sign blows away, car crashed into a gasoline tank, and just when you think its real, a cow swings across the sky. Yes, a cow. This comes directly from the movie.
E.T - The Extra Terrestrial comes from the movie E.T. There is a small pre-show, and then you enter a room and tell the staff member your name. Then you get in line which is in a tropical yet fake forest. This is on the Green Planet, which is E.Ts home. The ride is on a set of 12 bikes which take you to the Green Planet after being chased by cops and the FBI. They want to examine E.T, but he needs to get home in order to save his planet which is dying. The only way for him to save his planet is with his magical touch. At the end, E.T waves goodbye and says your name as he says goodbye. How did he know? Remember, you gave the staff member your name at the beginning...
We ate right outside of Universal Studios at Nascar Cafe. It was overpriced and had slow service. The food with average, and it had a selection of chicken, salads, spaghetti, burgers, and other meats. There was also a kids menu which had fries, burgers, and pizza. Feel free to visit my Nascar Cafe review at http://www.epinions.com/content_83327946372
There is a competing Hard Rock Cafe in the same area.
For food, I would recommend bringing your own as it is way overpriced near big attractions such as Universal Studios, Disneyworld, and Sea World.
The park seemed pretty clean. There were many waste baskets around, and I saw many staff members sweeping. My compliments towards Universal Studios for being able to keep their huge amusement park clean.
I loved Universal Orlando, but I am sure smaller kids will find it boring since there is a very small kids section in which I did not go to. However, people over the age of seven will enjoy it very much since the attractions are appropriate and fun. Prices are great, and the staff was very nice since they upgraded the tickets for free. Next time youre in Orlando, dont miss out on Universal Studios!
Visit my Disney World review at http://www.epinions.com/content_8912630950
Islands of Adventure: http://www.epinions.com/content_60207304324
Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre: http://www.epinions.com/content_74816654980
IllumiNations 2000 Firework Show: http://www.epinions.com/content_74816654980
Fantasmic at MGM: http://www.epinions.com/content_56729898628
Boston Lobster Feast, Orlando: http://www.epinions.com/content_78373424772
Disneys Fantasia Gardens: http://www.epinions.com/content_74825305732
Honey I Shrunk The Audience: http://www.epinions.com/content_60728446596
Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa: http://www.epinions.com/content_89689067140
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