Friday, May 1, 2009

A day at a Florida Theme park...

Our impromto vaca to Florida had a very important theme park decision to be made…Disney or Universal??? I’d been to Universal once nearly 10 years ago with my family and remember my sister and I wanting to live there. Even though I’d not yet visited the Magic Kingdom, I really wanted to relive the fun of 10 years ago.

To enjoy the fun is now the handsome price of $75 per person. The Magic of the Magic kingdom was even more fairy dust. Being an AAA member my comrade in the fun got $10 off our tickets. Woohoo…which turns out will buy you a hotdog inside the gates…so bring your own snacks!

We choose the 2 parks for one day ticket. I recommend at least 2 days though if you see both Universal and Islands of Adventure.

Even if you get there when the parks open you will only be able to ride about half the rides at one and maybe ¼ at the other. And that was going in April after spring break and Easter. Keep in mind you will spend a minimum of 15 minutes in line per ride and most of the popular rides have a 45 minute wait. For an additional fee you can take the “express” line which some rides offer. Of course there is a way for them to charge you again but if you can spare the cash you’d have time to ride a lot more rides.

We arrived at the park about an hour after opening and waited in the line at the entrance to the parking lot. They charge you $12 to park…which is “universally” lame. I think they would charge you to sh** in their facilities if at all possible. I tried to think of ways to avoid this…I actually saw some people walking in but its not a short jaunt by any means. There’s a shuttle from some of the hotels so that would be something to consider if you stay in the area. I will say though once you get past the Toll window they are highly organized with getting you to a parking space and down the escalator to the Gates. Remember to look at which character you parked at…it’s a huge parking garage.

When we got to the gates we had to provide a fingerprint to enter. Ummm yeah…..


Our first ride was an oldie but a goody and not knowing how much longer it would be there I had to ride it again. It’s part live action and part 3D and all awesome. I wish they’d get bigger actors to play Arnold though. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a bodybuilder in Florida. You can’t throw a croc on the beach without hitting one. Hey, perhaps there will be a upgrade to the ride when the new movie comes out. (I can’t wait to see the new movie, even more so that Batman is in it!!)

Next we sat through a little live performance of Horror makeup techniques and audience participation…sawing a old ladies hand off while her husband still sitting in the audience fumbles with his camera. I don’t think he ever actually took a picture….I should have helped him. It was entertaining but the show was highly passable if you are short on time.

Next I visited the “Facilities” where I learned I had received a gift from Mother Nature. Oh joy!! I love being a woman and perfect timing as always. The only way it could have been more perfect would be had I been wearing white shorts and perhaps in the middle of a 45 minute line.

The Simpsons….. (did you say it in your head like the start of the show?)

New this year was the Simpson’s 3D ride. There had to be something to replace the very dated Back to the Future ride. Awww…rest in peace Doc. The Simpson’s ride being new had the LONGEST line. They had Simpson’s entertainment throughout the line on
flat screens and cold fans blowing on high. Had it been the heat of summer I would have appreciated this line comfort however it was about 70 degrees…so it was more uncomfortable than comfortable in my tank top and shorts.

The ride made you feel like you were on a animated rollercoaster without moving much…but someone who HATES rollercoasters, I did pretty good, although I did get a little nauseous when I felt the free fall feeling. I liked the ride very very much.


Oh Jaws…you were somewhat cool 10 years ago but I think your retirement has come. And the poor boat captain actors reliving the same 5 minutes over and over and still missing cues…a little embarrassing.

He’s great for a photo opt though. =)

Disaster… was also new to me and I had no idea what to expect. I think it used to be Earthquake as they used some of the set. After being herded in like cattle to a holding area they began to pick out people to participate in the “movie” they were making. They grabbed a few token people…the body builder, the grandmother, the kid, the mad scientists. When we were taken into another room to meet the director it was in fact a Hologram of Christopher Walken…an amazingly cool hologram that you spend the whole time trying to figure out how they are mixing him with live action. The ride continues with audience participation then unto the old earthquake subway.

Thinking we should probably head out to Islands of Adventure soon we picked one more ride…the new Mummy ride. Going inside the building I had no idea it was an indoors rollercoaster until we are at the start of the load in line. I wanted to take the exit but I got on. Then they stopped the ride and had people get off…technical difficulties on a new rollercoaster ride is not a comforting experience. Several people said, no way man, that’s a sign and left. We waited and got on when the problem was fixed a few minutes later. There were mummies jumping in a lame, unrealistic way and there was fire and such…kind of boring…then the ride takes a nose dive and I get sick to my stomach. I close my eyes but it only gets worse. Its violent and jerky and I start to feel sick…I can’t handle the stomach flops. I get so scared at one point that tears appear in my eyes. When I excited the ride I almost passed out.

Upon leaving the park we passed the new Shrek in 4D ride and wanting to see what 4D was, I jumped in line. It’s a theater like atmosphere where you wear the glasses and watch a short Shrek movie in 3D with live effects. I enjoyed it though I would have enjoyed it more if I was a bigger fan of Shrek or a little kid.

Before Islands of adventure we stopped to eat. It’s really just a choice of what you want to be over changed for. We choice Bubba Gumps..yummm overly priced fish and chips and Raspberry Margarita….glorious.

Islands of Adventure is more of a rollercoaster park but there are still rides I can ride. =P My favorite ride of both parks is here…Spiderman. Before we got to Spiderman though we wasted too much time in Dr. Seuss land. It’s cool and full of atmosphere but definitely built for kids and boring as hell for anyone over the age of 6. =P

The Amazing Spiderman is aptly named. It is amazing..its perfect really. Just enough live action and just enough 3D and just enough of a ride but not enough to make me cry and pass out. Even after waiting in line for 45 minutes we would have stood in line again if we had more time before night fall and the closing of the park for the day.

We stayed until the closing which always end with a short fireworks display and walked around city walk where we listened to a cover band which drew us in with a great song and drove us away with the next one.

Exhausted and thirsty we headed for the car which in all the excitement of running to the gates at the beginning of the day we’d forgotten to check which character we’d parked under. I remembered the way but my partner in crime insisted I was incorrect so I followed him around all over the upper deck until he agreed to go where I said the car was and low and behold there it sat. =P Always follow a woman’s intuition.

Next time I go to Florida I will try out Disney…of course then there’s the decision of which Disney…Ebcot, World or Wild Kingdom. I suppose if I can go around my birthday then I would get in free to Disney World then pay for Epcot. Good plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment