Monday, 23 May 2016

Florida November 2015 Recap - Day 10 at Universal's Islands of Adventure

I'll be doing a recap for each and every glorious day of our last Disney vacation (14 days worth so in the words of Scar, be prepared)...

Although we were planning on spending the majority of the day at Universal's Islands of Adventure, we got up extra early and headed to Universal Studios first, purely so that we could try our luck for the new Gringotts ride at the Diagon Alley area of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We were glad we did, as although the queue had been over two hours long when we tried on our last visit, it was down to 15 minutes which is much more manageable! (although due to a technical fault we did end up waiting slightly longer than that but if anything it just gave us more time to enjoy the amazing decor inside the queue area, the attention to detail was amazing and could even rival some of Disney's work!) As much as I detest queuing and large crowds, I can understand why the Gringotts ride had been so busy all the time - it was incredible. Well worth the wait - but I would advise going as early as possible anyway!

We used the opportunity of being in Diagon Alley to hop on the Hogwarts Express and made our way over to Universal's Islands of Adventure. I am constantly blown away by the amount of work put into new attractions at both Universal and Disney and the Hogwarts Express was no exception. Still to this day I cannot wrap my head around how it worked. It was like a simulation ride...except that the train did actually move and transported us to the other park! There was also an actual Platform 9 3/4 that we had to run through to board - magical.

The Hogwarts Express deposited us at Hogsmeade, where it had been snowing! We took in the cool sights around us and went for a ride on the "Dragon Challenge" which is two rollercoasters looping around each other at the same time. What's great about this is that you can hop off one track and right onto the other! Because it was a weekday, the park was fairly quiet anyway, but for some reason this ride was absolutely empty all day, and it was great! We must have ridden it a good seven or eight times. While in Hogsmeade, we also visited Hogwarts and experienced "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey".  Again this was great fun, and the attention to detail inside the castle is awesome. There's even hologram type videos of Harry and Co. dotted throughout which they must have been planning for years, as they only looked about 12 in them! Magic magic magic...

We'd worked up quite a hunger in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so we ventured over to Jurassic Park for a quick bite to eat before heading on the Jurassic Park ride itself. The ride is super nostalgic but still lots of fun, and we definitely got soaked at the end. We also took it upon ourselves to hunt for dinosaurs Chris Pratt while there, you never know right?

Just as we were starting to dry off, we stumbled upon Toon Lagoon, filled with cartoon fun and more water rides. I made the almost fatal mistake of riding one huge water ride known as Ripsaw Falls while I was absolutely bursting for the toilet. I honest to God almost wet myself - and I got so soaked that I might as well have, nobody would have even noticed! Instead of drying off, we decided we were in for a penny in for a pound, and headed onto Popeye's river rapids style ride two or three times in a row! I have literally never been so soaked through in all my life - I may as well have just dunked myself in a pool and called it a day.

Finally giving ourselves a chance to dry off in the beautiful Florida sunshine, we took a wander over to Marvel Superhero Island and snapped lots of cool photos for our Superhero loving boyfriends back home. We also went for a go on Spiderman's simulation ride which was similar to the Transformers ride and just as fun. Unfortunately the big ride there - the Incredible Hulk Coaster - was closed for renovations, which was a total shame as I had been looking forward to it since we booked the trip!

To make up for missing out on the Hulk coaster, we nipped back over to Hogsmeade for some more spins on the Dragon Challenge! By this point we were starting to get tired and hungry so we headed to Universal Citywalk to find somewhere for dinner. We settled on a Mexican place called Antojitos. Delicious but not quite our precious Chili's or Cheesecake Factory!

After filling up on tortilla chips and tacos we were ready to call it a day and headed back to the hotel for some leftover cheesecake and an early night.

                    ¡Por favour manténgase alejado de las puertas!

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