Friday, May 2, 2014

Universal Studios | Orlando, FL


While in Orlando, our usual main spot is Walt Disney World, but we can't go without making a stop at Universal Studios + Islands of Adventure. (You CAN do both parks in one day. We did it twice.)

If you're in Orlando and wondering if it is worth it, it is. Here's why.
(Stay tuned til the end where we have some hits and misses for you.)



Wizarding World of Harry Potter


This is the reason we even visited the park the first time we went. It is amazing. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is our favorite ride in all of existence. It is worth the wait (there almost always is one) and the line is actually really great because you're WALKING THROUGH HOGWARTS. (Although, when we were here in early December we rode it twice with 10 minute waits. Just to compare- my sister waited three hours when she went on Spring Break the year before. Lucky us!)

They're opening a new section of WWHP this summer and I can't WAIT to get back. Not to say that the Hogsmeade isn't amazing.... it is. Any Harry Potter fans (even semi-fans) will flip their lid. 



BUTTERBEER

Yes, this is it's own category because it is soooo delicious. Magen gets the frozen and most definitely gets a stomach ache after. Worth it. Get it.


Themes

They have great themed areas that rival Disney through both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures, like Marvel, Dr. Seuss, and Popeye. They have a "movie" section as well with rides like E.T., MIB, etc. Also- Jurassic Park! If you were alive in the 90s, you have to love Jurassic Park. Each section is ELABORATELY themed. The Dr. Seuss and Popeye have amazing visuals and bright colors. It's definitely a place kids will love. We found them both quite cute as well. 



The Simpsons

Simpson fans, look no more. This place has everything you need to live out your Simpson themed fantasy, down to selling Duff Beer and Krusty Burgers. The Simpsons Ride is pretty great, too. 





Spongebob Storepants

The only place in the world Ashley could not only meet her idol, Spongebob, but also spend exorbitant amounts of money on Spongebob gear. She was in Heaven.




Roller Coasters!

Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure have more thrill rides than Disney World. They're more "OMG I'M GOING TO PUKE BUT I'M HAVING SO MUCH FUN" type of rides. We love them. 

Highlights

- Spongebob Storepants
- 10 minute wait for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey- TWICE (Note on our Best Of page... this is our favorite ride ever.)
- New Simpsons area

Favorites

- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Hulk and Spider Man rides
Louie's Italian Restaurant (Their pizza is legit! We would even like it outside of a theme park.)
- Character greetings! They're much shorter lines and easier times than Disney. They interact with you much longer, as well!


Skip it!

- Disaster Movie and Twister rides. These really need an update.
- Confisco's Grille. (Food was higher priced than other places around and not very good.)


P.S. Ashley's Spongebob hoodie is from the Spongebob Squarepants store & Magen's Deathly Hallows shirt is from the big gift shop right as you enter Islands of Adventure. 

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