It had been too long. About four weeks ago we made the spontaneous purchase of our Universal Orlando Annual Passes. However, we had only been twice during that time (thank you pneumonia). We were overdue. And yet, Isaac loomed. And, we had youngest stepson with us, who had never been to Universal. Time to buy a third pass? Sure, let’s do it.
And so we woke up early, finished our Isaac preparations around the house, and headed for adventure. Along the way we obsessed with checking the weather updates. Would we have enough time? Here I sit, four hours later, at home and all is still [fairly] calm.
Our visit started off on the wrong foot. We went to the ticket window to purchase stepson’s Power Pass and the team member explained his pass would expire a year from now. Hold up… our passes came with three free months, what gives? She not so kindly explained that we must have a Coca-cola product with us and must tell her before we began the transaction. Ok, well the adults of the family were given those three free months without question, so why must the child go through a different process. Off to Guest Services we went. Thankfully, the young lady at Guest Services quickly corrected the issue.
After the small ruckus to get in, I wanted to visit a nostalgic attraction: E.T. Adventure. This is the one ride in the park that makes me emotional. I distinctly remember this ride from my childhood and feel it tops many of the dark rides at Magic Kingdom (yes, I did just type that). The queue is so detailed and well themed, the ride vehicles are impressive, the in-ride elements are fairly advanced by comparison with the dark rides at Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom (Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White Scary Adventures – now closed, and Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh). If this ride ever closes and goes away, you will find a sad, sad blogger.
After easing stepson into what to expect at Universal Studios, it was time to ramp up the fun. We headed to The Simpson Ride (oh the joys of simple nomenclature). So here’s the deal: I don’t do crazy rides. We are not friends. It takes some real gumption just for me to ride something like the Men in Black ride. So, as big of a fan of The Simpsons as I may be, it just is not going to happen. Years and years ago, I ventured onto this ride’s predecessor, Back to the Future ride. It made me so sick it was not a pretty picture. So, I walked through the queue, snapped a picture or two, and played the waiting game.
After their adventure in Krustyland, the boys wanted to save the world on the Men in Black: Alien Attack ride. I have been on this ride quite a few times, but for whatever reason was just not up to it today. I relaxed outside, snapped some pictures of the construction of Harry Potter Phase 2, and bobbed my head to the hip hop 90’s music that plays outside of the Men in Black ride. The music throughout Universal Studios gives me mixed feelings. It is all pop music, hardly any area has themed music. It lacks timelessness.
While I waited on the boys I noticed that no one was being admitted into the Men in Black ride. Of course being a frequent theme park visitor and former ride operator I knew my boys were stuck. Sure enough, I soon received a text from husband “ride stopped, we are stuck”. So I amused myself by watching a gang of birds resembling Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video as they battled over a fallen churro.
Forty minutes later, my boys emerged. The wind began to pick up and sporadic rain drops began to dot the ground. We continued our stroll through the park and made our way to the car, just in time. Thirty minutes later the signs of Isaac’s presence increased as we made it home safe and sound.
- Geeking Out in Orlando: Universal Studios (wired.com)
- An Unexpected Adventure (thisfloridalife.com)
- How Harry Potter Changed Theme Parks Forever (thisfloridalife.com)