Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Universal Studios, Day 1

Getting off the ship was pretty easy and painless.  Well, it took almost 10 minutes to get an elevator, but with 3,000 people trying to leave the ship at virtually the same time, it is what it is.  They try to stagger it out by deck and we were one of the first levels called at 8:30.  I think it took maybe 30 minutes total to get off the ship, get through customs and get to our car.  All in all, easy peasy.

We headed to Chick fil A for lunch, then to Gwynne and Enrique's and were there by 11:30.  We hung out there for a few hours and filled them in on our cruise.  Then, we headed to Universal.  We had 2 day tickets, but they threw in a third day for "free".  I say free, but it's never free.

We had come here 5 years ago and it was miserable.  We went on 5 rides in 8 hours and it was hot and awful.  They have these Express Passes that you can buy which pretty much doubles the cost of admission.  But, if you stay at one of their resort hotels, they give them to you "free".  You can tell the people with Express Passes at the park.  They are the ones smiling.  I decided there was no point in doing the park without them.  So, we stayed at the Lowe's Universal Resort Hotel.

Now, we aren't high maintenance people.  Best Western is just fine for us.  I was expecting super fancy and it really wasn't.  Which was fine.  But, they said our room slept 5 adults.  There were 2 queen beds.  Um, if you say it sleeps 5, I expect beds for 5.  Not 2 beds and a cot.  But, whatever, we call to get a cot.  It'll be right there so they say.  The fridge isn't working in the room.  We call about that too.  Oh and to make it even more fun, the phone is cordless and the batteries are dead.  So, we have to put them on speaker each time we call and make everyone be quiet.  Annoying.  Well, we get back from Universal, our fridge still isn't working and we still have no bed.  Another speaker phone call.  Then, we go down to the pool, come back and still no bed.  I called and let them have it.  Needless to say, they sent up a very  nice snack basket with about $30 worth of goodies in there.  Nice, but really, the service is better at Best Western.

Ok rant over.  The resort was totally worth it because you have a free water taxi that will take you to the park.  Much better than having to drive.  So, we headed down there.  The grounds were really pretty too.  Here we are waiting for the boat.

See that ride over Emily's shoulder?  That was so much fun.  She was almost crying before we went on it.  Then, we get off and she wanted to ride it again.  It shoots you up super fast and then you just kind of bounce up and down for 30 seconds.

Noah's new favorite thing is to make his "ugly face".  We find it funny.

Although, this is much better.

We went to Islands of Adventure first and rode the Spiderman ride first.  Twice.

I took this picture for my Mom.  She always calls our burgers that we make Dagwood burgers or sandwiches since she piles them high.  

This sign couldn't be any more perfect for Ben.

We went on the Jurassic Park ride which was Noah's first big fall in a roller coaster.  He loved it and we all got wetter than we thought.

They had fun Jurassic Park stuff around the park.

Then, we headed to Harry Potter.  Another perk of staying at the expensive resort with bad customer service, is that you get in to the parks an hour early.  Which their Express Pass isn't good on the Harry Potter rides.  That's pretty much the only one that it doesn't work for.  So, we were going to use the hour early to ride Harry Potter, but the wait was only 20  minutes, so we had to go.  

Ben is holding up his finger.  He thinks he's like Harry because he has a scar on his finger.  Harry has one on his forehead.  Ben's is from catching his hand in a treadmill.  I doubt Harry's was from the same cause, but whatever.

Harry Potter was so much fun.  Then, Emily wanted to go on the Dragon Challenge rollercoaster.  Sure, why not?  Ben was barely tall enough to go, but we got on it and went for a ride.  Oh and what a ride it was.  I wasn't expecting that and when we got off, Emily was almost crying.  I almost was too.  It was the fastest craziest coaster I had ever been on.  My first clue should have been the metal detectors that you had to go on before getting on.  Nothing can fall out of a pocket or people will get hurt.  It's over 60 miles an hour and I don't know, maybe as many turns and twists.

We finished up there around 7 and grabbed Subway for dinner.  Then, we hopped in the pool!   They did have a really cool waterpark area for the kids.  No slides, but lots of other cool waterfeatures.  It's not a good picture, but you get the idea.

Up next, an early start at Universal Studios...


Linda said...

WOW you are flying with these updates!!! :) ♥
Just so you know, if I even got on ONE of those rides, I would be dead. Truly. LOL. Can't do them at all (never really could, not even as a kid though I did and never liked them). Last time we were at Disney, I chickened out on the Flying Dumbo ride. No kidding. Now you can all have a laugh about that. :D

Love, Linda

Anonymous said...

Wow! I came to check thinking "we" were still on the cruise and I see you caught that all up and are now at Universal. You have been busy. I expected you would take all week at least till tomorrow to get this far. I am loving all the pics . Of course I knew some of the stories that went with everything but I am loving all the pics to make it clearer for me. Your kids are so lucky and I hope they know it. :)