Universal in Orlando has two parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The younger generation loves it. Not so much for us seniors. The ticket is over $100. Not bad if you consider the time value of entertainment. The problem is that the entertainment is not geared towards seniors. But everyone needs to experience Universal Studios Florida at least once. There are rides, dining options, sights to see, and of course shops. The theme park highlights the studio’s movies. And they have had quite a few blockbuster movies.
There are many adventures around Harry Potter and the subject of magic! The area opened in June 2010 but we never get tired of Harry Potter. You know you are in the land of magic when you enter Diagon Alley.
All sorts of wizard ware are available: uniforms, writing supplies, moving photographs, the menagerie, and the most important a wand. There is a presentation showing how the wand chooses the wizard. This is an invaluable lesson in wizardry and not to be missed. The Alley is more exciting than the ride. Oh, yes, there are roller coasters so you may be better off just enjoying Diagon Alley if that is not your thing.
Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Express is one of those adventures. You may be tempted to go for it, but common sense may step in. Don’t count on it!
The Flight of the Hippogriff is another adventure you must not miss. Although it is a “junior” roller coaster it is worth riding.
Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey is a 3D/4D motion stimulation experience. You will experience all of the ups and downs of exploring the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You have never explored the school like this.
Don’t forget to taste the traditional British food and drinks as you take in all the sights. Harry Potter comes to life!
The Simpsons and ET
The Simpsons are always fun. You have to feel sorry for the guy. How does Homer get into all of those situations? It is a wonder they come out alive. This is no exception. Their adventures are always exciting. Makes you glad you are not the Simpsons. Somehow, they always come out on top.
Everyone (who remembers) ET has to love the ride. ET is saved in a bicycle, and you get to experience it. Ride over the town and the trees to save him.
Many of the “younger generation” will not understand the ride at all. Since they never experienced the movie, this will not be their thing. Remembering ET makes this a must in my eyes. The bicycle ride with ET in the front basket was as exciting as watching the movie the first time.
Revenge of the Mummy
Oh my! Revenge of the Mummy! Who could ever forget that movie? You will never forget the ride either. When you get close to the end of the line and see the warning signs, take heed. This one is not for the faint of heart. As you get strapped in for the ride you will know you may have made a mistake and should have paid attention to the warnings.
Too late now. When your neck or back hurts the next day due to whiplash, you will know where it came from and why. Seniors should miss this roller coaster and just wait at the end. You will be glad if you do not try this one.
The park has many movie animations. A large transformer will pose for pictures. The Blues Brothers will drive up in their police car and sing and dance for the crowd. They look just like Jake and Elwood dancing in the movie. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi would be proud. The saxophone player is a hit.
Men in Black was also a great movie. The movie was definitely better than the ride. Seniors will enjoy the tame ride but shooting aliens is more for the younger. The Jason Bourne movies spawned the “The Bourne Stuntacular”. There are more rides in Universal Studios, however we were sorry to see Terminator as well as Shrek go, but everything has a time and place.
There is a big roller coaster out in the open. You can see the participants travelling at high speeds upside down with their arms in the air and screaming at the top of their lungs. Entertaining, yes, for seniors, no.
There are lots of places for a quick bite to eat and to get something to drink. If you go, you may consider taking your own water. Even for a theme park $2.75 a bottle seems high. Browse the shops and enjoy the scenery.
Definitely search for a slow day to visit the park as there is lots to see, and lines are not fun. Check out the Orlando Informer for the crowd calendar. During the first few days of the new year the line for the Harry Potter ride took 4 hours! You will want to avoid those kind of days.
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