Worst theme park ever
So we got up early today to get over to Volcano Bay, Orlando's newest water park. As you probably know, WE LOVE Water Parks.
Volcano Bay is a Universal water park and with it being brand new we thought it would be amazing.
We had a quick McD's pitstop for breakfast and crawled along I4 in traffic and got there about 10am. We parked up (paying $20 for the privilage) and got the shuttle bus from the parking lot to the water park entrance. Everything with Universal to me seems a major hassle to me. The parking seems to be ages away from when you actually reach the park entrance. It's the same with Volcano Bay. At Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon you park up (for free) and can be on a slide within 10 minutes. Not here.
So we get to the entrance and were given a Tapu Tapu which is similar to a Walt Disney World magicband but has a cool little LCD display. This is for the virtual queuing system where you go to a ride entrance, tap the band and return later to ride the ride without having to queue. Sounds good? Well........
We arrive at the entrance of the first ride which has a 120 minute return time. No problem, we tap it and our ride return time is shown as 120 minutes later. Seems pretty cool.....let's go queue up on some other rides in the meantime.
NOPE! You cannot queue in the normal way, you HAVE to use the Tapu Tapu. What does that mean? Well, we have to wait 2 hours to ride the slide and only then can we tap the band on another ride. So basically you have 2 hours to kill (small wave pool and lazy river are the options) until you ride the slide. EVEN THEN when you return to ride you are in a line for up to 20 minutes anyway! After you ride you can then tap your band on another slide which is also a 2 hour wait. WHAT A STUPID SYSTEM!!! We rode 2 major slides in 4 hours. Ridiculous. They should have that system AND a regular queuing system working together. Until they change that system we won't be going back there again. In total we rode only 3 rides until we decided to leave. Also, the park is REALLY small. I would guess that Blizzard Beach is twice the size and we ride A LOT more slides there in just a few hours. Universal fail....again...
But anyway, you live and learn and we head to the exit. 30 minutes later and we're driving back to where the magic lives...
Quick change and we hop on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom where we are going to meet our friends Dirk and Angie and their kids who are 13 years old tomorrow. They find us on Main Street USA during Happily Ever After, the new Magic Kingdom fireworks/projections/laser show. It's stunning, really amazing and although I loved the old show, Wishes, it's kinda nice to have a change after all these years. Whether it has the staying power of Wishes only time will tell but for now, we love it. Plenty of goosebump moments there.
We ride Pirates of The Carribean and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Both of those attractions I rode with my Dad (hellooo Dad!) back in 1988 and they STILL seem as fresh today as they did back then. Pirates is just amazing. It can be midday outside in 100 degree heat but as soon as you are riding you are transported to the dead of night off a Caribbean island. It never EVER gets old to me.
Sorry again for no photos today. You can't take GoPro to Volcano Bay (thanks for that Universal) and my camera is not waterproof but here's a couple of shots from on Main Street USA.
On the way out Josh has an ice cream cookie sandwich (one of my absolute favourites) and Jack chooses something from the confectionery shop and we're on our way to bed.
DEFINITELY a sleep in on the cards to recharge. 1 week done :-(
2 weeks left though! HUZZAH!