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31 August 2013

Day 22 (Thursday 29th)

"Universal Studios"

As our Disney passes had now expired we spent our last full day in Orlando at Universal Studios.

Although Universal have some world class attractions, this is easily our least favourite park and was only the second visit here this trip. It’s always ridiculously hot as they just don't have as comfortable queuing areas as Disney have. At Disney, a lot of the ride queuing is inside with air conditioning cranked up. Not so at Universal, you can really get too hot while waiting in line here. Perhaps a ploy to sell more drinks?

Anyway, Josh and I rushed to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, an INSANE rollercoaster that neither of us had ever ridden. It was brilliant even though I wanted to lose my breakfast at the end of it ;-) It has a very long vertical climb at the start which then goes straight into a vertical descent. It’s really intense with loads of stomach churning twists and turns. A great feature at the start is that you get to choose the music you want playing through the speakers in your ride car as you go along the coaster. Great touch and great fun (we rode it one more time before we left and it’s a DEFINITE must ride in the future).

The new Despicable Me attraction next which we could all ride together. These new generation 3D rides are just incredible and they are so difficult to describe. You sit in a theatre and the whole seats move which you watch an eye-popping Despicable Me animation. A truly amazing experience.

My favourite ever ride at Universal Studios is Spider-man. A new ride has now opened based on that same concept but is themed on Transformers. I heard this ride has cost Universal $180 million! They are spending billions on new rides here over the coming years and really going all out to beat Disney.  If these new rides are anything to go by they’re going to really ‘WOW’ everyone.

Transformers was really good but I don’t think it’s a massive leap from Spider-man which has been there a good few years now. In fact, I’d say Spider-man is still my favourite of the two.

We jumped onto Disaster! next. This is one of the original rides at Universal and it shows. This, ET and Terminator 3D are REALLY showing their age in my opinion. I remember back in the day they seemed amazing but now look really dated. It’s amazing to me that 40 year old Disney rides have stood the test of time while these 25 year old Universal attractions haven’t. I personally can’t see Universal keeping these rides going for much longer.

We rode The Simpsons ride next…BLEURGHH! This is a motion simulator ride which replaced the Back To The Future ride some years ago. That ride also gave me motion sickness but I liked that theme much more than the Simpsons one. After the ride we walked through Springfield (an area of the park designed to be like the town where The Simpsons live). This is a brand new area of the park  and all I can say is that it looked much more impressive on paper.

I’m actually sat on the plane home writing this and it may seem like I’m just bashing Universal. I’m not really, some of their attractions are world beaters and we love riding them, it just seems a bit of a hassle trudging around these parks compared with the relative ease of the Disney parks.

Joanne was feeling nostalgic for ET so we rode that next. It was fun riding through the forest on bikes and saving ET but it really is showing it’s age.

After Terminator 3D we walked over to the Islands Of Adventure park as Josh had been wanting to ride The Hulk since he was about 5 years old. I think I’m getting too old for these rides. I still love them but after a ride like this I feel like I’ve just run around in a circle 20 times. Dizzy and feeling sick is the order of the day but it doesn’t seem to affect Josh at all which is fine by me. I’ll ride any ride with him as he just loves them so much.

Our last ride of the holiday was Spider-man. I’ve mentioned how great this ride is many times  and we all really loved riding it one more time. The new 4K projection footage is just eye-poppingly beautiful. Spidey has never looked so good.

The boys both had temporary tattoos on their arms on the way out and we headed off to The Polynesian for showers and a meal at ‘Ohana.

‘Ohana was good and as Wishes started the lights in the restaurant were dimmed and we could sit at our table and watch the Fireworks spectacular over at the Magic Kingdom for the last time.  They pipe in the music to the restaurant as you watch and it was a great end to the holiday.

We then swam in the pool until midnight and then hit the sack for the last time this trip.


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31 August 2013

Day 23 (Friday 30th)
"The Final Day :-("

31 August 2013

Day 22 (Thursday 29th)
"Universal Studios"

31 August 2013

Day 21 (Wednesday 28th)
"Last Disney Day"

30 August 2013

Day 19 (Monday 26th)
"The final week!"

26 August 2013

Day 18 (Sunday 25th)
"Alarm Clock"

26 August 2013

Day 17 (Saturday 24th)

24 August 2013

Day 16 (Friday 23rd)
"Piracy on the high seas"

23 August 2013

Day 15 (Thursday 22nd)
"The Magic Kingdom"

22 August 2013

Day 14 (Wednesday 21st)
"Cinema and Chillin' Part 2"

22 August 2013

Day 13 (Tuesday 20th)
"Cirque Du Soleil"

21 August 2013

Day 12 (Monday 19th)
"Spidey 'n' Marshmallows"

20 August 2013

Day 11 (Sunday 18th)
"Computer Woes & Mammoth Storms"

20 August 2013

Day 10 (Saturday 17th)
"Sci-Fi Dining"

20 August 2013

Early morning bloggin'
"Chillin' @ The Poly"

16 August 2013

Day 9 (Friday 16th)
"Animal Kingdom & 'Ohana"

16 August 2013

Day 7 & 8
"Bringing it all up to date."

15 August 2013

Day 6 (Tuesday 13th)
"Waterparks and EPCOT food"

14 August 2013

Blizzard Beach
"Fun on the T-Bar Zip Line"

14 August 2013

Day 5 (Monday August 12th)
"Cinema and Chillin'

14 August 2013

Day 4 (Sunday 11th August)
"Chef Mickey's and Magic Kingdom with friends"

14 August 2013

Let's Do 3 Parks in 1 day
"Or not..."

11 August 2013

The Polynesian
"This pool is soooooooo nice."

10 August 2013

Day 2 (Magic Kingdom & Downtown Disney)
"Time to meet Mickey"

09 August 2013

Day 1 (Magic Kingdom and EPCOT)
"We're finally here!"

09 August 2013

Quick Update
"First Day"

06 August 2013

Here We Go.....
"Airport time..."

28 July 2013

9 Days
"Almost There"

19 July 2013

Sea Raycers
"Tootling about on the water"

19 July 2013

Blizzard Beach
"Water, Slides and Funnel Cake"

19 July 2013

Tonga Toast / Kona Cafe
"Tingling Tastebuds"

18 July 2013

Monorail Candies!
"Alejado de las Puertas"

18 July 2013

Our August 2013 Trip
"August 7th Onwards"

17 July 2013

Countdown Charts
"Can't beat a good countdown chart!"

09 January 2013

When plans go awry
"So the story goes that I had this massive surprise lined up for Joanne and the boys"