Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report - More Universal!
(Sign is from the new -to us- Simpsons Ride, which is outstanding.)
As I had mentioned, it'd been a long time since we'd been to Universal Studios, Florida. On our day there, while we were focused on seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we wound up visiting both parks even though they both closed absurdly early.
Some of the areas in Islands of Adventure now look a little... dull... compared to Hogsmeade. Jurassic Park, for example, probably the reason why Universal went for an Island theme in the first place, has one rather disappointing ride with maybe six dinosaurs, a kiddie play area with another ride that is absurdly ill-conceived (it is essentially a ski-lift), a show that is all but gone, and dozens and dozens of snack bars and gift shops. At least the recreation of the visitor's center, pictured above, is spot-on. And even better...
They decorate it for Christmas! There aren't a lot of holiday things to see in IOA, so let's head over to Universal Studios proper.
Bar none the weirdest thing about our Universal Orlando trip is that when we entered the park, one of our first thoughts was, "why isn't the Hogwarts Express a ride? It seems so obvious! And wouldn't it be awesome if there was some kind of transportation between the two Universal parks?"
And then, a little later in the day, we went towards this area attacked by Groverfield and rode "Jaws". Huh...
There are a small number of costumed characters wandering Universal and they're all pretty random. Basically, if you are an animated character, and Disney doesn't own the rights to you (and in a few extremely special circumstances when they do own the rights to you), you could end up in Universal. I kinda dig Scooby Doo and Shaggy's festive appearance here.
For a certain generation, this sign out of context is the stuff of nightmares.
One of the strangest holdovers from the earliest days of Universal Florida is this playground based off "An American Tail". And not the original movie either, but the... polarizing sequel. Furthermore, as the sign shows, there was a much stronger "see how we make movies!" theme to this park, not unlike Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Even though the parks closed early, there was enough time after dark to admire the beautiful lights along the various streets in the park.
Wait a minute...
On that note, I think we need to leave Universal tomorrow and head over to Disney World finally. On to Part Eight!
Sketch of the Day!
Did these on the plane ride down: