ReZourceman

Florida October 2010 Trip Report

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I want to get back out to America so freaking bad! This does not help my desire.

 

I bet he ate more Taco Bell when he was out there too. SUCH ENVY.

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Oh, and don't worry about waiting a bit with the following reports, ReZ. It's nice to get a break in between reading them as well.

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I bet he ate more Taco Bell when he was out there too.

 

Note my signature. :p

 

And Retro....we did the evening at Magic Kingdom on Saturday. Fireworks were mindblowing, but videos/pictures of that to come (of course) :D

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Arh!!

After reading that Harry Potter review, there's nothing I want to do more!

I've never liked big roller-coasters(because I'm an absolute whimp) yet I really want to go on the Harry Potter one :D

 

Usually, I just go on the tea-cups or something similar :p

 

Glad your having a great time ReZ.

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Next trip report time!

 

GIGANTIC TRIP REPORT IN THIS SPOILER BOX

 

MAGIC KINGDOM!

Tuesday October 5th - Magic Kingdom

 

We woke up! The chicas were very excited about Magic Kingdom. I was excited in that I knew it was going to be good, but I am not a fan of Disney (cartoons...in general...Pixar yes, but Disney in general really grates me) but I'm a theme park fan and I know the reputation that Disney has, and I've been to Disneyland, so I was excited too! But in different ways.

 

For breakfast we had been recommended the IHOP, International House of Pancakes, which we had been told was amazing or something. I referred to this place for the whole holiday as "The International House of Imhotep". They (obviously) specialise in pancakes....

 

....And apparently not much else. I didn't rate it that high to be honest. Definitely the pancakes were pretty great, but mine were slightly ruined by my choice of topping - CINNASTACK which was some kind of Cinnabun sauce thing...anyway, the problem was the texture. Very grainy/granulated, and not like the picture showed. I had like bacon and hash brown with it, the hash brown was nice, proper American shredded potato, tasted potato-eeeeyyy and nice.

 

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So full to the brim with food we headed out to Magic Kingdom. The drive was short as Disney World was practically outside our hotel. About 10 minute drive to the gates.

 

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So we parked up and then took the tram-vehicle-type-vehicle to the front gates. The first of seventeen different modes of transportation that it takes to actually get to the theme park entrance of Magic Kingdom. :p

 

We got to the ticket sales section, and walked through (tickets were sent to us in the post) and we queued up for the boat that takes you to actual park (you can also choose to go on the Monorail) but really for first time visitors it has to be the boat doesn't it! :D On the boat we got our first eyeful of...Cinderella's Castle. A familiar sight to all.

 

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We reached the shore and then started to queue up for the bag check. Ah yes. The bag check. The most pointless activity that you will ever partake in in your trip to any Orlando theme parks. See....a normal bag check would be something in which they check your bag to see if there are any unpermitted items in. No. Not at the Orlando theme parks. At the Orlando theme parks it is a chance to have a wooden stick poked in your bag and then told "Thanks". I honestly could have taken a multitude of weapons into every park, and I think the only bag search thorough enough to find them would have been Busch Gardens because he actually used a torch and LOOKED INSIDE THE BAG. I was shocked. Also Universal Halloween Horror Nights was pretty thorough.

 

But alas thats fine. So we had FINALLY GOT INTO THE PARK.....oh no wait....we still had to go through the ticket barriers. But we did! AND WE WERE ACTUALLY FINALLY IN THE PARK THIS TIME.

 

The park was insanely busy. I started to worry. But I grabbed a map (or five...just in case four got creased) and began to look at it, as the chicas started snapping at the castle, the classic Disney photo. There was Halloween decorations everywhere too. They were great.

 

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Claire and my sister got Minnie Mouse ears. I planned on getting some Safari Hat Mickey ears at Animal Kingdom the following day (or what was planned to be the following day...dun dun dunnn)

 

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We then watched a parade, and then we headed over to...Tomorrowland! Our first port of call was Stitch's Great Escape a walk through ride, with a sit down bit at the end. It was well themed I was smiling whilst going through it. The ending was slightly meh, but overall a good first ride. Queue time was 5 minutes, so at this I was happy.

 

Next up was Space Mountain, an attraction I had been on at Disneyland Paris, however to compare these coasters in anything other than name would be a foolish thing to do. The queue time was like 3-5 minutes or so. Advertised as 10 minutes on the board, so already I started to love DisneyWorld. The queue itself is pretty great. Had there have been more people in there I would have been able to play the video game in the queue! Then the batching area looks great, with dual station loading/two tracks. The ride is like a three seater (I think) steal coaster. It goes round a corner, then has a fairly charming and fun "booster" light affect on the walls. It then climbs the chain pull and then twists and turns, dips and flies around everywhere in the darkness, with loads of tiny lights everywhere that give a surprisingly excellent feeling of depth.

 

It was an extremely fun coaster and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. We next headed over to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, a laser ride. Queue time was advertised as 15 minutes I think, but it was really more like 10 or under (again impressed) the queue was awesome.

 

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The ride itself was a lot of fun. One of the best laser rides I've been (also my score was freaking insane) you have a lever that controls the spin of your car, so you can spin it (albeit slowly) to your hearts content. Very very nice feature to put you in partial control of it like that. A very nice touch. I think Claire's score was about 17,000, my sisters like 3,500 or something and mine was 70,000....I've got a video somewhere....might upload it now actually. For a laugh. Sheer smugness;

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scqfdMb9EP8

 

We queued up for the Carousel of Progress next, which is a unique attraction. It is a large circular building and you sit in it as it slowly rotates and aligns with the stage in front of you, showing four different scenes of four different times/decades. They were like...erm....old....less old....fairly old and then recent/current. It was pretty charming and had an infuriatingly horrible/catchy theme tune which my sister decided to sing for the. Entire. Holiday. But a great attraction, and with the queue being just 5 minutes, and a long 20 minute or so sit down, coupled with the short queueing of the rest of the attractions, tiredness was not a problem at all and we had already managed to do four good attractions! I was happy and enjoying it a lot. This was all despite the fact that the park was so very very busy. Impressed.

 

We then left Tomorrowplace and wandered over to the Mickey House Toon Town Area Land. There wasn't exactly anything to do here for adultation people, but we saw Mickey and Minnies house (I was surprised that they didn't live together despite being married, and thought this was very modern of them) and we got a few snaps.

 

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After leaving Toon Town, we saw a new area being built. Looked like (from the posters) a Little Mermaid dark ride was being built. After checking on Wikipedia, this confirms it and it also confirms that instead of Disney ploughing their (no doubt disgustingly and offensively astronomical profits) into a suitably amazing new style dark ride (like Harry Potter) that they've decided the cheap and outdated style of their current dark rides will be more suitable. In fact the ride sounds like an absolute CLONE of the Nemo ride at Epcot (which is pretty terrible) and it opens in 2013. I only found this out a second ago though, and I don't quite understand it, as they will no doubt spend a lot on theming and such, shame they can't do something like a gentle robo-arm dark ride.

 

Aaaanyway. Emma bought some popcorn. It was nice. We then went on the Winnie The Pooh ride. I enjoyed it, but it was clearly an incredibly cheap job in terms of theming, which is a shame because the vehicle itself looked great and must have had some good technology on it, because at one point it moves around and bobs along exactly like a boat, which was very enjoyable. The queue was just 5-10 minutes.

 

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We then went on Snow White dark ride. This was near identical to Winnie The Pooh, but with better theming. It was good/fine/okay. I'm sure fans of the film would have liked it a lot. Queue was about 10 minutes.

 

We then went to go on Peter Pan however the queue was like 35 minutes or something, and it looked to be pretty similar to the previous few rides (except flying) so we just left it and we queued up for Mickeys Philharmagic Cinema Thing. This was a cracking 4D cinema film, with some very clever things and a wide angle view. Don't really want to go into too much detail because the little things and surprises could ruin it for future goers, but a very impressive 4D cinema film. Queue was about 10 - 15 minutes, and the most annoying queue of the day, because we were stood still for that time, but thats still good going! Almost a compliment that it was the worst queue.

 

Walking over to the next area, we saw more queues than the previous areas. The park was still very busy. This was fine though really. We headed over somewhere and then spotted Haunted Mansion. Queue was pretty short again about 10 minutes. The ride itself was fairly good. Not the best haunted type ride I've been on, but enjoyable with some good cute moments. Ending is nice too.

 

After this I experienced something that I had been wanting to experience for a while. It had been over four days but finally I had had my first corn dog of the holiday. It was an excellent corn dog, and Claire enjoyed a delicious lemon slush drink. We ate these whilst sitting on the fence (we weren't being indecisive....we were literally sitting on the fence) near Splash Mountain. After consuming the goods, we went on Splash Mountain.

 

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Didn't get any pictures of the actual ride which surprises me. It appears I STILL wasn't in turbo photo mode. I think turbo photo mode started on Thursday. Splash Mountain's queue was about 7-10 minutes, and the ride itself was pretty awesome! A very fun log flume indeed, the best I've been on (not that it has much competition really) but all very nicely themed and you don't get soaking wet, which is a positive. Also several drops and they're all quite fun. Great ride. :D

 

After Splash we did a different mountain. The one right next door - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Another attraction that I had been on in Disneyland, and to my knowledge I though/was aware/for some reason/that the rides were pretty similar. We were near the middle of the train, and my conclusion is that the only way you would feel any force whatsoever from this rollercoaster would be if you were at the back row. Pretty boring in all honesty. Theming was red rock....wow. Forceless. Virtually no thrills. Pretty much a non-entity to me, and basically the only dissappointmeneesntt of the day. Just very tame. I can't see how anyone could have really enjoyed it. One in Paris is better. MEH. Luckily queue was short, about 10 minutes.

 

After this we were feeling peckish, so headed over to Main Street USA to have Luncheon. We chose the Diner on the corner, and we all had a hot dog. A far superior hot dog to Islands of Adventures offering, and also about a buck more, but included a drink and fries, so actually "reasonable/good" value as opposed to mega rip off. I had iced tea FYI.

 

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After this we went and tried to find Adventureland which seemed surprisingly hidden/disorientatitng location. We found it and we went on the...erm...whats it called...Jungle Cruise. One of my favourite rides, but because of the ride operator as opposed to the ride itself. We climbed aboard (queue was about 10-13 minutes) and the boat driver pointed out my t-shirt and said "Oh wow nice, Black Lantern" which is the logo on my t-shirt (a Green Lantern thing...and reasonably obscure. You have to be up with current continuuity to get it, as its about the last 1 years of storyline) and I was like "Yeeeaaaahhhh" and he was like "Yeah, we'll talk about the War of the Light, Blackest Night and all that stuff....yes, I'm a comic book geek" and I was practically orgasming at this point. Loving life.

 

And then throughout the ride he kept dropping lines that only I (and possibly Claire, as she's had to put up with my rambling for 5 years) got, like "And here on the left we have some crocodiles, remember to charge your ring every 24 hours" and I was just giggling like a school girl. In fact over the course of the holiday I would have SHIT TONNES of comments about all my GL t-shirts....but more about this in future reports....annnnyyywwaaayyyy the Jungle Cruise was pretty charming and fun, made fun by the ride op.

 

We then went on Pirates of the Caribbean which I felt was pretty meh. I mean it was pretty cool, with the large sets and stuff, but the Jack Sparrow characters and such don't really add much. They could do so much more. Having a full scale Flying Dutchman for example would be amazing, you could go through it, and then have the Fish Dude...ermmm...Davy Jones in there as an animatronic thing would be amazing. But it was okay. Queue was about 10+ minutes.

 

After that we watched a show by the castle which was fun enough I guess, and then we left. Well we went in all the shops and then left.

 

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The day was packed and it was all thoroughly enjoyable, which made for an excellent day, and we weren't too tired. I mean we were tired, but not that bad! :D

 

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(It's A Small World was closed for refurbishment)

 

Ranking the Rides

Space Mountain - Very fun, giggle inducing dark coaster.

Splash Mountain - Original and excellent log flume.

Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin - Very fun being in control.

Jungle Cruise - Ride op made it hilarious, not just for GL references but because he was really funny too.

Carousel of Progress - Unique and charming.

Philharmagic Cinema - Awesome.

Haunted Mansion - Cool I guess.

Pirates of the Carribean - Creates a good atmosphere.

Winnie The Pooh Adventure Ride Thing - I liked the water-like-feeling of movement.

Snow Whites Adventure Ride Thing - Its there.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - No.

 

Final Thought

A packed day. Almost double the amount of attractions were fit in, than were achieved at Islands of Adventure and we didn't use a single Fast Pass, it wasn't really needed. Although large queues did exist in the park, I wouldn't say they were on the must-do attractions. An absolutely excellent day, and this isn't even including what can be done at night at Magic Kingdom. We return to do the nighttime attractions on Saturday! Just so impressive that the park was so busy, but that there is SOOOo much to do that queues were near-non-existent.

 

9.2/10 in terms of enjoyment. The park itself actually gets a slightly lower score, simply because there aren't enough thrills for an adrenaline junky like me, but thats my fault not the parks. Personal scores etc.

 

For dinner we had drive through Taco Bell. God I love Taco Bell. I had the Number 5 combo - 3 crunchy beef tacos and a large drink...and the large drink I tried for the first time? Mountain Dew Baja Blast....oh my lord.....the best drink in the world. It is painfully nice. Just look at its tropical goodness.

 

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My love for Taco Bell is indescribable.

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- You took the monorial to the park (through the hotel :D, that's the best Disney entrance for me) one day right?!

- Yep Pirates could be SOOOOO much more!!! They've not changed it AT ALL since the movies, but for the very occasional (and in rather lame ways) inclusion of Jack Sparrow, oh and the dog I think... or was he already there, not sure?

- Space Mountain is EPIC!!! as is the queue and exit with the moving walkway and theming.

- Peter Pan is nice, but yeah really the queue needs to be short. When I went this time it rained at that point of the day and got stuck in a queue there for around an hour!! But E.T. >>>>>>>>> Peter Pan! (essentially the same style ride)

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(Yeah E.T. shits all over Peter Pan....theres a fun story and AMAZING bit about the Peter Pan aspect of our next trip to Magic Kingdom. But that'll be explained in that report) :D

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I think Claire's score was about 17,000, my sisters like 3,500 or something and mine was 70,000....I've got a video somewhere....might upload it now actually.

 

70,000? Thats poor effort.

 

score.jpg

 

Pro gam0r right here.

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Yeah sometimes there seems to be a prime seat on those rides... I think I remember my Men In Black score being pretty massive.

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Yeah sometimes there seems to be a prime seat on those rides... I think I remember my Men In Black score being pretty massive.

 

Men in Black has that button that if you hit it you basically get 100k points and win.

 

I've got another pic of Buzz Lightyear with a 400k score, I've just got madskills.

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I'm soooooo jealous! It's one of my dreams to go to all the big theme parks. Would so love it!

 

 

I'm wondering though, how much do the rides in Disneyland Paris differ from the ones you went on? Like Snow White, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain etc. Always wondered that.

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Haven't been on Peter Pan since I was like..8. It ALWAYS has the longest wait in the park..why? All those Fantasyland rides are fairly the same, just a little ride around the movie. I heart Snow White though.

 

Other comments - clearly September/October is a good time to go to Disney. Your queue waits seems amazing. They're usually decent, but often a good wad of fastpasses are required.

 

Jungle Cruise is so stun, just cause they clearly know it's so outdated, and they're just giving it the best host/driver people, as part of one big joke.

 

I do love Magic Kingdom.

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The Duelling Dragons coaster was the first big rollercoaster I ever went on, before that being entirely too scared to go on anything that went upside down. I absolutely loved it... I understand they have now been integrated with the Harry Potter part? Makes sense I spose.

 

I think Busch Gardens was my favourite for coasters.

 

This thread has really made me want to go back there.

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What's happened to The Lost Continent/whatever it's called in IOA? Is that still there, or part of Harry Potter? I loved the Poseidon show thing. And it had a really good/award-winning restaurant there too, Mythos.

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Is The Lost Continent the Arabian themed place? If so, when I went over the summer I don't think there's really anything there any more other than quite a few places to eat, some fortune telling fountain or something and some big show I think (which I didn't go and see).

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I'm wondering though, how much do the rides in Disneyland Paris differ from the ones you went on? Like Snow White, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain etc. Always wondered that.

 

Havn't been on Paris Snow White. I understand Pirates is identical (and I've been on Paris-Pre-Re-Theme, and Magic Kingdom Post-Re-Theme, and they seemed very similar apart from the film updates) Big Thunder Mountain seems similar but Paris is much better and more forceful (for example, no moving mountain chain pull in Magic Kingdom) and Space Mountain is completely different.

 

In Paris (you've been on it...?) it has like...three inversions, over should restraints, reasonable launch and neon asteroids etc, in Magic Kingdom its a 3 man train, not a long linked one, and the only theming inside the actual "space" bit is just the lights. I think both are good. Paris is a little rough. Magic Kingdom one seems a lot more special.

 

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I think the Big Thunder mountain is much better in Paris than Florida. I also think Peter Pan is the best out of all the the Magic Kingdom darkrides, it's very charming and well themed inside.

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Havn't been on Paris Snow White. I understand Pirates is identical (and I've been on Paris-Pre-Re-Theme, and Magic Kingdom Post-Re-Theme, and they seemed very similar apart from the film updates) Big Thunder Mountain seems similar but Paris is much better and more forceful (for example, no moving mountain chain pull in Magic Kingdom) and Space Mountain is completely different.

 

In Paris (you've been on it...?) it has like...three inversions, over should restraints, reasonable launch and neon asteroids etc, in Magic Kingdom its a 3 man train, not a long linked one, and the only theming inside the actual "space" bit is just the lights. I think both are good. Paris is a little rough. Magic Kingdom one seems a lot more special.

 

Last time I went on Pirates of the Caribbean (one or two years ago?) it wasn't re-themed in Paris. So not sure they have actually changed anything?

 

I've been on Space Mountain many times yes. Though they now have "version 2" in Paris, which doesn't have all the big space things floating around like the winking moon and the asteroids. Right now it's just lights and video projections of spacey stuff I think. Seemed less special.

But then again Rock'n'Roller Coaster came around and stole the light from Space Mountain as a better rollercoaster heh.

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When I went, the Dragon ride had nearly no one on it. So we went about 10 times in 20 minutes.

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Universal Studios and Halloween Horror Nights! October 7th....

 

GIGANTIC TRIP REPORT INSIDE THIS SPOILER BOX! CLICK ME!

 

(But on October 6th Claire felt poorly so we had to abandon our plans to do Disneys Animal Kingdom on that day, and instead we went to the super market, then we chilled out in the pool for a while....and for dinner we had Wendy's.

 

Wow. Wendy's/Wendys. People had always said to me how amazing Wendy's was and I absolutely didn't believe it. I just couldn't see the appeal. But it is in fact true. Wendy's is sheer brilliance. Everything about them.

 

On this visit I had a Triple Baconator, (Three meat patties, bacon and cheese) in a delicious bun. The burger was the best I had ever had from a fast food place. The chips were delicious and potato-tasting with skin still on, and as a side dish I had the delicious Chilli. I love Chilli. The fact that you can get it as a side dish...it just....it adds so much to the meal! It is a stroke of genius and sheer brilliance. Earlier in the day I had a Mountain Dew flavour Slurpee and later in the day I wore my boxer shorts on my head.)

 

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-----------------------

 

October 7th

 

For breakfast we had another all you can eat buffet breakfast. This time it was a place called "Sizzler". This establishment is basically just a worse version of Ponderosa, the only item that was better/not present at Ponderosa were the sausage patties, which were great. So the breakfast wasn't amaaazzzinggg today.

 

We headed out for Universal Studios and the long day ahead. When we reached the park we again opted for preferred parking, scared at the prospect of having to walk a bit further after walking all day...which sounds silly as I type this. Meh.

 

ARRIVED! The iconic globe!

 

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We entered to park and headed the opposite way than it seemed most people were heading. So we went to Terminator T2 first,...but the show time was ages away, so we walked on. My sister then said her camera was out of battery, so she went back to the first shops to get a battery. Claire and I waited for her, and we spotted a Squirrel. A timid Squirrel. I don't know why I'm capitalising Squirrel. But I photo'd it and it looks evil.

 

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Halloween Horror Nights theming was then spotted! Ahhhhhhh!

 

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My sister returned and we headed for our first attraction - E.T. Adventure! Woop!

 

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Queue time said 10 minutes, which was pretty accurate. Perhaps just slightly over. The queue line was pretty nice, with a nicely painted wall on the outside, and then when you walk inside...you find yourself in a very cool building that is themed to be a forest. Very nicely themed indeed, it gives the ride a really excellent atmosphere and is very charming. The train arrived (a flying cycle type contraption) and I thought it looked great! The restraint came down and it was very comfy and we set off on our magical journey.

 

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The ride goes through the forest with various pieces of scenery and theming, and all kinds of stuff happening, like a policeman calling up at you as you incline. You turn a corner and you appear to be high above the city, with a miniature city below you all lit up - it looks really impressive. You then visit E.T.s home planet and see all kinds of weird alien stuff.

 

Overall a really great ride and I was instantly impressed with what Universal Studios had to offer.

 

We moved on and saw a large building come into view. It was The Simpsons Ride!

 

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I wasn't entirely sure what this ride was. We queued up, I think it said queue time was about 15 minutes. I think it ended up being just a tiny bit over this, and at some points we were standing still for a while (which I mentioned previously annoys me a bit) but it wasn't too bad, the queue is pretty well themed so its cool! We then went to our compartment and boarded the ride. It looked to be an open top simulator ride.

 

The ride started and it lifts you up about....10 feet or so I guess, and the film/ride begins. You basically go on a theme park, and then get chucked about Springfield. In a nutshell.

 

I was extremely impressed with the ride. By far the best "standard" simulator I have been on. In the fact the bit at the beginning where you get lifted up, the expansive screen around you shows scenery moving (to enhance the feeling of being lifted) and I actually thought it was real scenery moving. Very good motion indeed. So yeah the ride was very very well conceived and I was pretty much blown away by the realism actually! Way better than I thought it was gonna be. Two attractions in and its two for two for Universal. :D

 

Close to The Simpsons Ride, is the iconic UFO's from....

 

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I havn't touched on Universals finger-print-recognition-system-lockers. They really are hit and miss. About 50% of the time they worked and 50% of the time we had to get an attendant. Although I have a reasonably funny story about it in a second....BUT ONTO THE RIDE!

 

MIB Alien Attack is a laser ride with a little bit of an intense twist - a literal twist! The ride spins out of control every so often. Anyway I'm getting ahead of myself. We queued up (about 10 minutes) and entered the building. Got in a "lift" (doesn't actually move, but still) and then you exit the other side and its great! Just like stepping into the movie! The theming is excellent, and I was already loving every second. You turn a corner and see those weird funny aliens chatting in a break room. I chuckled.

 

Then you get into the ride itself. Theres a short scene with the cardboard training bit from the film, then you enter a town with "real" aliens. All themed very well and a lot of fun. Eventually you enter a massive aliens organs and spin for loads. The spinning packs a bit of a punch and the whole ride is incredibly fun, sure to leave a smile on everyones face! :D

 

We got out and picked up our bags from the locker....heh. Well we went over to the lockers, and there was a family/friends of four women in front of us. About two of them had attempts at working the thing, but it didn't work for either of them (well it did eventually but took many attempts) but as a bystander it appeared to be user error rather than a problem. They just couldn't use the touch screen. They tried sharply stabbing at it with their cat-like-long-nailed-fingers, smashing it, hitting it etc, and never displaying any finesse. Anyway we waited behind them for a good few minutes before they finally retrieved their belongings. I casually approached the unit with a confident strut. Boom, code in instantly, finger recognised, locker open. We grabbed the stuff and had actually overtaken the women as we left the locker enclosure. I couldn't help but laugh my ass off as we strolled by. :blush:

 

So as we strutted away we approached the next area, and I saw Jaws! Ahhhhh Jaws!

 

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Queue time was 10 minutes, but turned out to be less. Probably about 7 I guess. We boarded the boat, and I looked around to see a really well themed fishing villiage. Ah. Finally on one of the most famous rides in the world. What would I make of it? Well like Jungle Cruise the boat has a tour guide. And like Jungle Cruise my t-shirt got a comment! The toar guide said "Ah Transformers, niccceeee". Again, instant like (although TF is a bit more recognisable than Black Lanterns....but I digress) we set off on our journey, and (spoilers) you soon see your first glimpse of the infamous fish (a shark is a fish right?) as a boat begins to bubble and sink into the water after turning a corner. A giant fin moves toward the boat!

 

COOL!

 

Then it disrupts the boat a bit. Calamity ensues. We decide to take refuge in a nearby boathouse. This bit was awesome. Its all dark, and the tour guide uses a real torch/light. Then Jaws himself, headfirst attacks from the water. Claire screamed. It was quite scarey! I enjoyed immensely. We left the dark boat house and glide across the water to a bit that explodes, as we see Jaws attack the boat again. Turn a corner and then the finale as Jaws attacks the boat, and we kill him with the high voltage cables that have fallen in the water.

 

WOW! What a freaking cool ride. Had no idea I was going to like it so much, but absolutely loved it.

 

After Jaws, we went to Disaster which was just around the corner. This was the longest queue in the park at....I think it said 45 minutes. It was a must-do so we queued. Another of the slightly annoying queues as you're basically standing still for the duration of the ride segments which tends to be at least 10 minutes. Or about 10 minutes. Or so. Or feels like it.

 

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Anyway, you go into a breifing room, a man has some fun with you (wink) and then you go into another room and a REALLY REALLY impressive and realistic hologram of Christopher Walken talks to you. Then you go into another room and can finally sit down! Woot. You see a short few scenes using members of the audience being filmed. Then you board the ride and go in the Subway and it all explodes/floods/shakes/etc.

 

Now I was then expecting to move on and encounter King Kong. That didn't happen and the ride finished. I was like "Say whaaaaat" as for some reason I had always thought that not only King Kong, but also more stuff and scenes was part of the ride. So it shocked me a bit, but still a pretty good ride. If a little disappointing. But yeah still good!

 

My sister then grabbed a cinnamon churro, and I grabbed a Nestea.

 

We then watched the BeetleJuice monster music show which was very enjoyable. The Bride of Frankenstein was pretty hot. As were the gothic cheerleaders. Also the show was funny with some nice pop culture references.

 

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We moved onto a ride I was very much anticipating! I think it was advertised as a 20 minute queue...but turned out to be practically walk on! The Revenge of The Mummy! WOWWOWWW!

 

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The queue line is good/fine. Like you would expect really. So you get into the batching area and the trains look interesting. Just single cars holding a fair amount of people. Dual loading station with switch track and the staff were loading really quickly which was very nice to see! We boarded and set out on our journey. Freaking. Sweet. Coaster. (OH yeah its a rollercoaster if that wasn't clear) (all indoor) so yeah, you go out, turn a corner and some kid is like "Its a trap" type speech, then the evil Mummy bursts out and spouts some evil stuff. Then....well I don't remember exactly what happens but it involves fast and snappy little launches, backwards elements, fire, dips, turns. Very thrilling. Then an AMAZING bit where the entire ceiling sets alight, like literally a sheet of fire, kind of terrifying and incredibly hot! Then you boost out. An insanely fun coaster.

 

After this....(oh yeah....) well after this we probably would have ridden Rip Ride Rockit, but as we found out when we entered the park it wasn't working. Obviously I was very sad about this as I pretty desperately wanted to go on it. Meh. Shit happens, eh? Anyway, so we headed over to Twister : Ride It Out! The queue was about 10 minutes, which was another of the "basically just standing till the next available show queue", didn't really mind though. I think I was still on a high from The Mummy. :D

 

So yeah we entered, and you basically watch a twister approach and wreck a small scene. All looks pretty good. Shame the wind machines aren't a bit more powerful. A few good bits though, like the roof flying off and water smashing your back, I enjoyed, but not amaaazzzzinnngggg.

 

After this we left the park with the intention of resting our weary legs at the cinema. There was a showing of "The Social Network" on at 4:15pm which I had scheduled into the day. We went to the AMC Multiplex at City Walk (adjacent to Universal Studios) and (I am a big film fan) so was looking forward greatly to cinemaing in the US, and to a film I was very excited for. Well we got there and didn't see it listed on the board. I was like "Quelle bue?" and we asked the attendant. She checked with her headset and informed us it had been cancelled. Boooooooo hate. So I suggested seeing "Easy A" to the chicas, but alas they didn't like that idea.

 

Instead we went to Margaritaville. I can't be sure but I could have sworn something fell out of the Parrot as it sat on me. I'm SURE I saw something come out. On the photo you can see a stain that I didn't notice on the time. But I think that might be something.....bad. Not certain though. Could have been drool from my mouth from thinking about The Mummy. Or tears from lack of Rip Ride Rockit. The other parrot started eating Claire's hair.

 

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My sister had a chicken sandwich and fries, and Claire had some fries. I decided to save myself for a Taco Bell trip after the festivities. So we chilled out there for a bit, then we went and looked at a few shops on City Walk, and then we say down next to the Universal sign as it just started to sun....set....as the sun started to set. We walked around the sign and felt the mist a few times.

 

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6pm came around and we queued up to get back into Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights!

 

We entered and I anticipatively ....(Chrome is spell correcting me....wow...is anticipatively actually a word?!) anyway, I grabbed a map! I didn't really know exactly what kind of mazes/scare zones/rides were at/on/at/at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. I unfolded the map and it looked AWESOME. 5 scare zones (I think) a few shows, and 8 (8!!!) mazes/houses. Also Jaws, Mummy, MIB and Simpsons were open during the dark hours. We walked through and entered the first scare zone. I'll upload videos soon/eventually.

 

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We saw that theming from earlier and this time it had fire coming out.

 

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The atmosphere was starting to build as darkness encompassed the night.

 

We headed over to the first of the mazes we did (we didn't do them all) "Catacombs" which was basically a horror house/maze themed around The Plague! So loads of people coughing and such.

 

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The queue was GIGANTIC in terms of walking distance. As you can see it says 5 minutes...in actuality it was practically walk on, but it took several minutes to walk through the queue. I seriously....I dread to think how busy this place gets and how long you have to queue for the mazes because wow...the queue was "expectantly" gargantuant! Anyway we headed to maze itself, and it was.....surprisingly it was just "okay" slash a little bit crap. It was comparable to The Curse at Thorpe Park, with the people coughing. Definitely a lot of actors, but the ride was partially ruined by constant, large and -take-you-out-of-the-moment neon green EXIT signs. But yeah it was okay. Luckily the next mazes blew it out of the water, so it appeared we got the crap one of the way.

 

We exited the maze and found ourselves in the MIB plaza, next to the entrance for "Havoc : Dogs of War"

 

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It wasn't actually open yet, so we had a tiny rest and waited 5 minutes for it to open. We joined the (already existent) queue when it opened and waited about 5-10 minutes to ride. Again the queue was absolutely gargantuant and had me trembling in fear at the prospect of (for example) being at the park on 31st October. Also the queue was only 10 minutes or so for me, and Express Queue was disruptive! Must be unbearable when busy. Anyway, the queue takes you behind some big rides/MIB so I took a geeky snap.

 

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The entrance to this maze was FAR more impressive than the previous, so it instantly looked better. A training camp for soldiers undergoing super soldier experiments had gone horribly wrong! So the theming worked brilliantly (despite the back being a tent) but you can just pretend thats a quarantine anyway. :)

 

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Ah, so MUCH MUCH better than the previous. Loads of soldiers with guns and chainsaws, loads of scares, awesome scenery with cool computers and monitors and heart monitor devices all going haywire, loud noises from the ricketing guns, very scary at places, and the soldiers looked grim and evil! Brilliant.

 

After this I wanted to go on Jaws again! So we did and I enjoyed it even more than last time, despite knowing what was going to happen. The true sign of a classic ride. :p

 

Darkness was starting to take over the park. Really its a shame we weren't here for longer in the dark....the atmosphere became ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Seriously we all were loving it in the pitch black (which it wasn't yet, but still)

 

Anyway, my sister was too tired to do any more mazes, so Claire and I (unfortunately) went on our last maze. I wouldn't have minded doing one more (a zombie survival one sounded awesome) but I too was pretty tired and I felt three mazes was enough really. I didn't feel too dissappointed at not having done more....especially because this last one was the best one I've ever done! The Orfanage! (Not sure if the spelling mistake was intentional or perhaps even something to do with copyrights)

 

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Theming was EXCELLENT. Set at the back of the Jaws ride and in a building that is (A, permanent and B, well themed and C, actually looks like an orphanage) it even had a playground outside where a see-saw was going up and down despite no one being on it! Creepy! The story was that the orphanage burnt down and is now haunted by dead children and such. God damn creepy idea, I'm sure you'll agree. I actually heard something utterly hilarious in the queue though! A chick behind me noticed the moving see saw and then she said to her boyfriend "Oh wow, the swing is moving too". Now....the swing was moving.....about a few millimetres. You know...normal kind of side affect of THE WIND. I pissed myself laughing inside. The boyfriend did correct her though.

 

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We entered the orphanage. CREEPY! Just general nursery stuff at first. A cloak room with childrens bags and coats hanging up.....the scarers in there were small adults wearing animal masks, and just blankly looking at you. Incredibly creepy. You then walk through a room with white drapes everywhere and loads of empty cots. All the while the soundtrack being played of childrens laughter, childrens crying and crackling of burning. So good. General stuff like this throughout, then towards the end theres a line of real fire out the window. Claire and I both looked out and then it sparked and when bigger, jumping us both.

 

Fantastic scare maze. The anticipation and overall depth of the theme shows that it is far better to do this, and is sometimes better than having evil people just getting up in your face. Very psychological. I then bought a light up gift and we gradually left the park, making our way through several scare zones along the way. One with all chainsaw guys, one with creepy bright coloured folk. All excellent, and with the smoke and distant sounds of chainsaws, guns and screams in the background....it was just incredible. If we were less tired we would have stayed for longer, and I could have stayed there just not doing anything soaking up the INCREDIBLE atmosphere that Universal were producing. Fantastic day and night.

 

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I think I'll have to go back to HHN one day, and probably buy a super express pass or something. Definitely be worth it, no matter the price. :D

 

Ranking the Rides

 

Revenge of the Mummy - Incredible indoor rollercoaster...nay...the best indoor rollercoaster!

Jaws - Amazingly brilliant and immersive scare ride.

MIB Alien Attack - Awesomely fun laser ride.

Simpsons The Ride - Very impressive simulator!

E.T. Adventure - Charming!

Twister Ride it Out - Could be more powerful, but fun!

Disaster - Good!

 

---

 

Orfanage - Amazing. Simply a horrifyingly fun experience.

Havoc - Awesome heart pounding maze.

Catacombs - Good but not great.

 

 

Overall rating - 9.6/10 an utterly brilliant and fun and immersive theme park experience with the night entertainment being scary, fun and incredibly atmospheric!

 

 

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I actually prefered Universal over Islands of Adventure, the rides have more of a special feeling IMO.

 

- MiB the theming around that ride is INSANE!! It's almost like a full size replica of the building in the film! I too was MAJORLY impressed by everything about this ride!!

- Yeah Jaws is always great fun, how they use the torch and how the driver syncs the shotgun with the shotgun explosions!

- E.T. always lovely!

- The Mummy, yep truely a brilliant ride! SO much fun and yes the fire effects are extremely cool and the backwards part!

- Unlucky you didn't get to go on RockIt?... is that it, or do you go back?

- I'm surprised you weren't punching people out the way to try and get a part in the Disaster ride!... unless you participate it's a bit lame really. Drags on abit for what isn't much of a ride at the end of it. Water down the stairs is cool though.

- The Animal Movie Magic Live Show (whatever it's called :D) would have been worth a visit, but hey!

 

I LOVED this park SO much!

 

Great food (for a theme park) and ice cream too! :D

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Wow, I'm sitting here thinking that I'd love to experience Halloween Horror Nights and especially The Orfanage, but also knowing perfectly well that I'd be a total pussy if I ever actually experienced it.

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WTF. They were redoing Disaster (used to be Earthquake!) last time I was there - assumed it would be actually be different. Sounds exactly the same. Maybe they made it look less dated.

 

I participated once. Is that the one with loads of water and stuff? I remember having to pull a lever. Or something. It was good.

 

OMG you didn't do T2?!1!/

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