"Wow!"




Warning: You WILL get wet.

Universal Studios! Orlando! I can't wait!" was my daughter's take on our upcoming trip.

As soon as we arrived at Universal Orlando, my consistently-chatty, constantly-in-motion daughter froze in awe as if we had entered the gates of Heaven, her mouth dropped to the ground with excitement.

I  recommend getting tickets online because online-only tickets provide options that you don't get when buying at the gate. Online tickets can be printed beforehand or alternatively I swiped my credit card and entered the confirmation code and my ticket was presented at the entrance gate or via FedEx.




Jurassic Park at Adventure Island.



Shrek at a whole new dimension.

Universal Orlando is actually two theme parks — Universal Studios Florida and smashed next to it is Islands of Adventure. I discovered that getting from one ride to the next was easy, leaving more room for FUN!

The attractions use the latest technology but are based on diverse movies and television shows. Travel by car to Krustyland in the Simpsons Ride.  The Mummy Ride combines high speed rollercoaster technology, live pyrotechnics, and the most advanced robotics.

In front of thousands, put your hand in a huge aquarium of deadly snakes, or perform gravity-defying stunts in the extreme audience participation show, Fear Factor Live!

Shrek 4-D will have your eyes popping and your goose pimples tingling as an extra state-of-the art dimension (4-D) adds even more sensory immersion. You see, hear, and feel the action right from the chair.

Blockbusters come to life in 3-D and 4-D rides and attractions. Be a part of the silver screen where you star on stage;  be a part of the filming of “Disaster”. This attraction  teaches movie making as you bust a seam during production.




Florida white water rafting.

Laugh until you can laugh no more and then laugh some more with the Blue Man Group interactive, multi-media performance. Consider paint, cereal, toothpaste, marshmallows, and Twinkies, along with musical instruments and a light show to make this show unique!

There is a fine line between childhood and adulthood and that line is blurred at Universal Orlando because kids of all ages will love: Shrek 4-D, Jaws, Twister, Men in Black Alien Attack, A Day in the Park with Bark, The Terminator, and ET Adventure.

Live shows that reveal the behind-the-scenes secrets of production include: Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue, Universal Horror Make-Up Show, The Blues Brothers, and Lucy — A Tribute.

Visit www.universalorlando.com for a complete lineup of the attractions. At the website you get information on ticket options (such as: 1 Day/ 2 Parks or Unlimited 2 Park passes), plus park opening hours, show times, and the events calendar.




The webbed hero watches
over the theme parks.

Five thrilled-filled islands make up Islands of Adventure. Stories and characters from your favorite comic books, children’s stories, myths, and legends become reality through innovative rides and attractions.

My daughter and I threw on our cool 3-D glasses, along with Spiderman's help, rescued The Statue of Liberty. Up, down, around, and through the comic book city of Marvel Super Hero Island, we found ourselves in challenging and unusual positions (spiraling downward at a virtual break-neck speed going upside through the city) in a constant thriller ride in the fight to save Lady Liberty from diabolical super villains.

Dr. Seuss has been a part of everyone’s lives; the whimsical characters and surroundings of Seuss Landing brings it all to life. Strange cartoon creatures balance on bicycles with stacks of animal creations balancing on their hands, dishes twirl and dance. Get your photo taken with The Cat in the Hat and get into some mischief with Thing 1 and Thing 2. View Seuss Landing from atop “The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Ride”.




The dueling roller coasters.

The Lost Continent is a timeless land of ancient myths and legends; on Islands of Adventure you shriek in fear and delight on the world’s first inverted dueling roller coasters soaring to 125 feet, missing each other by inches.




Help Jimmy Neutron save the world.

Hear the roar and feel the ground shake with the rage of the green Incredible Hulk Coaster as it launches from zero to 40 mph in two seconds. I watched in terror as the thing screamed above me. My daughter begged me to ride it with her but I know what my heart can or cannot take. The ride has seven inversions and two subterranean trenches during the 2-minute 15-second run.

There are attractions for the entire family and at every age level, such as: The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, Poseidon’s Fury, Eighth Voyage of Sinbad, Jurassic Park’s River Adventure, and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.

V
isit this link for Islands of Adventure attractions.




Get the Universal Meal Deal.

Bypass the regular lines and jump into the “Universal Express” line when you buy this special pass, which allowed us time  to savor everything! For more info click this link.

“Let’s eat! Let’s eat!” I heard this refrain between every ride. The “Universal Meal Deal Tickets” allows dining at restaurants throughout  Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Details on the “Universal Meal Deal Ticket”are at this link.

From the finest cuisine to a cheeseburger in paradise, the restaurant line up here is quite impressive. You can view them all at this link.




The Hard Rock Cafe.

Three amazing resorts are situated on site. La dolce vita of charming, sunny seaside Portofino, Italy has been recreated at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Chill out in the amazing Hard Rock Hotel pool with music piping throughout a gorgeous palm-lined oasis.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort.offers lush tropical landscaping and an orchid garden.

The fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Universal City Walk offers a night of fun with the hottest nightclubs with live music. Take the family to the latest flick;  romance with your favorite someone over dinner.

After-dusk entertainment is found at this link.

Is it any wonder that Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Orlando re the number one U.S. destination for people from all around the world?




Jungle Taxi.

A Kid’s Diary by Lauren.

Islands
of Adventure has the funest roller coaster — the Hulk.

The Cat in The Hat ride, like the books, are so funny.

Jurassic Park is where dinosaurs have gone wild.

Twister had lots of things that blew away. A big cow, a huge truck, and buildings all came at us.

Terminator 2 3-D  is so real I had to take the 3D glasses off at times because it got so scary.

Jaws — the attack on a tour boat was really scary.




Hang ten. . . or five.

Jimmy Neutron Blast —  casting all of the Nickelodeon's past and present cartoon characters.

Disaster — is a safe but exciting ride and you end up watching the movie that was created and filmed.

Spiderman (the ride) — when Spiderman's arch enemy shoots fire at you on the screen you feel heat! And when Spiderman jumps on your car, you can feel his weight push your car down.

Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barge — You will get wet on this ride.

Men in Black Alien Attack — You get points anytime you shoot an alien.

— Feature by Lena and Lauren Hunt; photos by Lena, Jetsetters Magazine Florida Editor.