I just returned from a trip with my family to all three Universal Orlando Theme Parks (Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay water park) and it was amazing! The parks are beautifully designed and there is extraordinary attention to visual details. Every part of the Dr. Seuss area appears like it was taken out of a Dr. Seuss book with fanciful characters, wild colors and crazy curves. We returned to the areas featuring Harry Potter again and again just to take in the Harry Potter characters, buildings and shop windows with magic in every nook and cranny. It is like walking straight into a Harry Potter movie. I advise you to go but be mindful not to pick a time of year that is overcrowded. Here are a few tips when visiting:
1. I feel that these parks are geared more for older children, tweens, teens and adults than Disney. Younger children may find rides too scary.
2. For a fine dining experience that you would never expect to find in an amusement park we loved the restaurants Mythos and Vinos in the City Walk area.
3. Our favorite rides included the extraordinary rides in the Harry Potter areas featuring robotic characters, 3D effects, and twists and turns on a roller coaster track. The queuing lines are like an attraction too with talking pictures, a very real Dumbledore that talks and features of Hogwarts castle as well as the goblins at Gringots bank. Don't miss these! We loved the thrilling Hulk coaster and Kong Reign of Terror ride (if you don't mind a little scariness).
4. Attractions we loved are Raptor Encounter, the Horror Makeup Show and the Animal Actors Stage.
5. Be careful - things like food, drinks and souvenirs in the park are very expensive.
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