Trip Report: Universal Orlando at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando: 4 friends at a theme park universe.

From Nick Dakuginow
Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:03 AM
I arrived first, my other three friends on the way to meet me as we drove to Universal Orlando from two different cities. I was standing in line to enter Islands of Adventure at 8:15 AM. At 8:45 AM, they let us in the park, a good 15 minutes prior to official park opening. Immediately, I went to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, as I just got a call saying they were walking to the park after parking. I walked right on the ride with one other person, a little girl, and we had a blast on the ride, this being my second time on the updated Spider-Man ride.

Upon exiting the ride, I went over to the entrance area and my buddies have just arrived. We made our way towards Hogwarts and queued up for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which was stated to have a 20 minute wait. I'd say we got on in about 15 minutes. One of the best rides in the world.

After Harry, we went and got a locker for Dragon Challenge and queued up. Wait said 5 minutes, but I'd say with probably one of the longest queues to walk through, and the unexpected wait, we waited about 20 minutes before getting on the Chinese Fireball. This was my first ride on this side, as I've ridden the Hungarian Horntail before. I like the red side more I think, seemed a bit more thrilling. Afterwards, we went to Marvel Superhero Island and since they missed out on Spider-Man, we got in line for the 10 minute wait, which about that's what it really was, a 10 minute wait. We all laughed during the ride and we're having a great time.

We then headed to the Incredible Hulk Coaster after putting our things in a locker. Wait was 15 minutes, we waited about 25. My buddy who has never been to IoA before, only USF during HHN, was hyped about the Hulk. Afterwards, he made an interesting comment, saying this was absolutely a fun ride, but stated the Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa was better and the Chinese Fireball on Dragon Challenge seemed more thrilling. Interesting.

We then got some lunch at the Comic Strip Cafe, I wasn't too hungry yet, so just grabbed a drink and two breadsticks with marinara. Bland, but did the job.

Next up was Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges. This to me is probably my favorite water ride in Orlando, however we got stopped on the ride 4 times, which killed the rhythm and just made it a choppy ride that wasn't as fun as it usually is. Also, this was a 5 minute wait, which was probably correct, however, they made us walk through the entire back queue part and that was literally a 7 minute walk.

By the way, I'm the only one with a poncho after I told them all to bring one, they had them, and still didn't want to bring or wear them. Bad choice fellas.

We got in line for the 10 minute wait Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls, which was about a 15 minute wait. Love the drop much more than Splash Mountain, of course, doesn't compare with the AA's or story, but fun nonetheless.

Next was our last ride, Dr. Doom's Fear Fall, which I didn't do. I waited in line with them, 15 minute wait, and left at the ride portion. I do all rides, but after seeing something that I didn't like on the news from a Brasil theme park with this type of ride, I just couldn't do it.

I waited in the arcade for about 8 minutes, played two games, and when they got back, we headed to NBA City to play the 3 Point Contest outside as we have made a tradition whenever all 4 of us go together. I came in 3rd this time, only hitting 4 of 15, my two buddies tied at 6 of 15, my other getting 3 of 15.

We went to Universal Studios Florida and first thing we saw was the new Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem building, looked great. Two of the guys didn't feel well to ride Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, which was the first time me and my friend rode. 10 minute wait, shortest wait I've ever seen, and at 1:45 PM during the day, completely and pleasantly surprised at the short wait. When we got on, I tried to do a hidden secret song, I held down the logo, but nothing came up, so I just quickly chose Daft Punk, oh well. I wanted to try the Muppets Song, would have been a strange experience listening to the Muppets while braving that lift, lol. It feels like your going to slip right out during the lift, which is a crazy feeling. But, after the lift, the first drop is a pretty good one right into a twisting loop which was great. The coaster was a tad rough towards the end, but this is a great ride.

We got in line for the Mummy, 15 minute wait, maybe was a 25 minute wait. I'll always love Revenge of the Mummy.

We went to Men in Black: Alien Attack, 20 minute wait. I won in our car, only got 215,500 though. I still can't find Frank the Pug, I know where to look... yet can't find him.

We went to Louie's Italian Restaurant and I had 2 slices of pizza and a drink.

Our last ride was Revenge of the Mummy once more, only a 5 minute wait this time.

4 PM came... and that was my calling to go back home to my wife and baby. We made this plan day trip just a few days ago, as my friend may be moving from FL to up north soon, it's not a definite, but if so, this was our goodbye trip for now. If not, well, what a great day this was.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Enjoyed reading your report, Nick. But I wanted to touch on your 3-Point Challenge scores. A fellow I know from another forum travels to parks not only to ride roller coasters, but to do the three-point challenge. The man is incredible. Most often, he gets a perfect score, or close to it. He's won countless TV's, I-Pads, I-Pods, NBA jerseys, you name it. He even won an ATV in a national tournament. He's all over "perfect three point challenge." I've seen him do it in person at Great Adventure.

From Nick Dakuginow
Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Hey Mike, I checked out the Youtube video of the guy at Great Adventure, very nice. At NBA City in Universal, they give a 45 second time limit and it's 15 actual balls, no 2 point balls, I'd love to try my hand at the Great Adventure one.

Interesting note though, when I went in March, my buddy and I did it, and the rim was different than this past Sunday. Before, it seemed a tad bent in a weird angled direction. Now, it seemed like all was balanced and a good rim.

Question, do you believe there's some sort of disadvantage on this type of game? Can't really figure it out, the 3 of 4 of us that went are all good basketball shooters, and the attendant was actually gone for 10 minutes for some reason... when we got there, two guys were shooting in there, so we went in and shot too... we probably shot like 20%, what's the trick do you think?

From Mike Gallagher
Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Search cincinatti (sp?) sniper for more of Gary.

I couldn't speak to your question. I'm rather athletically challenged, and have never tried the game.

From N B
Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:18 PM
Thanks for the trip report. You happened to go right as school ended for most of the country, families will flock to Orlando over the next few weeks... including mine.

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