Our Monday and Tuesday consisted of two visits to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
We were lucky enough to have a free shuttle bus between our hotel and Universal Studios, which was really useful and saved us a lot of money on parking.
I’ll explain a little more in my next post, but we had some problems on day one with riding any rides due to Jona’s humungous backpack! When we returned to the parks on day two, we only took our mobile phones, a GoPro and a wallet with us so that we could ride all the rides we wanted without having to squeeze any bags into the lockers.
We decided to head straight for the Rockin’ Rollercoaster to avoid the queues as we had heard it was a good one. Well… I can definitely recommend not eating a lot before riding this one! We had a pretty hearty breakfast this particular morning and instantly regretted it when we were told that we were not allowed to take any personal belongings on whatsoever as it is too dangerous…
I love the fact that you can pick music to listen to during the ride through your personal seat speakers, I chose Limp Bizkit for a little nostalgia!
We actually visited during the Halloween Horror Nights period, although we didn’t buy tickets for entry to these, which I kind of regretted after seeing all of the amazing decorations and displays. I loved the merchandise Universal brought out for Halloween too, and very nearly came away with a gothic trilby hat but the hubby convinced me that we didn’t actually have any space to bring it back in our suitcase full of souvenirs and treats (still slightly gutted…).
The Dr Seuss area of the park was another highlight, they even prune the trees to have Seuss-esque pom pom foliage. I love the quirky eccentricity of Dr Seuss, and had a great time wandering around this section even if the rides were all for little ones.
I love the effort that is put into the live shows at Universal – they certainly don’t do anything half-heartedly! The horror make-up show was fab, the presenters are absolutely hilarious and managed to captivate the audience the whole way through the show, I would definitely recommend you check it out if you visit.
The animal actors show is another great one, we saw this in LA first and were gobsmacked at the range of animals they had managed to train (cats, rats, pigs, chickens?!). We had a special treat here as the special guest was star Frank the pug from Men in Black – isn’t he adorable in his little suit?? He wasn’t even remotely phased by the crowds of adoring fans flocking to see him – such a professional.
The San Francisco area of the park is beautiful and has partially inspired our next trip to the US. The streets are so colourful and detailed, and I loved all of the street acts performing randomly for the unsuspecting crowds. We treated ourselves to a posh meal here on our last day (we had returned to spend our last day in Florida at Universal for some last minute gift-buying and one last Harry Potter session).
We ate at Lombard’s Seafood Grille, and the service here was wonderful, our waiter was really charming and made sure we were looked after. I had the fisherman’s basket which included calamari, shrimp, cod, oysters and fries, whilst Jona had the steak and blue salad. We also had milkshakes (chocolate and non-alcoholic pina colada, yummy!). Everything was delicious and they even gave us take away cups so we could finish our milkshakes later.
Oh, and on a final note, we were here the day before the Back to the Future day (which is 21st October 2015), so we had to get a souvenir pic with Doc Brown:
And hubby couldn’t resist one of these bad boys which has made a great addition to our geek cabinet at home.
These are just a few of our highlights but I could go on and on, Universal Studios never disappoints with the wow factor.