Monday, September 10, 2012

Universal Studio Orlando 2012

Day 3 =D

We chose to visit this park in day 3 because we knew that we could finish the park early. We were looking at the lists of attractions, and there weren't many attractions that we really wanted to ride. We just wanted to ride some headliners like Shrek, Despicable Me, and the Mummy. We thought, if we finished early, then we could have some rest in our nice and comfy hotel room =D Besides, we agreed that we need to maintain our energy level since we still had 3 more parks to visit.

As usual, we woke up early in the morning and arrived early at the park. It was a pretty morning.

This time we didn't miss the sign... so we found the gate to Universal Studio Orlando. However, similar to day 1, we didn't have an exact itinerary. I read some travel book that suggested us to turned right after entering in the morning, and head to the Simpson and MIB to beat the crowd. We somehow felt that the crowd level was quite low. So, instead of following that route, we took the opposite direction. First, we went straight to Shrek4D.


There was no line so we went straight to the torture chamber. I never watched the movie myself, so I was quite surprised to see the three pigs, Pinocchio, and the talking Mirror. Fortunately, they gave us a short summary of the movie, so we kinda understood where the story at right now. When we entered the theater and sat, the first thing I noticed was a small water squirter in the chair in front of us. I knew instantly that we might get a little wet. The ride was not bad. I could see that it was quite new. The story line was interesting too... and funny! And yes, whenever I felt that some water might be coming from the squirter, I covered myself with the park map =P 

After that we crossed the street to ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. I was excited because I knew the ride was the newest addition to this park. We waited in line for 15 mins or so. 

The line was moving, so it wasn't bad. While in line, we went through Gru's living room. Then we got into a small room where we watched Gru giving mini orientation before the three kids sabotaged the whole session. Basically, Gru was saying that we were about to be turned into minions! At one point, Gru shot us with his fart cannon. It smelled like skunk! Again, both of us haven't watched despicable me =P We watched some short flash about minions, but never watched the whole movie.     

We loveee the ride! It was super fun. We were about to take the ride again but the line was getting longer. We agreed that we better go to other attractions first. But.. not without taking picture with this ultra-cute minion =)

Next we went straight to Revenge of the Mummy! First we stored all our loose articles and bag at the locker in front of the attraction. The locker was free for 60 minutes. Fortunately, seemed like there was no line at all. While walking at the queuing line, we saw a lot of artifacts. We even saw a giant black cat statue hanging on ropes above the queuing area. However, somehow the building smelled so bad =P My friends later told me that since it is supposed to be an excavation site so it has to smell like it. 

The ride was fun! It wasn't scary. We took the ride twice in a row since there wasn't any line. 60 minutes free locker was more than enough for two rides. After that we went out to the street and took picture with these mummy casts.

The Egyptian Princess was a little bit scary. I didn't like the way she looked at me. She was nicer to my husband tho' =P We took more pictures while walking to our next attraction, MIB Alien Attack.

Turned out MIB was quite far from the Revenge of the Mummy. We went through San Francisco area and took more pictures.

Pier view

Bettlejuice's Graveyard Revue

Another pier view
We passed through a small alley where construction was in the process. On that alley there were lots of famous movie throughout the years. My all-time favorite movie was there too:

After the long alley we arrived at MIB Alien Attack. I heard that this was the oldest shooting-type game in Orlando. A classic.

We had to use lockers for this ride too. Similar with the Mummy, it was free for the first hour. There was no line so we were done pretty quick. The ride was so-so. It felt and smelled old =P My husband disliked the rotational movement of the vehicle, he said he got a little bit dizzy after the ride. 

We decided to just leave our stuff at the locker and went to The Simpsons Ride next door. Unfortunately, we had to wait for around 30 minutes for this ride. It wasn't worth it. I mean we had higher expectation for the ride, especially because we knew that the ride was quite new. It turned out to be just an OK ride.  

Next we went to the Woody Woodpecker's KidZone. We wanted to ride the Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster. As expected, there was no line at all. The roller coaster was just OK. There were several play zones for kids in this area. 

Nuthouse Coaster
Our next ride was another universal classic: E.T Adventure. I read some review about how this attraction smelled old, but somehow I didn't feel the same way. When we entered the attraction we felt that we were in a very dense forest. It was actually pretty, considering how old this attraction was. I also like the concept of riding bicycle. It was exactly as if we're continuing the movie. 

After we finished with E.T., we went to a shop next door to meet Spongebob! The shop was actually decorated as Bikini Bottom. 

Next we headed to the last attraction in our must ride list: Terminator 3D. Since Terminator was a show, it had a specific daily schedule. The closest one to us was still around 45 mins away. So we decided to walk around the area and took more pictures.

Back to the Future car and train!
We also met some characters!
Marilyn Monroe, Popeye and Olives, and Mary Poppins
Bart and Homer Simpsons
and watched parade!

Bikini Bottom Parade
Dora and Diego!
When the Terminator finally opened, we lined up and hurdled together in a small hall. After waiting for 20 mins or so for the opening video in quite a tight space, the crew announced that the ride was broken down. It was really disappointing. This was one of the biggest reason why we liked this park the least from all theme parks that we visited during our Orlando trip. 

Terminator was supposed to be our last ride for the day. So after we failed watching Terminator, we decided to circle the park one more time to look at all the attractions. Maybe, we wanted to ride one of the attraction that we missed earlier. Some of the attractions that we missed:
Hollywood Rip Ride Rock it! 
Twister...Ride it out!
However, I was afraid of the roller coaster ... and my husband didn't want to ride twister. So instead ... we took more pictures again =P

Monster Cafe
Posing while applying more sunblock
NY's sub entrance
Yellow Taxi
 and went back to Universal city walk to have lunch before heading back to our comfy hotel. We finished our day in this park at around 3PM =)

Last picture for the day
Overall, this park seemed less crowded than Universal Island of Adventure. Coming early definitely helps since we noticed that the lines for most ride (Shrek4D, Despicable Me, The Mummy) got thrice longer after 12PM. Only two rides in Universal Studio needs locker: Revenge of the Mummy and MIB. Lockers were strategically positioned in front of both rides. If you're coming early like us, then you definitely don't need to pay extra time for both locker. 

There is another reason why you better come early to the park. During our visit, which was in August, we had daily afternoon shower for the first 3 to 4 days. That's why we tried to cover as many attractions as we can early in the morning. Sometimes, it rained very hard for 30 mins or so. We did try once to walk in that kind of rain, wearing our ponchos, and ended up getting soaked all over. 

Coming next: Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom!

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