Even wetter!…

Greetings Y’all…

Today I flew solo again, this time at Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando. IoA is more of a theme park than Universal Studios. There are 5, actually 6, Islands that each have their own theme. Marvel Super Hero Island, (I think it’s kinda funny that Disney probably makes some money off of this one nowadays…), Toon Lagoon, (Think funny papers and comic strips from the newspaper, plus old time favorites Dudley DooRight, Popeye, and Betty Boop…), Jurassic Park, (yes, after the movie…), Seuss Landing, (Grinch and Cat in the Hat, plus other Dr. Seuss classics…), The Lost Continent, (which really should stay lost…), and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, (Which, let’s face it, everybody comes here for this, all the others, save maybe The Incredible Hulk and Spiderman, are just icing on the cake.) IoA is top notch when it comes to thrill rides, children’s areas, and the aforementioned Harry Potter section, which will soon get its own expansion, a Hogwarts express train that takes you to Diagon Alley, located at Universal Studios next door. (It would require a park hopper pass in order to participate in this expansion.) The park’s customer service, however, in my opinion, leaves a little something to be desired, even when compared to its sister park, Universal Studios, and especially when compared to any Disney park.

This is not to say I didn’t have a good time. It was wonderful! I just had a few instances in which the attendants were not that attentive. Made me think about my own customer service at where I work, and how I could improve.

Through the gates I immediately made a dash for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, specifically Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This truly is the pinnacle of theme park rides. A combination of a flying bench, (a seating system sitting on an arm that moves and swivels in all directions, and travels down a track.) Audio-animatronics, (not quite the quality of Disney’s A-A, but still excellent), and a wrap around macro projection system, the rides simulates a full range of motion. The sensation of flying and diving and dodging and climbing and just being out of control, while still being “in control”, is beyond words. Again, like on the Transformers, I just surrendered to the imposed reality. On the ride, you are chased by Dragons, attacked by spiders and The Whomping Willow, participate in a Quiditch Match, and terrorized by Dementors. All the while helping Ron and Harry. I believe we were supposed to be helping out on a quest or something, but I was so lost in the effects and the experience, that whatever the quest was took a backburner. You would think after three back to back to back rides, I would’ve paid attention to that minor detail…

The one slightly disappointing thing about WWoHP…Hogsmeade Village was not a large as I had envisioned it. Still, very cool. Hogwart’s WAS  much more impressive than I envisioned it. Nice tradeoff.

After HPatFJ, I had myself a frozen Butter-beer. Don’t know all the details of the recipe, it tasted great, like Cream Soda Slush, with a creamy head. Check that one off the bucket list!

The Incredible Hulk

Other great rides: Dragon Challenge, Jurrasic Park River Adventure, The Incredible Hulk, (very discombobulated after this one, The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man, and Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. Did I mention that I got wet on this one? I got so wet, my wetness got wet. Soaked! Down through my underwear and one dollar bills. I’m surprised my iPhone and iPod survived the deluge. This ride is basically a roaring rapids ride, but I do believe it is maxed out for maximum wetness. It was my last ride of the day, because honestly, you just don’t feel like doing much when you’re so wet that parts squeak that shouldn’t squeak…

Made it home to David’s around 5:30, a very early day ending, but for some very much needed downtime. Tomorrow… more EPCOT and a drive through of Celebration.

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