Monday, October 20, 2014

Universal Studios Orlando-we saved the world...a lot

Back to vacation posts.

We arrived to Universal Studios bright and early in the morning. The crowd entering Studios was considerably larger than the crowd we encountered entering into Islands of Adventure. I jumped on the app to check the early morning wait times. Since the wait time was short, Shannon went to ride the Rip Ride Rockit coaster, a ride I was happy to sit out. I contented myself with people watching near the entrance. Time and time again I watched as people made what I would consider a rookie theme park mistake.  Close to the entrance there are two attractions, Minion Mayhem to the left and Shrek to the right.  It seemed like everyone was either peeling off right or left to do one of these two attractions. Minute by minute I watched the wait times climb.  Minion Mayhem climbed to 75 minutes and still people were lining up in the queue.  I wanted to grab their shoulders and shake them saying,

"Wait, go somewhere else first. Don't do the first attraction you see if the wait time is long."

We did Minion Mayhem the day before in the afternoon and only waited 15 minutes. We walked right onto Shrek.  I feared however that if I touched strangers security would be called.

When we did go on Minion Mayhem it was cute and fun; Shrek felt outdated and kind of sad. I wish they would replace it with a How to Train your Dragon attraction.

My favorite ride at Universal Studios (non-Harry Potter related) was Transformers.  It's a 4D immersive motion simulator ride. The story involves you being part of a transport team that must move the allspark to safety before the Decepticons capture it.  It is a pretty cool ride that goes by fast so we rode it more than once just so that we could follow the whole story from start to finish.  The ride is so immersive that even though my brain knew I was on a ride, there was a point when Megatron showed up and  I actually felt a little afraid that he was going to get us and then take over the world. Good thing Optimus Prime showed up to help us save the day. We all clapped and cheered because we were pretty awesome.

Our favorite ride the last time we went to Universal Studios was Men in Black.  We rode it multiple, multiple times. One, because it was fun, and two, because there really was not much else to do at Studios at the time.

We were a little worried that this ride would feel outdated, especially with all of the other super high tech rides in the park.  I will report that we were pleasantly surprised.  We had just as much fun on the ride as we did years ago.  There is n't much to it. Your job is to save the world from aliens.  You ride around and shoot guns at animatronic aliens who pop up in what looks like a city movie set. In the end you receive a score, a score that you usually want to improve immediately.

We didn't ride it as many times as our last trip, but we did take advantage of the single rider line enough that at one point one of the staff greeted us with a,

"Welcome back."

After saving the world from aliens we decided to take a load off and duck into the Horror Make-up Show.

This is our second favorite show in the Orlando parks.  It's not scary at all. It's actually a comedy show that teaches you about special effects make-up in movies.  Part of the show does include a montage of clips from various horror movies so that may be scary for little kids, but overall it's tame.  This was first time we've seen the main characters Alex and Marty being played by ladies.  They were hilarious.  I assume the show is part scripted and part improved.  One bit that completely cracked me up was when they asked a teenage boy where he was from and he said he was from Wales. The ladies kept riffing on how great he looked and how they thought he'd be different coming from whales.  There was also a clip from a movie showing someone digging a grave and they said that it was Justin Bieber burying his career.

The part of Universal Studios, non- Harry Potter, that we were most looking forward to was Springfield U.S.A.  It was not there during our last trip.  It's been quite a while since I've watched a new Simpson's episode, but I am a regular player of Tapped out, so I was excited to see all of the things that I see everyday in the game.

It was a fun.  If we had more time we probably would have explored or hung out there a little more, but we saw all of the major things.

For lunch we decided to eat at the food court, because it seemed wrong not to eat at Krusty Burger.

I went to Krusty Burger while Shannon went with Cletus' Chicken Shack.  The food court also had Luigi's and the Frying Dutchman. The food court is attached to Moe's. We thought about getting a Flaming Moe drink, but we weren't feeling an intensely sweet drink, even if it wafts smoke.

I wasn't feeling the regular Krusty Burger either, so I sort of cheated and got the black bean burger with curly fries.

Shannon got the chicken and waffle sandwich with tots.

It wasn't bad for theme park food, but it was not as good as The Three Broomsticks.

We hit a few other attractions like E.T. and Revenge of the Mummy.  Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor roller coaster. Think of it as a more intense version of Space Mountain. I couldn't decide in the end if Mummy was thrillingly fun or a tad terrifying.

Towards the end of the day we were approached by a man who asked if we wanted to take a survey about some upcoming television shows that NBC wanted to add to their line up. He said we would each receive $20 in cash for participating.  We shrugged and said,


If these shows never air I think you owe us some thanks.  They were abysmal.

The first show was some sort of military government conspiracy that looked like a rip off of Homeland.  One of the promotional images showed the main character with her arms bound behind her back by the American flag. That pretty much sums up the show.  It also made me unhappy because it starred Anna Friel who starred in Pushing Daisies, a show that I loved that got cancelled.

I was even more disappointed with the second show because the promotional images made it look like it was a comedy about a family of spies.  I was already writing the clever, whimsical script in my head that was like the book series The Spellman Files where everyone is a quirky detective. They are always spying on each other and getting up to shenanigans.  When I watched the trailer I was sad because the NBC show ended up being some horrible drama that was trying way too hard to be intense and full of scandal.

 I enthusiastically signed up to be on their current survey e-mail list, but I have a feeling my opinions aren't the type they are looking for.

Overall we did have a fun time at Universal Studios, and we got to save the world...a lot.

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