Universal Studios, Florida, has opened its new Islands of Adventure, and we ventured forth to ride the rides and see the sights. The admission to the park for 2 adults is expensive. Our bill was $167.70 for two adults.
MARVEL SUPER HERO ISLAND
In this portion of the park, you have a choice of The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Storm Force Acceletron, Dr. Doom’s Fearfall or The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. We opted for the Spider-Man ride and, although the wait sign said 35 minutes, we were herded inside, issued 3-D glasses, and took a fun ride that lasted approximately 10 minutes, with various villains from the Spiderman movies hurling things that seemed aimed directly at you in the car while Spiderman (who was the least impressive of the 3-D effects) would show up to save the day. We enjoyed the show, and every hour on the hour the SuperHeroes come out and mingle. (Captain America was near us.)
Choices here are “Me Ship, The Olive” and “Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges” The first is a ship with 3 levels of “interactive play” that opens at 10 a.m.; the second is a white-water rapids ride. Pass.
Choices are “Pteranodon Flyers” (you fly over the park), “Camp Jurassic,” exploring mines, climbing dinosaur nets, “Jurassic Park River Adventure” (more raft rides) and “Jurassic Park Discovery Center.” I remarked to my husband that trudging through the fake jungle-like foliage reminded me of the Dallas Zoo, which we visited just a few days before the gorilla jumped the moat and attacked the tourists.
THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER
This is the place everyone wants to go to ride the Hippogriff, which had a 70-minute wait time, which caused us to pass (“Flight of the Hippogriff”). Other choices: “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” either soaring above the castle grounds on this new ride or making your way through the classrooms and corridors of Hogwarts; “Frog Choir,” a small choir of Hogwarts students accompanied by large croaking frogs; “Triwizard Spirit Rally,” a colorful procession of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students leading excitement for the Triwizard Tournament; “Dragon Challenge,” roller coaster. (I do not do roller coasters—ever—- since I threw up after the Tilt-A-Whirl at Ridgewood Shopping Center in East Moline, Illinois.)
THE LOST CONTINENT
“The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show:” In my book “It Came from the ‘˜70s,” I talked at length about the film, “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad.” Now, there’s an eighth, with showtimes, currently, at 12:30, 3, 4:30 and 6, [but on some days, only at 2 or 4:30 p.m.] “The Mystic Fountain” ‘” make a wish. (Or not.) “Poseidon’s Fury” ‘” Tour the remains of Poseidon’s ancient temple. Lots of waterfalls. [Imagine Mt. Rushmore if George Washington or Abe Lincoln were actively spewing.]
“The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!”; “Caro-Seuss-el: colorful merry-go-round with a menagerie of colorful Seussian creatures; “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” (Need I say more? For little kids) “The Cat in the Hat:” ride your couch through the pages of Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” and meet the world’s most mischievous cat. (I actually own a Cat in the Hat costume with a teapot on the head, which is very difficult to drive in.) “If I Ran the Zoo,” interactive play area for fans of all ages. The entire Seuss Landing area is a pastel vision worthy of Tim Burton.
A fun day at Universal’s new part (“Islands of Adventure”) of its existing theme park.