TR: Universal Orlando 1/04/01

TR: Universal Orlando 1/04/01

Post by Surf Dance Chr » Thu, 18 Jan 2001 14:04:52

After leaving the hotel and dsicovering that the predicitions for very cold
weather were true, we were off to Universal Orlando. This was almost one year
since my last trip, when it was called Universal Studios Escape. This was my
family's first trip since the expansion. After totally confusing everybody with
the parking garage, them still expecting a paved parking lot. We headed to IOA,
only I have been there before. We bought our tickets (2 days passes) and
proceeded throught the gates a few minutes to 9am. After waiting for, rope
drop, we ran to Hulk. My sister immediately commented how cool the queue was.
We got the 7th row and took opur ride, still incredible! The launch shocked my
sister, who wasn't expecting it! The ride is still a great ride, smooth and
althought the blok brake air has been decreased slightly, its alsmost perfect
as a whole. Wow! Next, Spiderman. Impressive, all the effects were working,
unlike my trip last year, Only problem was on this first ride, and this time
only, the skyscraper climb effect was a little off, and didn't get the full
effect of climbing high, thus not impacting my family's first ride. Bummer. Oh
well. Decided to skip Dr Doom, save for return tripo the following Monday, and
skip the Storm ride.

Walked to Cartoon Lagoon, WAY TOO COLD for water rides! Hopefully Monday. My
family also decidd to skip Jurassic park, even though you really don't get wet,
but it looked like a wet ride because of the shoot-the-chutes ending they saw.
It was only a high of 52, so can't say that I blame them. My sister commented
how disappointing not to be able to ride PFlyers (I got my ride during the
sneak preview before the height limit was imposed though).
We then walked to Lost Continent land, took the obligatory ride on Flying
Unicorn the park's new junior coaster. Although its larger than a roller
skater, I thought it was less fun. Nice theming though, My sister and I were
the only ones of the train! Next, Dueling Dragons. First, hit Ice, then Fire,
walk ons for both used the re-entry entrance to reride. The ride is still nice.
Duels on all rides. We then attempted Poseidon but technical difficulties while
on line prompted us to leave for Seuss Landing.

Upon seing it, my sister immediately commented, "This place is bright!" We hit
One Fish Two Fish. The dry version was running, due to the cold. A fun ride,
loses something with the dry version, though. From there you can see the
temporary slide that was open for Christmas, closed and fenced in now. Next,
Cat In the Hat, used Universal Express for it. A little more tame than
originally, but fun. Seemed slightly different in some places. We then ate
lunch at Green Eggs and Ham, I got a green eggs and hamwich, which is very
tasty. We then decided to head to Universal Studios. We'd return to IOA later.

First thing we did was Twister, still one of my favorites, even though the rain
was off, I assume again because of the weather. We then made our ways around
the back of the park, Kong (about 15 min wait), Eathquake 2 or 3 group wait),
Jaws (20 min). As we crossed the bridge toward Back to the Future, my father
commented as he saw the MIB Men In Black building, "Where did that come from?"
We then went to Men In Black, down for technical difficulties. So we hit BTTF.
The only problem I have with this area of the park now is that the 2nd car of
the Jules Verne train displayed next to the BTTF ride is gone. The area was
opened up for MIB. The DeLorean is now at the ride entrance. We waited about 20
minutes or so, much of the inside queue was filled. We ended up in the middle
floor,a nd got an excellent as usual ride. Still my favorite part of Florida!
For those of you who don't know, I'm a very big Back to the Future (movie,
ride, etc. fan). After, MIB was open, so we hit that, used the singles line.
Waited about 5 minutes! Only regret i that I don't know if we missed much of
the queue or not, and if there's anything interesting in there. The ride itself
was incredible, we were on the right side (right hand side while riding).
Interested, but I only got 7675 points. A much better ride than Buzz Lightyear,
Ghost Hunt, and Den Of Lost Thieves. Good going, Universal! We went tothe BTTF
store, I bought my usual amount of "everything I don't already have thats
BTTF", alsong with some other stuff, then went on to ET.

Only my sister and I decided to ride. First we were met by a crazy guy who was
working the outisde position of the ride, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and who
was very hyper. We then went to the pre-show, and then to the area where you
tell the crew member you're name for ET. When it was my turn, he asked my name,
and as I said "Chris" the crew memebr jumped up, yelled OMIGOD and jumped up
and down and gave me a hug! It turned out to be someone I was friends with
while in the Disney College program 2 years back. He looked a little different
at first (glasses, *** hair). It was Chris M (can't remember his last name!)
We caught up for 2 minutes, then we were on our way.

The ride itself was okay, not sure what expactly went on during the 3 month
rehab last year, I haven't ridden enough beforehand to tell you. Nothing major,
I don't think. We then stopped by Terminator, at a good time, the show was very
good as usual. This was my fouth time there, but still fun. We then left to go
back to IOA. Where did all these people come from, the waits were very long,
considering everythingwas a walk on in the morning! Poseidon had long wait by
that time, so we decided to just hit Marvel Super Hero Island. After a
surprsingly short 45 minute or so wait for Spiderman (wait looked much longer),
we hit 2 rides on Hulk. This was the first time in over 230 rides that I
actually ride at night! Its very good, an excellent nighttime ride with good
special effects. I had never riden at night previously due to the shorter hour
(and longer days) during the sneak preview. We were the last people to enter
the queue on our second ride (last 2 in the park to ride Hulk!)

A trip to the IOA store got me some postcards, IOA soundtrack, and the video.
After some discrepancy about ou Universal fanclub discount (not to anyone's
fault, actually, just some confusion, handled very nicely by IOA, even getting
me 20 % discount, instead of the usual 10 due to the wait) I got my items and
we headed down to Citywalk, stopping at the USF store. Didn;t get anything, so
we left to the aprking lot, decided to save Katanga for the last night of our
trip, due to the unusual cold of the night.

Next: MGM!

                                                        "Surf Dance" Chris,
                        who will ride the Flip 'N' Out before any coaster!
                                        http://SportToday.org/
                Surf Dance at Adventureland-Only super nova ride in the US!
                                "Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads!"