Tuesday 27th September
After over two decades of family trips to Florida, you’d imagine that everyone in the Williams/Mkingdon tribe would understand the five-hour time difference by now. Rebecca ringing us at 6.30am local time did nothing to support that theory. Why yes, it was the first time this trip I had slept past 5.30am, why do you ask?
We spoke for a while, then dozed a little and got up and packed for our move to Universal. We were out of our room by 8 and undertook an unremarkable journey up the I4 to Royal Pacific. I self-parked, checked in and was delighted to find our room ready. Maybe a symptom of the incoming Ian that rooms were available at this early hour? We made our way to room 1247. We dumped the cases and walked out to the water taxi. We were met with no wait and a captain that looked a bit like Tom Hardy. No, I didn’t take a photo, he isn’t a piece of meat!
We chose to do Universal Studios today as we wanted to try the “new and improved” Mummy ride. Knowing that all our decisions work out perfectly, what could go wrong? This was one of the attractions not included in our Front of Line pass, so we thought we’d get this out of the way first before the queues built up. As we entered the park the app was saying it had a 15-minute wait, but that was just to get your locker! I hate the locker crap at Universal.
We made our way into and through the park and no, I cannot explain this photo.
There was, as the song goes, dancing in the street.
By the time we got to the ride, it had a 35-minute wait, but we figured it was still very much worth doing it now. We lockered our stuff and entered what was a very slow-moving queue. Eventually, we made our way up to the front of the queue and we could see the vehicles now, so we’d be on in just a minute.
The ride broke down.
I seethed considerably as we waited about 20 minutes with nothing happening and the team members encouraging everyone to leave. We waited them out and at around 9.55 we were the first to board the (hopefully) now-repaired ride.
Other than the queue taking you up some stairs now, I have to say I couldn’t determine any major changes to this ride. It’s been a while since we did it, so maybe I just have a bad memory. Anyway, it’s been an equally long time since it took me almost an hour to ride Mummy. (Obligatory joke whenever we do this ride.)
We left in need of breakfast and stopped at Starbucks for a coffee and sandwich. Yes, the ones in Magic Kingdom were very average but why would that stop us from having them again? We sat outside eating, people-watching and feeding the birds our average food.
With food onboard, we made our way over to Gringotts.
Imagine some fire in that photo. I couldn’t be bothered to wait for it.
Delightfully we had Front of Line here and we sailed past the extensive standby line so quickly that I didn’t take many photos of the back clerks etc. Even with our specialness, it took 15 minutes to get onto the ride.
This is a very impressive ride and I think I’ve done it a handful of times now. Not once have I ever heard or understood what the story is meant to be about. It does not reduce my enjoyment of it though.
Onwards to Men in Black now.
We were sat as a two on a row made for three. To prove that I am in no way overly competitive I picked up the spare gun and shot two-handed all the way around. I scored 140,000 but this could not prevent a loss for our car as my colleagues, were, let’s say shite. Not one of them in the front row of our vehicle scored over 10,000.
We wandered now round to the Simpsons Ride. Somehow Louise had never ridden this before.
Being September we were seeing the Horror Nights stuff throughout the park.
An enjoyable ride if not a little rough, again, no doubt a symptom of my now advanced years. We stopped in the shop to get Emily’s boyfriend a particular T-shirt he wanted before making our way over to Rip Ride Rockit.
This is a ride that I know is not going to be good for me, but I ride it regardless. For this one, you have to almost strip naked and deposit everything into a locker before entering through airport-style detectors. We boarded, and it is typically during the vertical climb to start this ride that the familiar feeling of regret rushes through me. The clenching that had to happen during that climb is enough to do me a mischief and that is followed by unprecedented screaming for the duration of the experience. It’s a violent ride but in a good way.
In need of a gentler experience, we headed for Fallon, using our Front of Line to bypass no queue whatsoever.
That is one of those photos that, if you look at it in a certain way, Jesus appears in it.
We paused for a drink at this point getting water and a beer from the cart outside of Fallon. We sat in the little garden there and rested a bit.
We were both feeling a bit weary at this point but we had to push on as Ian was coming and we had no clue what if any further time we may get in the parks over the next few days. So Transformers it was.
I stand by my summary of this ride from January. It is Spiderman with a different film and vehicle. Good though despite it being one of just too many of these simulator-style rides at Uni.
Appreciating the ability to sit down in it, the Horror Make-up Show was next on our list.
This is a little gem, please don’t miss it out of your Universal day.
Minions next (how good is having Front of Line?) and we were straight in.
We followed this with a sit down for five minutes, looking at weather apps and the skies. Then we planned to do the Bourne show but made the mistake of walking to it via some shops. Louise got distracted, bought some stuff and by the time we got to the show it was full. I did not mind at all. It’s not as if we have never seen it!
The next show wasn’t until 3.45 and the rain was about to arrive so we decided to get a water taxi back to the hotel and hunker down.
We waited ten minutes for a boat and once back in the room rested and watched the non-stop coverage of Ian.
Not wishing to venture out of the hotel I had booked Jakes Bar at 6pm for dinner. Not one we would choose in normal circumstances but at this point, we were grateful for it and the staff manning it, allowing us to eat.
We shared a Mediterranean platter to start.
We both then had the New York Steak.
We shared, well, Louise had at least one bite of, a cheesecake.
It was a pricey $180 including tip. We did have wines and beers too.
We shopped for some snacks for what might be an interesting day or two and were back up in the room by 8.30. I couldn’t figure out a way to cast my phone to the telly, so no Netflix tonight. We watched more news before going to sleep around 10.
Ian is coming!
Till the next time…..