Orlando Trip Part 2… Thumbs Up Thumbs Down

Although I wouldn’t say that there was any part of our trip that was BAD there were definite high points and low points.  I’ll share them with you to keep in mind should you find yourself planning an Orlando trip sometime. 

HIGHLIGHTS!

In case you are not familiar with the Universal Studio parks, they are based around movies, cartoons, comics, characters, and all kinds of entertainment.  I would love to tell you about it all but don’t want to ruin the surprises so I will just say that the 3D and 4D attractions will blow your mind and the roller coasters will shake you up and thrill you to the bone!  Our first attraction was JAWS.  My kids, 8 and 12, were scared to death.  (in a good way!)  It was fun, but it paled in comparison to the rest so I am glad we started there.  I recommend you do the same.

The JURASSIC PARK ride was super fun, too.  Again, the kids were awe and fear stricken by the “dinosaurs” we encountered.  Hubby and I were pretty spooked at the end of that one, too!

We almost skipped the SHREK 4D movie because we weren’t in the mood for a “movie”.  OMG!  It was amazing and so much more than a movie!!!  We followed that up with the TERMINATOR 3D (which we had preveiously decided against due to our 3D cynicism) movie which sent shivers down our spine as the animation, sounds, and smells hovered all around us.  AMAZING!

I think the collective favorite was THE SIMPSONS ride.  It is very circus/carnival looking and attracted my daughter immediately, even though she does not really know who the Simpsons are.  The wait was 65 minutes and she was the only one who wanted to do it.  We were tired and wet but it was her consolation for not being tall enough to ride The HULK coaster. I’m holding my tongue here so I don’t blab about it because this is the first summer for the Simpsons ride and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.  I will just say it is unlike ANY ride/attraction you have experienced.  It is worth any wait. Take a potty break, get a LIGHT snack, and take your place in line.

The milder attractions such as those found in SEUSS LANDING will amaze and entertain Dr. Seuss fans of any age.  The music and festivity stretching from MARVEL SUPER HERO ISLAND and all along the CITY WALK keeps energy high and faces smiling.  Soaking wet and disheveled, we pranced proudly into EMERIL’S restaurant on Universal Studio’s City Walk.  Treated to white linens, gorgeous table settings, and three waiters, we felt so welcome and comfortable and enjoyed the meal of a lifetime. 

DISAPPOINTMENTS!

We are big fans of Wil Smith at our house and were looking forward to shooting up aliens at the MEN IN BLACK ride.  It was completely boring and nowhere near the high standards of the other attractions.  Blunt and to the point.  Sorry Wil.  We still love ya.

I desperately wanted to check out the MUMMY attraction but no one else did.  My kids have never seen any of the Mummy movies, but considering that the star of the movie, Bredan Fraser, was there that day and that there is a new Mummy movie coming out this summer, I tried to convince them they’d love it.  Honestly, I think they were scared, though.  So I didn’t push it.  Big bummer for Mama.

The new waterpark, AQUATICA was a big dud for all of us.  The weather was crappy but we played anyway.  The water wasn’t as refreshing as it would be on a sunny day, but we figured the sliding, floating, and waving action would still be good.  The only “original” thing about it was the DOLPHIN PLUNGE where you slide down in the water inside a clear tube while dolphins swim around you.  I thought I was going to faint in the tube from lack of air and excess humidity and I didn’t see one dolphin.  Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad park.  But compared to other water parks we have been to, the WOW factor of other Sea World attractions, and the customer service everywhere else in Sea World, Aquatica cannot compare.

Having said all that, you cannot go wrong with an Orlando vacation.  The level of customer service among the Sea World/Universal/Disney folks is amazing.  Their goal is to create magic for you and that’s exactly what they do.

You know what other place is full of wonder and magic for me?  Vegas!  We haven’t been there since we had kids.  Neither of us gambles, we just love the weather, the shows, and the buildings.  I think that’s going to be our next trip.  I know Vegas has family oriented hotels and vacations but I haven’t started my research yet.  Has anyone been to Las Vegas lately on a family vacation?  Please share your tips so we can all start planning! 

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