Having never been to Florida before, and not really having the Disney bug like I do now, it’s safe to say I was a lot more excited about our week at Universal Orlando Resort. As a kid, I’d heard about a place where the movies and TV came to life, with attractions like Jaws, Twister and Jurassic Park. I remember getting giddy when I found out that my favourite trilogy of films – Back to the Future, of course, the greatest trilogy of all time!! – had its own ride.
Fast forward to October 2016 when we’d just booked our dream honeymoon consisting of a week at Disney World and a week at Universal Orlando Resort. Sadly some of the attractions above no longer exist but I was mega excited to visit and experience rides like The Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman & The Simpsons Ride and visit the astonishing looking Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
There was one ride I’d given zero thought to, though and that was The Mummy. I liked the films but I’d literally not even considered it, something that’ll become interesting later on.
We will be doing an in-depth review of each ride – as well as giving our thoughts on Harry Potter and the other fantastic themed areas – in an upcoming series of blog posts about our whole Florida 2017 trip, but for the time being, here are my Universal Orlando Resort hits & misses – the rides.
These are in no particular order, they are just three things I wouldn’t be sad if I missed on my next visit, and five things that I would now have to ride on every single visit.
Also, Charlotte didn’t write this with me but she had a few comments she couldn’t help sharing during the editing process – her comments are in italics!
Misses of Universal Orlando Resort
- Transformers: The Ride 3D – Maybe it’s because I’m not into the films, or it could be because I’d experienced Spiderman so many times by this point, but I thought this was kind of a let-down. It just seemed poor in comparison, and I came off feeling underwhelmed. Some good elements but it’s a miss for me.
- The Cat in the Hat – YAWN. Like seriously, YAWN. Boring and annoying. I’m not a Dr Suess’ fan so this one just frustrated me. (Note by Charlotte – I highly disagree with this, Cat in the Hat is a classic and a super fun dark ride. Carl is very, very wrong)
- E.T. Adventure – First of all I love the film, it’s an amazing classic that I could watch over and over. The Ride? I could happily never experience this again. What the hell is the bit on E.T’s planet all about? It felt like I was high on something and tripping out. Honestly, one of the weirdest experiences of my life. Kinda cool that E.T. says your name though.
Hits of Universal Orlando Resort
- Forbidden Journey – The walk to the castle after getting off the Hogwarts Express alone makes this a must do. From the breathtaking queue and the unique way you are loaded onto the ride vehicle to the unbelievable technology of the ride itself – it’s simply unmissable! The best attraction in the world in my opinion. (Note by Charlotte – I totally agree, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, totally takes you out of your own world and puts you into Hogwarts which is pretty much my one true wish)
- Escape from Gringotts – I love the queue line (becoming a bit of a theme here!) on this one and the inside of the bank is exceptional. The pre-show is a funny little scene that really sets you up for the journey. The ride in the elevator is a very cool experience and I noticed something different every time – which is impressive since I think we rode it six times. The actual ride is a lot of fun and has plenty of great effects. Even Voldemort has a pop at you – wonderful stuff!
- Revenge of the Mummy – This (alongside Carousel of Progress over at Disney) was the surprise hit of the trip for me. The dark ride elements combined with the coaster in the dark section all topped off by Brendan Fraser’s brilliance, make this a must-ride on every visit.
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster – This is the best coaster I’ve ever been on, not much more to say other than that. I’d queue hours to experience this every single time. (Note by Charlotte – I love this too, but don’t go on in flip flops if you don’t want to spend the whole ride trying to catch your shoe in your toes so they don’t fall off!)
- The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – I must admit that although I’m not a massive Spiderman fan (Batman all the way baby), this ride got me thinking about Spiderman in a whole new way. I absolutely loved every aspect of this. It really felt like you were inside a comic book and at one point Spiderman legit saved us and I wanted to give him a high five! The 3D is awesome in this too. I’d never visit IOA without going on an adventure with Spiderman.
So there you have it, my hits and misses of Universal Orlando Resort.
What do you think? Do you share any of my opinions or have I completely lost my mind? Is E.T. actually the best ride ever?
Let us know your thoughts and share your own personal hits & misses with us!