Island of Adventure

Today was our second day of Universal. The day started off very well compared to yesterday and everyone was able to get downstairs by 8:45. We were able to make it to the park very early but even though it was a Monday, there was still a lot of people. The park that we visited today was the Island of Adventure.

Walking in, I immediately got a different feeling. It was much more rustic and had a much more casual feeling that the Studio park that we visited yesterday. We immediately headed toward the ride but it was sad to find that the Hulk was closed. It was the only large ride that could be seen and a lot of people said it was a great ride. But there is not much we could do about it. We headed towards the Superhero universe and right towards the “Doctor Doom’s Pitfall” ride. This ride is a vertical one where we go up really fast and then suddenly drop down, losing the feel of gravity. It was a very exciting ride because it actually made me feel like I was flying. I did not even realize that we were actually going down. However the ride ended really fast because there was only one very fast fall. But the overall experience was very exciting.

The next ride we went to was the “Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man”. We went on the singles lines so it took only 10 minutes and it was a very nicely designed ride. The car was able to move in a lot of different directions and it made me feel as if I was flying around with spiderman. There were also a lot of 4D effects such as water and air being sprayed onto me. It was a very nice ride and I enjoyed it very much.

Walking onwards, we reached the next section of the park, the Toon Lagoon. It is a midwest style and has a variety of water rides. We decided to go to the “Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls”, mainly because it was the first ride we actually saw. We knew that we were going to get very wet so only 3 out of the 6 wanted to actually do the ride. When inside, there was some mechanical problem so we waited a while before we could actually board the ride. But the wait was worth it, the ride was very nicely designed. It was designed to get you wet and instead of just one huge drop, there was a few smaller drops before the big drop. These smaller ones got us really wet but the last drop finished the deal as it got me really wet. We came back to our friends soaking wet but that was exactly what we signed up for. After a quick picture with the crew, we headed onwards deeper into the park.

But, people started to get hungry. So we stopped at the Dinosaur research center and got a some burgers and milkshakes to eat. It tasted pretty good but as usual they were very expensive. It was a nice break to refuel as we had quite a long day ahead of us.

Next we headed to Harry Potter world. This was very exciting because in this park there is Hogsmeade village and the Hogwarts castle. It was really a childhood dream come true. Seeing the Hogwarts castle made me remember all the wonderful nights of immersing myself into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, those carefree days were wonderful.

The first ride we went to was the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This ride was inside Hogwarts and in order to skip the lines, we headed straight to the singles line. However before this ride, one of my friends felt very sick so he decided to leave and go back to the hotel to rest. The 5 of went onwards by ourselves entering Hogwarts. The ride started at the great hall, thousands of candle lights shined above. It was really magical. The ride was about Harry, Ron and Hermione taking us to a Quidditch match, but on the way, Hagrid’s dragon got loose so it started to chase us around. The ride was very simple, but it was really nicely designed and it is one of the best rides we have been on so far.

Next we headed towards Hogsmeade, the rooftops were all covered in snow and it was a very real Harry Potter atmosphere. The shops at Hogsmeade were not as impressive as the ones at Diagon Alley but drinking Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks really made me feel like a wizard. Because the line at the Flight of the Hippogriff ride was too long, we decided to move on to the Dragon Challenge.

The Dragon Challenge ride was based on the Triwizard Tournament. This is the first challenge of the Triwizard Tournament was for Harry to battle a dragon and steal the eggs that it was protecting. So the dragon challenge ride is actually two separate rides, with each ride representing a different dragon. The first ride is the Chinese fireball Dragon, the next ride is the Hungarian horntail Dragon. We first went on the Chinese fireball. I did not know what to expect and the roller coaster start I got really excited. Watching the from the side it did not seem to go that fast, but once on the ride you could feel the G force hitting you. The ride had unexpected turns and flips and it pushed all of the blood to my legs so by the end of the ride I felt very dizzy but it was a lot of fun. We quickly ran back in line to try the Hungarian horntail Dragon ride.  but to our disbelief the ride was shut down due to weather conditions around the area. the operator told us that it will take at least 40 minutes for them to reset internally so we decided to leave.

We walked on into the park  and we were pretty clueless to what we should do next. I saw a ride that was called Poseidon’s Fury so we decided to wait in line. It was a really long wait and because it was in the sun everyone felt extra tired.  when it was finally our turn we entered a room and one of the guides started to tell us a story about Poseidon. there was no actual ride,  but instead there was different chambers where the guide continued on with his story. It was not worth the wait at all, we were all very disappointed. But the good thing about the long wait was that we were able to miss the storm that had occurred outside when we were in line, I guess there is a little bit of a good thing to this long wait time.

Everyone was very tired so we decided to go to a live show that was happening very soon. The show was called The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Any tells the story of how Sinbad the hero saves the princess from the control of the evil witch. There was a lot of special effects such as fireworks and loud sounds during the show and it was very nicely choreographed. But it was more of a show for children.

Because the storm passed, all of the outdoor rides such as the dragon challenge was operational again. So we quickly rushed back to Harry Potter land and stored our items into the lockers and rushed back in line for the dragon challenge. We rode it 3 more times, the first time was to enjoy the Hungarian horntail Dragon ride, and then the next two times we decided to wait in the special line they gave us sitting right in front. Sitting in front was very different to sit in the back because there was nothing in front of you, you weren’t able to realize when there was going to be a flip or turn. this was very exciting because everything was very unexpected and increase the enjoyment of the ride.

After a wild Dragon challenge experience, we decided to wait in line for the Hogwarts Express. The Hogwarts Express will take us to the other park that we visited yesterday. After a really long wait we were very excited board the train. The train looked very authentic and it had all the special features that a normal coal powered train would have. On board the train there were individual cabins like what we saw in the movie. instead of having windows that we were able to look out, they were replaced by screens that showed a story as we move  from Hogwarts to London. It was a very magical experience.

At the other park, we decided to hit the rides that we weren’t able to yesterday.  we headed directly to Transformers 3D. The wait time was over an hour but thankfully there was a single rider line. As we got closer and closer to the ride,  we got more excited. The ride turned out to be exactly like the Spider-Man ride where the car moved and took us on a journey. It was a very nice story line and it felt like we were battling with the Decepticons. There was also some 40 features such as air spring and water droplets that were incorporated into the story.

After this ride we went directly to the Minion ride hoping the line would be shorter. However we were very wrong, the line was over 100 minutes. We were all very tired so we decided to leave the park and come back tomorrow. As we are all very sick of fast food,  we decided to go to the mall to have some nice food. We ended up choosing PF Chang,  which was a fusion of American Chinese food. It tasted very nice and we were all very happy.

We had a very long day and by the time we got back to the hotel everyone is very tired so we went to bed knowing that a day of fun lies ahead.

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