By Robert Ebner
This was our second family trip to Universal Resort Orlando, and I found that there were lots of new things to see and felt even more convinced that this is a themepark (or themeparks) you CANNOT miss.
I’m a big Simpsons fan, so for me Springfield USA was amazing. The Duff Brewery had delicious slushies, you could visit Moe’s Tavern, and there were lots of great things to buy at Kwik-E-Mart, including some awesome Homer slippers. There were many models of Simpsons characters – my favourites were Millhouse, Chief Wiggum and Duffman – giving perfect photo-opportunities. There were also meet-and-greets with characters. The whole area is brilliant and you could probably spend an hour here – more if you want to go on both rides but have to queue for a long time. There were also loads of places to eat, including Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, parked at the entrance.
Diagon Alley was also fantastic. It's absolutely huge, and I have about a million pictures of all the different shops there. They include Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, but it seemed like there was all of those ever mentioned in the books! The huge fire-breathing dragon above the Gringotts Bank building was a stand-out.
I also tried out some rides we missed last year, and relived some of my favourites. The Revenge of The Mummy rollercoaster was so good I went on it three times – most of it is in the dark so you don’t know when you are about to drop down. Also, it had a great storyline and there were so many effects and props involved. I also enjoyed the Terminator 2 show, a mixture of real-life action and 3D film.
My favourites from last time were The Simpsons ride, because it’s hilarious and fun, Spiderman, because it’s really exciting (you can feel all the effects as you watch the video and at one point Spiderman jumps on your actual car), and Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey, which is just a great, very clever, ride, full of characters and places from the film, and which throws you all around. What could be better?
Here is my countdown of unmissable rides at Universal Studios and Island of Adventure:
5th Terminator 2 show (Universal Studios)
4th Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey (Islands of Adventure)
Joint 2nd Spiderman 3-D ride (Islands of Adventure)
Joint 2nd The Simpsons ride (Universal Studios)
1st Return of the Mummy rollercoaster (Universal Studios)
Read more about family holidays in Orlando, including our hand-picked recommendations for family-friendly places to stay.
By Robert Ebner-Statt, who writes for the Family Travel Times blog with his sister Jessica and his mum Sarah Ebner.