Welcome to part two of my tour of Universal parks! Last month, I took you on a virtual tour of all of my must-dos at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. There is also so much to experience at the park on the other side at the original Universal Studios Florida theme park.
First, make sure to have your camera ready at the entrance of Universal Studios Florida. At the entrance of Universal Studios is the iconic globe, a must-take photo for guests.
Once you have gone into the park, there are four attractions making up Production Central. My first tip here before you do anything is to take your motion sickness medicine! Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Shrek are both great “screen” attractions while Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a high-flying roller coaster adventure with a choose-your-own soundtrack option. Also popular in this area is Transformers the Ride 3D, which is much like the combination virtual and dark ride adventure like Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure. If you‘re lucky, you can sometimes spot Optimus Prime outside the entrance for an amazing photo opp!
In New York, one of the main highlights is the fairly new Race Through New York With Jimmy Fallon. While the ride is good, the queue is the real highlight. With live performances by the Ragtime Gals and a meet and greet with Hashtag the Panda, this air-conditioned “line” is more of an experience. My main tip here is to make sure you use the virtual line system through the Universal Orlando app if you don’t have the Universal Express Pass. Also popular in this area in the “museum,” is the Mummy Roller Coaster, which is my very favorite coaster in this park. It’s not overly fast and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as some of the other roller coasters, but the theming and experience of the Mummy is spectacular, even for people who don’t generally consider themselves “roller-coaster people.”
Oddly enough, you travel through New York and Straight to San Francisco. The real draw is the recently-opened Fast & the Furious – Supercharged. This virtual experience takes you on an adventurous car chase just like what you would see in any of the movies. Again, this is another attraction at Universal that uses the virtual line technology.
World Expo has one of my very favorite rides, Men in Black: Alien Attack. Let’s face it. It’s fun to shoot things, especially when you are competing with your family and friends. This ride gets you fully invested in the Men in Black story from the beginning and leaves you wanting to ride over and over again so you can beat your score!
Springfield is heaven for the Simpsons fans! While I am not a fan of the Simpsons virtual ride, the area is beautifully done and well-themed with Fast Food Alley. You will find many nods to the show’s restaurants and specialty treats like Duff Beer and Lard Lad Donuts.
Woody Woodpecker’s Kids Zone is a great place to be with little ones who don’t quite make the minimum height for many of the Universal rides. In this area is my favorite classic dark ride, ET. You simply cannot visit Universal Orlando without a ride on that famous bicycle in the sky.
The biggest, most popular draw of Universal Studios is the totally immersive Diagon Alley. This place is pure magic! At Ollivanders, you don’t just shop, but the merchandise can choose you. These wands can interact all over Diagon Alley creating magic and mystique. While the Escape from Gringotts is an amazing attraction, the pure joy you feel in Diagon Alley is the highlight for me. And don’t forget to take the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross Station for a special magical surprise at Platform 9 ¾.
There are just too many adventures to miss at Universal Orlando so start planning and contact your Me and the Mouse Specialist for an even more magical experience.