First time I went to Florida, Universal Studios didn’t even exist (I went in January 1990, it opened in June of that year), so I had no idea what to expect of this park. I read on a few blogs that Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures had very few things for small kids to do. Unfortunately I read those posts after getting the tickets. Anyhoo, having this info helped planned what to do there. One thing that I wasn’t prepared for was getting ill the night before going to the park. My theory is that I overate and ate the wrong stuff (which I’m not used to), so I spent the whole night in the bathroom and the following day I was miserable. But, hey, it was our first park and we were all excited, so let’s just pretend that nothing happened.
We started with Islands of Adventure, just because… we had a look at the map and saw that half of the park wasn’t worth even exploring with them because they couldn’t do anything. We went right, starting with Seuss Landing.
The Dr. Seuss area seemed to be designed for small kids but even some of the silly rides won’t take small children like Beatrice (minimum height: 40″). While Mr. C took Laura on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, I went with Beatrice to the Caro-Seuss-El (carroussel in normal spelling). She loved it and wanted to go again and again. We also went to If I Ran A Zoo, which is a play area for very small children. She was ok there, but I got bored. We didn’t go to a couple of others, that seemed nice (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and The Cat in the Hat) because the queues were really long.
From there, we went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Again, nothing much that we could do and we got stuck in a discussion of what to do: explore the area or get on the train to “London”, which took us to Universal Studios. We couldn’t decide and because the train was going out in 15 minutes, we decided to go. The kids didn’t have a clue who Happy Potter was, so it would have been fun for us, not them. Two attractions I wanted to go, though: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippograph (which was ok for kids 36″ or above, which I think is good for Beatrice). The Hogwarts Express was fund for them. Laura’s friend got scared, because it is loud and dark, but overall it was good fun for all of us. Laura got annoyed that we were back in London. 🙂
At Universal Studios we did very little. The queues were massive and it took us way too long to get anywhere. Our first stop was the Kang & Kodo’s Twirl ‘n Hurl, a bit boring for me (and I was sick of going round and round), but the girls seemed ok with it. We looked at the Simpsons Ride, but the wait was too long and I overheard a couple of girls saying it wasn’t worth for the wait. From there we managed to miss the Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone and went to see Shrek 4D instead, with a 50 minute long queue. It was good fun but again, the girls were sitting on the parents lap and were scared in some parts. The wait for the Despicable Me ride, just across the road from Shrek, was over 95 minute long. We weren’t in the mood for massive queues and, by the time left the Shrek experience, it was pissing down with rain. The boys wanted to go on the Rip Ride Rock It ride but it closed due to bad weather. So by then we were ready to leave and go home. Not without taking some pics with Scooby and friends – they were really nice.
I feel like I can rate this one. It seems like a good park for older kids, teenagers and even adults, but when you have small kids that have absolutely zero patience for queues, it is not great. And because I was poorly, I wasn’t in the mood for walking a lot, I didn’t want to eat much (although was feeling weak) and all I wanted was to sleep.
The parks were packed. Also, the fact that you have two parks in one, one day is not enough to see the best things. There were plenty of interesting things to do, but not enough time.
I won’t go back there until Beatrice is big enough for most of the rides.