Orlando part two: MORE Islands of Adventure!

When last I left you hanging by the seat of your pants, I had just finished downing a couple mouthfuls of pumpkin juice and wasn’t feeling all that great.  For whatever reason, my co-workers decided it was the perfect time to check out the Dragon Challenge roller coasters.

Hey…judging from the outside, it looked pretty safe to me.

Seriously...does it look that imposing? Well...other than that dude just standing there staring at me.

I am NOT a roller coaster dude…so going on the “red one” just about killed me (there was a story behind the whole thing…something about the Tri-Wizard Tournament…but where the lines were non-existent we just walked right up to the coaster without any wait at all and I never stopped to figure out the tie-in with the movie).  Immediately after nearly dieing, the crew talked me into going on the “blue one”.

Kids…unless you’re a roller coaster fan, or a fan of somersaults and flips and such nonsense…you may want to limit yourself to one roller coaster every 30 minutes or so.  I felt fortunate that I never got sick once these two rides were done, but my stomach was definitely telling me to take it easy.

Here’s what the two coasters look like from above:

Yeah.  At one point, the red and the blue actually MEET each other….

So needless to say, I was ready to take it easy for awhile.

We left the confines of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and made our way to Jurassic Park…

It was difficult to enter the gates of Jurassic Park without hearing Sir Richard Attenborough's voice saying, "Welcome...to Jurassic Park!!" And really...they spared no expense!
I am a MASSIVE fan of the Jurassic Park movies, so this was quite a treat for me (c'mon...I'm just a big kid at heart anyway).
We had all heard tremendous things about the River Adventure ride, but the one thing that stood out was that you were probably going to get quite wet. So three of the five of us decided to buy rain ponchos and give it a go (hey...I didn't want to mess up my hair, y'know). Without exaggerating, let me say that this was an AWESOME ride!! From the initial slow moving though "Jurassic Park" to venturing into the velociraptor cage (where they had "broken free") to the final meeting face-to-face with a T-rex to the free-fall at the end...this was just an awesome theme park experience.
This is what the end of the ride looked like after going down the MASSIVE 85 foot plunge at the end of the ride. Incredible!!
When acting immature isn't enough, try heading into a place where acting like a kid is encouraged!

We entered “Toon Lagoon” in an attempt to make our way to the Incredible Hulk roller coaster (which I was NOT going to go on) and realized that because of the lack of line-ups anywhere, we still had lots of time to hit more rides. So we decided that since we had rain ponchos, we’d give Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls ride a go.

There weren’t any pictures that I took because my camera was firmly hidden in my pocket tucked under my poncho, but trust me when I say that these three photos (found at the Universal Orlando website) sum up the end of the ride extremely well…

You'd think that this is steep enough, but this is only the TOP of the end of the ride!
THIS is how big the final drop was!!
And yes...THIS is how wet you got at the bottom of it all. AWESOME ride!!
After I dried off a bit, I just HAD to get my picture taken with Olive Oyl and Popeye. In fact, after watching me flex my HUGE muscles, Popeye told me that he felt as though he was looking in the mirror. I wonder if he meant that....
THIS ride absolutely rocked! As described on the Universal website: "3-D filmed images, live special effects including flames and water, and "roving motion based simulator" vehicles that move throughout the building totally immerse you in the story and make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action." This is no word of lie!! I was laughing and having a blast the entire time. Definitely worth checking out! And even better was that we had no line-ups to worry about!

We finally made our way to the Incredible Hulk roller coaster. After taking one look at the thing, there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to get on it. I have realized that I’m good with roller coasters that DON’T do somersaults or take me upside down. I’m good with the occasional twist, I suppose…but there were way too many flips for me to handle.

Seriously…just LOOK at this thing:

AIN'T NO F*CKIN' WAY!!!

So needless to say, I sat on the bench holding the women’s purses (lol). Sad…I know. Eff-it…I hit more rides than I ever thought I was going to and I’m deathly afraid of heights, so I was pretty content with my day.

At this point it was almost 6pm so we jumped into our water taxi and head back to the Portofino Bay Hotel (more on that amazing hotel another day). We changed and head out to the Hard Rock Cafe for supper.

This restaurant was incredible on the inside...just an awesome atmosphere. The food? Well...needless to say it probably wasn't worth the money we paid. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't as good as I would have hoped.

After supper was over, we head over to the Rising Star. It was at this point that I got to fulfill an item on my bucket list. Haven’t heard me sing yet?

Check it out!!

Let me just say that at night, Universal’s CityWalk is an incredible sight. It’s just a myriad of lights and sounds that makes it difficult for you to NOT want to smile at your surroundings.

Once the crew stumbled out of the bar (hey…when a sales guy opens up a tab, you take advantage of it!!) it was after midnight and we had to be at our meetings for 8am. So we made our way to the water taxi and got back to the hotel before 1am.

And kids…this was DAY ONE!! More to come….

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2 thoughts on “Orlando part two: MORE Islands of Adventure!

  1. WOW! That last roller coaster is EEEEKKKK! I would have been hanging out with you on the bench too.

    Sounds like such a fun time, ya big kid!

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