I am a holder of many preconceived notions. I can’t help myself. I am able to draw conclusions in a single bound and so for many years I assumed that Universal Orlando was not the theme park for us. The reasoning for this was simple. I have two daughters, one thrill-seeker, one thrill-avoider. I presumed that Universal Orlando was nothing but big rides with very little content. What would I do with my youngest daughter if the whole park was built for my oldest I reasoned. I needed a park that would keep both kids happy and so I wouldn’t even consider Universal Orlando.
Boy, was I wrong on so many counts.
Early in November I was able to attend a one day press event while writing for ChildMode. During our brief visit all I kept saying to my oldest daughter was “We have got to come back here!”
I’m not sure what I was expecting from Universal Orlando in terms of park experience, but I can tell you this now, it is one of the best theme parks I’ve ever visited. Period.
The first part of our day saw us exploring Universal Studios Florida. The first three rides we did were Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Transformers the Ride 3D and Shrek 4D. This was when I knew we’d been missing out. But it just kept getting better. The Simpsons Ride was simply the funniest ride I’ve ever been on and Revenge of The Mummy has now become my favourite roller coaster. The park itself was an immersive trip through Hollywood cinema and left me wanting more.
The second half of our day took us over to Islands of Adventure and the hits just kept on coming. Seuss Landing pulled on every heart string we had, as mine and my daughter’s favourite Seuss books came to life. We loved Spiderman and visiting The Lost Continent, but the pièce de résistance for us had to be The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Long time lovers of Harry Potter, walking into Hogsmeade elicited an emotional response from us. Eyes full of wonder, we marveled at what our imaginations had been seeing all along. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is so well done that you can’t help but feel you’re in a magical place and I can not wait to return and spend hours exploring every nook and cranny of it. I’m also ridiculously excited to see the new Diagon Alley which opens in 2014. Plus, I want more frozen Butterbeer. There I said it. It is that good.
My fears that there wouldn’t be enough at Universal Orlando to keep the whole family happy have been permanently laid to rest. I can’t wait to return with both daughters to explore more and get to know this incredible theme park even better.