Universal Studios and Island of Adventure
My 61st birthday was celebrated at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This world is located in Orlando Florida at the Universal Studios and Island of Adventure Amusement parks. Once all wizarding was completed, we took the time to stroll through the rest of the parks.
Universal Studios is very large and looks beautiful. It kind of reminds me of Disneyland Main Street, cute, decorated and things to look at in every direction. If you are a fan of California Universal than you will love this place and if you think California Universal is lacking, you will love this place. Instead of a simple ride, it has lands. The Island of Adventure has a Comic land and Dr. Seuss and Jurassic Park and of course Hogshead and Hogwarts. They sell a ticket add on which turns your ticket into a fast pass and the yearly premium pass is only $200 and has valet parking, hour early in and fast pass. Great deal.
Of course my favorite place was Harry Potter World but the comic area was pretty cool. We did not go on rides except the wizard rides. We did see a couple of shows, but nothing very exciting.
There are so many restaurants in the two lands it is amazing and there is also City Walk with all of it’s restaurants. We ate at the Monster Cafe and had a decent chicken plate and when we met Terry’s scooter friend we ate at Margaritaville. Both places had decent food and were of course over priced.
We both agreed that if we lived nearby we would have passes, there really is a lot to do. I will always be a Disneyland fan first and foremost, but a fun and AFFORDABLE place is a good alternative.
We did not stay at a park hotel, but instead spent less at a nearby Holiday Inn Express. It was within walking distance and the hotel also offered a limited shuttle. We took our car each of the 2 days, it was $17 to park. We could have walked there but it would have been hard to walk back to the hotel with our tired feet.
Our hotel was on International Blvd. and there were dozens of familiar and new restaurants. That was a bonus because we had dinner after we left the park.
Probably my main criticism would be about the no items on some rides rule. The larger and faster rides did not allow any purses, bags, or any items at all, so you had to put the stuff you carried into a locker that was right nearby. It was free for 50 minutes or you could pay for longer. The locker area, even on the not crowded days we were there, was packed with people, many of whom were confused and it took too long to get in, stow your stuff and then retrieve it after the ride. It made us not even want to go on the ride it was so annoying. I can’t even imagine what would happen when the park is crowded. Another issue for me was that the bathrooms were not very clean. I went into one just as an attendant came out and the trash cans were full and many necessities were out, I am not sure what she had done in there. On the other hand, the restaurants and walkways were very clean.