The morning saw us have a nice breakfast down in the hotel lobby followed by packing and trying to decide what to do. We seriously considered making a trip up to Kennedy Space Center for the tour there but it was EXPENSIVE! Hey Obama – how ’bout you shift some of those billions spent on defense to NASA so that they can run tours without causing families to sell of a kid to pay for it? So we figured just head for Kissimmee and play it by ear. Part way there I had an idea to use our “extra” day at Universal Studios. We could go through both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure fairly quickly and hit up a few rides while figuring out what we want to do when we spend full days there later on in the vacation.
We got to the park just after 10. I’m going to have to assume that my GPS gave us the most direct toll-free route as I requested but it happened to be mired in construction so it seemed a lot slower than it should have been. Although I did see the coolest Chrysler/Jeep car dealership on the way. Their “lot” was actually two or three parking levels built above the dealership. Such a cool idea that vastly reduces the amount of land a full-size dealership needs to park its inventory.
We started our day with the Universal Studios portion of the park. The first ride we did was the Shrek4D adventure that was pretty cool. We had some concern that the motion of the chairs would affect Alex’s motion sickness but it was fine. Kids had a great time on that. Next up was Twister, an attraction Nikki & I both fondly remembered from our 2002 trip. Alex was hesitant to go on it but after some cajoling we got him through the doors and he ended up having a good time on it. Did a bit of walking and looking at things before we ended up at the next ride – M.I.B. Alien Attack. Again, a favourite ride from 2002. It’s held up really well and the boys had an awesome time. Although, between you and me, the other three really dragged down our team’s points average. After that ride we decided we’d head for lunch and chose Richter’s Burgers. The boys weren’t that hungry but Nikki and I each had a chicken burger and I had my first Cherry Coke of the trip. This place also had the Coke Freestyle machine but I didn’t buy the $11 cup to let me use it this time. We have passes for a couple of them that we’ll use on our next visits. After lunch we headed over to the kidszone and the boys played in this little playland area and we also went on the roller coaster that was in this area.
After that we left Universal Studios (USF) and headed over to Islands of Adventure. Same plan as USF – scope out the good rides, do a few of the fun ones and figure out what we want to hit next visit. One that quickly became a must-visit this trip was the Jurassic Park River Adventure. The ride is scheduled to be closed for some refurbishment starting on May 5th and we’re not planning on being back there until after. It’s water log ride that is amped to the max. Alex LOVED the log ride at Ontario Place when we went a couple years back. He kept asking if this ride was bigger. I knew that it was but I kept putting him off as I was afraid he would back out. The big drop is FAR taller and much steeper than what Ontario Place had to offer. He handled it like a trooper though and loved it just as much. After, when I showed him the building that we dropped out of he confirmed that if he knew it was that tall before he wouldn’t have gone on but he was glad that he did. In Suessville we went on a little elevated train ride around that part. It was cute but not that exciting. Kids were starting to get tired and we wanted to get checked into the hotel so the final ride we went on was the Spiderman 3D ride. A wee bit dated but still a fun ride. A true motion simulator ride that really had me worried about Alex’s motion sickness but the little said he felt fine afterward. That was a relief.
The day was a great day. The weather was hot and mostly sunny although it did start to cloud up toward the end of the park visit. It was busy at the park but because of the fact it was a Monday the lineups were quite manageable. The longest one we went it said 25 minutes and there was no way it was 25 minutes long. Hopefully we chose a good time to visit and all the parks will be like that. We got to the hotel and got checked in and decided to head out to TGIFriday’s for supper. Around our arrival at the restaurant Alex started feeling sick. We went in to eat since we were all hungry. Alex ordered but by the time the food arrived he really wasn’t feeling well. At all. Being the awesome parents that we are we told him to just lay on the bench and rest while we ate. (Hey, we were hungry!) After supper we came “home” and Nikki got the kids ready for bed while I went to WalMart for some groceries. Lemme tell ya – there’s something awesome about being able to buy my rum and the same place I can buy everything else! So we’re all settled in for the next couple weeks and have some groceries. Oh and we have rum. Did I mention we have rum? And cherry coke (well, cherry coke zero)! It’s going to be a good couple weeks!