We Ought to be in Pictures!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End May 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our first 2 days of touring the Orlando area was at Universal Orlando. Day 1 was at Universal Studios. The theme park opens at 9. We get there at 9h30. Parking $11. The temperature is a little cool. We need a sweater or jacket when the sun is in hiding.
Universal Studios is divided into 5 themed areas. There's Production Central, New York, San Francisco, World Expo, Kidzone and Hollywood. To get into the park you need your ticket, but as you enter they also scan your index finger. I'm not sure if it's just a precaution to ensure people don't pass the ticket to someone else or some security measure to catch terrorists. I'm sure some conspiracy theorist has this one all figured out. Security in the U.S. is everywhere. Upon entering the park they check all bags. Or maybe I should clarify that. They make you open your bag (backpack, etc), they poke a stick in it and take a cursory peak. They must think every terrorist is an idiot and will leave in plain view the bomb they're smuggling into the park. We all know crooks can be idiots, but this is a complete waste of time.
We start off by seeing Shrek 4-D then head to the Revenge of the Mummy Ride. We have to put our backpack in a locker prior to entering the attraction. We enter the building and start walking through various rooms where the line-ups normally zig-zag towards the start of the ride. Room after room we walk through...back and forth....zigging and zagging. There's no line-up. We end up at the ride with just a few people in front of us. Awesome! No wait time. The thrill of that ride over we walk over to the Twister presentation. Let's find out what a tornado feels like! We make a stop at Starbucks for something to warm us up. Some of the attractions run continuously and others are at scheduled times. The live version of the TV show Fear Factor is a scheduled attraction and is starting soon. We make our way there. As we are about to enter the seating area, someone from the show is asking people if they want to be part of the  show. We walk by. Then Nick hesitates, walks back and says he'll volunteer. They ask if he's over 18. He lies. He'll be 18 in a week. They don't check. You'll have to watch the posted video to see what he did. I don't want to ruin the surprise. Nick's co-contestant is a woman who, coincidently, also came from Alberta (Fort McMurray).  Team Canada they called them.
After Nick's brush with stardom we head to the Jaws attraction. They warn you that you might get wet. It's still cold out. We decide to chance it. It's not very comfortable walking around in soggy clothes in the cold. That boat ride done we walk to the Men in Black, Alien Attack building. We get to test our Alien shooting abilities on this ride. We stop for lunch. Pay an outrageous amount for that. Skip the Kidzone rides. We head to the Hollywood area. We're early for the Horror Make-Up Show. Across the street from that attraction is Mel's Diner from American Graffiti fame. There are a few cars from the show parked in front and a band is playing 50s music. Alexis', the dancer, starts dancing in the middle of the street. Nick joins her doing a jive. People walking by give them a funny look.
We head into the show and take our seats. The shows "host" is looking for a volunteer. A lot of people raise their hands. He scans the crowd and is looking for someone who is apprehensive to participate. He finds a young Japanese woman sitting in the front row. He asks her some questions. From her answers it seems like her comprehension of the English language is limited. Remember this is a horror make-up show. The reactions from this audience member made the show extremely funny.
Back outside we head to Mel's Diner deciding where to go next. The band is still playing. We all start dancing. No one else is. We get some quizzical looks. I told you it was going to be one of those weeks. We're all here to have some fun!
The final attraction we want to see is Terminator 2: 3D. That done, we have time to kill before the 5 O'clock Macy's Holiday Parade. We head back to the Revenge of the Mummy ride. The line-up is a little longer then this morning. We wait about 45 minutes. I would hate to be here on a day when all the rooms are filled and the line-up zigzags to the entrance to the attraction. It  must be at least a 2 hour wait. 
We find a seat on the curb to watch the Macy's Holiday Parade. One of the floats has a visiting family as the parade marshals. The father sees Nick and recognizes him from the Fear Factor stunt. He gives him the thumbs up. The parade over we head home for some supper, a movie, and early bed time. It was a long day with many more to come.
Day 2. Universal Orlando. Islands of Adventure. We get to the parking garage and are being directed to where to park. Yesterday we ended up at the far end of a row. Today it looks like we are going to be at the beginning of the row. The cars are filling spots and we are next. The row is full. We are directed to the far end of the next row. It's partly cloudy again today. We get to the park entrance and scan our finger print again. We decide to do the park rides counter clockwise. Then we see the Incredible Hulk Rollercoaster. There are no line-ups. We figure we might as well start there as there will probably be a line-up later on in the day. Though we are apprehensive about starting the day on the worst ride. From there we do Dr. Dooms Fearfall, and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. All three of these rides were awesome! Those rides done we head to "Toon Lagoon". We want to go on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges but the ride is closed for repairs. Nick wants to go on Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls but has no other takers to join him. It's still early in the day and no one else wants to get soaked from head to toe. He goes by himself. He comes down the steepest water drop ever created then comes out soaked. He goes and changes out of his wet t-shirt and wears his jacket. The next section of the park is Jurassic Park. The only interesting ride here is a raft ride and we notice the people coming out are quite wet. We skip it.
Walking towards the Lost Continent area we come across The Flying Unicorn rollercoaster. A ride for the younger crowd. We get on it anyways. I can barely get my legs in, but we're having fun. Next is the Duelling Dragons, Fire and Ice. Two rollercoasters with a difference. You're sitting on a chair with your legs dangling in the air. Chose which one you want to take. The only line-up is for the front row. We get on in the second row on the Ice dragon. It's an amazing sensation. We get off and get back in line for a ride on the Fire Dragon, but in the front row. This ride is even more amazing then the first. You really experience the terror from the front row. Both dragons leave at the same time. After a few loops and turns the dragons start hurtling towards each other at top speed like a game of chicken. At the last minute they turn off in opposite directions. Your heart racing...lodged somewhere in your throat, or is it in your feet? Getting off the ride my feet are shaking. Time to take an easy attraction.
The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show is a live action show with explosions, stunts and comic acting. It was great. We take a break by stopping and eating our lunch. We brought sandwiches today. After paying an outrageous amount for yesterdays lacklustre fare we decided to bag lunch it today and have supper at the park in one of the theme restaurants. From there we go to Poseidon's Fury where we walk through  a raging tunnel of flowing water. A day at the theme park isn't complete without visiting Dr. Seuss in Seuss Landing. We ride a couch through the pages of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, act silly riding the Caro-Seuss-el Merry-go-round, travel high above Seuss Landing on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, and Katrine and I watch Nick & Alexis get wet steering their fish through an obstacle course of squirting fountains on the One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish ride. Which coincidently, is what was written on Alexis' t-shirt today. A t-shirt she bought a couple of months ago.
It was mid afternoon by now. Alexis and Nick were still raring to go. Katrine and I were tired. Nick and Alexis decided to go back on the rides. Katrine and I to wander around the shops and sit down somewhere. We would meet up at 5 at the Hard Rock Cafe for supper. Nick and Alexis ended up going back to the Hulk and the Duelling Dragons Roller Coasters. The park still wasn't busy and so there were no line-ups. They went on each ride numerous times. Alexis commented on how she doesn't understand how she could have been so scared of going on roller coasters before. She just loves them and can't get enough of them now.
We meet up for supper then wander around the shops for a while before heading back to our room to crash. Tired of another event filled day.
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