Today we are going to take a look at the best best non-Disney theme park in the United States. Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure park opened in 1999 as part of a massive expansion of Universal Studios Florida. The debut of a 2nd gate, along with the opening of Universal CityWalk cemented Universal as Disney’s main competitor in the Florida theme park industry. Just this … Continue reading Let’s Visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure
So, apparently there are more reasons to visit Universal Orlando other than just donuts… who knew? The Wok Experience is a dinner option at the Islands Dining Room located at Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort. The Islands Dining Room is a casual but pleasant setting located on the ground floor near the pool at Royal Pacific. The resort as a whole is themed to the the … Continue reading Review: The Wok Experience at Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort… Better Than Ohana?
Today, we head over to Universal Orlando’s City Walk to take a look at what’s probably the most exciting aspect of the entire resort… quality donuts! Voodoo Doughnut is a shop that originated in Portland, Oregon known for it’s pink boxes and fun illustrations. The independantly owned company has opened 5 shops outside of Portland, one of which is at City Walk. The shop is … Continue reading Review: Voo Doo Doughnuts at Universal City Walk
One of our favorite non Disney trips we have taken was to San Juan, Puerto Rico. While we loved the gorgeous beaches and great dining options, the highlight of our trip was taking a ride up to Old San Juan. Old San Juan was a fascinating place. It very much had a Pirates of the Caribbean feel, which I suppose makes sense. After all, its … Continue reading And Now For Something Completely Different: A Trip to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Taking a break from Disney today, lets take a walk around Skyland’s Manor and Botanical Gardens in Ringwood, NJ. Part of Ringwood State Park, the Manor and Botanical Gardens cover 96 acres in northern NJ. In addition to being a top wedding venue in the area, the grounds are popular with photographers, bikers, joggers or those just looking for a great place to take a … Continue reading And Now For Something Completely Different… A Walk Around Skylands Manor and Botanical Gardens
Universal Orlando is Walt Disney World’s biggest competition in the Orlando area, and for the most part it delivers. I personally don’t think it is in the same league as Disney, but there is a specific demographic who will prefer it (mainly teens or young adults who want nothing but thrills, or kids these days who like to stare at screens for hours on end). That being said, I love to see Universal do well as strong competition can do nothing but good for Disney park fans.
Where Universal falls short for me is its lack of ride variety, paid express pass and various issues I’ve had or witnessed with customer service / employee attitudes. The paid express pass really irks me, not only because it can cost as much as entry to the park itself, but also because I routinely still waited 20 minutes to ride each of the two times I purchased it. The dining is also terrible.
One thing I can’t deny however, is that Universal Orlando has some killer attractions. Sadly, none of these have opened within the last 3 years, which means I haven’t been a big fan of recent park additions (I’m looking at you Fallon). That being said, here are 11 fantastic rides you can experience at Universal Orlando. Continue reading “Top 11 Rides at Universal Orlando”