Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Islands of Adventure

We spent three different days at Universal. It was our third time going on vacation to Universal so we knew the park well. This might be my favorite theme park ever. Well, I guess it's still neck-and-neck with Disney World. I need to go to Disney again to make a more informed decision on that. 😉

This was the back of our resort as we waited in line in the morning for the boat ride over to Universal. It was a nice, quick, easy way to get to and from the park.

We did Islands of Adventure that day (Universal Orlando has two sides, Islands of Adventure which is newer and Universal Studios which is older but still really cool). We went on the Hulk rollercoaster first. It was Sam's first time being able to do it and he was so excited. I like the Hulk too, it's a great ride!

When we went to Universal for the first time several years ago, this 3-D Spiderman ride was John's favorite and we rode it many times, but it scared Sam, which we laugh about now. It doesn't scare him anymore and we all enjoy it! 

I really like the Jurassic Park section. There's a nice forested area underneath the Pteranodon Flyers that's really peaceful to walk through, which I did while the boys were in line to go on the Flyers. (That black castle-like structure is the new Kong ride, which is awesome.)

Going up...

...and coming back

Kong is a great ride. The line was so long but we had Fast Passes so it wasn't very long for us. This is one my biggest pieces of advice for theme park vacations: BUY THE FAST PASS! It's totally worth it and is NOT an indulgence (unless you're there when the park isn't crowded, then you probably don't really need it). You save so much time and get to go on so many more rides and it's a much better experience. If it's not in your budget then save up for it or cut back somewhere else. Time is money. GET THE FAST PASS!

John ate a giant turkey leg for lunch. 😄

In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the Hogsmeade side. Such a fun place!

Butterbeer is truly delicious.

We did a quick photo shoot at our traditional photo spot toward the end of the day. On our past vacations here I've gotten a picture of the boys in this very spot. But Sam was mad at John by this point so it didn't go so well. 😂 I tried again later in the week and got a better picture.

This was the best we were able to get that day!

We happened upon a parade on our way out and the boy got to meet Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants! With a really bright ray of light coming through!

We ate a delicious early dinner at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, this cool steampunk restaurant that I like. It has ridiculously indulgent desserts.

I had a delicious dinner of broccoli and cheddar quiche with a house salad, so I had room for dessert. I didn't go for one of the big indulgent ones. I got chocolate potted cream, and it was SO GOOD. And I was able to eat all of it because I wasn't stuffed! In my experience, this is usually the best way to eat.

A sweet moment in which I surreptitiously took a picture of the boys. 

Views on the boat ride back to the resort. Goodbye Emporium! 

Back at the resort. This chandelier of spheres or beach balls or whatever they are is pretty cool.

Time for bed (thankfully!) after a long but fun day!