“The forbidden journey to the wizarding world of Harry Potter…”
Emma & Nathan’s Travels
An IHOP breakfast was had on our way to Universal Studios. A mix of pancakes and bacon went down a treat before we headed to park at the studios, have our bag searched and then headed in to the park. It was boiling hot despite the fact that it was only 10am, the temperature was already into the thirties. That meant only one thing. As soon as we passed the gates, we went straight for a water ride! This was a ride that got us absolutely soaking wet. It was marvellous and just what we needed to keep us cool as we continued our journey round the park. Being someone who has never really visited a theme park, let alone gone on rollercoasters, I found it quite fascinating just how amazing they made the rides and the theme throughout the park. The colours were bright, the storylines were in keeping with that which we knew and between the rides you had shops or places to eat or fill up your cup. From the barge we headed to King Kong.
King Kong is a 3D ride where you get into a carriage and don some 3D glasses before heading off to save a team of people from that which dwells in the jungle. A nice gentle ride to ease me in. Now being an avid fan of Harry Potter, I was thrilled to see they had a whole Harry Potter world here at universal. It was like entering Hogwarts, and I reverted to being a small child. The first ride we went on, The Forbidden Journey, well, oh my god. You walk in and are facing outwards strapped into the ride in fours. You have your goggles on too and then you’re off. I was screaming!!!! You’re flying all round Hogwarts and the outer area, playing quidditch, fending off the dragon and death eaters, whilst supposedly just attached to an ‘arm’ that is basically doing all the movement for you. I swear to god I actually thought I was flying. It was terrifying to begin with!! It honestly felt like we were actually moving and not just by an arm, but then I guess it would be a crap ride if it didn’t feel like that!! From there, after I punched Sam for almost ruining my love of Harry Potter, it was on to The Flight of the Hippogriff, a family friendly rollercoaster. Family friendly my arse!!! It went so quick, a hell of a lot quicker than it looked that’s for sure! 😰😰
Our journey took us down into Hogsmeade where I purchased the Elder wand and we went in and out of the shops until we arrived at the Hogwarts Express, which would take us over to Kings Cross. Even that had animations in the form of chocolate frogs on the doors and characters on brooms outside the window. Magical. From here we wandered over to the Men in Black ride which was a shooting game! You get on a cart, with a laser-like gun and you score points shooting aliens around you! It was immense fun until Nathan hit the button quicker than all of us, got given 100,000 free points and won by a country mile. Should have used my laser on him, I’m sure he’s part alien anyway!
It was lunch time so we used our dining cards to get some chicken thumbs at Krustys Cafe before we then stupidly went on The Simpson’s ride. It’s safe to say, it made me feel extremely sick. It’s a simulator ride, but again, so entirely realistic that it makes you feel as if you are actually on the rollercoaster. Not the best idea once you’ve just eaten lunch. And then came my favourite ride. The Mummy. Holy crap I don’t think I have ever screamed so much in my life. Asking Sam what these rides were before we went on them and him saying, “I think it’s a simulator,’ or ‘I can’t remember but it’s not bad,’ was the stupidest thing to do because it wasn’t until I read the sign for the ride and it said ‘high speed rollercoaster’ that I suddenly began to dread being in the queue. As we got on, it started off nice and slow so I let go of Nathan’s arm, only to realise that was a BIG MISTAKE. The ride was truly terrifying and in the dark and I swear at the end, if we had dropped vertically, I would have vomited. It was so quick with so many twists and turns and drops that at one point a load of profanities came out of my mouth, aimed at Sam, which then earned him another punch on the arm.
To recover, we headed back into Islands of Adventure where we hit up Ripsaw Falls, a nice gentle log flume right? Wrong! A huge drop at the end, the only benefit was the nice cooling water that then proceeded to drench us! That drop had nothing on our final ride of the day though, Jurassic Park. A very very slow, huge boat full of people that saves the almighty drop for the very end. It’s safe to say, these rollercoasters aren’t really for the faint hearted. Despite the fact it sounds like I had a dreadful day, I really didn’t. The rides were awesome and got my pulse racing. The water rides were a welcome respite from the blazing sun of the day. Universal has the most amazing shops too! We went back to Universal on the Thursday of the first week to do some of what we missed. We hadn’t had to queue really at all which was amazing because the first week we were away, the sun was incredibly hot and there was no wind so the last thing we’d want to do would be to queue in the heat.
Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York was first on the agenda. A 3D/4D race through New York, in a theatre. It was so good and felt like you were in a car! The lead up to the ride was awesome. They had the Rag Time Gals performing for us until our colour allowed us through to the theatre. They were hilarious doing a capella remixes of hip hop and all sorts of songs to keep us entertained for a few minutes.
Transformers and Spider-Man were another two simulator sort of rides which, by then, I’d finally trained my mind to realise it’s not real, so as we were plummeting to the ground face first, I didn’t even blink. Marilyn Monroe drove past us on the top of a vintage car and later on in the day the Marvel superheroes would also drive past us. I’d only know this when I got shouted at by a member of staff to get out of the road.A trip to Diagon Alley to Escape from Gringotts was next on the agenda and this was the only ride at which we queued. And we queued for an hour. The theme was incredible! Even inside as we waited in the queue felt as if I had stepped into the film! The ride itself was nothing to write home about and probably my least favourite Harry Potter ride, but by now clearly I was becoming a professional rollercoaster rider! 😂 We ate lunch at the Comic Strip Cafe which was, aside from Harry Potter, my favourite part to walk through.The colours were so bright and the staff had colourful wacky shirts on too! From here, the boys went on The Hulk. It looked absolutely terrifying.Then, once they got off, we ended up almost sprinting round the shops to purchase what we needed (ok ok wanted) because the park was shutting earlier for Microsoft to have it privately. I thought that was why we had to get everything today, as I thought our passes were three day passes. No no, turns out they were fourteen day passes. So basically I ran for no reason and broke a sweat for no reason! Another evening was spent in the pool where I stupidly said that I would like to go on The Hulk ride 😬….