Universal Orlando Resort – Early December 2018

Sean: A beautiful but cold day in Orlando (cold and Orlando don’t usually belong in the same sentence) was spent at the Universal Orlando Resort! We had just recently visited Universal Studios Japan and were excited to visit the largest resort in the chain.


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Good morning from CityWalk! With the extra resort hour taking place at Islands of Adventure, we decided to start off our day at Universal Studios Florida!

The iconic Universal Studios Florida marquee is looking so beautiful in the morning sun. Ready for a day of movie making, or whatever their current focus is. – Don’t let the picture deceive you, it was actually COLD.

It was windy and cold, thus Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit opened slightly later, what better place to venture to first than Diagon Alley?

There is no better first ride than Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts!

We walked right on and got to enjoy Diagon Alley before most of the guests arrived, but we have more rides to hit, so we’ll make some more trips back to Diagon Alley in a bit!

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit opened shortly after opening and we decided to give the badly-rated Mauer coaster some love. 

The ride was a walk-on, as was everything else early in the day, and was running pretty well!

The Non-Inverting Loop is actually quite intense and filled with air. Definitely more thrilling than a vertical loop would have been.

If you’re lucky and the ride is dispatching nicely you’ll get to enjoy some awesome interaction on the ride. 

AIRTIME! 

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has a nice presence in the park, and is a great attraction to have right at the entrance to the park.

The ride’s intense helix turnaround is nicely integrated with the infrastructure of the New York section of the park!

Important to us is E.T. Adventure, the classic Universal dark ride. Especially at Universal parks rides with minimal use of screens (or none, in the case of ET), is always appreciated!

We also made a tour around the KidZone for a ride on Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster. A fun, slightly altered Vekoma Junior coaster.

This area is charmingly dated, for Universal, with Curious George…

And Barney! 

Even though Volcano Bay opened, the American Tale waterslides are still at the park. 

There is no denying that this wing of the park needs a bit of a makeover, which I’m sure will come in good time.

Next up! M.I.B. One of our favorite shooting dark rides. We love the size, detail, and aesthetic!

A gorgeous park that unlike the Osaka and Hollywood parks doesn’t feel like it’s wedged in a busy concrete jungle.

The new nighttime show Universal’s Cinematic Celebration takes place on the lagoon in the park! A review of which you can find here!

Not everyone is a big fan of Rip Ride Rockit but there is no denying it is photogenic!

Let’s stop by Diagon Alley for some lunch at the Leaky Cauldron!

We waited for a while for the fire, but with the high winds we didn’t see any fire spitting taking place.

It’s a merry Christmas in Diagon Alley! 

Though Hogsmeade is awesome, the sheer size and weather-friendliness of Diagon Alley makes it the preferred of the Wizarding World of Harry Potters for me. 

After we had some delicious lunch at the Leaky Cauldron we hung out in Diagon Alley for a bit more!

Knockturn Alley is perhaps my favorite area of Diagon Alley, besides Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts of course!

After some more magic, let’s take the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade!

There is no better way of getting between parks than taking the Hogwarts Express!

Join us at Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, the park next door, in part 2 of the report!

4 Replies to “Universal Orlando Resort – Early December 2018”

  1. Hulk is still a top five coaster in my book, only behind Steel Vengeance, Millennium Force, Maverick, and Mako. Also on my last Universal trip, I learned the hard way that Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit isn’t very re-rideable as I had to sit on a bench for an hour or so to catch my bearings (however, I had no problem riding Hulk twice in a half hour later that same day)

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