Universal Orlando Resort – Early December 2018


We have arrived in Hogsmeade, where the new-for-2019 coaster is being built!

Having visited all Hogsmeades, I much prefer the Orlando one, not only is it the oldest and thus sight lines are the best, it’s also a bit more colorful and the original Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is my favorite.

In 2019 a Forbidden Forest/Hagrid themed multi-launch coaster is opening, details have yet to be released but Universal did indicate it would be their best themed coaster to date. We have high hopes and are very excited for it!

The nice thing about the perfect sight lines is that we experienced Diagon Alley, took the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade and had yet to have non-potter attraction break the illusion!

Just before riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey we rode Flight of the Hippogriff, the classic Vekoma junior coaster is one I prefer over the other installments, such as the smaller Mack version at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Right behind Hagrid’s hut the large new potter attraction is under construction, adding more to the already amazing line-up of Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions.

Flight of the Hippogriff has a beautiful location, the fact that the coaster is older than the area has certainly helped with the aesthetic of full grown trees.

Moving on into Islands of Adventure, we can’t forget that Jurassic Park exists, with the large River Adventure water ride. Islands of Adventure is a great park for water rides, though because of the cold temperatures and having just gotten new tattoos on our legs, we decided not to ride any of them this trip.

Another thing we didn’t ride was Pteranodon Flyers, because of the capacity nightmare that it is, and the lack of children that we had with us. 

Skull Island: Reign of Kong also wasn’t very high on our list this trip, so we skipped it and went to ride The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and Incredible Hulk!

Dudley DoRight’s Ripsaw Falls was very exciting – off-ride… We’ll ride it when it’s warm out at some point. 

Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges was sending out empty boats as the weather was cold. One thing’s for sure, Volcano Bay isn’t the only good way to get soaked at Universal Orlando Resort.

Our favorite ride at the park is The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman. Riders are welcomed with great physical sets and incredibly clear 3D scenes. It was my favorite attraction at Universal Studios Japan and is my favorite attraction at Islands of Adventure as well!

Another favorite is Incredible Hulk, a very solid B&M Sit-down coaster. The ride was recently completely rebuilt and has received quite some criticism. We think it runs great and had several enjoyable rides on it during our trip. 

Great use of old track to create a new marquee!

Big loops are good loops! It’s not often that the 4th inversion on a B&M is a vertical loop, on Incredible Hulk however it is!

The launch into the Zero-G-Roll/Barrel Roll is phenomenal!

One thing I wish Universal had a bit of a better grip on was the locker/metal detector situation. Several times during our day we waited long for the metal detectors while half empty trains were being dispatched. 

It’s Grinchmas in Seuss Landing! That means we need to visit!

And ride the Cat in the Hat, of course.

Whoville performances are the best! Definitely something I also really enjoyed in Hollywood over the years!

It’s a bit of a lost area of the park, the Lost Continent screams classic Islands of Adventure and remains an area we like a lot, even though it doesn’t have any major rides. 

It’s just aesthetically very pleasant, and also makes for a great and memorable entrance!

I hope they never get rid of this entrance or change it, it is just perfect in my opinion. 

Hogwarts is so beautiful from across the park!

Let’s ride Incredible Hulk a few more times before we head back to Universal Studios Florida for the remainder of the evening!

Elevated Corkscrew into a drop? Yes please!

Being by far the most photogenic coaster at the resort, Incredible Hulk is just as much of a treat off-ride as it is on-ride. Even more so than Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

And we’re back in Diagon Alley for some more rides on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts!

We also liked the idea of riding Rip Ride Rockit in the dark, as it sure looks great at night. Though the ride is a bit bumpy, we definitely enjoy the back of the train for some solid airtime.

If you don’t feel like riding, seeing the light-up cars zoom by at night is still a fun experience.

Some of our friends joined us for some Christmas in Diagon Alley.

We finished the night with another ride on Escape from Gringotts (can you tell we like this ride?)

Overall we had a great day at the resort, we’ll be back much more frequently as the site’s headquarters will soon be in Orlando!


Thank you for checking out this Universal Orlando Resort report! We’re very excited for the resort’s new coaster, which is expected to open in 2019. Speaking of new coasters, our new Busch Gardens Tampa and Tigris report can be found here!

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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