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Unread 3 Mar 19, 08:50 AM  
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Join Date: Jan 06
... and Then There Were 3 - Day 9 - Universal Studios & Perkins

Today we were booked onto the 10.20 shuttle bus for Universal Studios. DD was looking forward to the opportunity to ride more big coasters, I was looking forward to seeing the new parts of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We both dressed appropriately for the occasion.

DH was more apprehensive about the rides at the Universal parks as a lot of the new attractions seem to rely heavily on simulators. He tends to suffer from motion sickness and on our last visit Forbidden Journey made him feel really ill. This time he took 2 travel sickness tablets as a precaution before we set off.

The shuttle bus arrived on time but we quickly remembered why wed stopped using them during our previous holiday. They are uncomfortable, have no air conditioning and they cram way too many people on to them. All the seats were taken by the time that they'd boarded the passengers from our hotel but they still picked up at 2 more on the way. The normally 5 minute journey took half an hour and was thoroughly unpleasant; we could've walked there quicker!

Not the best start to the day but it got us there in one piece and we were soon walking through City Walk and posing for photos by the Universal Globe.

The sun was shining and the park was already getting very busy. The first ride that we came to was Minions but it already had a 60 min wait so we decided to skip this and went across to Shrek 4D instead, where the wait was only supposed to be 20 minutes. By the time we got into the show it was at least double this! Although we all enjoyed it we weren't sure that it justified the wait.

Next stop was Rip, Ride, Rockit. DD with her newly acquired coaster addiction was determined to ride this. It was my turn to be nervous! During our last visit this was the only coaster that I refused to ride. DD18 and I had stood watching it for ages before making our minds up but I really didn't like the thought of not having a full shoulder harness on a ride that goes upside down so we eventually decided not to bother. It was only after returning home that I learned that, despite appearances, it never truly takes you upside down.

Anyway, I couldn't be beaten by an 11 year old so this time I had to be brave!

I needn't have worried. By far the worst part of the ride is the steep climb to the top at the beginning. The rest felt quite tame compared to the ones we'd done at Seaworld and it was over very quickly. I chose ZZ Top as my accompanying music, DD left the machine to make a random selection and wasn't sure what she'd been listening to. Typically, she loved this ride and wanted another go but as we'd left DH minding the bags we needed to get back to him.

The next attraction that we came to was Transformers. This was another one that we'd never tried before - I'm not sure whether it hadn't opened in 2012 or whether it was just so busy that we didn't bother. It was showing a 55 minute wait today but the park was now getting so crowded that we realised that we wouldn't get anything done if we didn't brave a few long queues.

We'd already been in the queue for about 10 minutes when we heard a safety announcement warning that it wasn't suitable for people who suffered from dizziness or motion sickness. This was enough for DH and he decided that he just couldn't face it so he went back outside and left me and DD to it.

We both thought that it was brilliant and were glad that we'd done it. However, between this and Rip Ride Rockit, DH had now spent the best part of 2 hours sitting around waiting for us so we needed to find something that we could all do together.

We were going to try Fast and Furious but they were having technical problems and it was closed.

By now it was very hot and we were all getting fed up, we seem to have bypassed half the park and ended up in London!

DH had her photo taken outside Grimauld Place and we headed into the Wizarding World. I really wanted this part of the park to be magical and to be able take the time to do it justice. But there were so many people that it was impossible to get a clear photo of anything never mind a close look and DH was in no mood for being dragged in and out of shops!

These are just about the only pics that I managed to get without thousands of other guests in the way!

We arrived at Gringotts and the wait time was over an hour - this is usually our maximum - but as we were here I was determined to do it. DH wasn't very happy but agreed to accompany us rather than wait out again. Because we were all riding, the bags had to go in a locker. This cost us $2 as our back pack was too big for the free lockers. I almost locked our park tickets in the locker, thankfully realising at the last second that I'd need to scan the barcode to open it again.

It was only once we were in the queue that I realised that I had left my phone in my bag in the locker, so couldn't take any photos inside Gringotts at all - today really wasn't going well!

The inside of the bank is stunning and we really enjoyed the ride once we were eventually on it. The attention to detail in this area lived up to my expectations and I really do want to come back and see it properly when it is less crowded - not sure yet if time and DH will allow for this!

Once we'd finished with Diagon Alley we decided to join the queue for the Hogwarts Express and see if Islands of Adventure was any less busy.

It was very hard to get a decent photo of the train itself - when you are at the front of the queue it is too large and too close to get it all in shot. From further back there are too many people in the way!

So I settled for the stationary one on arrival.

The train ride was fun but if anything, Hogsmeade was even more crowded than Diagon Alley!

I took a few pics but DH had no desire to ride Forbidden Journey again so we pretty much sped through.

We were going to do Jurassic Park River Adventure - we love this ride but DD wasn't tall enough last time - however there wasn't even a wait time posted, the sign just stated that there were unusual delays!

We headed for Skull Island and Reign of Kong which would've been another new experience for us. However the posted wait time was over an hour and we just couldn't face it.

At this point we decided to give up. We were hot and tired and in nearly 6 hours had managed just 5 rides (DH only 3). I can honestly say that for the first time in my life I had spent a day in a theme park and really not enjoyed it.

There were highlights - Transformers & Escape from Gringotts were both great - but they were few and far between.

With the benefit of hindsight it was a bad idea to attempt a park on a Saturday but even if the crowds had been lighter Universal now has too many simulator based rides to make a good day out for DH.

We got an Uber back to I-Drive rather than waiting around for the return shuttle bus. This cost $7.60 and we asked to be dropped off at Perkins across the road from our hotel as I had a 20% discount voucher.

It was so good to be seated in a comfortable, air conditioned building!

DH and I both ordered from the $9.99 burger and pie menu. I had the breakfast burger. This was a thick, juicy burger with bacon, hash browns and a fried egg. It was delicious.

DH had the Classic Cheeseburger. He was so hungry that he couldn't wait for me to take a photo! 😂😂
He also ordered an extra portion of fries.

DD had the kids cheeseburger meal minus the cheese. This came with a drink and a huge choc chip cookie.

For dessert I had the caramel apple pie and DH had the Banana Cream Pie (what else?!). Sorry, we'd both started eating before I remembered to take a photo.

We all agreed that these meals were excellent and exceptionally good value. The burgers are the best that we've had since we've been here.

Our bill came to $27.44. Unfortunately, because we'd eaten off the special offer menu, we couldn't combine this with my welcome discount. So the 20% was only deducted from DD's meal - I wouldn't have bothered using it if I'd known - but the food was well worth what we paid anyway and we left a $5 tip.

It was about 6pm by the time that we returned to the hotel and this is where the day sort of fizzled out! DH wanted to have a rest anyway. DD & I discussed going swimming but she had a stomach ache so wanted to lie down for a bit first...

... we all fell asleep and by the time any of us woke up again it was 8.30. We stopped in the room and watched Dumb and Dumber on TV. I've seen this film many times before but it still makes me giggle.

After today's experience DH has decided that, tomorrow, he needs a complete break from the parks and wants to stay at the hotel. He says he isn't bothered if DD and I go off and do something without him - if the truth be known he'll probably be glad of the peace and quiet! So we're going to take the chance to go to Busch Gardens for the day.

Day 10 is here:- https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...1#post13717201

Edited at 01:14 PM.
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Unread 3 Mar 19, 10:32 AM  
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New Photo Added by ally1966 - 3 Mar 19 9:32 AM.
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Unread 3 Mar 19, 11:26 AM  
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Sounds like the park was extremely busy its really no fun when its like that!

Your meal at Perkins looks good

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Unread 3 Mar 19, 09:50 PM  
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Ouch busy day in universal ! Busch gardens has some fab roller coasters... looking forward to reading about your day x
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Unread 3 Jul 19, 05:05 PM  
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Ah shame you didnt enjoy universal! When its extra busy it can be horrible! I agree universal now has far too many simulators!
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