Monday, June 04, 2007

A Revisit to Universal Studio, Orlando

After some weighing as to which theme park in Orlando to visit, we decided on Universal Studio, for the simple reason that I’ve received some discounted admission tickets in the mail some time ago: one free ticket and six half-priced ones. Thanks to my bro who ferreted the tickets out of the pile of junk mail on the table. So that’s where we headed on Friday (May 25).

Universal Studio has changed quite a bit since we last visited way back when we were still at Gainesville. I remembered the huge rotating globe with the name Universal Studio ringing round it as not far from the car park. But this time around, we had to park at a multi-storey carpark and walked like ages before we reached the same Globe. But I must admit that the scenery along the way is like walking down a busy street, lined by stores after stores. But we were focused, so brisk walking we did until we reached the front office of Universal Studio.

The security check, if any, seemed perfunctory compared to that at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), presumably because KSC is a government establishment. Once inside, my brother wisely laid out some pointers to maximally enjoy the attractions based on his online survey: start from inside out, skip lunch, split the troop and ride singly. But we missed an effective way, with cost: the express lane tickets. Anyway, it being a weekday, the lines did not seem overly outrageous. But we still started from somewhere in the middle: the Revenge of the Mummy.

Some of these rides have warning signs posted all over: cautioning patrons with heart ailments, with pregnancy, to exercise extreme discretion. So I took these to heart and acted as a bag lugger, like my bro, for some of the seemingly more “turbulent” rides. Let's see, I was game for Shrek 4D (no surprise there), E.T. (some abrupt motions of the carriage which I handled nonchalantly), Jaws (it’s a mechanical shark anyway), Twister (except for some heat, strong breeze, and loud noises), Animal Show (a variety of harmless birdies, canines, felines, and primates), and a half-show of Terminator. I said half show because somewhere during the movie when Arnold was swiping away the pesky robotic hunting machines, a human voice announcing technical difficulty abruptly came on. And I even thought perhaps that was part of the show until the exit doors opened.

Halfway through the day we waltzed over to the Island of Adventure. Here obviously the rides all more challenging, being consistent with the theme of adventure. But unlike our kids, we did not stay long after taking just one ride: the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman.

And the afternoon quickly eased by and by nightfall we sent my bro to a local hotel near the Orlando airport for his next morning flight back to Singapore. And that concluded our trip to the Universal Studio, the experience perhaps better conveyed pictorially as follows.

The momentarily freezed rotating Globe, at the entrance to Universal Studio.

Who is more cool?

Boy, they sure don't know what they are getting into, a destiny date with Jaws?

Woodpeckies, Curious George, Scooby, and the Man in the Yellow Hat doing their numbers.

Hello, we are wasting time here. I've no idea what they are arguing about.

Whatever it is, I like the outcome of the argument: lunch.

What is so thrilling about being hung upside down, even for a nano-second?

But I can dig this.

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