Uber Florida Trip Part Two-Universal Studios 6/8-6/10

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, June 20, 2004 11:49 PM
For the first time in 5 years my family made a trip down to Florida, we spent 1 day at BGT and 1 day at SWO, 2.5 days at IOA/Universal and 7 days at Disney. I will be writing 7 parts, and this is the second one and will cover Universal Studios.

Day 3-5 Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel for the sole purpose of getting Universal Express (the rooms and service however were amazing and could stand on their own without the parks). For those of you who don’t know guests staying at any Universal Hotel can show their hotel keys and enter the Universal Express line without having to get a voucher as much as they want. Due to this, I was able to ride about 30-40 rides a day and visit both parks each day (the third day we were only there in the morning). I highly recommend everyone do this at some point. The longest wait I had was 15 mins and most of the time I waited less then 5. All right now on with the trip report:

The Mummy’s Revenge-20+ times, 0-10 min wait, Score 9 (out of 10)

This ride is excellent blend of a haunted house and roller coaster and a fantastic addition to Universal. While the “moving backwards” part is blown way out of proportion the ride pretty much lives up to its enormous hype.**Warning what follows is a complete description of the ride skip down to the second line of **** if you don’t want any spoilers**

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The ride starts as you board your 4 row 16 seat car and pull down on your lap bar (which thankfully has been redesigned to have your leg guard now above your ankle then at your feet). You slowly move into a room with a ton of mummies (one wearing an IOA shirt). You then pass a staircase and see a shadow move across and up it. All of a sudden a mummy (with a red baseball hat the workers wear) starts to warn you to leave the set when Imhotep (the rotten/early in the movie version) jumps out of a sarcophagus and sucks out his soul. You move on into a room where Imhotep’s symbol lights up and you hear him chanting in Egyptian.

Next up Imhotep’s head (in the likeness of his head in sandstorm in the movie) shows up on a wall and tells you that if you serve him you will receive great rewards as the light shields activate around you to show a bunch of treasure. He continues: “If you refuse, you will suffer the forbidden curses!” Warrior mummies pop up and fireballs erupt. Your car starts to escape as Imhotep starts chanting in Egyptian again, more fireballs and your car exits by ducking under a slowly dropping wall. Your car comes to an abrupt stop in front of a wall. The collision wakes up the scarabs that were hanging on the wall and a swarm of them is released. This is accomplished not only through video screens but also though a hole in the wall that drops tons of rubber scarabs inches away from the front of the car. You zoom out of there quickly, backwards this lasts about 5 secs and is the only bit of backwards motion. This turns out to be the disappointment of the ride for me I thought it would be longer.

Anyway, you enter a room with a gigantic Magi symbol above you; they have obviously saved you from almost certain doom. Your relief is short lived though as the Magi symbol morphs into an Imhotep head (this time the rotten version) that follows you as your car slowly does a 180, he says “Not even the Magi can save you now…There is no escape…Your end shall be my beginning…Behold your fate!” At this you start moving forward onto an incline the head appears again at the top: “Your souls are MINE!” The head widens and opens it’s mouth as the eyes start to glow and you launch right into the mouth.

What follows is an incredibly twisty coaster mostly in the dark (you have know idea where you are going) every once in a while passing glowing pictures of grotesque figures loosing their souls.

Ok one more warning, what follows is the biggest surprise in the whole ride, if you don’t want it ruined don’t read the next paragraph!

With that you enter the exit platform as a worker (who is behind a frosted glass window in a booth) starts the exit safety spiel. Halfway through, the voice slows and a hand passes in front of the person. Crash! Imhotep (rotten version) reappears and reminds you that you are about to die. The roof above erupts into flame as he laughs. Then he utters the required “Death is only the beginning” the ride pic is taken and you plunge into a lake of mist starting another shorter roller coaster section that ends as you sideswipe a gigantic Imhotep head (rotten) that sends even more mist out of its mouth. All of a sudden a gigantic gleaming Magi symbol appears above you as Imhotep screams in agony “NOOO!”

The ride slows to a stop as a video of Brendan Frasior starts playing. “Hey welcome back, hope you enjoyed the ride; I would have enjoyed this interview more if I HAD GOTTEN MY CUP OF COFFEE!” A shadow whooshes past the screen and a decaying hand is offering Brendan his coffee. “Hey thanks, what the AHHHHH!” Sorry I couldn’t remember all of his speeches even though I rode the ride about 20 times it was a week ago. Everyone needs to experience this ride!

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Men in Black: Alien Attack!-20+ rides, 0-15 min wait, Score 9

Wow this ride was fun; the best shoot um’ ride out there folks. I averaged about 150k for the entire trip but by the end was getting above 300k (400k with the “bonus”). By the last morning my dad had finally started getting respectable scores and my family earned our “suits” 3 times in a row. Universal has really been pumping out the quality attractions lately!

Back to the Future: The Ride-2 times, no wait, Score 7.5

This ride is really showing its age, this was my favorite attraction 5 years ago but now the film is getting fuzzy and the sims are really rough. At the very least they should reprogram the movement again.

Shrek 4D-1 time, no wait, Score 8

The best compliment I could give this ride is that it lives up to the movies on which it is based. Shrek 4D takes place between Shrek 1&2 and involves an evil plot by Lord Farquad (now a ghost) to kidnap Fiona. The pre show with the 3 pigs, Pinocchio and the Gingerbread man is also fantastic. At the time it was the best 3D show I had ever seen (and would be for about 2 days). A must see!

ET Adventure-2 times, no wait, Score 7

This ride was in rehab the last time I was here so this was a new ride for me. Cute, and totally enjoyable.

Jaws-1 time, no wait, Score 7

Unlike BTF:TR this ride has not aged, perfect combination of cheese and horror. A classic.

Earthquake-1 time, no wait, Score 7

My dad is petrified of Earthquakes so watching him during the ride portion is more enjoyable then the ride itself.

Twister-1 time, 5 mins, Score 7

My brother’s phobia is Twister so this attraction receives another boost like Earthquake.

Terminator 2 3D-1 time, 10 min wait, Score 7.5

The way this ride combines live actors and the movie is amazing.

Universal’s Horror Show-1 time, no wait, Score 7

Great show, don’t miss it, funny and entertaining.

All right next trip report will cover IOA, until then so long!

**Fixed the spacing again** *** Edited 6/21/2004 3:53:47 AM UTC by Touchdown***

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Monday, June 21, 2004 10:59 PM
Great TR! I loved the details you gave on the Mummy.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2004 8:08 PM
That all sounds good to me as, especially the part about guests staying at Universal Hotels getting in the express line as much as they want!!!!! It just so happens that I will be staying at Universal's Royal Pacific Hotel!!! That'll be next month when I fly out to Florida for my Universal experience. This will be my first visit to the Universal parks, needless to say... I CAN'T WAIT!!!
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Saturday, June 26, 2004 12:23 AM
Dan1 enjoy it, staying on site is the way to go. Prepare to ride every ride till you can recite the dialogue! :)
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Saturday, June 26, 2004 6:57 PM
Thank's Touchdown!! I'm sooo looking foward to it!!
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Thursday, July 8, 2004 2:45 PM
Is there no limit to the times you can use Universal Express? I will be visiting universal for the first time in August and staying at the Royal Pacific Hotel. In one of the guide books I have (admittedly a couple of years out of date) it says One pass per ride per day, which may be modified to one ride per ride per hour. Is this the case or is it unlimited?
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