Our Universal Date

Entrance to the Universal side


I shared with you hubby’s awesome savings by getting us free tickets to Universal Studios with his Coke Rewards points.  I don’t think I shared much about the actual excursion though.  First off, I definitely realize we are not as young as we used to be because by the end of the day (or when we called it a day – it was well before closing time) we were whipped puppies.  Maybe it was just that Florida heat?  Nah, probably just us getting old.  

We had decided that we were going to get there first thing in the morning when the park opened.  We were thinking they probably opened around 8 so our plan was to leave before 8 so we could get to the park by eight.  We had a little problem we had to go by the front desk of the hotel for before we left which put us leaving a little later than we wanted so by the time we got to the actual inside gates it was right at 9 AM which turns out was when the park opened so we were right on time.   

I had never been to Universal, only Disney so I hadn’t realized until we got there that it seems they took a hint from Disney and split the park in two so that now it is Islands of Adventure and Universal side by side but both together aren’t as big as Six Flags over Georgia and they charge a WHOLE lot more and the hours they are open are shorter.  I was a little perturbed by that.  Maybe if we had researched it thoroughly beforehand we would have found out we would have enjoyed Islands of Adventure more than Universal.  I just think for what they charge it doesn’t have nearly what I would have thought it did.  

We did have to laugh because before we even got inside the gates, pretty much as soon as we got out of the parking garage, the first things we saw were T shirts from one of those Dr. Seuss books.  They were marked Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3 and Thing 4.  Hubby got a huge kick out of that since on here I refer to our daughters as #1, #2, and #3.  Here is a picture of those adorable shirts:  

Dr. Seuss Shirts


First thing we came to was the 4D Shrek “ride”.  It wasn’t really a ride so much as like a 3D with “benefits”.  You know, water sprays from the headrests in front of you and puffs out of your headrest to make it more real.  It was a cute little movie though.  We ended up waiting in line about 30 or 40 minutes and I thought they were waiting for a group ahead of us but I think they really didn’t start anything until 10.  We found out that lots of the little exhibits and stuff actually didn’t open until 11 and it was a Saturday!  

Twister adventure


We did the Twister adventure which was kind of cool too and rode the boats on the Jaws Amityville “tour”.  Kind of cheesy but kids would probably like it.  We opted not to do the Mummy on and went on to the Men in Black ride.  This was the only actual “ride” other than the Jaws one that we “rode”.  I really enjoyed it until right before the end it spins you around.   Anyone who knows me knows I don’t “do” spinning rides.  I love roller coasters but I can’t handle spinning in circles.  Couple that with the fact that I have been have these inner ear issues and it wasn’t pretty.  I was extremely dizzy and nauseous by the time we got off of it and then I felt very off kilter.  

JAWS Amityville boat ride


Neither of us had eaten breakfast so we decided to stop in one of the diners (I think it was called the International Diner) to eat lunch.  It was already almost 1:30 I think.  I got Chinese – Sweet n Sour chicken but since I don’t do rice I asked for the mixed veggies instead.  The sweet n sour chicken was basically chicken tenders with sweet n sour sauce on the side and my veggies were scorched.  Seriously scorched.  They even smelled scorched, not just tasting that way.   I ate a couple bites of it and it was horrible and I wasn’t about to complain there so we threw away most of mine.  If I had been feeling so nauseous and dizzy I might have insisted on another order but I really didn’t feel like eating much anyway.  

We decided after lunch not to do anymore rides, good thing cause I think the only thing left was some kind of “Simpson’s ride” or something.  We decided to go in the Lucy tribute which I shared pics of in my Spin Cycle post on laughter this week.  What I didn’t realize was that when you walked through the double glass partition where her dresses were you were in another shop and it was one of my other favorite “ladies”.  It was Betty Boop.  I mean EVERYTHING Betty Boop.  Yall already know that Betty is my girl!  I even got me a Betty Boop coffee cup (not that I needed another coffee cup).  Here’s the pics of the cup and other stuff in the Betty store:  

My Betty cup


other side of my Betty cup


The Betty "altar" atop the coffee cup display


A Betty lover's heaven!


And Hubby got to have his picture taken outside Mel’s Diner:  

Hubby outside Mel's Diner


After that we basically went through the shoppes looking for souvenirs for the kids.  Hubby got to go in the NBA City which is actually a restaurant with a gift shop.  One thing that was interesting was this statue.  I can’t remember who it is of, but it was $15,000.  Yes, you read that right…. FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!  Hubby made a remark to the sales guy “Hey I bet yall sell a bunch of those!”  To which he seriously replied that no, that was the ONLY one that was made and it hadn’t sold…. I wonder why?  

NBA City


$15,000 statue of Dwight Howard


Then while I was shopping hubby decided to wait for me on the bench outside:  

Hi, my name is Forrest, Forrest Gump!


Forrest's famous sayings


“Run, hubby, run!”  Yep, it was the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  I love the shoes.  The shoes are not hubby’s.  They are a prop.  That was the first thing that two of our daughters asked when they saw the pictures “Why does dad have on those goofy shoes?”  Then I had to point out the box of chocolates and suitcase on the bench with the “life is like a box of chocolates” and then they got it.  By this time it was about 2:30 or so and I still wasn’t feeling well so we headed out.  I think we had about seen everything worth seeing anyway.  But since we didn’t pay to get in, it was a great day!  Can’t beat free can you?


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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22 Responses to Our Universal Date

  1. Ron says:

    This pictorial post brought back so many memories for me when I use to live in Olando and worked at Universal!!

    The photo of hubby standing in front of Mel’s Diner, if you look at the tan building to his right, that’s where I worked. It use to be called “The Murder She Wrote” post-production pavillion.

    LOVE the photo of hubby as Forrest Gump! Faaabulous!

    Did you go on “Back to the Future?” Talk about spinning and dizzy. I never went on it because I was too chicken – HA!

    Great post, Peg!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks Ron. I didn’t see the Back to the Future ride. Maybe they don’t do it anymore? Or maybe it’s on the other half of the park? The Islands of Adventure or whatever that is?

      • Back to the Future was replaced by the Simpson’s ride. It’s very similar (3D motion ride). It’s too bad you didn’t ride the Mummy….if you like rollercoasters, you probably would have really liked it. It’s a pretty unique indoor coaster, and lots of fun! Anyway, glad to read you enjoyed your trip. You definitely can’t beat free!

      • pegbur7 says:

        Free is always good.

  2. Jimmy says:

    I so love Universal Studios and now want to visit the one in Fla, we have been to the one in California a few times and outside Knott’s Berry Farm this is where I’d choose to go, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company food is awesome and it’s funny how excited you have gotten me about a trip that I was not even on, Thanks for taking me along because next time I wanna try on the shoes too 🙂

    I looks like you both had a wonderful time and I can relate to feeling it more now than we used to.

    • pegbur7 says:

      I’m glad you could come along for the ride! We did have a good time. I wish we had actually eaten at the Bubba Gump restaurant but we hadn’t eaten breakfast and when we got there it wasn’t open yet and we got so hungry in the park we ate and then about an hour later is when we came by again and we weren’t hungry again yet! NEXT TIME!

  3. It really looks like a fun day! I don’t ride rides that go up high or twirl though. But just looking would have been a blast!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I love roller coasters, BUT… twirly rides I can’t do and the MIB one was really twirly at the end… hence the nausea… it was fun other than that.

  4. Carol says:

    When my kids and grandkids were little, theme parks were fun. Now? Nahhh. Too many people, too much money, and I don’t do spinning rides or roller coaster type rides. The older I get, the less daring I become.

    • pegbur7 says:

      I doubt we would have gone had we not gotten the tickets free. I told him I would have been disappointed had we paid that much money for it because I really didn’t think it was worth what the tickets cost. Glad we got it for free!

  5. Jenny says:

    Sounds like you guys had a great time!! I love the picture of Dwight..I was looking at the shoes, the suitcase, the chocolates and I still didn’t get it until I read on.
    Another sign of getting old I guess!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I know. The girls were like “Why is Dad wearing those goofy shoes? You let him out of the house like that?” I had to tell them the shoes were props! LOL

  6. Woo hoo! I was a skipper on JAWS for 2 years back in the 90’s! They actually broke ground on Islands when I was working at Universal. I loved that ride, it seemed like Universal was like the antithesis to Disney. Their motto was “We’re not Disney. We don’t HAVE to be nice.” 🙂

    • pegbur7 says:

      I bet that was a fun job! The girl who was our skipper looked like she enjoyed it. I guess you have to be kind of an actress to do that, huh? Love their motto. FUNNY!

  7. LisaF says:

    Looks like you had a great time! We’ve never been to Universal Studios, but Disney’s MGM Studio is one of our favorite places. We love the Tower of Terror. On one trip, the park was not crowded and the kids rode it about 10 times in a row!

  8. Heather says:

    Love the Dr. Suess shirts! I sooo want one!
    The hubby looks cool sitting there like Forest Gump. Such a shame you wasn’t feeling well, but at least you had a great time of a free day.

  9. suzicate says:

    I hope you bought a Betty Boop coffee mug!

  10. terrepruitt says:

    My hubby and I went to both parks years ago. When the first opened the Mummy. Actually it was officially open yet, but they were letting people ride it. It was AWESOME. We went on it several times. It was a good ride.

    We also went to a four or five star restaurant in one of the parks. I can’t remember which on it was in. I thought it was called Neptune’s, but maybe not. It was soooooooo good.

    Sounds like you had a good time even though you ended the day early. And free is awesome!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Yeah, since it was free we didn’t mind calling it a day early. We had already pretty much done everythng anyway and after the spinning around and around I couldn’t take much more.

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