Day 20 of WDW-40, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here! Today we visited Universal Studios, went on a few rides, and had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. This would be our first visit back to Universal since 2013!
If you haven’t read my pre-trip planning report yet, why not have a quick read now to bring you up to speed about who we are, and why this trip report is called WDW-40! You might also want to start reading from the beginning of the report!
Day 20: Universal Studios
Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe
September 23rd, 2016
My trip reports are generally photo heavy, images in tiled galleries can be clicked on to enlarge. All the photos from this day can be found here | Florida 2016 photo collection on Flickr here.
WDW-40, 2016: Trip Report Index | Pre-Trip Planning Report | About Us
Some days are split into several parts; please use the page numbers at the bottom of the post to continue reading.
I think this trip report takes the prize for the longest time to ever get completed… It has become one of those things. It feels like so long ago since this 2016 trip, and we’ve had another trip since then too! I don’t want to leave this unfinished – both for you the reader, and for us for our memories (of what I have left of them!) I cannot promise when the next day will appear, but I am giving myself a deadline of having it completed by September. There are just 7 days left to be written, so we will see what happens…
Our day started, as most days did on this holiday, we Steve and I driving to Disney’s All-Star Movie Resort to pick up my brother, Chris and his (now) wife Meg. Quite often a pit-stop at McDonald’s was on the cards for coffee or munchies of some sort.
Today was a visit back to Universal Orlando, after a 3 year hiatus for us. Our previous two trips involved the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan, so we had made the decision to make those holidays Disney only. But any who, back to Universal!
We parked in the Jaws area of the parking garage, and headed towards the entrance. This was the year of heightened security at the theme parks, so before you hit City Walk, there was a line of security gates/metal detectors like they have in airports, as well as security guards of course. Every guest had to go through the security gates/metal detectors – unlike at Walt Disney World where it is more of a spot check after having your bag searched. Hopefully by our next visit things will be ironed out and everything will be running more smoothly.
We finally arrived on City Walk, and it felt all very familiar – I think some shops have changed, but all in all, not much different from 2013. We headed right towards Universal Studios (Islands of Adventure is straight on) and made our way into the park.
I know we didn’t spend a full day in the park. We had got there by mid morning, and by mid afternoon were “done”. Everything was set up for Halloween Horror Nights, so the park was closing early any way – and it was very busy. Lines were long, and we just couldn’t deal with having to wait in long lines.
Luckily it was minimal for T2:3D, which we all wanted to go on, and a show was just about to start so we dashed in. Only for the ride/show to break down, and we all had to leave. We were told to come back later – which we did – twice – and both times the show was cancelled. We were given passes to use on any other ride – so we went on Transformers, which was just as awesome as I remembered. We then tried T2:3D again, and finally was able to see the show. And I’m so glad we did as I believe it has now closed down to make way for another attraction.
It’s awful when I don’t actually have that much to report in one of my trip reports, but we really didn’t do much other than checking if the Terminator ride was working again – and having a look around the rest of the park. We didn’t venture into Diagon Alley (although Steve and I did do that on another day), and we didn’t do any other rides because it was just too busy. But here are some photos from around the park.
My bro bought himself a Minions souvenir cup, don’t ask me when he bought it as he has a habit of wandering off from the rest of the group. Since I am a souvenir cup sucker, I naturally wanted one too… but I didn’t buy one. However, out on City Walk there was a popcorn stand and I bought a Minions popcorn bucket, so that kinda makes up for it! Oh, and we bought a super long corn dog too.
One thing I’ll say about Universal Studios, compared with Walt Disney World, is that it doesn’t feel as accessible for those with mobility issues and using a scooter or wheelchair. Finding a dip in the pavement/sidewalk to cross over to the other side was tricky, and the stores we went in were very tight, to the point where I couldn’t go in them with the ECV, unlike at Walt Disney World where I don’t think you feel excluded from any stores because of that. That said, I did pop into the shop here that sold Christmas ornaments as they were too cute to pass up on, and I have a thing for Christmas tree decorations!