Downtown Disney, Islands of Adventure, Trip Report, Walt Disney World

May 2012 Trip Report – Universal Islands of Adventure & Downtown Disney

Islands of Adventure

        To start out the day, we went to Islands of Adventure at Universal.  As many times as I’ve been to Disney, even when I lived down here in Orlando, I had never been to IoA/Universal.  Ken hadn’t been either.  We both were pretty excited to go, though we knew it wouldn’t compare to Disney.

Islands of Adventure Entrance

We knew that Harry Potter world would be the busiest, so we headed there first.  I rode the Forbidden Journey (ride in the Hogwarts Castle) and it made me ill.  I think I would have enjoyed it, but I spent most of the ride with my eyes shut so as not to get sick.  That’s only the second ride to ever make me feel sick to my stomach (the first was Tower of Terror).  After the ride, I got a frozen Butterbeer, which was was fantastic.  It tasted a lot like the recipe my mom and I made at home (1/2 cream soda, 1/2 butterscotch schnapps), but without alcohol.

Hogwarts Castle

        After that, we did Poseidon’s Fury, Spiderman, and Jurassic Park River Adventure.  Poseidon’s Fury was pretty good.  It had a couple really cool parts and some other really outdated ones.  Overall, it was worth doing.  Spiderman was awesome, really well done.  We both enjoyed it.  The Jurassic Park river ride was disappointing.  The ride itself wasn’t anything special and the team members were pretty rude to us and then sent us on our way before we were settled in our seats, which unnerved me.  I wanted to ride the pteradon flier ride, but was told I couldn’t because we didn’t have a child with us.
       Because I love Harry Potter, I really wanted to eat at 3 Broomsticks, despite reading some bad reviews.  Ken and I headed back across the park for lunch.  I ordered the shepherd’s pie with a non-frozen Butterbeer (complete with souvenir mug).  The shepherd’s pie wasn’t good – the meat tasted more like taco meat than anything, in my opinion.  Ken tasted it and didn’t like it at all.  For his lunch, he ordered the ribs and chicken meal.  He said the ribs were passable, but the chicken was pretty bad.  The Butterbeer was good, though.

       At that point, we were pretty much done with what we wanted/were able to do at Universal.  While I’m glad for the experience, since it was something new, paying $90 per person for half a day was ridiculous.  We could have paid extra to go to Universal too, but we weren’t really encouraged by our experience with Islands of Adventure and were just ready to leave.  We headed back to the hotel and took a 2 hour nap.

Downtown Disney

       When we woke up from our nap, we were pretty hungry.  We set off for Downtown Disney for dinner.  Unfortunately, we both forgot it was Mother’s Day.  Every “table service” (sit down) restaurant had at least a 90 minute wait.  We ultimately decided to go to Wolfgang Puck Express.  I had the 4 Cheese Pesto pizza and Ken got the bacon wrapped meatloaf.  We both loved our meals.  It was so nice being on Disney property where most employees actually care about customer service. After dinner, we walked around the different shops and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Dessert was two amazing sundaes from Ghiradelli.  Sitting in the warm evening breeze, eating these wonderful sundaes together was pretty magical ending to the day.

Magical Sundaes

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