Universal Studios – The Adventure Lives On…
Well it has been a minute.. but we are back into the parks, The Adventure live on! We were away for about 10months!!! Insanity!!! We were VERY skeptical to get back into the parks, but glad we did it. Universal was way less crowded than we had seen online, but the lines themselves were insanely LONG! Our annual passes allow us access to fast pass AFTER 4pm, so that was a huge help. I am not sure if the cost of the ticket is worth the day with the masks and the lines, we certainly would not come without the annual pass or before 4pm.
APP – I suggest downloading the app and checking out the line situation. The app does help with planning, but is not always accurate. You will also need the app for the virtual line.
There is a lounge and they do give out little prizes here and there. There will be a Mardi Gras button very soon, they release at the start of the month and they run out fast. #UOAP
The lounge offers…
- charging stations
- sit down and chill out
- drinks for purchase
- annual passholder swag for purchase
We were happy to see a few of these stations around the park. The masks do take away from the experience, but there are also times when you don’t even remember you have the mask on. It’s an adjustment for sure! Image’s of breathing stations below.
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The Cow Fish Review
We did have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, we think the BEST Universal Restaurant. Here is the review.
BAKED POTATO BAR
Did you know that the regular Universal Studios has a BAKED POTATO BAR??!?!?!? This is located near the entrance to Harry Potter area, where the old “Jaws” area is.
Universal Studios – The Adventure Begins…. again
Now that we are back in the parks – we will be updating the images in this blog – so check back. Mardi Gras is right around the corner. It will look different this year. However, from what we ae hearing it might be BETTER!!!
Harry Potter section below
From time to time Universal will do a VIP event that you can buy into. Often times it is held in this building. This is where we did the VIP Mardi Gras last year. They had a buffet inside as well as unlimited “champs”. Front row seating for the parade as well. This is located in Universal across from the “Horror Makeup Show” NOT Islands of Adventure.
These fill up fast and they do not have them for all rides. When you get there in the morning, scan and sign up for the virtual rides. Download the app before you arrive and save yourself some time. They have these sign throughout the park and they also have staff walking around with them when they open up again through the day.
BREATHING STATIONS – Universal Studios
Prop Store – Universal Studios
We LOVE the prop store. It is located across from the Monster Makeup Show and NEXT to the Annual Pass Holder Lounge. They do change up the props from time to time and you can purchase them. They still had some old school Christmas decorations when we were in there.
Disney does NOT allow neck gators, Universal does.
City Walk Area
This is the restaurant area that connects the 2 parks. You do not need a park admission ticket to get in. parking is free after a certain time. There is also a movie theater and a mini golf course in this area.
Amazing Piano Bar – Kids are allowed in during certain times and they do sell food as well as AMAZING drinks.
City Walk – carts
Throughout City Walk Area there are adorable little carts selling all different kinds of items. We love the sock cart and the gaming cart.
CITY WALK RESTAURANTS
Drink Stands & Food Stands – Both Parks
Pricing and availability in both parks as well as City Walk are the same. You can purchase drink cups for one time or refill procing for the day or multiple days. Annual passholders will receive a discount. However, this offer does not allow you to refill in restaurants. There are quit a few freestyle coke stations through the parks.
- pricing is subject to change
POPCORN – This can also be purchased for one time consumption or a bucket for refills. Annual Passholder will receive a discount in this as well.
SPECIALTY DRINKS AND SNACKS
Different parts of the park offer different variety of treats. Check out the portion of the blog on Seuss Landing – they have an amazing candy / bakery shop.
There is a Starbucks located in City Walk, Universal and Islands of Adventure. Can you guess which one this is?
Love Love Love the décor in Old Universal opposed to Islands. I love the movie set feel.
Islands of Adventure
Every once in a while we give in and let the kids blow their money on these carnival games. We / They have won a couple times here and there over the years. These games are not included in your park admission, because they know you will get sucked in and they can take more from you! They do take cash and card.
THE “sarcastic” FOUNTAIN
It’s the little things that make the day AMAZING! This is an amazing fountain and was one of the BEST parts of our first day in 2020. The fountain can see you, hear you and interact with you in REAL time and has a great sense of humor. It also has the ability to SQUIRT water at you.
There is usually a line of people waiting go conversate with said fountain. Our kids patiently waited in line and a kid old enough to know better… cut them and thought he was the shit. Before my kids could give him what for, the fountain squirted him and sent him packing. We highly suggest making this part of your day.
There are some great food stands and shops in this area as well.
Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios BOTH have a AMAZING Harry Potter sections. Like most people we could NOT wait to get into this area. However, just because we are H.P. fans does NOT mean we are going to say everything is amazing because it is NOT. There are a lot of pros and cons and sometimes the cons cause us to completely avoid the area. I will say that Universal like most parks can do all they want to regulate traffic and space, but people will ruin it. When you have a crowd of inconsiderate ASSHATS all the space in the world will not matter.
Keeping in mind the below. These 2 area are breath taking. You literally feel like you are in the movie. The first time you see it and I suggest FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, it is jaw dropping.
Robes, wands, hats and all the Harry Potter swag you can dream of are for purchase pretty much everywhere.
- wands – interactive wands allow you to interact with displays through the lands
- walkways – these are way too congested, and should have been built for the crowds they knew would be here
- seating – lots of parents do not want to ride the rides, there should be more seating after the ride as well as more space to wait for your party.
- staff – I feel in this area there should be more staff…. moving people along. It takes one inconsiderate family to stop 6 across in the tiny walkways ways to cause a HUGE traffic jam.
- strollers – Area is too small and they should not be allowed in this area.
- stores – There is not space to shop, way too congested.
This is in Universal – if you stand back you will see someone peak through the window,
Double decker bus in Universal – You are able to go into a small portion of the back and take a picture. Driver is also there for pictures.
Entrance – Universal side
The first time we visited we honestly could not find the entrance. It is so well disguised. When you walk through and round that corner… Oh my goodness it is amazing!!! You really do step into another world.
There are these little markers on the ground in front of areas that interact with the wands. The arrow shows you how to move your wand to create MAGIC!!!
Walking down the cobblestone cane be nice and if you time ti right… He will breath FIRE through the streets. The ride is out of this world. However, the line inside is just as breath taking.
Even if you are NOT a Simpsons fan this area is a must just because of how cool it is. The ride is… eh. It is basically the same ride as Back to the Future. Personally, the ride seemed better when it was Back to the Future.
MOES – you must go in, sit at the bar and get a “Flaming Moe”. This is non acholic drink that is made with dry ice for the kids. Just a cool experience. There is a quick service attached to it, so you can grab a bite to eat.
LARGE Donuts are also for sale in the area as well as DUFF beer.
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My name is Tabitha and this blog is about my family and our life. We are always looking for inspiration and nonsense to keep us going… one day at a time… one celebration at a time. I am just another mama with no sick days and no days off trying to juggle family, life, wellness, getting dinner to the table while raising good humans and staying mentally sound.
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