Today was surprise trip for Vivian to the Universal Resort for our final day in Florida. Booking last minute, as per the scenario we find ourselves in commonly, cost more than it would just several days later so that really sucked, especially on a backpacker budget. Still, it was one of those events that you just have to do.

To be a kid here, or entertainment junkie, or just a less cynical person than I, well it’d be a pretty special place to be. I, unfortunately, am none of the above so all I could see was the astronomical amount of revenue they turn over here and in ways that I don’t approve of. (The ridiculous ticket costs, the fact that they’ve made and charged the resort into three parks instead of one, annoyance that some of the rides weren’t working, the extortionate ‘express’ tickets for less queue time, the fact that the majority of outlets in the park are for food, drink, and merchandise but nothing is provided in the silly-high cost of the ticket).

I planned to end up at Universal Studios but instead, we ended up at the park next to it known as Universal’s Islands of Adventure – essentially a large theme park. Admittedly the separation (or expansion as they would put it) started over 20 years ago so my rant is a little belated. That’s when Universal Studios Florida became the Universal Orlando Resort and when the cash rocketed, I’d imagine.

I kept my annoyances largely to myself until now so she could enjoy her day and experience some Orlando Magic. And she very much did, up until later in the day when she then realised there was another park next door (Universal Studios) and discovered that we couldn’t get in as you’d need a ‘Park to Park’ ticket which was a vast sum more. Buggers.

Universal makes me mad, really mad. This mad in fact, coming from one of their own:

We enjoyed quality rides and 3D animations all day including Spiderman, Harry Potter rides, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Jurassic Park, Skull Island, Reign of Kong and others.

Jurassic Park rides:


Looney tunes rides


To conclude, if your budget allows for it and you don’t mind being royally shafted in the wallet department, come to Orlando for an unforgettable time for you and your family. There’s so much to see and do you’ll need at least 10 days factoring in the jet lag and time zone differences. Have the best experiences, laugh all day and then eat and drink like King and Queen.

We did the above on a tiny, tiny scale and still managed to enjoy a lot of our Florida adventure so save up and let loose, you’re unlikely to regret it as there’s probably nowhere else quite like it.

Catch you very soon from a new location. Back to more travelling and less “holidaying’, hopefully.

Now sit back and enjoy a few minutes of seeing a little more of Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

4 Responses

  1. Hi, What a lovely surprise for Vivian. I can imagine how you were feeling when you find out how much they charge to get into all the theme parks but at least Vivian got to try one. I thought looking through the video that it was very good at Universal island . Giorgio would love the Dinasours and we would have problem getting him away from there 😂.
    Enjoy love mum xx

    • Thanks Mum, yeah a nice surprise for her. Yeah we thought of Giorgio much of the time actually. To think one day he’ll hopefully come here when he’s a bit older which will be lovely. The theme park was good for sure but still missed that Universal Studio magic.x

  2. I always saidthat taking kids to these resorts ruins it for adults as they spend too much time looking out forthe kids and doing what they want. Youv’e done it on your own so got the full experience. Well done

    • Never thought of it that way before but yeah, fair point. Looking at it like that makes it a little more bearable cost-wise as we were there all days and accomplished everything we wanted to within that one park.

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