Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Universal Studios

The day after we finished at Disney, we had a day at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.  Eric and I had been here on our honeymoon for just a day, and I had been here on a different band trip.  Both of us were a bit apprehensive about this one, just because we hadn't come as parents before and weren't sure there would be much for our kids to do. 

We had nothing to worry about! 

Now, remember... this isn't Disney.  There are different characters, different rides, yes.  But there is just a different feel of every amusement park, and this one isn't Disney.  But it's still very cool and worth it! 

Daddy and Richie at lunch in Circus McGurkus
 I gotta tell you... our best story about this park has nothing to do with this particular trip.  On our honeymoon, just before we were to leave to make our flight back to Texas, we found out the hard way that Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barge Adventure really will get you wet! It's not one of those rides where they say you'll get soaked then you're dry except for the seat of your pants.  This one will drench you to the skin!  So save yourself the trouble, unless you just really want to be wet.  It is a cool ride!

Ryan and Richie in the Carou-seuss-el... look at mommy, boys!  Eh, never mind.

Here's the guyzos and I on the One Fish, Two Fish ride.  I think it was easily their favorite!  It's similar to the rockets at the Magic Kingdom except you're riding in... you guessed it... a fish.  The arms go up and down, and here's where the twist comes in.  There are fish on poles that spit water as you go by!  Another one where you're going to get at least a little wet.  The guys loved it!

Then there was the Harry Potter area of the park.  

WOW.  Just wow.  This part of the park (and some good-natured shaming from my middle school band kids) prompted my reading all the Harry Potter series this summer.  What?  I hadn't read Harry Potter?  Yeah, one of the weird Crystal-things is that I just don't generally jump on the bandwagon of what everyone else seems to be doing.  I'm kinda strange like that.   

Anyway...  we took this picture because the kids are train-crazy.  Then after we read the first book with the kids, this became their favorite picture from this day.  

Richie turns out to be quite the coaster head!  I never would have thought that about him, but he loves them.  So Daddy and Mommy took turns riding coasters with Richie.  Maelynn just didn't care for them, or doesn't yet, anyway.  Ryan loves them, but wants to watch and not ride.  So there you go.  The smaller HP coaster was perfect for Richie.  Here's he and Daddy after riding that one.

Waiting to ride the train around Seuss land!

So all in all, I'd say Universal has a lot to offer, especially if you're more into coasters than shows and ambience.  As for the disability pass, theirs is (they say) accidentally just like Disney's.  You get a card to present to the ride attendant at the beginning of the line, who then writes a time to return after.  It's just like a fast pass, and was again quite helpful! 

The biggest shout-out I'd like to give is for their park security and medical/first aid staff.  Richie had a first-time reaction to something (after much testing we think it was a kind of fish) we ate for dinner, and it reached its worst when we got back to the van.  Mom ran and got a security guard in the parking garage, who then called their medical staff.  They were there within five minutes, and within another ten, Richie and I were aboard an ambulance bound for the hospital. They were caring and helpful, and went above and beyond in making sure Mom knew how to get to the hospital, since she had Ryan and Maelynn in tow while I went with Richie. 

So began our adventurous trip home.  Such a wonderful time! 

Thanks be to God for keeping little Richie safe, and for the guys who helped so much that day!

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