Universal Studios Florida Pics – Review, and info. Comparing both “sides” of Universal Studios FL to see which side you should spend the most time visiting.The size and scope of today’s amusement parks can be both impressive and overwhelming. I booked a trip recently to Universal Studios with my kids. You’d think it would be a simple process, but there’s more to deliberate than you’d think.
Universal Studios Florida is a theme park that has a fun-focus on television and movie themes, characters, shows… There are two sides to Universal Studios – Universal Studios Florida and Univeral’s Islands of Adventure. Each side has plenty to see and do, but if you’re only there for one day, you’re best off to choose one or the other, not both.
After a couple visits to Orlando, we’ve had the chance to make it out to both Universal Studios theme parks. Here are some summaries of each to help you decide which might be the better option for your family vacation.
Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
I’m not sure if this was the case, but if these two parks were built at different times, I’d have to say this is the newer park. The sights seemed more modern and intricate. But if they were both built at the same time, you can’t miss that Universal’s Islands of Adventure has the amazing Wizarding World of Harry Potter exhibit and rides that portrays Hogsmeade… but not for long – see below for what’s new to come at Universal Studios Florida.
Speaking of Harry Potter… anyone who is a Harry Potter fan will be blown away by the Harry Potter exhibit at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Be prepared to “step into” Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade and be a part of the experience. The set up is the most amazing display I’ve ever seen, and calling it a set up, display, and exhibit don’t do it justice. It’s more like its own city.
If you have roller coaster lovers in the family, you’ll appreciate the high thrill coasters at the Universal Islands of Adventure. The rides are definitely more thrilling on this side of the park. You’ve probably heard people talking about The Incredible Hulk coaster and all the old wives tales about how they know someone who’s had a heart attack on this roller coaster ride. It’s really not dangerous, but it is a huge thrill. You’ll find two other great roller coasters at The Harry Potter exhibit that are uniquely intertwined and loads of fun.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure also had water rides whereas the other side does not. There are three of them, and you will get soaked.
Dr. Seuss land is a super colorful, cute, and a huge hit for Dr. Suess fans. You’ll find characters and themes from the books brought to life. Many of the rides, displays and activities here are more geared to a younger crowd. But even for the older ones, it’ll have you feeling like a kid again.
Toon Lagoon at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is another huge city-like display that has all sorts of cartoon themes including Popeye and Betty Boop. You will enjoy walking through the “city” and checking out the ‘larger than life’ cartoon displays, shops and rides.
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida has some great shows if you’re interested in sitting back and getting entertained. We checked out the Magic Show and the kids had a great time. At the end of the show, you can purchase the Magic Trick kits and learn how to do the tricks yourself. And, these weren’t some common magic tricks; these will have your friends truly stumped and amazed by your talent.
We also enjoyed the Animal Actors show. Here’s where you can see animals that were used in movies, e.g. a Lassie breed dog, the pug from Men In Black, the bird from Ace Ventura, and more. The trainers bring out the kinds of animals we see in films, and explain to us the training these animals go through and what skills they need to get into the movies. The demonstrations really show how much talent and skill these animals have. It’s incredible.
Other shows include Fear Factor, Terminator 3D, Horror Makeup Show, and more.
The rides at the Universal Studio Florida side are not as thrilling, but still fun. You will find lots of motion/simulator rides like the Krustyland ride, Minion, Transformers (new), etc. There are two roller coasters that are high thrill rides. The Hollywood Rip Rocket is pretty daunting, and the most thrilling ride on this side of the theme park. After that, The Mummy is another option, but very low-key for a roller coaster. Still fun none-the-less.
Universal Studios Florida Pics
Our favorite ride was the Men In Black ride. It’s not a roller coaster or a simulator. Basically, it’s a car on a track that moves through the paths at fast speeds, spinning at times, all while you shoot a laser gun at alien targets. Your score is tracked and it can be quite competitive. We went on it repeatedly to beat our scores and to try and come out on top.
The one mini city that I found most impressive at the Universal Studios Florida park was the Simpsons city of Springfield. Imagine the Simsons cartoon set coming to life. That’s bascially what it is and you get to step right into it. The kids and I were thrilled and giddy to see Moe’s Tavern, Kwik-E-Mart, Lard Lad Donuts, Krusty burgers and more.
As far as I can say, both sides of Universal Studios Florida are great in their own way. One is more show-based and the other has more thrilling rides, but they still both have everything to offer.