Our third full day in Universal Orlando, and today, we spent the day at Islands of Adventure. The weather was glorious, and in the morning, the crowds were very light. The low crowds meant we were able to navigate the various attractions quickly.
Universal Orlando is celebrating Halloween, and most nights, Universal Studios closes early for the Halloween Horror Nights, hard ticket events. Our observations are that most day trippers start the day at Universal Studios before transferring to Islands of Adventure, which stays open later. Crowds appear to build up in Islands of Adventure from around 2 p.m. and we have noted on each day very long wait times for the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure). In comparison, the Hogwarts Express to Universal Studios simultaneously has no wait.
Morning crowds were fairly light at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and even the ever-popular Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure had an advertised wait of only around an hour. We did lose some time due to a ride failure on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride broke down just before we boarded. After 30 minutes, we decided to leave the line, and it was several hours before the ride was running again.
We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks, the most popular dining location in Universal Orlando. This quick service location is mobile order only, and your food is brought to your table. Food is ridiculously overpriced for what it is, but it is actually quite tasty. However, Universal does describe the food as ” tasty British fare,” but you would struggle to find most dishes served anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Yes, they serve Shepherd’s Pie, which is about as English as you can get, but with a garden salad! Plus, how many people would consider Barbecue Ribs, Smoked Chicken, Corn on the Cob, and Roast potato platter as traditional British fare?
Yes, the food might not be British and is massively over-priced, but it is one of the best dining choices at Islands of Adventure. Theme Park food at Universal is still significantly lower in standards compared to Walt Disney World, and you do have to leave the parks to get Universal’s best food.
One thing Islands of Adventure has in abundance is great water rides. In my opinion, the best of these Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, and nobody leave the ride not soaked through. If it wasn’t for the “zaniness,” you would get just as wet dipping yourself fully clothed into a “sheep dip.” Getting wet is the fun!
So, what fun do you get wearing a poncho on the ride? Admittedly, it can be amusing when you see the “ponchoed” guest’s water-proofing spectacularly fail. However, where is the fun if you come off a water ride dry? Despite this, about 10% of people ride wearing one. Have they had the proper Bilge-Rat Barges experience and are they cheating the ride?
Also, how do glamorous families, like the one we saw today in matching blue attire, come off the ride soaked but still looking glamorous? It does not seem fair, but at least they had a proper Bilge-Rat Barges Experience.
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