This was my second trip to Florida in 27 years…where have you been Mike? After four days in the sunshine state, here are the major tips if you are going to Universal in the not too distant future.
1. Go on as many rides as possible (especially The Mummy and Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey).
The part of universal that makes itself so unique is the virtual ride experience and the different rides. Even if you're not wearing 3-D/4D glasses, the rides tend to feel incredibly real even if you're in front of a screen: that to me is a very rich and worthwhile experience even if you have to wait 35 minutes for a three-minute ride.
2. Consider visiting during the fall season - you'll be able to do an evening of Halloween horror nights
Universal changes its entire experience starting at 7 p.m. for what they title Halloween Horror Nights. This includes some different walking scare zones and about 8 to 10 different themed haunted houses. The key to this is making sure you get there early or stay inside the park to avoid massive entry lines. I went to one haunted house, and I'll be quite honest with you, I can't remember the last time I went into a haunted house. This particular house was titled slaughter cinema. And each room had my heart pounding as I walked in until the only way I could cope with how scary everything was to laugh.
Get a frozen butterbeer and Simpson's doughnut
Out of all the sweet treats, candies, and fast food items you could purchase in the park, the butter beer from Harry Potter's Diagon Alley is an absolute must. The concoction is a slushy with vanilla and butterscotch flavoring. Even if you don't like butterscotch (because I don't); it still tasted awesome. As for a food item, go with the Simpson's doughnut. It will be the size of your head, but the pink frosting and sprinkles taste delicious. Trust me on this one: Chicago is spoiled with donuts, but this one is a serious contender.
4. Make sure to take time to sit down for lunch or dinner (your feet will thank you)
There are a variety of different restaurants throughout the park. You'll find somewhere no matter the type of food you're craving. My suggested pick is the Cowfish's Bacon Burger Sushi. The outside may be a little crispy with the potatoes; with a little ketchup and mustard you're in for a real tasty spectacle! The honorable mention goes to the brunch French toast burger at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.
5. Try a ride that you normally would not consider
And so after 27 years, I finally went on my very first roller coaster. It was a better experience than I anticipated. I didn't get sick, I had all of the chills and excitement, and before I knew it, it was all over. So, I went back three more times!