Through the miracle of automatic blog posting, I was actually on vacation in Orlando, Florida while the past several entries were posted.
The Minnesota public school system has a bizarre ritual called "M.E.A. break", where public schools close and teachers spend Thursday and Friday undergoing "professional enrichment" through the Minnesota Education Association (M.E.A.). Of course, most of the teachers blow off the training and spend these days on vacation, as do their students and their families...making for an unofficial "Fall Break Vacation" all across the state of Minnesota. This year, my wife and I decided to follow suit and plan an M.E.A. vacation with the kids, this time to Universal Studios Orlando.
Since we'd long ago done the Disney trip, and the kids now believing they were officially too hip for what Uncle Walt was peddling (to dad's dismay), Universal Orlando seemed to be the perfect destination for a family with teenaged kids.....not to mention a dad who's a hopeless comic book junkie.
Why is that?
Well, as some of you may already know, Universal Orlando is divided into two distinct parks The first one is Universal Studios, closely modeled after the look and experience of the original California tourist trap. The second one is the newer Islands of Adventure, featuring five separate sections, or islands, each with their own unique theme. One of the themes (as well as my most anticipated portion of our trip) was Marvel Super Hero Island.
My first impression of Marvel Superhero Island (as well as the other themed Islands) was how much Universal was able to do within such a relatively small space. Each Island really isn't very big, but the design and visual lines give a convincing illusion of size and space. For example, Marvel Island's biggest attraction, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, is really nowhere near as large as the world's true monster coasters, as you can see from the photo below:
However, what The Incredible Hulk Coaster lacks in size, it makes up for in sheer intensity. It's an extremely intimidating looking ride...so intimindating, in fact, that I chickened out and let my wife (a die-hard scary ride fan) ride it solo. Really...I had hoped I would be able to give it a shot, but it just wasn't in the cards. Whether it was the crazily screaming people riding it, or the Hulk-like roar of the coaster itself (I swear...it was actually ROARING), I skulked off like puny Bruce Banner himself. You win this round, Hulk....but I'll be BACK (maybe).
What did my wife think? She loved it, of course. Click here if you'd like to check out a short video of the ride.
Well, that's it for today. Over the next few days, I'll cover different aspects of the Marvel Super Hero Island experience, as well as some reviews of the rides I didn't wimp out on....including Dr. Doom's Fear Fall. Stay tuned!