February Trip Report -- Part 5: Doing Universal Orlando solo


DIS Veteran
Aug 20, 1999
February 4, 2001

The cast:
Me (the 28 year old)

It was around 1:30 pm and the Daves had left. It was time for me to do the parks solo. I decided to go on the rides the Other Daves would not ride.

I was about to break down and buy a sweatshirt. I thought I could get a cheap one at Second Hand Rosie’s, but the shop was turned into a candy shop. No fair! What happened to the closeout items? I headed over to Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone. I almost rode Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, but the wait was 10 minutes. That was way too long for that coaster. I usually ride it if it is a walk-on, but I’d rather save a 10-minute wait for the Hulk. I wanted to squirt people in Curious George Goes to Town, but it looked kind of deserted.

Since I was in the area, I decided to ride E.T. There was no need to use FOTL here. The wait was posted as 10 minutes, but there was no wait except for the preshow wait. There was no line in the queue area. In the preshow, I noticed the AT&T sponsorship was gone, but it was the same video with Steven Spielberg. He has shorter hair now, doesn’t he? The access card had no mention of AT&T either. The wait for the access card was pretty long. I think I waited about 10 minutes just to give my name.

I walked through the forest queue and had forgotten how nice it was. I don’t ride E.T.
too often. If I do, I try to use the single riders line. There was no single riders line today. The queue did break off into two sides and people kept on taking the right hand side. I veered left. I didn’t save that much time because the right hand side kept up with me. The ride attendant saw my Hard Rock Café pin from Key West and he was chatting a little about it with me.

The ride looked better than I remember. The mannequins in the first scene looked a lot better than department store ones. E.T. didn’t say my name at the end. He just said “Goodbye” and waved his finger around.

Next up was Men in Black. I used the FOTL line. I rode it three times in 15 minutes. The ride attendants started recognizing me and knew exactly how many people were in my party. During my first ride, I scored 578,000, which was my highest score on the ride ever. I must have had some lucky shots with the fusion reactor. I only scored 200,000 on the next two rides. I couldn’t get any better on two rides, so I decided to retire for the day.

It was getting close to 3 pm, so I stopped by the globe for the webcam meet. It wasn’t too cold, but the fog from the globe was blowing right where I was. I had to move around to avoid the fog. I stayed there for 10 minutes. I spilled Coke my shirt and I had to clean it up!

I headed over to IOA for a few more rides. The first stop was Spider-Man. I tried to use the FOTL entrance through the gift shop, but a ride attendant stopped me and said, “Can I help you, sir?” I flashed my key and he directed me to the ride attendant in front. The ride attendant informed me to go through the stroller entrance. This was a good Spider-Man ride too! I’ve rode it many times this weekend and it has not broken down once. I think that is a record!

I headed over to Seuss Landing. I’d bet my bottom dollar that the Daves did not ride anything here. They probably had to walk through it to get to the Lost Continent. I decided to use FOTL. The ride attendant told me to go through the gift shop and cut through baby swap. It was hard to find my way to the baby swap. The attendant at the loading baby did not seem to notice me, so I got in the first empty line. The ride was pretty good. I did not notice anything not working. Someone does need to comb Thing 1 and Thing 2’s hair. Perhaps they need to use the combs that you use for troll dolls.

I thought about riding One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, but I did not feel like getting wet today. I headed to Posideon’s Fury. I used FOTL on this one. The regular wait was 20 minutes. The FOTL line runs parallel to the regular line. I walked right into the first room without the wait. The keeper was pretty good during this show. As we entered the second room, he said that in an emergency, we should just knock everyone down and run!

I hadn’t seen the Sinbad show in a while and one was about to begin, so I dropped by. The show is good to get off your feet for a while, but the explosions are loud! The flashes left spots on my eyes and I had to blink rapidly to get rid of them. The performers were covered up more than usual, perhaps because it was cold. This is also the first time I’ve seen Myseria played by a white actor. Usually when I watch the show, she is played by a black actress. Myseria looked like Cruella De Vil. She even made a comment about skinning puppies.

I then headed back to Marvel Super Hero Island. I saw the Island Skipper Boats running. I did not see them mentioned on the park map, but they were running back and forth. The sign said they are running from 11 am to 7 pm. I could have saved my feet and used it to go to Jurassic Park. I rode Spider-Man again and used FOTL. The ride was great, as usual.

Then I headed to the Hulk and rode it four times. I went through the regular queue because I wanted to walk through it. I haven’t been through it in a long time. I would have ridden it three times, but I noticed one guy who sat in a row by himself. There was an empty seat beside him, so I jumped in. He said that his girlfriend chickened out. During the ride, the man had his eyes closed. His arms and head were bunched up against his body. I thought that he was crying or praying, but when the ride stopped, he looked up and started laughing. He said that it was a great ride.

It was starting to get dark, so I decided to go on rides that would be great in the dark. It was actually dusk, but it was dark enough for me. I also wanted to walk around the islands to get some night photos.

First I rode Storm Force Acceleratron. The strobe effects really come out at night. You can see the flashing lights during the day, but the daylight drowns out the strobe. It really is cool at night. I got some photos of the ride too.

I got some shots of Marvel Super Hero Island and Seuss Landing during dusk. They look very nice with the lights on. I was heading to Dueling Dragons. The Lost Continent wasn’t lit up very much. There were certain areas by attractions, shops, and restaurants that were lit, but the rest of the island was pretty dark. I rode Dueling Dragons. The wait was too long to ride both Fire and Ice, so I just rode Fire. It didn’t seem very different in the dark.

I walked through Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon. Jurassic Park was lit up as much as the Lost Continent. Toon Lagoon was pretty bright. I finally made it back to Marvel Super Hero Island for some Hulk night rides. I walked through the regular queue since there was no wait. I rode in the back first and then the front. The wait for the front was about 5 minutes. When I ride in the front, the coaster seems slower. This time in the dark, the front seat felt a lot faster. You could still see the track, though, but it wasn’t really lit up. The lighting effects in the tunnel really stand out. The flashing lights give the tube an unusual effect.

I was around 7:05 and most of the rides were closed, so I headed out and back to the Hard Rock Hotel. My feet felt like bricks, so I used the water taxi to get back. The wait was about 10 minutes. I came back to the room and it was pretty dark. Dave looked like a Mack truck hit him. We ordered pizza from Flippy’s Pizza. Dave wanted water, but Flippy’s would not deliver water. The water from the tap was dehydrating. Instead, I went down to the gift shop to get him a bottle. The largest bottle was 24 oz. and I was expecting to pay at least $2 for it. The cashier rung it up and it was $1.05! That was pretty reasonable. I should have grabbed a Coke too. It would have been reasonable too.

I brought the water back and Dave acted like he had been in the desert all day. The pizza came and I got it from the lobby. I noticed that a plate of fruit and cheese was on top of the fridge. Management gave us a complimentary plate. It was nice of them, but Dave wasn’t too happy because everything on it was healthy! He would eat the cheese, though. I ended up eating the fruit.

I worked on my trip report as Dave slept. Dave woke up and watched I Love Lucy because there was nothing else worth watching. I tried to finish my trip report, but I fell asleep at 10 pm.

Tomorrow is Dave’s departure and my visit to Walt Disney World.


Barry Hom
The moderator formerly known as Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards

"If you were me, you'd be good looking."
I am blaming my bedridden condition on a cold and a bad Richter's burger, because the same thing happened last year, though not as bad as this year. I wonder if anyone else has ever fallen to the wrath of the bad Richter.

"Compose your final, loathesome dirge!"
I was wondering about your recommendations for restaurants at Universal. I seemed to be able to get plenty of information from the board and other sites on IOA restaurants but not Universals.
I'm not too fond of the food at USF. I have heard the cheese steaks in Amity are good. I've also heard the Monster Cafe is pretty good too.


Barry Hom
The moderator formerly known as Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards

"If you were me, you'd be good looking."

In spite of Dave's bad experience, we were satisfied with the burgers at Richters. Also, there is a fish 'n chips place in Amity that we really liked. You just have to guard your dinner against the gulls.
I'm thinking it was something else in addition to the Richter burger that Dave consumed that may have caused his condition ... the Richter burger is just a convenient scapegoat ...

It was so cold you could see your breath and you continued to walk around with just a tshirt? I know I won't ask you whether it has warmed up in Florida anymore. LOL

Did the maids change the sheets? Wonder what they thought. Hope you guys tipped them well.

On to next installment. :)


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