You'd think that after a week, I'd be getting homesick and pining for the corn and cold. I wasn't. Because on day 7, I got to go to the place that most resembles my vision of Heaven: Universal's Islands of Adventure. It was the sole reason we'd taken the trip. Ever since seeing The Incredible Hulk coaster in The House on Haunted Hill, I'd drooled over the prospect of someday being able to go there. In my mind the park was a 10 before we ever arrived. And once we got there it was about a 30. The only trouble was we couldn't get there...yet.
See, the day before, we'd taken an exit that branched off to the left. It was the only exit that said Universal. So I passed up 2 exits that said Universal before realizing the exit I'd taken on the day before had been closed off. So we drove about 10 minutes before we found a place to turn around. We were about 20 minutes later getting to the park than planned, but we made it. It just goes to show that ever Matt Smeltzer, King of the Roadtrip, can screw up. Actually, I blame it on Universal for not being consistent with their exits...
Anyway, from the entrance to the park, you can see the gleaming green monster that had become the object of my affection. And it looked good. Real good. Bigger and longer than in the movie. We stood in line for it for an hour. We would've waited all day. And it was good. There is no way to describe how it feels to be sitting there in the tunnel when the thing launches. It's a whole lifetime's craziness pushed into 2 seconds. It will blow your mind. It has the highest rating ever on the Matt scale.
After the ride, while we were still pretty euphoric, we went on the Spiderman ride. And it was cool beyond compare. Once you're sitting there with your 3-D glasses on, there is no way to tell what's real and what's not. If you don't believe me, ride it just once in your life. You'll find out. It's amazing.
Islands of Adventure has got to be the most high-tech park in the world. Of course, it's only 2 years old. It's also the most atmosphere intensive park I've ever been to. Everywhere you go is themed. From the attraction lines to the bridges separating each island. Everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, in the park is themed. And the biggest example of this is outside Poseidon's Fury (which apparently is closing down. Pity, I loved it.) They've built a HUGE Greek temple complete with ruins of a huge statue. With huge waterfalls. Jurassic Park Island IS Jurassic Park, complete with music and sound effects coming from all directions. Marvel Superhero Island has characters from comic books all over the place. It has to be the greatest theme park on earth. No question.
I can't say anything more about this place, but go there. Go there NOW! I've already booked my next trip! (It's in May for those of you who care)
Click here to see what Matt thought of all the attractions he visited at Universal Islands of Adventure.
Click here to move forward to Day 8.
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