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Photo TR: First visit to Orlando


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Hello! I recently took a trip to Florida for my Spring Break and I thought I'd share my adventure with you all. I'm a Disneyland local, and I've always dreamed of going to Disney World. One of my friends is doing the College Program down there and she offered to get us in to the parks and let us house in her apartment for a week. So my other friend and I packed up our bags and headed to Orlando to spend a week there. Like any college student we were on a budget, but we still managed to do all the Orlando parks, including Universal, try some of the best WDW food, and get a pretty full Disney experience!

 

I grew up with Disneyland in my backyard but my family never took any trips to Orlando to check out the other Disney property in the states. I really enjoyed going to Disneyland as a kid all the time, so this trip was a dream come true!

 

And don't worry, I'm not one of those Disneyland fanboys that complains about every bit of chipped paint on Space Mountain or whatever people complain about. I really appreciate having a Disney park so close to my house and I don't understand why people would pick it apart so much, but oh well!

 

On with the report!

 

Day 1: Landing in Orlando, visiting EPCOT's World Showcase.

 

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First stop at WDW was the Beach Club hotel!

 

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We were treated to the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream Ice Cream Parlor. Here are the results!

 

Next we walked from the Beach Club hotel over to the back entrance of EPCOT to get our first look at World Showcase! I was blown away as soon as I walked in! World Showcase is unbelievable!

 

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First stop, France!

 

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The Flower and Garden Festival was going on, so there were awesome topiary characters everywhere!

 

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Next up was Morocco! The sky started to clear up. Beautiful!

 

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First sighting of the big golf ball, Spaceship Earth! Such an impressive icon.

 

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I really liked the gardens in Japan!

 

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There was also this awesome show in front of an amazing looking building in Japan!

 

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The American Pavilion was cute. Lots of fatty foods to be found here.

 

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I really enjoyed Italy!

 

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Lady and the Tramp were hanging out in Italy!

 

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Germany was also impressive.

 

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Germany felt like Fantasyland back home a little bit.

 

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China was next on the loop. The details of the buildings was amazing!

 

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My first fastpass at WDW ever was for Maelstrom. More on this experience later, lol.

 

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But my first ride at Disney World was actually the Mexican boat ride!

 

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The boat ride was interesting...

 

.... but Maelstrom was even more bizarre! I didn't manage to get a good picture of the ride entrance or anything but it was quite the ride. From trolls to the polar bear scene to the ending scene with the Oil rig? We found ourselves laughing the entire ride because it was so silly!

 

But moving on!

 

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We had dinner in Morocco at their quick service restaurant. I got the Kafta Sandwich.

 

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We watch Illuminations from in front of the UK pavilion.

 

 

After Illuminations we booked it over to Hollywood Studios to ride Tower of Terror. We spent a whole day at DHS a couple days later, so I'll be sure to put up my opinion in that update.

 

Overall, I was really surprised by World Showcase! We didn't make it to the UK or Canada pavilions the first day but I was still super impressed. I went in thinking it was just going to be some countries with just some buildings to look at, but it was way more! I loved hearing the cast members speak in other languages and all the little shows in each country were so much fun! Japan was my favorite pavilion from that day. I loved exploring the shops in Japan and all the cast members were awesome! We didn't even make it to Future World that day, except for getting on Mission Space, and before we started there was a Code V. Ew! They gave us fastpasses which were good for the rest of the week though!

 

Day 2 with Universal Studios to come later!

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Day 2: Universal Studios!

 

Our first full park day was at Universal Studios! The Universal in Hollywood is about 35 minutes from my house, but I have only been there once, and didn't even do much that one time we went. That just made me even more excited to check out Universal in Florida. I had an idea of what it would be like but I didn't really know what was coming. I was really surprised about how great Universal Studios Florida is! It was a great way to start the many full park days to come on the trip.

 

Also I absolutely love the way Universal does lockers. We never had to pay for a locker all day!

 

On to the pictures and stories!

 

We got to the park right at opening and decided to go check out Mummy! What an awesome coaster! I absolutely love the upward launch out of the dark ride section. I haven't been on the one in California but it seems word around the internet is that our Mummy is not as good. Bummer for us, but the one in Florida is one of my favorite coasters now!

 

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Got to the park right at opening and rode Mummy a couple of times as a walk on! Great coaster!

 

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Next up was Rip Ride Rockit! Also a great coaster.

 

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Heading across the park again to ride Men in Black!

 

I really enjoyed MIB! I'm a fan of shooting dark rides anyway, so I knew MIB would be fun, but it surprised me a lot. I liked being able to shoot the alien characters and get points rather than trying to scope out specific targets on the walls and stuff. It felt more realistic! Also the part of the ride where you get to shoot at the opposing vehicle was awesome! One of my favorite rides from my trip for sure!

 

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I also really liked the view from MIB. It is cool to see Rockit poking over the buildings.

 

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We then checked out the Beetlejuice rock music show. It was... interesting. At least there was shade.

 

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We had some extra time to explore the different streets in Universal. Lots of details everywhere.

 

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I loved watching Rockit come flying out of this building.

 

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Coming from California's theme parks, I loved seeing all the open lakes and waterways in Florida's parks.

 

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The Transformers building was massive!

 

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The Blues Brothers show was a lot of fun! Recommended for sure.

 

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Despicable Me was next on the list. Pretty fun little simulator ride.

 

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Wandering around trying to find ET, we found a credit! We almost missed it!

 

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And now for the daily dose of WTF?? rides. ET Adventure. It was definitely an adventure..

 

And one of the highlights of the trip for me was getting to finally check out the old Nickelodeon Studios building. I grew up watching shows on Nickelodeon advertising the Studio in Orlando, but never got the opportunity to see it in person. I hadn't thought about this old memory until I recently found out that the old Nick Studios building was still alive and had been changed into the Blue Man Group stage. As soon as I found out I was going to Florida, I knew I had to stop by at least once to check out this long lost part of my childhood! It sort of seems silly but I definitely completed a childhood goal of mine over this trip, haha.

 

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Nickelodeon Studios in her current state next to the Blue Man Group theater.

 

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A picture I found from Wikipedia of the good ole days of the studio for a reference. Just like I watched on TV!

 

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One last little bit of the classic orange Nickelodeon splatter.

 

Leaving Universal Studios from the exit next to Blue Man Group/Hard Rock Cafe also provided some great views of Rockit going by!

 

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Rockit and some beautiful Florida sky behind it.

 

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Loved the twisty parts!

 

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Yep!! Definitely a fan of all the waterways here!

 

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And to end the report with a classic photo of the Universal globe!

 

 

 

Overall, I really enjoyed Universal! We left before catching the fireworks show in the lake but we had to make it back to Disney to hang out with some friends that night! Universal was clean, full of great attractions and shows and the staff was all pretty friendly and efficient. MIB and Mummy were my two favorite rides of the day. ET Adventure was definitely an interesting attraction. We only waiting about 15 minutes for it so at least we didn't waste a bunch of time standing in line for it. It's worth a ride if the line is short I guess.

 

Thanks for reading. Day 3, Islands of Adventure coming soon!

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Glad you seem to have enjoyed Universal! Love that park, and I love Islands of Adventure even more. Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

 

I have a lot to say about IOA, haha. Quite an amazing park!

 

Also if anyone can pm me or something with how to link to specific posts in a topic, I'd appreciate it. That way in the description I can link to the latest update so people don't have to scroll. I'm totally lost on how to do that.

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