Part I: Universal Orlando
When you visit the US for the first time, there is quite a “learning curve” of things that you would not expect in the first place:
- Automatic transmission in cars. Never use two feet!
- They use “Sir” differently than in “Sir Alec Guinness”. The guy who sells pizza at the airport calls you “Sir”. That’s cool. I like it.
- All bank notes have the same size and look almost the same. And they are very sticky.
- “Yes” is not a valid reply to “Forhereortogo?”
- People don’t smoke in the queues; they don’t smoke in the parks. What a relief!
- The weather in Florida can change quite quickly and dramatically. That’s different to where I live. If it starts to rain, it will most probably go on for days.
The first thing I remember when I think of my visit to Universal Orlando was the huge parking structure. And that was before they made you park your car at the most distant corner of it, if you do not opt for “preferred parking”
The second thing that comes to my mind is me sitting at the “Beverly Hills Boulangerie”
with a humongous chunk of dough and meat that they gave me, when I ordered a “croissant”
for breakfast. It’s sunny and pleasant when all of a sudden Doc Brown turns up and asks me what year it is, running away when I tell him it’s 2001. It’s not that we do not have character encounters in Germany, but that’s strictly for the kids. Everything else would be – of course – super awkward.
Speaking of “awkward”
: One of my favorite attractions has been “Twister”
. Yes, I know, many of you think, that thing was a cheesy, crappy show, but I really enjoyed it. First of all, because it introduced me to the concept of a “pre show”, something that was absolutely new to me. In German parks you wait in line until you can ride and then you ride. That’s it. But a preshow, that gets you into the mood for the main show to come, with real actors, come on, that’s so cool! I also have a crush on Helen Hunt. Don’t tell my wife.
I really like Universal Studios, although little of the attractions that were there when I first visited the park are still there. I loved Kongfrontation, but I think the “Mummy”
is one of the greatest Indoor-Coasters. I enjoyed Jaws, but the “New Potter” is also very impressive. I do miss Disaster and I hope that E.T. and Terminator will still stay there for a couple of years. And although I do not go crazy for projection based attractions, I appreciate the way the parks re-invents itself over the years again and again.