Day 10 – Islands of Adventure
We all woke relatively early this morning, showered and packed all our stuff and took our cases down to the concierge to keep for the day.
We caught a water taxi and then headed to the Hard Rock Café for breakfast. I find breakfast the hardest meal of the day to accommodate for gluten free. Fin was fine as he had an omelette but I hate eggs so had a glass of orange juice and a gluten free cereal bar I brought with me.
Cian and Andrew shared a pancake stack and my mother had an omelette with potatoes and toast. It came to just under $60 for five of us whereas breakfast in the hotel was $23 per person.
After breakfast, we headed straight into the park and were accosted by a photographer who made us have about 20 pictures by the Universal ball.
After this, me, Cian and Andrew went on the Hulk and Dr. Doom’s Fearfall. Fin requested we do these first to get them out of the way as he was too short. Next, we waited for all the superheroes to arrive and the boys had loads of autographs and pictures with them. Then we went on the Spiderman ride which I love!
We decided to leave the water rides until after lunch as I had a 1pm reservation in Mythos so headed from the Marvel area to Kong: Skull Island. Lots of people have said they weren’t impressed with this but I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the special effects were fantastic.
After Kong, we had half hour to kill before lunch and so Andrew suggested we ride the Jurassic River Adventure as we would “only get splashed a bit!” We ended up in the front row and got totally soaked which was ideal as we headed to lunch!!!
The air conditioning was blasting in the restaurant and so we all sat there shivering while waiting for our orders. The food was delicious. I had a GF Chicken BLT and fries and Fin had a bacon burger with fries. Cian also had a burger, Andrew had a crab sandwich and my mother had an Italian pork panini. The prices were really good value and on a par with the Quick Service prices, despite being a table service restaurant, with all our meals priced between $12.99 and $15.99. Mythos has been voted the best theme park restaurant 6 years running and it’s easy to see why!
After lunch, we tackled the water rides. We did the Ripsaw Falls first and we were absolutely soaked getting off there despite our ponchos! Then we headed to Popeye and Bluto’s barges and went around twice as there was no queue. We were completely drenched through by the end of it but it was such a good laugh!
We then walked back to Hogsmeade and the boys did all the remaining spells with the interactive wand on that side of the park. We had photographs with the castle in the background and then went to Honeydukes and bought a Chocolate frog, some fudge flies and some Every Flavour Beans and finished off with a pint of Butterbeer.
We then rode The Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff and then caught the Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade back to Diagon Alley and sat with a lovely family from NYC.
Once we got off the train, we had another ride on Escape from Gringotts and then walked through the park to do the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket in the dark. The lady there was lovely and let the boys pick which row they wanted to go in (the front, obviously!) and then when the ride ended she let us go straight back on in the front row again!
We had a fab day in both parks and bought the Universal Photo Pass. It was a bit steep at $99.00 but so worth it as we ended up with over 40 photographs to download and 2 free prints. Considering the ride prints are £25 each, it worked out far better value.
Got straight on a water taxi back to the Hard Rock Hotel, picked up our luggage and headed to our next adventure at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.
What a fab place! We had a lovely room overlooking the pool with a kitchen. The rooms are really funky and the pool is open until 10pm with films showing on a big screen. We headed to the Bayliner Diner in the hotel for our evening meal and they were really accommodating.
The chef came out and said he could pretty much make us whatever we fancied and so we both went for chicken strips as we were sick of burgers!
We finished eating around 9:30pm so the kids had the last half hour in the pool while we watched them with a glass of wine. There was such a lovely, friendly feel to the hotel and I would definitely think of staying there in the future.
We all had showers then settled down for the night, looking forward to witnessing the new water park, Volcano Bay, the next morning.