I am reviewing the Universal Studios (US) park separately from Islands of Adventure on purpose. Both parks are fun but each has its own personality.
US is laid out like a movie lot. The buildings and props are straight out of the movies. For those of you who are movie buffs, this is the park I think you will enjoy the most. Don't get me wrong, Islands is super fun too and I recommend both parks, but this park just appealed more to my movie nerd side.
You can easily spend the entire day inside this park floating from each attraction. The newest edition of Harry Potter world, Diagon Alley, is where the old Jaws ride used to be. Since it's so new, you have to wait in line to get inside. Once inside, it's like you stepped into the books. US paid great attention to the detail of this park edition. The night bus sits outside of the entrance to King's Cross and the entrance to Diagon Alley. You can shop until your hearts content and ride the Gringott's ride. I do advise anybody interested in this ride to get there as early as you can. Most of the waits are over two hours and the ride lasts for about a minute. The kids can get interactive wands at Olivander's wand shop and do magic around Diagon Alley (and Hogsmead in the Islands park). You can eat at the leaky cauldron. Their menu is pretty much the same as the Three Broomsticks.
The Simpsons park was cute and the Simpsons ride is in the old Back to the Future ride. The kids liked that ride a lot. We don't care for the Simpson's much, but this part of the park is really cute.
We saw a few shows, had ice cream at Mel's Diner and rode the Hogwarts Express over to Islands. You do have to have a park to park ticket to do this. The ET ride is still there and Twister is still there. The Disaster show was fun and we enjoyed the Transformers ride a lot! We also loved the Mummy ride a lot too.
What we didn't like about this park was the food prices. It's very expensive to eat inside the park and for what you have to choose from just makes you cringe when you get to the cashier.
Anyway, this is a fun park and it has something for all ages. I do recommend staying on property to take advantage of the early park admission option.
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