May 7

Universal Islands of Adventures, Part 3: Non-VelociCoaster Things Of Note

Let’s pray this is the last part of the Islands of Adventure series and then we can move on to the next park.

*cue faux enthusiasm from the crowd*

This is the shittiest picture of the Hulk but I was just so excited to finally ride it since it was closed for refurbishment in 2016! I LOVED IT! If I had ridden it in 2016, it would have hands down been my favorite ride in the park. We stand a solid B&M. And the wait was only about 10 minutes!

I remember that we rode this immediately after VelociCoaster, so it was our 2nd ride of the day and it wasn’t even 9am yet! Was this day going to be the opposite of what the vlogs and crowd prediction websites warned of???

We rode Spiderman after this which was about a 25 minute wait. This made spoiled Chooch lose his mind because the line appeared longer than it was. I forgot how good this ride is!

Then it was Kong time. I kept my expectations low because I heard from numerous sources that the line is more entertaining than the ride. Pen please, I’d like to cosign this sentiment.

OK that’s harsh – the ride was fine! But the queue was very well-themed and actually kind of enjoyable to walk through. I think the wait was only about 30 minutes though.

It’s funny – in other amusement park contexts, like for instance Kennywood, I would definitely balk at a 30 minute for a non-coaster but at Universal, 30 minutes felt like a walk-on since we were prepared for outrageous crowds. Oh did I mention that approx. 87 times already? Sorry, but I’m still trying to get over our stroke of luck, because apparently the crowds had heated up the very next day. Randomly choosing a Tuesday for Universal turned out to be very fortuitous! Especially because this was the only park on our itinerary that locked us into a specific day – you couldn’t just buy a ticket online and go any day you wanted. This made us so nervous!!

Many skulls.

I never saw Kong but I imagine this creepy witch person is in it? They were cursing us in tongues and it was actually kind of terrifying.

Anyway, the ride itself was fine!

After this, it was around 10 or so, and that’s when I decided it was “ride-or-die” time re: Hagrid’s. You can read about that shit here.

OMG for lunch we went to a real restaurant instead of a self-service place like we normally would do! We went to Confisco Grill because they had veg/vegan options. We beat the lunch crowd and they sat us within 5 minutes!

I had vegan pad Thai and my body was straight rejoicing as the tofu slid down my food chute. The pad Thai was semi-bland which ended up being good because I really don’t want to eat a heavy meal at a theme park and this was actually sort of light. I was SO HAPPY. Chooch and Henry both got udon – Chooch went with the vegan version and Henry got manly meateaters’ version with pork belly. They were just moderately happy with it but we’re only here to care about my thoughts and feelings, and my lunch was great. So moving on…

Probably arguing over directions.

This area of the park was moderately crowded all day until early evening. This are and Hogsmeade definitely made the park seem more crowded that it was. Although, the wait times did fluctuate a lot throughout the day. VelociCoaster was always about 30-45 minutes though which was wonderful since that was THE RIDE we wanted to re-ride over and over again!

I forgot how amusing Poseidon’s is! It’s a live action show thingie and Henry didn’t do it last time because he thought it was a water ride like the one at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Chooch and I didn’t even know what it was back then, but that just adds to the fun! Anyway, Henry joined us this time and agreed that it was “fun, yeah.”


We did not spend nearly enough time here, if I’m being honest.

A few days after, I think that both Disney and Universal went back to full-contact meet-and-greets but I was ok not hugging anyone while we were there. It was hot.



LOOK AT IT!!! I made Henry ride it with me later that night when Chooch was running amok with his friend from school who also happened to be there. That’s the dream, really – being at a park as awesome as Islands of Adventure with a friend??! Here I was stuck with Henry, but I guess that was ok too.

Henry 100% is not a fan of this train and also the wait was SO LONG, like 45 minutes!!?? The ops were awful.

The scenery in this park is top notch. I wish we had spent more time just sitting and taking everything in. I mean, I guess we did a lot of that the last time we visited because we had three whole days to spend at both parks. But still…

Oh! For some reason I don’t have any photos of this but we went to Crescent Moon Bakery right before they closed at 4 because every vegan Universal video I watched (again, we’re not vegan but Chooch and I are vegetarians and this is how we find out what our options are) and I really wanted a vegan elderberry croissant. They had one left!! I felt so blessed.

There was some super bitchy Beverly Hills broad ordering when we got there and of course she was trying to make some special request for her gluten free bitch friend who was too busy screaming on the phone to order her own damn panini or whatever the fuck. They were so unappreciative and rude to the lady behind the counter and you know what, the place was supposed to close in literally 3 minutes so fuck these people for coming in and ordering food. All we wanted to do was buy baked goods that required no preparation so I made sure we were extra nice to make up for those stuck-up botox broads.

Literally what is the point of being rude to people in the service industry. I don’t get it. Oh wait, that’s because I’m not an entitled delulu.

Anyway, after this we rode VelociCoaster again and then that’s when Chooch ditched us and we went to Seuss Landing, lol.

So romantic!! Seuss Landing at night!!

Henry bought a SNICKERDOODLE at Seuss Landing.

If we’re being honest, I’m kind of pissed that we wasted so much time in line for that damn train when we could have ridden the Cat in the Hat ride or something else, but YOU LIVE AND LEARN.

(Do I though?)

OMG then the best thing ever happened: I convinced Henry to lean into his inner KID AT HEART and ride Dudley Do Right’s Ripsaw Falls or whatever it’s called, I don’t feel like looking it up, but I will tell you that it’s my favorite log flume ride in the entire world. (Until I finally stuff my ass on the one at Phantasialand, anyway.)

There was NO LINE but the queue itself is so long that it still took us a good five minutes just to get to the end, and it was disconcerting because it was so dark and we couldn’t tell where we were going some of the time, and some random girl was behind us, which made me paranoid and I felt like I had to walk faster but my feet hurt SO BAD.

Henry bitched the WHOLE TIME because he did NOT want to ride a water ride at night and I was like, “No, it will be fine. I don’t think you get that wet on this, so please shut the fuck up, you’re ruining my perfect day.”

Yeah, so here’s Henry actually attempting to put money in the people dryer afterward, which he WOULD NEVER TYPICALLY DO BECAUSE HE IS A CHEAP-O, but um, we got W-E-T. Like, thoroughly soaked, and he was so pissed, lol.

LOL, look at him.

Yo, I can’t remember the last time I laughed THIS HARD in public. I was almost in tears during the whole ride because Henry’s plight was so hilarious to me, him behind me muttering, “Oh, Erin” every time we got doused. And the fact that it was nighttime made it even more fun because we couldn’t see what was coming and you guys, I forget about that grand finale. I was full-on BELLY LAUGHING, like totally unattractive deep-throated manly GUFFAWS. Yes, GUFFAWS. I was GU-FUCKING-FAWWING all over myself, to the point where I’m not sure how much of the wetness on my face was Ripsaw Falls water or my own saliva.

I could feel Henry go completely rigid behind me after that last drop. He was so pissed that it just stunned him into silence which made me laugh even harder.

Oh my lord, I highly recommend this ride at night.

The only bad part is that Henry lost his WILDWOOD HAT on it! But that just gave him an excuse to buy a VelociCoaster hat, which kickstarted a new souvenir hat-buying hobby. And then you know what he said?? “We’ll just have to go back to Wildwood so I can get a new hat.”


Anyway, after this, it was minutes away from park closing so we headed back to VelociCoaster to wait for Chooch who had opted to end the night with one last night ride on that with his pal. While we were waiting, one of the line attendants called out to all of us waiting in the courtyard area that they were closing the line and anyone who wanted to ride had until he made it back to the ride entrance to get in line. I could have made it and now I wish I had tried. But instead, I stayed with Henry and waited for Chooch.


Second regertz: not ordering Voodoo Donuts before they turned off online ordering. The line was way too long by the time we left the park and walked through City Walk.

It was well past park closing by the time Chooch and his friend exited the ride. They said goodbye and then we made the painful, sore-footed walk back to the park entrance (we stopped at one last gift shop first though!) and it was just really fun being there when Universal was technically closed! Barely anyone was left in the park and it was so cool. It also made me laugh because that morning, Henry made some comment about how we probably weren’t going to stay until the park closed, right? Lol, bitch you thought.

I think this about wraps up our day at Islands of Adventure. I already loved this place, but this second visit made me wish that I lived close enough to be able to realistically need a season pass. I’m already looking forward to returning, and even more stoked for Universal’s Epic Universe to open in a few years.

Also! I think that we only fought once, and it was a classic Erin v. Chooch stand-off when we rode Hulk the second time. I can’t remember what instigated it, probably the fact that I didn’t make it to the line entrance at the same time he did so TWO WHOLE PEOPLE got in front of us, boo hoo. And then we proceeded to snip and snap at each other for an additional 3 minutes before I was like YOU KNOW WHAT JUST DON’T TALK TO ME WE’RE LEAVING AFTER THIS YOU’RE THE WORST I DON’T LIKE YOU but then we rode it and had an amazing time and then we were friends again, forever united by rollercoasters.

Was this my favorite day of vacation? I think so. OK yes, it was, definitely.

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