A Thrill-Seeking Sci-Fi Fan Guide To Universal Studios, Florida
If you are a sci-fi nerd or perhaps a member of a family or tribe of sci-fi nerds, you might already be familiar with the wonderland of Universal Studios, Florida. It is a veritable haven of bliss for sci-fi lovers who want to leave the house and engage in a shared activity, a mere three days in the park afforded plentiful shared experiences and practically limitless fodder for future family bonding conversations.
One of my family members is something of a sci-fi prodigy. He knows every story and backstory to every sci-fi franchise, including but not limited to movies, anime and manga. From the age of 3, he has exasperatedly corrected my apparently inconceivable make-believe scenarios I tried to contribute to preschool action figure playtime. This is to say, as I have nothing to teach him in this area, it is best to let the thrills do the talking.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster
The entrance to The Incredible Hulk Coaster is a “high-security research compound,” and the premise is that you are a test subject being experimentally blasted with gamma radiation (what could go wrong!?).? After you are strapped in, you are blasted forward with “the force of a fighter jet” but you don’t have to steer! Woohoo! After a “zero-gravity roll” you race down the track screaming more than you ever have (or maybe that’s me). So nice we rode it thrice.
TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D
As a Freedom Fighter, we had to board TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D to save Earth from Megatron by stopping them from getting the AllSpark.
It is a motion-simulated 3-D and 4-D experience, and my family and I were a great asset to Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. We saved Earth. You’re welcome.
Jurassic Park River Adventure
Jurassic Park River Adventure is the classic water cruise where you need to protect your electronic devices from splashes. Initially the scenes were gentle and lovely, but through no fault of our own we entered the “restricted area” and were face-to-face with a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
In this moment, we were hilariously boosted from our suspended disbelief because a man in our boat, who apparently didn’t speak English, had his phone extended high above his head, filming the scene.
“Please put away your electronic devices!” said a disembodied voice.
The man continued to film.
“Attention passengers, please put away your electronic devices!” the voice said again.
The man continued to film with his phone. The ride came to a full stop and the lights came on.
“You. You in the gray shirt. Put away your phone!” said the voice to the man.
The other passengers in the boat were annoyed by now. “HEY man, put away your phone!”
The man suddenly realized this was not part of the ride and he needed to put away his dang phone.
“Oh! Thank you!” he said. He put his phone away. The ride continued to an 85-foot drop.
E.T. Adventure is the only remaining ride in Universal Studios Florida that was a part of the park on opening day in 1990. As a result, the ride is pretty nostalgic, but still fun for E.T. fans of all ages.
Riding on flying bicycles (naturally), we traveled past NASA and police officials who chased us to try to capture E.T. We escape, because we are awesome and are transported by flying bicycle to the Green Planet, E.T.’s home.
Race Through New York, Starring Jimmy Fallon
Race Through New York, Starring Jimmy Fallon is on this list only because when Jimmy challenges us, the audience, to a race, we are eventually hurled to the moon, where we meet The Roots band dressed in spacesuits. After Jimmy Fallon writes one of his famous Thank You Notes to the moon, we end up on the Space Train, a roller coaster launcher on the moon, and are shot back to Earth. We land back in NYC, in the TV studio.
There are many other thrills that are a part of Universal Studios Florida that are not in science fiction genre, so if you are into fantasy themes, or if you just want to drink lemonade and eat giant donuts, you can do find something that is right up your alley.
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