Keeping Cool When Visiting Universal Studios Florida in Orlando this Summer
It’s no secret Florida is hot and sticky during the summer and a recent theme park visit inspired this list of tips for keeping cool when visiting Universal Studios Florida in Orlando. Florida summers mean giving up on good hair days and minimizing outdoor time. It’s also a time when theme parks are packed and visiting one during my Chevy Tahoe Hybrid weekend wasn’t on the agenda but I ended up at Universal Orlando on Friday.
The price was right (for a Florida resident) and was an opportunity to meet up with fellow travel blogger Eileen Ludwig (www.freelancetourist.com) who’s a Universal Orlando annual pass member and offered to show me how she enjoys Universal in exchange for sharing what I know about social media and travel blogging.
Five Places to Escape the Heat in Universal Studios Florida
The morning was hot but following a much-welcomed downpour it cooled off. During this quick visit, I found five places to escape the heat:
Pedal without Breaking a Sweat – Sit on a simulated stationary bike and escape with the Reese’s Pieces-loving alien on a journey home during the ‘E.T. Adventure.’ Toward the end, the ride is a little humid and warm because it’s simulating a cave but it’s still a great place to escape the summer heat. Find ‘E.T. Adventure’ in Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone.
Cheer on a Loveable Ogre – In addition to cooling off with air conditioning the multi-sensory flick ‘Shrek 4-D’ sprays visitors with water. Not once, not twice but at least three (maybe four) times. Ahhh, now that’s cool! You’ll find ‘Shrek 4-D’ in Production Central.
Monkey Around – Yes, ‘Curious George Goes to Town’ is in Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone but all the water fountains looked very refreshing and if I wasn’t carrying my purse and not wearing a bathing suit, I would have been splashing in the ground fountains or waiting for the big bucket to fill and spill over me.
Pay Tribute to a Funny Lady – Stop by “Lucy – A Tribute” and learn about the life of lovable comedian Lucille Ball. Memorabilia on display include Emmy Awards, her wedding dress and personal notes she took when preparing for lectures. This is located in the Hollywood section next to the Betty Boop shop. I’m Lucy would be proud.
Share Your Opinion – Walking in the New York area, a woman carrying a clipboard approached us and invited us to take a survey in exchange for being compensated. We each took home ten Universal Dollars which can be used just like cash. That (almost) pays for a meal!
Eileen has a different perspective from other people I usually spend time with so although I’ve visited Universal Orlando before, I learned to do it differently by taking time to enjoy the performances. Yes, it’s something so basic yet plopping down to see a show is about as appealing as taking a cruise. (Sorry, cruises aren’t my thing although I’ve never been.) Before this, I’ve always been about the thrill rides.
Admittedly, slowing down and taking time to see Universal’s shows was an enjoyable experience. In addition to the above, our day included Animal Actors on Location, Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast, Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue and a roller coaster in Fieve’s Playland.
And what would a theme park visit be without my favorite theme park food? Yes! A smoked turkey leg. Love it, although I stand by my statement Disney serves up a better drumstick.
Where to Stay When Visiting Universal Studios Florida
Orlando has plenty of hotels to choose from but I like Comfort Inn International (8134 International Drive) because rooms are in decent shape, clean and spacious, it’s safe, offers a hearty breakfast (including scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and waffle station), close to the parks and a great value. I stayed here in May for the final launch of space shuttle Endeavour and stayed several years ago for business.
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