In May 2022, our friend and colleague Dennis De Roover travelled for the first time in his life – solo – outside Europe. He set his sights on a road trip in Florida in the United States. He’s so kind to share his story.
On the fourth day in Orlando I went to Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure to end my theme park marathon. Don’t be as silly as me to do so many theme parks one day after another. After each two days, take a pause.
Luckily I was staying in a good hotel that offered me the needed rest: Universal’s Aventura Hotel. It has friendly staff, big rooms, a perfect bed to find sleep and a nice swimming pool. At walking distance from the hotel you can take a shuttle boat to the entry of the theme parks.
If you like thrill rides, you are going to love the Universal parks much more than the Disney parks! The Islands of Adventure is the top of the thrills. I took a ride in The Incredible Hulk with seven inversions and a maximum speed of 67 mph (108 kph).
But the VelociCoaster was the real deal for me. This new coaster opened in the summer of 2021.
First you are shot to and then dropped from a height of 43 meters. Thereafter you undergo four inversions. At a certain point you are hanging completely upside down on a straight track with a lake under your head.
So you experience a sky of water raging on top of you. It is a very exciting, yet unnatural feeling. I had a tough bloke sitting next to me during the ride. At the end he got an uncontrolled giggle attack. Need I say more?
And yes, it was nice after three days of Disney to be surrounded by The Simpsons, Jimmy Fallon, the Minions, Harry Potter and the Marvel Comics heroes instead of The Seven Dwarfs, Mickey, Cinderella, Buzz Lightyear and the Stormtroopers!