Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Few Final Thrills

We've reached the final day of my Orlando vacation. We wrapped it all up by heading back to Universal Studios to check off a few attractions that we'd skipped on the days before.

Transformers: The Ride. True to its namesake, the story of this ride is incoherent. Somehow, you're going to save the planet by sitting there and holding on to the lap bar as robots smash into each other and things blow up. So, just like the movies! But much shorter, and with actual motion. So way better than the movies.

Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time. This show combines a 3D movie with a stage show performance by live actors. It's been around for 20 years, and I'm kind of amazed it's actually still there. A lot of the Terminator-related stuff that's come along since this has well and truly crapped on everything that made Terminator 2 so great. Yet this harkens back to a time when Terminator hadn't become such a joke that only Arnold Schwarzenegger would go near it. Silly, but kind of fun.

E.T. Adventure. Another old ride -- this one dating back to 1990 -- that's shockingly still in operation. This feels like a slice of Disneyland dropped into the middle of Universal, a Peter Pan kind of slice. You ride a "flying bicycle" through a series of dioramas, including a fanciful trip to E.T.'s home world. I can't imagine this ride will stay open much longer.

Men in Black: Alien Attack. I'd ridden this on my previous Orlando trip, and my shooting gallery skills have not improved. I still choose to blame malfunctioning equipment rather than accept responsibility for my low score at blasting aliens in this themed Hogan's Alley type of ride.

The rest of our day was filled with doing favorites again -- the Mummy ride, both the Harry Potter rides, drinking Butterbeer, shopping in Diagon Alley, and a rising moon over Hogwarts Castle at sunset.
The next ride would be far less entertaining: the flight back to Denver. Still, the feeling of exhaustion upon arriving at home was a pleasant one. We'd had a great time.

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