Halloween was a busy day on our Orlando vacation. We started off with a visit to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum.
Despite there being several of these museums in cities around the country, I'd never actually been to one before. I suppose I was just expecting a collection of unusual items from around the globe. And of course, there was plenty of that...
...but also plenty of amazements that didn't hinge on cultural differences. There was an entire room dedicated to sculptures you could only view under microscopes, created inside the eyes of needles by an artist with steady hands and incredible patience. There was a perception-distorting angled room that actually began to give me nausea as I stood inside it.
Then there were just opportunities to play, like an opening display of funhouse mirrors (and the chance to watch video of what you did in them later on). And the giant "pin-pression" board kept us entertained far longer than it probably should have.
Ripley's Museum isn't really a can't-miss attraction on a shorter vacation, but was fun enough to be worth a visit if there's one near you. And on Halloween of all days, it seemed particularly appropriate.
In the afternoon, we made our way over to Universal Studios theme park. The park was closing early to transition over to Halloween Horror Nights -- our main reason for being there. All of that fun will warrant a post of its own, but being inside the park ahead of time gave us the chance to be first in line for the haunted houses to come. Plus, with the extra time we had before all that, we got to enjoy again a few rides from the last time we'd been to Orlando.
The Mummy may be far from a hot property these days, but the Revenge of the Mummy ride is solid enough, even if it is more than a decade old. (I guess I found it both better and more memorable this trip than last.) The fun indoor roller coaster is a great combination of video segments, actual animatronics, and over-the-top fire effects. And being one of the park's older attractions, the wait to ride it is trivial.
Then we rode on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, the high-intensity coaster of the park. Things had changed since our last visit to Universal. For one, metal detectors were now in place to prevent any riders from bringing a cell phone on the ride. For another... well, I'm getting older, and it seems I just can't take a good coaster the way I used to. Halfway through the ride, tunnel vision was starting to close in around me, and I started to get queasy. Thankfully, there was no indecorous vomiting as on my last amusement park trip. Still, I was just as happy afterward that we weren't there for more rides that day.
It was time to head to a "holding area" -- one of the designated places in the park where people with Halloween Horror Nights tickets could wait for everything to be transitioned for the evening, and be released first to go enjoy it.