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A Day of Roller Coasters

by Meghann on September 17, 2011

Why, hello Universal. Long time no see. πŸ˜‰


Derek and I have been proud owners of annual passes to Universal and Islands of Adventure since 2009 (they’re cheap if you’re a Florida resident). When I lived in Orlando we made it a point to go once a month (exhibit A, B, C,& D), but we haven’t had the chance to put them to good use since I moved to Tampa in March. In fact, we haven’t gone at all. We’re not renewing them in 2012 (sadness), so our new goal is to squeeze one or two more visits before the year is up. πŸ™‚

Today was one of those final visits.


Luckily, late September through early November is the best time of year to hit up the theme parks in Orlando. The weather is slightly cooler (ok, that’s a lie) and the parks are practically empty. The longest line we hit all day was a 15 minute wait and we were able to make our way through all of our favorite rides at both Universal and Islands of Adventure in roughly 3 hours.


Those favorite rides?


  • Rip Ride Rockit Roller Coaster
  • The Mummy
  • Simpsons  

Islands of Adventures

  • The Hulk
  • Dr. Doom
  • Spiderman
  • Jurassic Park
  • Harry Potter
  • Dueling Dragons

Do you have any favorites?


I miss living so close to the theme parks sometimes. We’re still only an hour and a half away now, but it’s not the same. So many memories here!

Like when we were at the park at 6:00am for the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter


Or when my little brother proposed to his fiance at Ollivander’s


Or the many years I attended Halloween Horror Nights in my youth and as an adult.


I <3 Universal πŸ˜‰  


Derek and I split an Odwalla Bar between rides


And stopped at Press 101 on the way home for lunch.


I ordered the Bahn Mi, but wasn’t super impressed with it. The meat was a little dry and it wasn’t as flavorful as I was hoping.


However, the side salad that came with it was delicious.


We headed out of Orlando early and are gearing up for the FSU v OU game tonight! This is going to be a big one!

Go Noles!


(Photo from September 2006. Miss you ladies!)

1 Sana September 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm

πŸ˜‰ Glad you had a fun day!
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2 Ali @ Ali Runs September 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I’m so jealous you (still) live so close. I’m sure it isn’t the same since you are used to being even closer. I’ve never been to Universal, but I’ve been to Disney 4 times throughout my life. I want to go back again soon though and am still dying to go to HP world!
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3 Eve September 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I’m so jealous too!! I love Orlando, but living thousands of miles away in Scotland, we only get to go every other year πŸ™ We are even getting married in Orlando next year! Woo hoo! My fave Universal rides are The Mummy, The Hulk and Spiderman – amazeballs!! Hope you enjoy the game! =)
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4 Army Amy* September 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Dueling Dragons is my fave ride there. The closest park to where I live is Six Flags Over Texas. I love it, but my husband isn’t a big roller coaster fan.*
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5 Laura September 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm

It’s a long and expensive flight from New Zealand, but I really, really want to get to Florida and the theme parks at least once! Especially the Harry Potter park (although I’m always a bit surprised they didn’t build it in England – I guess the climate is a lot more park-friendly in the States! πŸ™‚ It always looks awesome.

6 RunEatRepeat September 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I have been craving a really good sandwich! Bummer that wasn’t amazing πŸ™
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7 Carrie@shrinkingcarrie September 17, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Good to know that September is a good month to go. That is when our anniversary is, and we didn’t want to go if it was going to be INSANE! Looks like so much fun!
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8 Cheryl September 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm


9 Britt @ Run with Britt September 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I have to credit Universal with making me actually like roller coasters.
My sister payed me $20 to ride the Hulk…best business decision ever! It looks like you had a blast!
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10 Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Ahh what fun! I’ve only been there once when I was young but I loved every minute of it. πŸ™‚
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11 Kiah September 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I miss my Universal days! I used to go there with my basketball team for nationals, where they made me go on the Hulk for my first ever roller coaster. They pretty much bodily lifted me onto the ride…I don’t know if I’ve ever been as terrified as when that car start to inch upwards. I’m getting nervous just remembering! πŸ™‚ But overall they got me over the initial fear, and now I love amusement parks. Have fun!
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12 breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 September 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm

LOVE Universal!! I need to go back very soon!!

Oh, and sorry Meghann…GATORS all day. *runs away*
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13 Cait's Plate September 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Aw, you really have so many great memories there! That’s so awesome – I must have missed that your brother proposed at Ollivander’s, what an amazing idea. I would LOVE that, haha.
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14 Hillary September 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I still haven’t been to HP world, which is a huge travesty. I’m so jealous that you live so close!
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15 Casey @ oatsandnanners September 17, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I. Am. BEYOND JEALOUS — I’ve always wanted to go to Harry Potter world! PS. walking around an amusement park for hour + screaming on all the rides = a killer workout… I should try to incorporate that into my cross training!
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16 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm

OKay that is SO cool that you live so close! It sure makes for a fun day, that I can see πŸ™‚
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17 Khushboo September 18, 2011 at 12:22 am

What a great way to spend your Saturday–> I can’t even imagine having a theme park SO nearby!
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18 michelle September 18, 2011 at 1:21 am

Looks like a great day! I get rather sick on roller coasters so I tend to stay far, far away.
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19 Whitney September 18, 2011 at 8:52 am

I love that picture of us! It’s crazy, but I can remember that day of tailgating so clearly lol…it may be too late this season, but next year we should plan a reunion! πŸ™‚

20 Corey @ Learning Patience September 18, 2011 at 9:57 am

I love Universal. Havent been in a while and now Im so ready to return!
xoxo from Trinidad
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21 Grace September 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

I am still in awe that your brother proposed to his fiance there! I finally got to go last weekend, for free by doing a secret shopper thing, and I was in Harry POtter heaven and thought about you guys when I went into Olivander’s! The Harry Potter ride was amazing although it made me feel just a little sick=/ I really love the Mummy and Rip, Ride, Rockit (but you have to sit in the front)!
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22 Sara@RunningInPinkProject September 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Going to my very first Halloween Horror Nights this October! So excited!!
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23 Amanda @ the beauty notebooks September 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I spy some swag from HLS πŸ˜‰ I really liked that flavor of Odwalla bar! Brought it with me to Scotland since I am studying abroad this semester here, and thank goodness, because I am disheartened by the lack of quality bars here! Looks like you had a great time. It seems like a special place for you all!

24 Jordan September 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I love that picture of us too, and I was thinking about that day of tailgating yesterday! What a fun day!

25 Lara @TresLaLa September 19, 2011 at 3:16 am

When I was in high school, we travelled from Wisconsin to Orlando for a choir competition & performed at Universal. The stage collapsed as we were dancing on it! Yikes! Minor injuries, but we all got free sweat shirts. Not sure that’s enough to stop the lawyers anymore, but I’m pretty sure that we are all satisfied with the free $30 sweatshirt! Ha!
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26 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday September 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

Are the theme parks busy in January? I’m thinking of going to Orlando in the week after New Year’s.

27 Meghann September 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

They’re relatively quiet minus Martin Luther King weekend and the Disney marathon weekend

28 Nicole September 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I’ve heard that Harry Potter ride is amazing. I have never been.
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29 Sophie September 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I have always wanted to go to Disney (Hello UK reader!!) I get so jealous everytime you post about it!
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