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Come with me to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

Let me start by saying if you’re a wheelchair user with no upper body strength, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is not for you, and most definitely don’t buy a two park ticket… we learnt that the hard way!

Our day started with a trip to the Disney Springs! My Nan purposefully chose the hotel with a walkway to Disney Springs so we could pay it a visit. Unfortunately, it was very anticlimactic with all the shops being shut/really expensive and only one restaurant that served breakfast, which was the Earl of Sandwich. With that being said we know it comes alive at night as we had a room overlooking it in the hotel, it was just a shame we didn’t have enough time to go again.

We then set off to Universal, we bought our tickets online to try and make the entrance a little quicker. Much like Disney, Universal doesn’t offer a companion ticket or any discount and after the day we had is just appalling!

We drove to the resort which was about a 10 mile drive, we had to pay $30 to park the car so the day was already an expensive one!

Ahead of our visit I applied for an AAP which proves you’re disabled and is meant to help you skip queues, though it didn’t really do that! When we arrived at the resort it took over an hour to get the AAP card and get into the park, so by the time we got in there it was about 1pm.

The first thing you see as you walk in is Minion Land. The buildings were huge and the first ride we saw was the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, because there was a wait time of over 25 minutes we were given a time to go back for the ride.

In the meantime we went to Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, on all the signs it said you could remain in your wheelchair and we were let up to the ride but was then told I had to transfer and wasn’t allowed to be held … so that was an instant no.

We went back to the Minions ride and had to wait in the queue for about 50 minutes … hence why the AAP card is pointless. When we eventually reached the ride there was an option to transfer but due to the nature of the ride being jerky I couldn’t do that. Instead there was an area for me to sit at the front where the platform didn’t move and I just experienced the 3D elements on the screen … but I don’t think it was worth a 50 minute wait when I couldn’t even experience the full ride.

Growing up I’d always been told stories of when my family visited Orlando, with the main ride always mentioned being Jaws. Unfortunately, the ride was no longer there but we did have a picture under the giant hanging shark!

After walking through a man made London inspired by the Harry Potter films we finally reached a ride I could go on.

Despite the staff being hesitant I was able to be lifted on and held on the Men in Black Alien Attack ride. The ride was a shooting game while you’re spinning round on a track, it’s the fastest ride I’d ever been on so it was a lot of fun!

We then headed into Simpsons World, it was a large strip covered in all things Simpsons inspired with lots of photo opportunities. Their doughnuts looked amazing but the price was ridiculous lol. There was a ride but I wasn’t able to go on it.

A ride I was really looking forward too was ET. Upon arrival I was asked if I could transfer, to which we said I was lifted and they said it was fine to go on. We got into the queue and waited for about 15 minutes, when we got to the ride my cousin lifted me on and I was immediately told I couldn’t ride because I had to hold myself… so off we got :/.

A highlight of the day was Harry Potter’s Diagon Ally being a big fan of the franchise. It was hidden away making it even more magical, once we found it the street looked exactly like it did in the films with excellent attention to detail! Most of the shops were actual shops you could go in including the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, Ollivander’s and an Owl Shop which we went in. In Ollivander’s wand shop I was the ‘chosen one’ to try the wand, though to keep the wand I had to pay $30! We went to the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride and despite being told I could go on, later found out I couldn’t!

We then went to King’s Cross to board the Hogwarts Express to Island of Adventure. There was a 40 minute wait but once we got through the journey itself was only 10 minutes. In the ride videos from the film played on the window making it seem like you were on the trip to Hogwarts.

Once we arrived in Island of Adventure we were in Hogsmeade and was met with more Harry Potter shops.

We went to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride and was given a time to go back an hour later, in the meantime we went in some shops and took some pictures with the Hogwarts castle. When we went back to the ride we spoke to a staff member to make sure I could ride and she assured us I could. The ride was in the Hogwarts castle and we had to queue for another 50 minutes once inside. There was lots of things to see inside the castle such as talking portraits as they replicated it from the film. When we finally made it to the front of the queue I was told I couldn’t ride … everything the lady had told us outside was incorrect so we just wasted 2 hours waiting for no reason. As compensation I was given fast track tickets … for rides I couldn’t go on 👍🏼.

Feeling very deflated we tried one more ride, one I was most looking forward too - Spiderman. This was an instant no so we started heading for the exit. That in itself was a mission, there were no signs and it took about 45 minutes to get out. To top the day off my chair died on route to the car, so overall was a very bad day.

I’m gutted we wasted a day somewhere that has no consideration for disabled people. Not only were the rides not adapted but even the streets had huge steps, bins in the way of pavements and bumpy paths so was just not made with wheelchairs in mind. On the rides when they say ‘wheelchair accessible’ they mean manual chairs and people who have upper body strength, this is really poorly worded on the website and ride information so gave us false hope.

I therefore would not suggest Universal to wheelchair users like myself! Though I do hope they make the resort more accessible in the future.

Thank you for reading come back tomorrow to read all about the Inter Miami stadium tour!

Ellie Xx

1 comentario

What a shame Ellie.. All that hype

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