Day #13: Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida
Coming up on the end of the trip, our day at Universal Studio’s started off with some weary-eyed students on a warm, humid morning in Southern Orlando. After one of the quietest bus rides ever, the students went from rubbing the sleep from their eyes to crazed excitement in anticipation of new, bigger rides.
As soon as we entered the park at the opening hour, it was already bustling with people, music playing over the park speakers, the smell of fresh, buttery popcorn in the air, and the sounds of children’s laughter, screaming, kicking, crying, and their parents yelling at them to “GET BACK HERE”. What an experience! The majority of the group immediately headed to the Rip Ride Rocket – this is a big coaster that begins with a 90 degree climb, followed by numerous drops, weaves, and exhilarating speed. Also the roller coaster featured on the Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Hart interview from last summer. A special shout out to Zee Ann and Jeena who experienced rides that were past their comfort levels to test themselves and their determination for goal achievement.
Throughout the day off of education tours, the students were able to take in all the sights, sounds, and rides they possibly could. As a roller coaster enthusiast myself, I will say I tried to keep up with the students on rides, however it was the Harry Potter 3D experience ride that did me in, whereas the kids loved it! We finished fairly early this evening to give everyone a chance to get some swimming in and packing done (apparently re-packing all their clothes takes longer than 15 minutes…).
Tomorrow, our last full day, is actually our longest day. With a 3h educational tour discussing the physics and technology behind amusement/theme park rides, we experience Magic Kingdom all day so we can experience the fireworks above the Disney Castle. It will be all thrusters on go from 6:00am to 11:00pm. Updates to follow on how many students I have to carry to the bus like sleepy children.
Despite the exhaustion, I think the kids will be disheartened to leave this warmth and bustle.
Up, Down, Sideways, and Upside Down, we’ve seen and done it all. That’s all for now.