Lowes Royal Pacific Resort

For this trip to Universal Orlando we decided to try out the Royal Pacific Resort. “Aloha!” was the phrase we heard most from the friendly staff. Even though it was the middle of winter there were enough flowering plants to brighten up the grounds. Everywhere you look there is some South Pacific themed decoration.



The Wantilan Luau only runs on Saturday off season so we didn’t eat any meals at the resort. But, we did stop at Jake’s American bar for a late night snack. The resort describes Jake as “The pilot of his own island-hopper airline, Jake also runs this friendly bar that's the perfect place to meet for drinks and lively conversation after your day's adventures.” We would agree.


The hotel is big into the frog theme. Scattered everywhere are statues of these little green fellows. Peg enjoyed them so much that she bought one at the hotel shop to bring home. We definitely enjoyed our stay at the resort.



Universal CityWalk

Tying every thing together at Universal Orlando Resort is CityWalk. Here you can shop, dine, and party all night long. Everyone is sure to find something here to eat that they will like. Try the Hard Rock Café for the best burgers. It is less than a fifteen minute walk from all the hotels on the property.




Universal Studios Florida

“Jump into the Action of Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows” is the tagline for Universal’s theme park in Orlando, Florida. All the rides and sets are based off of Universal’s large collection of blockbuster hits. Movie themed rides include Men in Black Alien Attack, E.T. Adventure, Revenge of the Mummy, and The Simpsons Ride. The big coaster for the park is Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit where you get to choose your own sound track to ride to. Unfortunately Disaster! was down for repairs while we were there so Peg didn’t get her Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fix.





Universal Studios has much better shows as compared to the Islands of Adventure Park so it is probably a better choice for older couples. By using the Express Plus pass you can get better seating and quicker access. Not to be missed shows include Animal Actors on Location and the Blues Brothers Show (eat dinner at Finnegan’s Bar and Grill after the Blues Brothers – Yum!). But, the absolute best show in the park is Universal Orlando’s Make-Up Show. Be sure to arrive a little early for this show so you can tour the movie props in the lobby.



Scattered about the park are a number of cool cars and hot rods. Of course being the owners of Bubba’s Garage we had to check them all out. You can find a half dozen hot rods around Mel’s Diner in the Hollywood section. Over in the New York area you’ll find some nice classics set against some neat scenery. Production central is where you will find the Back to the Future vehicles.




Take your time to explore the details of the park. Universal does an outstanding job of decorating the sets. We found tons of detail when we walked the back alleys in the New York section of the park and really enjoyed the views from Hollywood and World Expo.




Universal Islands of Adventure

While the Wizarding World of Harry Potter may be the most popular “Island” at Universal Island it isn’t the only one at Universal Orlando. Each of the six Islands has its own theme and totally different feel. You enter through the Port of Entry which is basically a bunch of shops which are decorated like an old marketplace and work your way in a circular movement to each of the Islands.



Depending on your direction of travel, the first Island you come to, Seuss Landing, is the most colorful in the park. Based off of the writings of Dr. Seuss, this was also our favorite Island and the only area were we actually road a ride more than once. Which ride? The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride! of course. Okay, we are getting old.




The next Island going counter clockwise is The Lost Continent. This Island is very detailed. We spent a good bit of time here just exploring the scenery. We also had a decent lunch at Mythos Restaurant where they have table service. The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show is located on this Island as well as Poseidon’s Fury; both good shows. For some silly reason this area also has the one thing that really got stuck in my head and that is the sound of the Mystic Fountain when it is asleep. “snore…glug..glug..glug..glug”



Fighting for the title of most dated area of the Islands is Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon. Jurassic Park has some fun learning areas in Camp Jurassic and Jurassic Park Discovery Center. We even played with the hands-on exhibits and watched a baby dinosaur hatch. I guess Toon Lagoon wins the award because, if you are under 50, you probably won’t know any of the cartoon characters! I am a bit of a throwback to old times so at 45, I knew most of them but I did have to tell Peg about 75% of the characters’ names. Toon Lagoon is basically a mini water park and, since we didn’t want to get wet, we didn’t ride anything here. We did run around on “Me Ship, The Olive".”


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Marvel Super Hero Island probably has the best rides out of all the Islands. Here is were you will find The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, and our favorite, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.



By staying onsite at one of the property hotels, we were able to use the Express Plus lanes for almost no waiting during this slow season trip. Combine this with the hour early opening and we really enjoyed ourselves. I would highly recommend visiting in late January to early February.