Islands of Adventure

Many Floridians forget what types of fun and excitement can be found in their own back yard. During these tough economic times, it is hard to financially plan for vacations to spots like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls.
However, the diversity in Florida makes it easy for us to get away for a weekend, fairly inexpensively, and experience something terrific without having to break the bank.
Orlando is a hot destination for tourists and locals a like. With Disney and Universal, the action can be endless. Orlando also boasts International Drive, a tourist haven filled with go-carts, Ripley’s and a multitude of restaurants.
Islands of Adventure is a cartoon and comic theme park that is the newest part of the Universal Studios extravaganza. The best ride, in my opinion, is by far the Spiderman ride, which is an incredible 3D simulation where the audience helps Spidey take on some of his most powerful archenemies. The ride uses and combination of 3D, hydraulics and pyrotechnics that make the audience feel as if they are right in the thick of it.
The Hulk rollercoaster is another favorite, mostly for the unique start. Instead of slowly creeping up to the top and coasting down a steep incline, participants on the Hulk are shot out like a cannon and race around the loops and turns at about 70 mph. Just be sure you don’t eat pancakes before you go on the ride, or you may loose your cookies like I almost did.
In my opinion, the best part about Islands of Adventure isn’t the rides or the food. It isn’t the costumed actors pretending to be Wolverine or Popeye. It’s one simple little joy that only costs a quarter.
On bridges and spots surrounding all of the water rides are long-range water guns. For the small price of a quarter, you can gleefully soak passengers on the rides as they unwittingly maneuver under your gun. You can drench them with a shower or spray them from up above. I could spend hours sitting there, stealthily soaking unknowing passerbys.
Don’t get too excited though. Karma can get you in the end. If you decide to hop on the log flume or the rapids, there will be people waiting for you. As I learned the hard way, what goes around comes around!
Orlando may be a great place to get away for the week if you are on a tighter budget. Only a few hours away, you can save a bundle not having to pay airfare. The amusement parks almost always offer a Florida resident discount rate and Disney even lets you into one park for free on your birthday. As the weather warms up and the summer months begin, Floridians can look to their own neighbors for a terrific vacation get away that doesn’t have to cost your entire savings.

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