[Today's photographs can be found on my Flickr and the whole collection of days can be found here.]
Hollywood Drive-In Mini Golf (City Walk) + Islands of Adventure + Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill
August 25th, 2013
Today's theme park of choice was Islands of Adventure. We parked up in the multi-storey car park, took note of the area (King Kong) and made our way via the travelators to bag check. Once through security, the first port of call for the day was to go and play mini golf at the new Hollywood Drive-In Mini Golf.
The mini golf courses (there are two to choose from) are just to the right , before you get to the 'Welcome to Universal Orlando Resort' sign.
The set up is like a 50s drive in movie theatre and you have the choice of a single or double feature. We paid $13.99 each for a single feature and chose the horror course (the other course is sci-fi). To do the double feature you add another $10.99.
We picked up a golf club and a ball each and made our way to the first hole. We were also given a score card and pencil to tally up the scores (we do get quite competitive when it comes to mini golf!)
All I have for this section of the report is a lot of photographs! The course was fun, and because it was really early, it was quiet, so we were able to take time and not feel rushed.
Liam won this round which he was pleased about! When we gave in our golf clubs at the counter, we were given a scratch card…or was it just a voucher? Either way, we had something that we could use to go back and get a discount of sorts.
Since Islands of Adventure was on our to-do list for today, we went through to the left to get to the entrance and scanned our tickets to get inside.
Another thing on our Orlando Bucket List was to buy and eat a turkey leg, so that's what we did. There's a cart not far from the entrance where you can buy them (last trip, we bought a corn dog at this cart). We paid $18.40 here - we bought a couple of drinks and something for Liam as well. I didn't note how much the turkey leg was on it's own, maybe $9.99? We sat down nearby to eat our breakfast - only on holiday do you eat a giant turkey leg for breakfast!
I know that the giant turkey legs aren't a popular choice, but we liked them! The turkey was moist and had a good smoky flavour. We all shared this turkey leg and they're pretty filling! Don't think I could manage a whole one on my own!
We decided to tackle the park in an anti-clockwise direction - mainly because we wanted to hit up the Spiderman ride first! So off we trotted to Marvel Super Hero Island…I love it over here, in fact, I just love theme parks and all the rides, colours and themeing. I find myself taking all of that in when we visit any theme park the world over.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster is probably one of my favourites to just watch. I've yet to go on it (don't fit yet!) but I will and when I do I'll probably scream the loudest!
My boys know that I stop quite randomly to take photographs of things around me, so I walked to catch up with them and we carried on to line up for the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - a favourite ride of ours!
There was a 30 minute wait time, so we took our place in the queue and slowly shuffled our way forward and before we knew it were grabbing our 3D glasses and sitting in the front of the vehicle (the best spot!) I can't describe how fab a ride this one is, but if the line wasn't so long when we came out, we would have ridden again straight away - it's that good!
Next area around is Toon Lagoon, we wanted to go on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges as we didn't ride this last time, but first stopped for a Dippin' Dots.
I thought Dippin' Dots was an ice-cream with loads of sprinkles on it, so it was a surprise to discover the ice-cream are the dots! We all got a different flavour (or rather flavour combo!) each - Cookies & Cream, Banana Split and Rainbow Ice. The banana split was by far the best flavour! If you've not tried Dippin' Dots before, try them - they taste awesome! (We spent $10.42 here)
With our ice-cream finished, we stowed our stuff away in a nearby locker to go on the water ride. I've read that you get pretty wet on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges and wasn't going to take a chance with the cameras/phones!
It's a fairly long queuing area, and we walked for ages until we got to the end of the line (which was pretty short). I asked a ride operator if I'd be okay with the ride seatbelt and he gave me an extender to use, which I did and had no problem otherwise.
To say you get wet on this ride is an understatement! We were absolutely drenched to the skin! It was a really fun ride and we laughed all the way around. There is literally no escape from getting wet on this ride, it comes in from all sides. I felt quite sorry for the bloke sitting on the opposite side with his son; he hadn't taken heed of the "you will get soaked" warnings and had his mobile phone and wallet in his pocket. His face when he realised how wet he was going to get was one of utter shock…if a ride says you'll get wet, they're not joking!
Slopping off the ride and handing back my extender to the staff member, we walked out and spied one of those huge dryers. We dug out a five dollar bill and waited while the people in it finished then quickly leaped in to dry ourselves off, hoping that the sunshine would finish off the rest as we continued our journey around the park.
But oh how wrong we were…we stepped out of the dryer and it started to spit with rain…and then the spits became huge drops…and then (and a waste of $5!) the heavens opened! I couldn't believe it! After the washout yesterday afternoon at Universal Studios, and now this! There was no where nearby to get shelter, so we walked back the way we had come and took shelter inside a shop in Toon Lagoon.
The rain showed no sign of letting up and some rides were closed because of a thunderstorm approaching, so with this in mind and the fact that we were soaked (again) we walked towards the exit. And the rain didn't stop, not one single let up! Again, my shoes were off as it was easier to walk bare foot…although, to be fair, we could have just swum!
Eventually we reached the travellators (it was still raining!) and since they're undercover it felt good not to have rain pounding down on you! When we reached the car, we dried off as best we could and laid our ponchos out to sit on them for the drive back to the villa.
The rain carried on for a while, but then there was some storms forecasted for a few days which is annoying, but part of the experience of going to a sub-tropical climate!
We just hung out in the villa until early evening when we drove along the 192 to Smoky Bones Bar & Fire Grill. We entered into a new section of the road which we had never experienced before and saw loads of new places to try out on future visits! We had always stuck to the end where the villa was!
We parked up and went into the restaurant. We did have to wait for a table, but not sure why as it was quite empty!
Our server was a really friendly and bubbly girl and talked us through the options available and what she recommended which gave us something to think about as we looked through the menus (its always plural in American restaurants in our experience!)
We ordered the Skillet Cornbread on her recommendation and we were not disappointed - it was soooo good!
The cornbread came in a hot skillet - loved the presentation - and with a pot of honey-pecan butter on the side - wow, yummy!
For our mains we all got a plate of create your own combos, where you could choose from two sides and then two or three barbecue favourites. They all come with garlic bread.
Liam had ribs and brisket with fries and fire-roasted corn.
Steve went for pulled pork, brisket and smoked sausage with baked beans and fries.
I ordered smoked turkey, pulled pork and brisket with mashed potato and coleslaw. I also ordered mac 'n' cheese as extra.
Really nice barbecue food and we'd definitely go back - for the cornbread alone! We were too stuffed for desserts and paid the bill - $75.47 - before driving home and a night in at the villa.
Read about the previous day: Day 11: Let's Go To The Movies - Universal Studios + Dinner at Bubba Gumps Shrimp Co.
Read about the next day: Day 13 - What Kind of Sorcery Is This? - Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf + Downtown Disney + Dinner at Bongos Cuban Cafe « Coming Soon!
Read ALL the days! Back to the Magic Trip Report Index 2013