I dont mean to sound shallow but I did enjoy the King Kong ride. People will say that I'm easily amused by something that is mass marketed or "very American", but the thing is, it takes a lot of skill, manpower and creativity to produce something this impressive. This ride has generated jobs even if its momentary. I know people bemoaned the commercialization of Harry Potter series... I momentarily did. But I still visited and thoroughly enjoyed it, because I wanted this story to be real, and seeing that magical world realized is emotional for me even if its purely commercial or sometimes generic. So in a way, I'm thanking Universal Studios and the people who worked behind the scenes to make Hogsmeade and Hogwarts come to life in the most commercial and American way. I don't care if people say that I'm easily amused by theatrics created by corporate entities. Im just happy that I can escape to that wonderful world where children practiced and learned magic and where goodness will always reign- its where my beloved characters such as Ron, Hermoine and Professor Snape lived. Thank you JK Rowling for creating this magical world that we all escaped to when times seemed hard, monotonous, and hopeless.
After all the excitement of Universal Studios, I booked a hot air balloon ride thru Viator.com. Not for morning people and those who are consistently late. As usual, I didn't read the fine print. I forgot to confirm the day before. You'll hear a recording of what time you'll be picked up in the hotel, and you'll also have to call at 4:30 am just to check whether it really is pushing thru. Luckily, I got things sorted out anyway. We got picked up by the driver at 5:15 am. I didn't get to wear makeup or wash my face hence the bad hair in the photos. It was worth it. It was amusing to watch the balloon being filled with air in the empty field.
Wear jeans. You'll be in the field attacked by bugs.
The flight was too chill.. It was very mellow. Expect to be surprised by the sound of roaring flames once in a while. Being on air for an hour got a bit boring, but I saw Epcot center, Universal studios and Disney World from above. Expect to see a lot of green, golf courses and swamps. The pilot told me that they use to see more alligators, but after one toddler was attacked by one in Disney World a few weeks ago, people were encouraged to prune the population down.
The pilot was really nice. He told us about funny tales of a certain person on land who was terrified of hot air balloons, and everytime we flew by his home, he would be shouting profanities or flipping the finger. I didnt see him during my flight.
When we landed, we had to assist some people to pack the balloons up. It takes a lot of manpower to do this.
They normally ask the men to do most of the hard work (deflating and folding) and the women just held the container for the balloon. The packing was followed by an Irish champagne toast while being regaled by an Irish story of how the balloon was developed in Ireland and why every flight is followed with champagne.
I definitely would recommend this if you like relaxing activities especially after the wildness of all the theme parks.
Florida is fun, but its best for families with a myriad of interests.