Posted by: Sophie M. | 09/12/2011

Fear and….even more fear in Orlando: My Diary – Day 3 (Part 2)

Day 3 – Part 2: We spend an afternoon in Jurassic Park, with Harry Potter and taking on The Hulk.

The entrance to Jurassic Park

After a fun-filled morning it was time for a bite to eat and we decided that for lunch we would try out one of the restaurants within Jurassic Park. Entering the island under the iconic sign we were greeted by a very large T-Rex that provided a perfect photo point. We ate a delicious lunch of rotisserie chicken in Thunder Falls Terrace watching the boats of Jurassic Park River Adventure complete their final drop. That would be our next destination and I was excited to try out the ride – Jurassic Park is one of my favourite films – but as usual I had some butterflies about the final drop. At 85 feet it looks like quite an intimidating drop but the ride was fantastic. A gentle river cruise through Jurassic Park turns into a race for survival as it becomes clear that the most dangerous dinosaurs have escaped and are creating deadly mayhem. The ride was very well themed and while that final drop was quite scary, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would happily have ridden it several more times.

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Now it was time to visit out favourite boy wizard – Harry Potter. The famous towers of Hogwarts School loomed up ahead and we all commented on the amazing job the designers had done in re-creating the school and the rest of Hogsmeade Village. Wherever you looked there were visitors with cameras snapping pictures of one of the world’s most famous (albeit fictional) schools and I was amongst them.


We headed straight towards Hogwarts to try out the star attraction – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The new island, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, had only been open for 3 months so while the rest of the park had been relatively quiet (we hadn’t been in a queue for longer than 10 minutes), this area was packed with visitors. As we drew closer to ride entrance I saw something that sent an instant wave of fear and panic over me – the test seats for the ride. With over-the-shoulder restraints they looked like they would be more at home on an extreme coaster, not on a ride based on Harry Potter! “What sort of ride is this?!” I asked in a panic. “Does it go upside down? I didn’t think it would go upside down!” You could hear the panicked tone in my voice – I had been presented with an uncertainty and I wasn’t prepared! The queue for the attraction was about 90 minutes long but joining the single rider queue we were in our seats in less than 15 minutes. As the shoulder restraints were secured I wondered what I had got myself into.

The Warning! Sign

The test seats for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

The special effects of the ride were spectacular. We soared on a broomstick through Hogwarts, took part in a Quidditch match, narrowly avoided Aragog and were chased by Dementors. It soon became clear why the restraints were necessary; there were times when you were flat on your back looking up and the sky and others where you were tilted down towards the ground – it was a really wild ride! Unfortunately I hated it! Not because of the special effects but because of the jerky movements of the ride which made me feel incredibly nauseous. The first minute on the ride wasn’t too bad but I eventually felt so ill that it was impossible to enjoy the ride and all I could do was pray that it would be over soon and that I wouldn’t throw up!

When we finally got back to the loading station I felt awful. When our group re-gathered they all expressed their concern over how ill I looked. The colour had drained from my face and my skin was a ghostly pale colour. I went outside back into the fresh air and slowly some colour returned to my face but I still felt sick. My friend Lorraine was feeling slightly nauseous and everyone had been struck by motion sickness in some way, but I was by far the worst.

Dragon Challenge Coasters

While I recuperated with a trip to Ollivanders wand shop my friends decided to try out Dragon Challenge. It didn’t even occur to me to go on the coaster because I still felt so sick – I’m sure I would have seen my lunch again if I had ridden it! By the time we all met up again my friends had taken on the Dragon Challenge and I had a souvenir wand that would take pride of place on my bookcase at home. We then rode the Flight of the Hippogriff because the queue was empty but that coaster was tame even for me – I guess I do like some thrills in my roller coasters!

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Now it was time for the finale of the day; The Incredible Hulk Coaster. When we got to the queue entrance I couldn’t do it. Seeing the behemoth struck me with such fear that no amount of persuading could change my mind. With Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster on the previous day I hadn’t been able to see the track, and if I had I probably wouldn’t have ridden it, but seeing this coaster in all it’s glory, hearing the screams and the roar as the train travelled over the track I couldn’t  muster up the courage to join the queue. My friends did a good job of trying to persuade me, but my own fears and irrationalities stopped me from joining my friends on the coaster.Instead I primed myself to get a picture of them on the ride, and communicating via walkie-talkie they told me when they were next to ride. As I expected they loved it and jumped straight back into the queue. With only a 10 minute wait time how could they not?!

We finished the day with a trip to watch The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad stunt show before one final spin through New York with Spider-Man. It was the perfect finish to an amazing day.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day in Islands of Adventure (forgetting Harry Potter) although I bitterly regret not going on the big coasters, especially The Incredible Hulk Coaster. I could see why it was such a popular coaster – it had everything an extreme coaster lover could want from a ride. I wish I had been able to overcome my fear, even if I had hated every second of the ride at least I could say that I had tried it. Now I can’t even say that and I feel disappointed in myself. Maybe next time I can overcome my fears and ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Dragon Challenge, maybe….


**NEXT** Day 4 – SeaWorld. It’s a day full of whales, dolphins, mantas and the fearsome Kraken!



  1. I think the Jurassic park river adventure is the same in most US, i took a ride on one of them and i remember the drop. Gosh, it was awesome!

    • Yeah the drop is amazing! You get butterflies when you know you’re coming up to that final drop. Makes for a great on-ride photo!

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