We decided to make a trip to Universal Studios at the very last-minute. A good friend of mine was down from the UK and she wanted to see the children as well as to check out USS. Even at the final hour, I was deciding if I would brave taking the two monkeys to the theme park on my own.
We headed off around 10.30am and Ally fell asleep in the cab. This was the first sign that something wasn’t right. I noticed that she had goosebumps on her legs which I thought was strange since the cab wasn’t very cold. When we reached there, both kids had woken up, Max was in my trusty Beco carrier and Ally was in the stroller. We bought our tickets and headed in. Our first stop was the Merry Go Round since that is a favourite with the children. Ally didn’t seem very excited even though she was jumping around the house when I told her where we were going. That was the second sign that something wasn’t right. After the Merry Go Round, I took them to the Baby Care Centre for lunch, it was then I realised that she was running a fever. By the time my friends had arrived and they watched Max while I took Ally to the medic. As it turned out, she was running a temperature of 40 degrees! The look that the medic gave me was priceless. In his mind, he must be thinking I was insane for bringing a sick child to a theme park. I said to him ” I swear she was fine this morning!” Thankfully they have a doctor on site and he arranged for Ally to go down and see him. The staff was superb, they were so helpful and showed genuine concern for her. They even arranged a buggy so that she didn’t have to walk downstairs. By this time I had told my friends to carry on without us while I settled Ally and got her some medication. Ally showed me just how tough she really is. Despite her high temperature, not once did she complain or whine. She answered the doctor’s questions and took her medicine without batting an eyelid. Even the doctor commented that she seemed very well for a child who was so sick. Her pain threshold is admirable.
I kept telling her that we should go home and rest, I would bring her back to USS another day but she wasn’t having any of it. Luckily we had a double stroller that I rented from the park so she took a long nap there while we had lunch in one of the restaurants. Once the medicine took effect, she brighten up immediately and managed to sit some rides. She had a wonderful time and was so excited by all the sights and sounds. Max was excited at the vast space to walk and explore. He went on a couple of rides as well but honestly, he had no clue what the whole thing was about. The excitement of the day took its toll on him and he had a good 2 hour nap in the stroller.
Thankfully my friends took turns to look after the children so I had a chance to sit some rides as well. We missed the shows since I didn’t think Max would have the patience to sit through them but the children enjoyed themselves which made me very happy. Ally and I took one ride, the flying canopy which was not what I expected at all. When I went to look at the ride information, it said, minimum height requirement, 92cm. Ally just made the cut, they measured her 3 times. In my heart I was thinking, if they allow little kids on this ride, it can’t be that scary. I was WRONG!
As we were queueing up, I started to get nervous about letting her go on the ride. I was afraid that she was too small for the safety restrains, secondly, I wasn’t sure if she was going to start crying in the middle of the ride. I kept asking her, are you sure you want to go on this ride? I carried her up to look at the people before us getting on the ride. She kept nodding and saying yes, she really wanted to go on the ride. I was really pleased to see that they had additional restrains for the younger children. She had an extra seatbelt to secure her which made me sigh with relief. Once the ride started, she exclaimed ” we’re flying Mama!” My hands started to sweat and I was holding her hand tightly in case she was scared. The ride was FAST and I really don’t think children as young as 3 should be allowed on it. It corners sharply and with the speed, I was being thrown around in my seat. I had moments of ” oh my God, what are we doing?” but she loved every minute of it. I was scared and squeezed her hand too tightly till she told me off. My daughter is a real dare-devil, and so much braver than her mother who really is a chicken at heart.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take much pictures, I was too busy with the children. Only managed to snap a couple with my phone.
After surviving our maiden trip to USS, here are a few of my tips to make your trip a little easier.
- If you’re travelling with toddlers, there aren’t a lot of rides that they can go on. You can check out the height requirements from their official website.
- It can get very hot during the afternoon, we did the rides early in the day and after lunch, hid in the shops or restaurants to escape the heat. Honestly with young children, the heat can be quite unbearable. Hit the shows after lunch, this allows you to escape the heat and gives you time for your lunch to be digested before getting on the rides again.
- Do the water rides first, this gives you time to dry off. Ponchos are on sale in the park, $1 for children, $2 for adults.
- Pack at least an extra set of clothes for the kids. There is a water play area just outside the food court in Jurassic Park which the kids will want to play in.
- Pack boxes of juice or bottles of water. It’s easy for children to forget to rehydrate themselves when they get so excited. Constantly offer water to your child to prevent dehydration.
- Pack snacks or sandwiches to bring along. The restaurants get pretty crowded during meal times and as we all know, kids are not known for their patience. It will also save you a lot of money, an average meal cost about $10 anywhere in the park and a kid’s meal is about $8. There are water coolers located all around the park so filling up water bottles is a breeze.
- If you have a stroller, bring one to save some money. You can rent strollers at the park as well, we rented a double stroller for $15. Take note that the strollers do not recline and have hard plastic seats which not all children might appreciate.
- Put lots of sunblock on the children as well as mosquito repellent.
- There is a babycare room in the park. It’s clean and very well equipped with a microwave, highchair, steriliser and hot/cold water dispenser. It’s also a good place for the children to just go and relax. The pipped music around the park can get quite loud for younger children so the baby care room is the perfect place for some peace and quiet. I took the kids there for about an hour to let Max roam about and just chill out since he was getting quite overstimulated from everything going on outside.
- Be prepared for wet weather, pack rain coats for the kids and don’t forget spare plastic bags to keep wet clothes.
- Don’t forget to spread out the rides especially for younger kids. Let them take a ride, then have a walk around, go into the shops, watch a show, before attempting another ride. This helps to curb motion sickness .