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Travel Story scuba diving in Jupiter in Florida the USA with tiger, lemon, bull, nurse, and hammerhead sharks, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park in Universal Studios in Orlando

Where can you go scuba diving with sharks in Jupiter in Florida, the USA?

jupiter florida usa

About Jupiter Florida:

The, for us Europeans, most unknown dive sites in Jupiter, have a high number of giant sharks, including Bull-, Lemon-, Hammer, Tiger- and Nurse Sharks - swimming around in the Atlantic Ocean. So, as avid divers, we thought it was time to organize a trip to Jupiter in Florida, the USA, to finally scuba dive with the large predators of the Oceans.

jupiter florida usa
orlando universal studios

General info about diving - scuba diving in Jupiter in Florida with sharks

Scuba diving in the USA - Florida - Jupiter is only suitable for very experienced flow divers, from a boat. To remain depth in the blue must be automatic. Being able to control and help yourself in heavy weather conditions is an absolute must and panic attacks are unacceptable. A pill against seasickness is certainly recommended, unless you'vve got strong sailor legs. Following up instructions is very important, not only for your own safety, but also that of others. Next to that it's recommended to reach the surface with a sufficient amount of Nitrox left because there can be heavy waves.

When you go shark diving with Scuba Works in Jupiter, Florida, there are a number of house rules, you need to take into account: there are no deco dives, there is maximum use of nitrox, the nitrox is measured with their second (calibrate) Oxygen Analyzer, the analysis logbooks should always be completed, there's a thorough briefing each time and you're always responsible for your safety.

The maximum nitrox ppO2 is given to secure a maximum dive time. The bottles are very well stocked, to approximately 260 à 270 bar nitrox. Normally a dive of 45 minutes is calculated, but an hour's dive is certainly feasible as well.

At half April, the water temperature in Jupiter Florida is between 24 and 26°C. A 5mm diving suit, bones, compulsory gloves and cap should keep you warm enough.

The boat of Emerald Charters is spacious and comfortable. The skipper narrated very well and has a lot of experience with the recuperation of divers in the sometimes-heavy Atlantic Ocean. Once on board, everyone gets seated and have their own place, which isn't the most convenient. When you're the first to step on board, you get assigned a spot in the back. This way, divers constantly nuisance each other, as they all have to pass by.

The ladder on the back of the boat is made of thick tubes with soft rubber around it. This way you have a good grip and won't hurt your bare feet. The ladder is deep enough in to the water, but nevertheless you have to be careful with waves and swell to remain cautious when ascending to the surface.

Water, coke, and diet coke are abundantly present on board. Hungry stomachs are filled richly, with crackers, biscuits, fresh fruit, and a tasty, very well-topped thick sandwich with greens and at least 200 gr ham.

Randy and Josh are the dive leaders and work together with Scuba Works for the equipment. They have a lot of experience with diving with sharks. They doing everything possible to lure the sharks - to keep them close to the divers and in front of the cameras, but above all he tries to proceed the scuba diving in safe conditions.

The dive bottles and lead are rented and you can buy the nitrox fillings at Scuba Works. It's, like in Belgium, very usual for everyone to bring their own equipment. A tank and lead are therefore never included in the dive price (US $100 + tax per day for 3 dives). Diving equipment is very expensive in proportion. When you want to dive for multiple days and need to rent equipment, you can request a discount on bottles and lead (US $20 per day). In addition, you need to pay US $21,50 per nitrox mixture/respiratory gas. You must also drive your own and/or hired equipment to the boat, unload the car and load the equipment on board. If you wish this to be done by the company, it will cost you US $50 per day!

The staff are all volunteers and live of their tips. For us, this is something we need to get used. Especially since the tip is usually US $10 per dive. You should therefore count US $30 extra per day to the bill and give this to the supervisors on board. After all, they did help us by bringing the diving bottles to the street and in the car.

On 50meters from the boat, there's a free hotel parking where we leave the car (make sure to bring back your ticket to pick up the car at the end of the day).

At the diving school, there are baths to rinse your equipment and a place, where you can leave it to dry until the next day.

Jupiter and Florida in general are very expensive environments, because many rich retired people come here to hibernate. So, be sure to provide a spacious budget for lodging, food and entertainment.

Travel and diving in Florida - Jupiter photos of tiger, lemon, bull, nurse and hammerhead sharks, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park in Universal Studios in Orlando

Diving with sharks in the Atlantic Ocean near Jupiter - Florida

Like the two previous years, this spring we make a new trip to the beautiful town of Jupiter in Florida to dive with the photogenic large sharks.

Thursday 12 April 2018

From Schiphol in Netherland to Miami in Florida with Swiss Air

As our first flight is scheduled at 9.45am, we make our way to Schiphol in Netherland one day early to spend the night at the Ibis Budget hotel (111 EUR for formula Park, Sleep, Fly). This way we don't have to get up in the middle of the night, immediately secure a (free) parking spot for our car and start our trip more relaxed.

This year we're not flying with KLM (as they no longer allow free luggage to the United States!), but opt for Swiss Air, an airline company with which we've never flown before. We leave with a 30-minute delay, but along the way get back on track to ensure we still land on time in green Zurich. When leaving the plane, each passenger gets handed a little chocolate. Nice treat, but the Belgian chocolate is much better! After a short transit time, we can start the countdown. At 14.00pm we take-off for our ten-hour flight to Miami in Florida. Swiss Air certainly scores well on seat comfort, meals, free alcoholic drinks and excellent service from the cabin crew. The only downside for us is the limited film catalogue (many Asian movies), but that's personal taste, of course.

Around 18:00pm local time we land safely in Miami Florida, where we to our surprise queue up in a very short line at the Immigration control. Our luggage as well rolls of the band very quickly, which means we get to pick up our Avis rental car in no time. Just like last year, we get presented an attractive deal in which we for only $10 more per day can upgrade to a larger car. We kindly thank for the offer, but are thereafter told that the reserved Ford Focus is longer in stock and get assigned another vehicle in the same price range. However, it appears to be a VW Beetle, which only has two doors and a very small trunk. We end up in a little argument with the service operator and argue that we've paid for a rental car with four doors. After discussing for a while and patiently waiting, we get a free upgrade to a Nissan Altima sedan.

Then we drive to the nearby Regency Hotel (108 EUR), where we traditionally spend our first night in Miami Florida.

Friday 13 April 2018

From Miami to Jupiter in Florida

This day proceeds according to the same pattern as the previous two years. We sleep in, enjoy an extensive breakfast and then make way towards Jupiter, ca 150km north of Miami in Florida. We endeavour wherever possible to avoid the dull highways and cruise in our own pace along the magnificent Art Deco buildings of the world-famous Ocean Drive and the imposing buildings of Miami Beach. Around 14.30pm we arrive at the familiar Best Western Intercostal Hotel (671 EUR for 7 nights) in Jupiter, where we are delighted to hear that the bathrooms have been completely renovated. How we are going to enjoy our spacious walk-in shower!

Then we knock the doors at Scuba Works where we just like the previous years rented our steel nitrox dive tanks ($21.5 per bottle). The dive tanks are always very accurately filled with the necessary oxygen percentage. The pressure in the steel tanks is always 260 a 270 bar, which is sufficient to go shark diving. Originally we agreed that we would buy the lead (approx. $75 for 9kg) because this (oddly enough) works out cheaper than renting weights for six days ($20 per day), but in the end they realize the absurdity of the case and give us a kind reduction of 50% on the rental price, so we don't need to 'dump' the lead subsequently. Next to that we have the permission to also use their sinks and racks to rinse, wash and dry the diving equipment every day. Amazing service of Scuba Works!

In the evening, we feel like a huge portion of crab legs in the rustic Rustic Inn Crabhouse, but unfortunately, find out the restaurant is closed (for maintenance or permanently?). We opt for the nearby Jetty's Waterfront Restaurant. Unfortunately, the place is packed and seats on the terrace with a view of the lighthouse aren't available anymore. However, we don't let ourselves get affected by it too much and enjoy the delicious fish dishes.

Saturday 14 April 2018

Diving with Emerald Charters to lemon sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks, nurse sharks and hammerhead sharks

From today we've scheduled six diving days in the Atlantic Ocean, where we'll be especially searching for large sharks. Also, this year we dive with Emerald Charters, which are located in Jupiter - Florida and specialize in shark diving ($100 per weekday and $125 at the weekend - 3 dives per day). In this region of the Atlantic Ocean you'll mainly find lemon sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks, nurse sharks and hammerhead sharks. As the water warms up, the hammer and tiger sharks disappear and you'll come across more twilight sharks, sand bank sharks and side sharks. Jupiter in Florida is during certain periods of the year also a transit area for the white shark and black point open ocean shark.

The ideal season to spot the tiger- and hammerhead sharks runs from March to the first week of April. Unfortunately, that period was already fully booked at Emerald Charters, which forced us to dive a little later during a (warmer) season.

For the first dive of today we dive on the wreck. We%re accompanied by 10 lemon-sharks, one bull shark and two nurse sharks. A great start of our dive trip!

The Atlantic Ocean today is quite turbulent and the violent swell soon results in two victims when we come out of the water. After ten minutes cradling back and forth, two other fellow divers get green in the face. Tip: if you're not sure if you have stable sailor legs, always consider taking medication against seasickness!

The second and third dive go through another wreck. Six lemon sharks, two nurse sharks, one tiger shark, two hammerheads and two large groupers are here to admire in full glory. In contrast to the previous two years, I'm unfortunately not allowed to leave the wreck because our group is too big, and there are several less experienced divers. The sharks in this period are also somewhat wilder. Each panicky reaction of a diver, non-compliance with the rules or losing sight of a tiger shark, can lead to unpleasant surprises and that, of course, needs to be avoided by the group, as well as Emerald Charters at all times. Safety first! The Dive Master though lures the tiger shark to the camera so that we can take good photos, but I'm unfortunately not always in the right position to take the ultimate picture.

As a fun shut-off of the day we spot a manatee with baby near the jetty of Emerald Charters. Unfortunately, the animal disappears as quickly as it shown up and we're not able to take a good shot.

Scuba diving with tiger and lemon sharks 1

tiger, lemon sharks

Pictures - photos scuba diving with tiger and lemon sharks

Sunday 15 April 2018

Diving with Emerald Charters

There is a lot of wind today, so we're shaking from left to right on the boat from Emerald Charters. The good ol' remedy against seasickness certainly isn't a luxury here. We must secure all diving equipment tightly to the boat, to prevent injuries such as bruises, blue toes or painful shins. When we finally reach the dive site, the wind gets even heavier and the waves even higher.

During the first dive, we're mainly looking for tiger sharks because these beautiful, large animals meet our imagination the most. As tiger sharks naturally are very curious, you should expect the unexpected and foresee their appearance from the most unexpected places. For this reason, the large group of divers needs to stay and hang around closely to the edge of the wreck. Unfortunately, this time we don't see any tiger sharks, but are companied by six aggressive lemon sharks, a giant tortoise and two large groupers.

During this dive our dive master gets bitten by a lemon shark in his right arm. As he always keeps his arms close to his body, it thankfully 'only' is a bite wound from a few pointed teeth. However, he's obliged to go to the hospital and needs to take antibiotics for a while, because the deep wound can't be completely disinfected. Next to that, shark bites often result in inflammation by the organisms that are present in the mouth of the sharks.

When we get to the surface after our first dive, the Atlantic Ocean has become much wilder. The first patients are already hanging their heads overboard and most of the others probably won't take much longer. Americans apparently don't like taking medication against seasickness. In any case, I keep my pills within reach and feel (for now?) supreme!

For out second dive we stay at the same dive site. Yesterday we were accompanied by a tiger shark and two hammerheads the whole way through, but today we only see little water animals. Fortunately, a few photogenic lemon sharks pass us by.

When coming up from the water, some divers really struggle to get back on-board. The boat of Emerald Charters has become a real cue ball riding the high waves of the Atlantic Ocean. We can't even remain on our seats without holding on to the sides of the boat. The people who are seasick are having a real hard time and must make sure that they don't fall overboard. For security reasons, the third dive is therefore cancelled and the captain decides to go back to the mainland. A pity, but of course safety prevails.

The extra time we have left now, we fill up with a small walk along the lively marina of Jupiter. It's packed with truly stunning large yachts and we nearly can't believe our eyes. On the way back to the hotel, we notice a dolphin in the cannel, which apparently without difficulty or making any effort swims against the strong current. What a beautiful shut-off of this trip!

In the late afternoon, the various TV stations continuously and thoroughly inform us about the impending storm that will take place in the region we're staying this evening. According to the radar images Jupiter is just on the borderlines of the bad weather and around 20.00pm we should effectively get treated to an impressive sound and light show. Fortunately, we're saved from real mischievous weather and other disastrous consequences!

Scuba diving with tiger and lemon sharks 2

tiger, lemon sharks

Pictures - photos scuba diving with tiger and lemon sharks

Monday 16 April 2018

A visite to the Miami Seaquarium

Due to the storm from last night and the associated strong wind, the sailing conditions today are insufficient to set sail. This diving day is therefore fully cancelled, but fortunately, there are plenty of other fun things to do in Florida on a day off.

We decide to pay a visit to the Miami Seaquarium, that's located on an island south of Miami in Florida. After a drive of about 1.5 hours we arrive around 11.00am at our destination. By the number of cars on the parking area ($10) we can deduce that thankfully, the place shouldn't be too busy.

After we bought our ticket ($46 per person), we straight away make way to the great basin for the 'Flipper Show' of the Miami Seaquarium. Six dolphins show their most spectacular and tricky tricks, but we eventually come out a little disappointed, because the spectacular jumps are kept to a minimum. Too much blabla and too little bumbum!

Then we go to the Golden Dome in the Miami Seaquarium for a nice sea lion show. This performance is on the one hand funny, but also educational as it's strongly linked to how to environmentally recycle waste. The children anyway, are totally into the story and are having the time of their lives.

Next on our program in the Miami Seaquarium is the 'Killer Whale & Dolphin Show'. The 50-year-old orca Lolita performs together with two white striped dolphins in a relatively small basin a classic presentation, where the first rows of spectators are skilfully splashed wet. The cool water is for most of them clearly a welcomed refreshment! We especially enjoy the orca itself; what a strength and elegance this animal shows! In addition though, it's super sad to realise that this powerful animal is being kept in captivity in such a small basin.

At 14.00pm we go to the 'Top Deck Dolphin Show ' for our last performance of today in the Miami Seaquarium. Now as well, the dolphins display impressive acrobatic jumps, but the whole thing remains a little too well-mannered and uninspired. The shows of SeaWorld are clearly much more spectacular and have a much higher entertainment content.

Between and after the performances we pay a visit to the aquarium with tropical fish, the penguins and, of course, to the damaged manatees (dugongs), which here get the chance to recover from their injuries in peace. When they are fully recovered, and have regained their strenght, they eventually return to their natural habitat. Nice initiative of the Miami Seaquarium!

We conclude this amusing day at the basin with rays, which may be touched. They feel very soft and silky. At certain times, visitors can also buy some food to feed the rays. With a big grin on our face, we spend $5 for eight scampi's and are soon promoted to the favourites of the rays because they morally pick up their snacks. Some animals are so enthusiastic that they partially come out of the water, so that we can admire and caress them even better. A truly unique experience and our fish scented hands, we just take granted.

Around 16.00pm we start our return trip to Jupiter in Florida. In the meantime, we got stuck into peak hour and the traffic around Miami goes a lot slower, but thankfully, we never come to a complete stand still like we do in Antwerp or Brussels.

Miami Seaquarium in Florida

miami seaquarium

Pictures - photos of the Miami Seaquarium in Florida

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Diving with lemon, tiger, bull and hammerhead shark

The stormy weather of the past few days has completely faded, which results in green lights for diving with Emerald Charters. However, there's still a lot of segment and fog in the water expected, which would result in limited visibility.

During the first reef dive in the blue, we especially search for bull sharks. We're lucky because after a few minutes, the first bull sharks are already on the bait. Initially, the animals stay at a reasonable distance, but after a while they come so close that we can count their impressive row of V-teeth. Big Mama, the most famous bull shark in the area is also present this dive. How cool, that we get to admire this big, robust animal from up-close. During this successful dive, we're accompanied by a total of eight bull sharks. That makes our heart beat faster and desire for more!

Scuba diving with bull sharks 3

tiger, lemon sharks

Pictures - photos scuba diving with bull sharks

During our second dive, we again descend to a wreck to hopefully stumble upon the tiger sharks and hammerhead shark in optimal conditions. We get the company of two lemon sharks, two giant groupers and a tiger shark named Patrick. At the end of the dive a scented bait gets secured and left behind at our previous dive site, as well a food scented track is created to lure even more sharks.

During the third dive, we want to spot as many tiger sharks and hammerhead sharks as possible. Patrick, the young tiger shark of about 3 meters, is still on the same dive site. He continuously swims in circles around the bait and our group. In such a situation, it's important to keep an eye on the tiger shark as they unexpectedly make rapprochement and don't care much about the sometimes-harsh physical contact with the divers. Remain calm, don't make any sudden movement and gently push the tiger shark on the gills or muzzle when they get too close. This is the best way to repel the tiger shark, including yourself. Because of safety reasons, most divers of our group have to stay on the edge of the wreck and only the experienced tiger shark divers (including myself) are allowed to descend further down or even to the bottom. During this dive, we see two lemon sharks and further down two circling bull sharks.

Scuba diving with tiger and lemon sharks 4

tiger, lemon sharks

Pictures - photos scuba diving with tiger and lemon sharks

When we return to the marina of Jupiter in Florida, we come across a group of dolphins who feel for a little game and continuously swim and jump around the boat. The skipper of Emerald Charters doesn't mind the game either and therefore sails an extra few laps. We enjoy our time with the beautiful ending of this fantastic day, which already has resulted in a lot of great shots.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Diving with lemon, tiger, bull and hammerhead sharks

Today again three dives with Emerald Charters await on our program. Due to the timid wind weight the Atlantic Ocean is practically flat and the radiant sun provides plenty of light on even 30 meters' depth. Amazing diving conditions to once again enjoy a great day on sea!

Our first dive is another reef dive in which we're on the hunt for bull sharks. We've only just entered the water when the first bull shark emerges. Not long after his friends are also lured to the bait and we're accompanied by of a sum of 10 bull sharks. Our cameras flash extensively and work overtime.

Scuba diving with bull sharks 5

tiger, lemon sharks

Pictures - photos scuba diving with bull sharks

The second dive goes back through a wreck where we can shelter from the strong currents and two intrusive tiger sharks. Now as well, only the very experienced shark divers among us are allowed to descend to the bottom with the dive master. Patrick, the tiger shark, comes swimming towards our party, as fast as it can, but today appears to have a very hungry and intrusive temper. In addition, four lemon sharks and two giant groupers continuously stay in our presence. At the end of the dive we leave the crate while leaving bait on the bottom, to attract and lure more sharks on the odour track.

The last dive follows the same scenario. A few lemon sharks have joined and in the distance, we spot a hammerhead shark. Unfortunately, the hesitant animal keeps its necessary distance. We end the dive with a drift dive, and everyone must stay behind the dive master and higher than the bait to avoid an obstacle on the shark' (flight) path.

Scuba diving with tiger and lemon sharks 6

tiger, lemon sharks

Pictures - photos scuba diving with tiger and lemon sharks

Thursday 19 April 2018

Last diving day with Emerald Charters with bull, lemon, tiger and hammerhead sharks

On our last diving day, the ship of Emerald Charters is packed with Mexican divers, all of which have come to Jupiter - Florida to shoot the ultimate sharks photos. Fortunately, most of them speak a little bit of English so we can exchange our dive and travel stories during the crossings and breaks.

During our first dive the main intention is to find bull sharks. Once we have arrived at the desirable depth, the water is remarkably colder than the days before (23°C instead of 26°C). A solid misty curtain and plankton also deteriorate the visibility up to 20m. Four bull sharks soon come in vision and a number of impatient photographers immediately descend to an equal depth to capture the lower animals on the sensitive plate. The result of this, is that the bull sharks swim ever further down, which makes photographing unfortunately impossible. On the outer circle, we come across a beautiful hammerhead shark, but the shy animal ensures that he remains at a safe distance from our group.

The second dive is fully designated to tiger sharks. The dive master tells everyone to remain on the wreck while the bait is distributed. We see six lemon sharks and two tiger sharks from behind our lens. This time as well, a hammerhead shark remains away from the group. At the end of the dive we once again leave some bait behind to lure more sharks.

During our last dive, we are accompanied by a group of nine lemon sharks, one nurse shark, three tiger sharks and two hammerheads. The dive comes to an early end, in which we drift off with the bait to hopefully attract the hammerheads. Unfortunately, our group is way too large and together we cause too many movements and obstacles. This keeps the frightened hammerhead sharks away in the outer circle, and so it's almost impossible to capture a good picture. Too bad, but the main thing is that we've still been able to admire these beautiful animals from a distance. Since the bait now is on a fairly shallow level, the other sharks, fortunately make their way up with us closer to the surface. At 12m depth the misty curtain and the plankton become less of a blockade, so that we have plenty of chance to shoot some great pictures.

After this last dive with Emerald Charters, all rented material and equipment gets taken of the boat and taken back to the dive shop Scuba Works, where we once again thank the staff for their friendly and excellent service.

In the late afternoon, we're forced to drive along the local Avis office in Jupiter, since we've only just discovered that the Avis operator in Miami has charged us a number of in- and assurances that we originally hadn't requested. As a result, we would have had to pay an extra $300 on the last day of our holiday. Scandalous practices! Initially, the local Avis operator tells us that she isn't allowed to make any changes, but fortunately we can convince her with our mail to the central customer service. Why is it always such a hassle to rent at Avis!?

Friday 20 April 2018

A ride to Orlando in Florida for the Universal Studios and a visit to Disney Springs

Today we allow ourselves to sleep in a little longer and enjoy a more extensive breakfast because all we have planned is a 3-hour long boring ride to Orlando in Florida. Here we'll stay for the next four days to release our teen-self, during a visit to the two amusement parks of Universal Studios and Disney Springs. In advanced we booked our tickets online through Undercover Tourist, to obtain a little discount, but it still is and remains an expensive caprice ($232 per person for four days).

Around 15.00pm we check in at the Best Western Orlando Gateway, where we're kindly welcomed and straight away get handed an information package that tells us all about the different activities and dining options in Orlando in Florida. And there are many, as all Orlando in Florida really is, is one big chain of amusement parks, shops and restaurants. Choosing means losing!

When we walk into our room, we directly notice a very bad smell, which is probably caused by the air conditioning. We report our displeasure to the receptionist who without hesitation assigns us to a different room. What a service!

In the late afternoon, we make way to Disney Springs in Orlando, where you can find various Disney related shops, but also a cinema complex and several eateries. However, we make the mistake to explore the whole area in Disney Springs first and then start looking for a nice place to eat. Around 19.00pm all restaurants in Disney Springs are packed and crowded and the waiting time is at least 45 minutes. We don't have many chances, and so opt for a drink and wait for a table at the entrance of one of the restaurants. Due to our growling stomachs the waiting time seems endlessly long!

Disney Springs

disney springs

Pictures - photos Disney Springs in Orlando Florida

Saturday 21 April 2018

A visit to Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida

Murphy seems to have interfered with us personally, as the weather expectations for the next four days only show heavy showers and even predicts the chance of a thunderstorm. Fortunately, it stays warm with temperatures above 25°C. Oh well, we'll have to see what brings us and don't let ourselves get affected or put off by the wet weather.

After a quick breakfast in our hotel ($9.95 per person) we drive to Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida, which is no more than 2 kilometres away. The first cold shower of today is the cost of the parking lot, which is as much as $22! We could have opted for the shuttle bus from the hotel, but as it runs only once per hour and is based on 'first come first served', we didn't want to take that risk. In the end, the vehicle offers more comfort and flexibility.

Once arrived in Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida, we first make way to Hogsmeade at the end of the park. Here you'll find a whole street full of cosy shops that seem to come straight out of a Harry Potter movie. In Ollivanders, all learner, junior and wannabe wizards can buy their own magic wand, with which they can perform small tricks in Hogsmeade. The highlight of this part of the park is a true replica of Hogwarts with the attraction named Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The rollercoaster Flight of the Hippogriff is next to that, definitely

Universal Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida 1

universal island of adventure

Pictures - photos Universal Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida 1

Then we get Jurassic Park, where we can take some nice photos with a 'real' interactive raptor, that responds and anticipates to all our movements. Cool! Since we're not really in for a 'wet suit', we leave Jurassic Park River Adventure and all other water attractions. Those rides are really only something for extremely sunny days, as some people get of and come back ashore soaking wet.

Just as in all amusement parks you pay through the nose for food and drinks; for a quick afternoon snack you soon spend $20 per person in Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida. However, all eating and drinking stalls are working overtime and you therefore need to be patient to get served.

After we have strengthened our inner man, we walk to Skull Island: Reign of Kong, the latest 4D attraction of Islands of Adventure, where you can admire the battle between King Kong and some aggressive dinosaurs from close by. As the original waiting time amounts 75 minutes we opt for the single riders' lane, which is used as 'wadding' to totally fill the ride's vehicles every time they take off. It safes us a little bit of time, but the line is still moving very slowly. The mad ride through the beautiful landscape is however definitely recommended, but unfortunately doesn't last very long!

Toon Lagoon features just two water attractions and is mainly aimed at the youngsters. But of course, also offers a fun walk through to shoot some great shots for the grown-ups.

Marvel Super Hero Island with its Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom's Fear Fall and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man in Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida is the ultimate site for adrenaline junkies. Everything is fast and high, and even the music plays a lot louder!

The colourful Seuss Landing literally makes you feel like eating lollipops and cotton candy, while The Lost Continent on the other hand takes you to the Greek mythology and the Middle East. The attractions are however less spectacular and especially aimed on smaller children.

Around 17:00pm we've made two laps around Islands of Adventures and our tired feet lead us to the Universal Citywalk, which connects the two amusement parks. Just like two years ago we take seat in the cosy patio of Pat O'Brien's to enjoy a refreshing margarita and a big plate of delicious nachos. Universal Citywalk offers much more lively bars and entertainment, but to be frank we're absolutely destroyed because of the extensive walking and therefore decide to go back to our hotel. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, we get a new chance to explore Orlando's energetic nightlife!

Universal Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida 2

universal island of adventure

Pictures - photos Universal Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida 2

Sunday 22 April 2018

A visit to the Universal Studios in Orlando Florida

We start this cloudy day. lining up at Dunkin' Donuts, where both the sweet and savoury fellow human can choose their favourite breakfast options. Then we drive back to the amusement parks, of which today we're visiting Universal Studios in Orlando Florida.

Here as well, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the largest visitors favourite in Universal Studios in Orlando, so we opt to first explore this part of the park. The main attraction in Diagon Alley is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts Wizard, a very spectacular indoor roller coaster, which is animated with the necessary 3D-effects. The view of Diagon Alley is mainly dominated by the Gringotts Wizard Bank, where you'll find a large fire-splitting dragon on the roof. In addition, you'll also find shops with beautifully decorated display cases, where beginner wizards can practice their tricks.

Then we go to the Men in Black, where we shoot evil aliens to patches, thereafter to The Simpsons Ride, where we accompany Bart & Co on a madcap 4D-ride through Springfield.

After a quick lunch in Universal Studios in Orlando Florida, we take a look at Fear Factor Live, a show in which four volunteers compete in a number of stunts. Furthermore, the program places a glass jar on the head from a spectator to then fill it up with either cockroaches, scorpions, a snake or a tarantula. Nerves of steel this man has, he doesn't move one bit! Finally, there's also the disgusting food tasting, involving three girls that should drink a paste-like mush made of a combination of rotten fish, sour milk, maggots and locusts. Nasty!

In the meantime, the dark clouds above our heads have been growing intensively and we're treated to a solid, sturdy but short shower. When the sky clears up, we walk through the colourful Springfield and Woody Woodpecker's kids-zone to Hollywood, that no real attractions offers, but is especially characterized by photo opportunities with Marilyn Monroe, The Blues Brothers, the Simpson family Scooby-Doo, SpongeBob, etc. A highly-recommended attraction in this region is the Horror Make-Up Show, where the spectators are initiated into the special effect secrets of some of the horror movies. It's a very fun and interactive show, in which the actors have some surprises in store for the public.

In New York and Production Central in Universal Studios in Orlando Florida you'll especially find 3D and 4D attractions on the program, in which you're sucked into the adventures of the super funny Minions, quirky Shrek and tough Transformers. In the brand-new Race through New York starring Jimmy Fallon we make an exciting ride through The Big Apple. The indoor roller coaster Revenge of the Mummy is a great shut-off to the day and lovers of the ultimate adrenaline kick can indulge in the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, the only real big outdoor roller-coaster ride through the park.

On the City Walk we are tempted by the delicious margaritas and Mexican dishes on the menu of Antojitos. The Super tasty guacamole is freshly prepared at the table and the drinks are served in beautifully decorated glasses instead of tacky plastic cups. As a result, all tastes so much better and more authentically. Highly recommended!

Universal Studios in Orlando 1

universal studios

Pictures - photos Universal Studios in Orlando Florida 1

Monday 23 April 2018

A second visit to the Universal Studios in Orlando Florida

Today, Universal Studios in Orlando Florida is again on the program and for our last encore go back to our favourite attractions. We enjoy Despicable Me Minion Mayhem for the very last time, as well as Transformers, Revenge of the Mummy and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts Wizard.

Furthermore, we now have more time to here and there get indulged into little street shows. We follow a battle between a number of acapella singers who fight for the grace of the public. Top of the bill, however, is the group Beat Builders, which give us a fantastic percussion performance realized by just material found on the construction sites. Very catchy and entertaining of Universal Studios in Orlando Florida!

To top it off, we may also experience and take part in the premiere in Universal Studios in Orlando Florida of the brand-new attraction Fast & Furious Supercharged, a 4D simulation where you're in the middle of a super-fast-paced and exciting pursuit. Fantastic! We find the ride so spectacular, we even go for it twice. Thanks to the Virtual Line Pass, you can also take a (free) ticket with an hour period which tells your when or what time you're expected to make your return to the entrance. The waiting time therefore is considerably reduced. Hopefully they'll soon introduce this system to other attractions.

Yesterday, we concluded the margaritas and nachos with guacamole at Antojitos as super tasty, and so tonight we end the day on the terrace at this place in beauty.

Universal Studios in Orlando 2

universal studios

Pictures - photos Universal Studios in Orlando Florida 2

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Our last visit of Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlanda Florida

Our very last day of the holiday we spend again in Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlanda Florida. Since the fatigue of the last few days starts to play tricks on us and our legs feel extremely heavy, we slow down and ignore the queues to the rapid roller coasters. Instead we focus on the 4D-attractions like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Skull Island: Reign of Kong and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

In addition, we immerse ourselves in The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show, which contains a lot more spectacle than a few years ago. Furthermore, we enjoy this last day especially in the colourful environment and the exuberant mood of the visitors that leave the water attractions soaking wet. Luckily the sun is shining exuberant and everyone dries up in no-time.

Universal Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida 3

universal island of adventure

Pictures - photos Universal Island of Adventure in Orlando Florida 3

Around 15:00pm it's time to leave the park and pick up our luggage from the hotel. After half an hour of driving, we arrive at Orlando Airport in Florida. Since our flight doesn't leave until 20.00pm, we have plenty of time to order a bite to eat. Unfortunately, there are few attractive dining options in this shabby terminal, so our choice is forced on an all-American burger.

The eight-hour flight to Frankfurt in Germany is carried out by Lufthansa. Here as well, the large range of Asian movies and entertainment is remarkable. Not really our taste, but not too bad either, as we must ensure to sleep sufficiently during the night flight.

After a short transit period in Frankfurt in Germany in awaits a small flight to Amsterdam in Netherland. After we've picked up our luggage from the belt, we certainly have to wait half an hour on the transfer bus that takes us back to the Ibis Budget Hotel, where we've parked our car. We're a little annoyed as we're very tired and all we want is to go and get home as soon as possible! Fortunately, there isn't too much traffic and after a two-hour drive we arrive in Deurne - Antwerp around 17:00pm.

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