Kissimmee Howard Johnson Tropical Palms Resort
 
Howard Johnson Tropical Palms
4311 West Vine St. (W. 192), Kissimmee, FL 34746
Telephone: (407) 396-7100   Fax: 1-407-358-5140
Toll Free:  (800) 388-7698   Email: reservations@hojotropicalpalms.com
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Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida is one of two theme parks at Universal Orlando; the other --Islands of Adventure-- is Kissimmee Universaljust a short walk away.

The two are linked by CityWalk, an entertainment zone with clubs, shops and restaurants such as NBA City or the NASCAR Cafe. Nearby are Universal's three hotels: the Portofino, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort. (Guests get front-of-the line ride access!) All are connected by walkways and by waterways with free water-taxis.

There are also Universal Studios theme parks in Hollywood and Japan, with similar attractions.

What's special about Universal Studios for families?

Kids love the attractions based on their favorite movies. (And lots of grown-ups do too.)

Universal Studios has plenty for younger kids: for example, the E.T. Adventure, a fanciful experience where you ride your own bike through the night sky. E.T. is in the Woody Woodpecker Kid Zone, which also has: Fievel's Playground, with tubes, slides, a giant spider web, and a water slide; A Day in the Park with Barney; Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster; Curious George Goes to Town; and the Animal Planet Live show.

Kissimee UniversalAll ages will get a kick out of the Shrek 4-D Adventure, which could be called Shrek 1.5, with a plot-line falling somewhere between the movies Shrek and Shrek 2: this "ride" is a 3-D film with special effects, and is 25-minutes long (for the introduction plus the film.)

Across the street is Jimmy Neutron's Nickoleon Blast, a simulator rocket ride through the homelands of many cartoon characters, from Rugrats to SpongeBob SquarePants (click above for pic.)

For older kids, the big draw will be the new-in-04 Revenge of the Mummy attraction, an in-the-dark coaster with pyrotechnics and some unexpected dips and turns: state-of-the-art, and lots of fun even for kids as young as six. (Depends on the kid, of course, and the height restriction; riders must be 48" high.)

After the Mummy, older kids will gravitate to Back to the Future, Men in Black Alien Attack (where you laser-shoot aliens), andTerminator 2: 3D Battle Across Time. Also fun are JAWS, Twister's simulated tornado, and Earthquake: The Big One, a simulated quake in a subway station that might even come in handy later during science class.

Actually, older kids will probably want to gravitate to Islands of Adventure's thrill coasters, a short walk away: Kissimmee hotelbuying a pass for both parks is advised.
Things to keep in mind about Universal Studios Florida:

* there are three great ways to avoid line-ups
* if at all possible stay at a Universal Resort, which will give you nice digs plus the best front-of-the-line ride access. Each of the three resorts has a great "beach pool", and free water-taxi shuttles to the theme parks. Check the Universal Orlando site for deals.
* Some rides have minimum heights for kids; See Height Restrictions at Orlando Trip Planner. For ex., kids 40" can ride Spiderman with an adult; you need 52" for The Hulk.
* not that your kids will care, but Universal Studios Florida has some pretty sections with an Old Hollywood ambiance; it's fun to walk around the simulated New York City, too.
* buy dual-park passes for admission to Islands of Adventure also, especially if you have teens.

hotels and theme parks in Disney World hotels and theme parks in SeaWorld hotels and theme parks in Universal Studios hotels and theme parks near Wet and Wild hotels near convention center
Disney World
6 Miles
SeaWorld
8 Miles
Universal Studios
10 Miles
Wet & Wild
10 Miles
Convention Center
8 Miles
 
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