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Four ways to enjoy Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in cold weather

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Florida is suffering from the same cold snap as the rest of the country, although to a much lesser extent. That still means you'll need to use some strategies to get full enjoyment out of the theme parks, since so many of the attractions are outdoors.

Here are four ways to enjoy Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure when the weather is cold:

1) Avoid the water rides. Islands of Adventure is home to Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls and Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges, both of which are virtually guaranteed to get you soaked (especially the latter). You also get wet to a lesser extent on the Jurassic Park ride. avoid these rides when it's cold out if you don't want to spend a soggy, uncomfortable day.

2) Choose inside rides in the coldest parts of the day. Rides like the Hulk and Dragon Challenge roller coasters, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Kang and Kodos Twirl and Hurl, and Dr. Doom's Fearfall are all outdoors and make good options in the warmest part of the day. Save them for the afternoon and ride inside rides like the Simpsons, Revenge of the Mummy, Transformers, Spiderman, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in the morning and after dark, when temperatures are at their coldest.

3) Warm up in shows. Indoor shows like Terminator, Shrek, and the Horror Make-Up Show are good places to warm up if you're starting to get chilled. Just be aware that some shows, like Animal Actors and Beetlejuice are in outdoor theaters, so they're not as effective as warming opportunities.

4) Bring something warm to wear for the Cinematic Spectacular Show. This show caps the night at Universal Studios Florida, and since it starts after dark, it can get downright chilly watching it from a spot around the lagoon. Bring a jacket, sweatshirt, or other outer wear that you can carry or put in a locker during the day. You'll be glad you have it when the sun goes down.

To see what the Cinematic Spectacular is all about, check out the video accompanying this article.

Need advice or guidance from a Central Florida theme parks expert? Check out my ebooks for Kindle and Nook and also available via iTunes.

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