This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Seuss Landing! One of the original six islands that comprised Islands of Adventure when it opened in 1999, the whimsical Seuss Landing created an entire land from the works of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. With the area’s over-the-top designs and bright colors, Seuss Landing faithfully recreates the fantastical worlds created in treasured books such as The Cat in The Hat, The Lorax, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
For me personally, the works of Dr. Seuss worked in many ways like the best of The Muppets. Children like the fun characters and easy to understand stories, but underneath that there was another level that was targeting adults paying attention. Whether its skewering commercialism with the Grinch or showing the importance of environmentalism with the Lorax, Seuss was decades ahead of his contemporaries in using children’s stories to teach valuable lessons. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of Seuss Landing, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…
# 6 – The High the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
One of my favorite attractions in all of the Universal Orlando Resort is The High In the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride! Extremely reminiscent of one of my favorite Disney rides – the Peoplemover – guests board trains and ride along an elevated track. This allows for some extremely great views of the park. Even better, there are actually two different ride experiences depending on which track you choose to take. To top it off, the ride goes through the Circus McGurkus Cafe Stupendous quick service restaurant. Disneyland has Blue Bayou overlooking Pirates of the Caribbean, EPCOT’s Garden Grill lets us look down into Living with the Land, and Universal has the Trolley. What we really need is more rides that go through restaurants (after this article please sign my petition at Change.org).
It is also worth noting that the ride is based on the Dr. Seuss story of The Sneetches, and it could not be more relevant with today’s society.
In a great nod to Dr. Seuss’ The Zax, Universal has recreated the Zax Bypass in Seuss Landing. In the Seuss story, the two Zax are two stubborn to move and allow the other one to pass, so a roadway is built around them and above them. Universal has the High in the Sky Trolley riding above it.
# 5 – Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendendous
While the menu won’t be making anyone skip their ADRs for Victoria & Alberts (although the fried chicken is really good), the atmosphere of Circus McGurkus has it rising above all Universal quick service locations outside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There is a large amount of air conditioned seating inside, along with Coke Freestyle machines available for refills. An actual theme park ride operates above you, and on days with inclement weather you may even see the Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear show.
# 4 – One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
When Universal does a spinner ride, it does them right. Over in Universal Studios Florida, the Kang & Kodos Twirl ‘n’ Hurl is one of the most subversive experiences you can have in a theme park. Suess Landing has One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, a spinner that can get you more wet than the average guest on Kali River Rapids. The One Fish, Two Fish song that plays on a constant loop has become an earworm for me, to the point where I find myself humming the song long after we have left the land. The song is actually giving instructions on how not to get wet, by moving your ride vehicle (a Seussian fish) up or down at the right time. One Fish, Two Fish is interactive, has a memorable soundtrack, and it wouldn’t be Universal if they didn’t try to give you an on-ride baptism with a liberal use of water. What’s not to love?
# 3 – Caro-Suess-el
Suess Landing’s Caro-Seuss-el is hands down the most creative carousel I have been on in any park. There are over 50 different “animals” to ride, and all bear the trademark Dr. Seuss insanity in their design. Many of the mounts also have an interactive feature for the rider to control as well, such as blinking eyes. An E-Ticket carousel.
# 2 – Grinchmas
During the Christmas season, Seuss Landing becomes even better. The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular begins, and it just may be the best live show at either park all year long. Just an incredible combination of the live action movie and the beloved cartoon classic. Meanwhile the already crazy Seuss Landing itself is completely decorated in outrageous fashion (you may even run into more Whos putting out more decorations) and the Grinch meet and greet is incredible as you get to interact with the Grinch who has all the wit and sarcasm as the one from the live action film. A total blast!
# 1 – Oh, The Things You Will See!
There’s a whole lot more to see as you walk around Seuss Landing, and be sure to look everywhere as even the gift shops have unique elements that need to be seen to be believed. The Cat in the Hat ride has one of the park’s most iconic photo ops with a three story tall hat. The If I Ran The Zoo is filled with Seussian fun. If you walk by the lagoon you will see Sneetch Beach, including one Sneetch who has apparently fallen asleep in the water. If I Ran the Zoo play area is filled things for kids to do along with creatively strange animals. From the Truffula Trees to the crazy names on all the stores (each referencing characters from Dr. Seuss stories) is an area like no other at Universal.
Honorable Mention: McElligot’s Pool
One thing many guests miss in Seuss Landing is McElligot’s Pool. Located near the front of the land, across from If I Ran A Zoo, McElligot’s Pool is a cute designed area featuring a unique opportunity. Like any place that has a water feature, you’ll see a whole bunch of coins thrown into McElligot’s Pool. All the money in this area is donated to Give Kids the World Village. Because there is almost always no one here, it is a great place to take a breather, relax, and toss a couple coins in.
Double Secret Honorable Mention: Mulberry Street Door For Kids
The large gift shop in Seuss Landing has a special entrance just for the younger set.
So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love SEUSS LANDING! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).
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Special Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, my personal protege Hunter “Elvey” Underwood, hot shot Michael Carelli, Mrs. Tom Brady LitemAndHyde, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with goofballs co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde , while fellow Potterheads may enjoy Meg’s work on the Central Florida Slug Club.
FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2017 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!