Why Gradbash is worth it

This year Gradbash took place at Universal and it was a very fun experience. Make sure to check out the park this summer.


Photo Shayla McIntyre

(From left to right) Seniors Maddy Ruyle, Shayla McIntyre, Grace Barrett, Bella Rodrigues, Austin White, Caroline Brindise and Kelsi White in front of the Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando.

Shayla Mcintyre , Staff Writer

This year, Robinson seniors took a trip to Universal for the annual Grad Bash trip.  The buses arrived at Universal at 7 p.m. and left the park at 2 a.m. The park was only open to seniors and had many different signs and booths congratulating the class of 2023.

Universal is split into two parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Islands of Adventure contains more adventure and thrill rides while, Universal Studios is centered around TV Shows and Movies. For Grad bash we were allowed entry into both parks and I liked the experience even more because it was cool to be able to go back and forth between the parks.

Universal offers many different themes; the biggest one between the two parks is the Harry Potter World. This part of Universal is done very well, with certain parts of the park resembling famous parts of the movies to make visitors really feel immersed in the world. Universal offers both simulation experiences and true roller coasters. Due to the variety of rides, people of all preferences will be satisfied at this park. Even if you don’t like roller coasters the park itself is interesting to browse. There are multiple parts of both parks that are modeled to look like a little town with numerous shops and interactive shows that anyone can participate in. During Grad bash my group spent a lot of time in the Harry Potter world, it was really interesting and had a lot of shops that we looked around in. I personally enjoyed this part of the park because of how realistic the world was.

Another perk of Universal is the lines. Obviously waiting in line is one of the worst parts of the theme park experience. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable, especially in times such as Grad bash, but Universal did a great job at making a lot of the ride lines interesting to help the waiting process go faster. For example, in the Gringot’s line, part of the waiting period is spent in rooms that look like you are actually entering the Harry Potter world and works wonderfully with the actual ride.

If you get hungry there are plenty of places to eat such as Leaky Cauldron a Harry Potter themed restaurant and a whole area dedicated to food shown in the TV show the Simpsons. There are a lot of quick serve options as well as sit down places. One of the best parts of the park is the amount of candy and dessert shops that they have. Between Butterbeer and giant donuts the park truly has all you need. I got to try Butterbeer for the first time and it was so good, it reminded me of a caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks.

I have been to Universal once before in 8th grade but after going back this time for my senior trip the park was so much better. I thought each part of Universal was so unique and I really enjoyed walking around and looking at each part. Despite the long lines I still had a fun time in line with my friends due to the fact that every ride had cool interactive exhibits to look at and distract me from the amount of time we spent waiting.

Personally my favorite part was all the Harry Potter sections, it was so interesting to see all the details of the little worlds and look for all the easter eggs.  I have been to multiple theme parks and Universal is the most fun I have ever had at an amusement park.

If you are in need of something to do this summer Universal Studios is around an hour and a half ride from South Tampa and its fun for everyone. Make sure to try the Butterbeer and check up on your Harry Potter knowledge before going.