ISSDC17: UK and EU teams have an amazing first…

Yes, here we are in Orlando for the International Final of 2017! The UKSDC has brought THREE teams of brilliant students this year – here was their first day out, in their own words:

Landscape of Universal Studios Island of Adventure with rollercoaster and gravity rides
Universal Studios Island of Adventure

Brian Kong, leader of EU team

Somebody once told me that Universal was one of the best theme parks you could go to and the “Science Space Club” tested this today. Everyone was up nice and early since it wasn’t a school morning and was ecstatic to go.  After a short drive we arrived at Universal Orlando and once we finally sorted out tickets dated for August we dived straight into the Islands of Adventure. Team EU decided to loop once round the park starting with a 90 minute wait for a 30 second ride… The Hulk. That was a good turnover rate!  The weather was hot and it would only get hotter so the water rides solved this for us. Harry Potter world was the team’s favourite; with so much to do, so much to see with all the shops in the backstreets. Our favourite ride was the Dragon Challenge which we went on 6 times! The Harry Potter themes really made us feel like the all-star cast of the wizarding world. You’ll never know if you don’t go.

Alex Radford, leader of UK finalist team

Members of UK Team 1, winners of the UK National Finals
Members of UK Team 1, winners of the UK National Finals

What do Spiderman, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park Dinosaurs have to do with space settlements? Not much admittedly, but spending the day at Universal Studios’s Islands of Adventure Theme Park was certainly a good way to adjust to Florida heat and get to know our team mates.

Universal’s theme park was ideal for our group — with rides for both thrill-seekers and chill-seekers, everyone could fine a ride that was too their liking. 45-minute waits were made bearable by good company, conversation, and air-conditioning.

Highlights included cooling down from the heat on log flumes, modelling the Thing 1/2 wigs in the Seuss-land shop, and continuing to wear our fashion-forward flower necklaces. Of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was simply magical.

The day was a fantastic start to a trip that is sure to be filled with many more exciting twists and turns as we explore Florida and begin the competition!

Tavleen Wasan, leader of UK invited team

Members of UK Team 2
Members of the UK invited team

So today was our first day in Florida. After overcoming minor issues with the Universal tickets, everyone dispersed to make the most of the day. The theme park exceeded all expectations; there were rides to suit those with all relationships with height and of all mental ages. It was a really fun day – despite 95% humidity and 35 degree heat (made just about tolerable by ingenuous water spraying fans and endless sprite top ups) we all enjoyed ourselves massively. It was a really good way to get to know each other better and also bond in a relaxed way before the heat of the competition.

Two team members, one looking into the camera wearing a baseball cap with a flower necklace around it
Headwear is important to group identity…
Leaders of UK1 and UK2 teams wearing Dr. Seuss' Cat's Hats.
…very important.

Watch this space for more adventures!