Scene: It’s three o’clock. You’re sitting at your desk clacking away at your keyboard when you hear it. A whoosh. No, a tick. Ah, a trickle. You watch as the sun beams that once peered in from the windows disappear behind the deep clouds that now reign the sky. You motion over to the couch, blanket in hand, strike a match, and light your favorite candle to —
Oh, wait a second. That’s me. Right now. Writing this guide for you. Your rainy day scene is just a liiiiiiittle different. It involves a younger you, a sprinkle of chaos, a fish, a couch, a cat, a hat, and few other uh, things.
Based on the book by the same title, The Cat in The Hat at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is truly a wild ride following the story of two children whose boring, rainy day takes a turn when an unexpected visitor enters through the front door. In a totally-not-scary, well-intended, bring-on-the-fun-that-is-funny fashion, the visitor makes it their personal mission to better a day where the sun is not sunny. He’s got a few tricks up his — hat — but you’ll have to read on some more to learn about that.
(Tired of the rhyming yet? No? I knew I liked you. Moving on!)
Before we meet our very special house guest, we must walk under a giant hat to enter… the outdoors? (Don’t question the magic of the hat.) We aren’t just anywhere outside, we are in front of the home of a brother and a sister who just said goodbye to their mother while she goes off to complete a hefty grocery list.
Stylized just like the art from the book, this world is a little wobbly, wonky, and you’ll hardly ever see a straight line. You’ll pass picket fences and vibrant green bushes before arriving at the front porch of a pink house (my dream house tbh) to find shelter from the rain. On the bushes and walls of the house you’ll find sentences straight from the book that set the stage for the story to unfold. Sit back, relax, and keep your arms, feet, and legs inside the couch because we’re off!
Wait, is the couch moving? This is quite out of the ordinary, but lucky for us, mother just left for meats, breads, and dairy!
Did you feel that bump? Perhaps a bump that might just make you jump? On your right you see a door open and stepping out on a mat is everyone’s favorite cat, The Cat in the Hat! But the Cat isn’t the only animal that can talk! The pet fish (a goldfish named Mr. Krinkelbein) warns us that the Cat should not be in the house while mother is out. However, we have no time to listen when we could be playing America’s new favorite pastime, “Up Up Up With A Fish.” The game is played with the Cat balancing on a ball. He has to balance books, umbrellas, toy boats, milk, a rake, a cake (my personal favorite), and of course, a fish, for as long as he can! It looks like a lot of fun but proves to be a worthy challenge for the Cat. (Spoiler Alert: Balancing on a ball with all that? Not always the best idea if you’re trying to NOT make a mess.)
While the Cat ends up on the floor, the fish makes a tea kettle his new home. Now that our first game is over, we need a game that’s new, so the Cat brings out a crate and introduces us to Thing 1 and Thing 2! The Cat claims that these things are tame, but when our blue-haired friends start flying kites, painting the walls, decorating the house with toilet paper, and tipping pianos (amongst other things), that gets to be a little hard to believe. The Fish warns us that mother is almost home so it is time to take action! As the brother and sister think of what to do, an idea strikes! As fast as they can, they go after their net! They bet with their net, they can get those things, yet! WHUMP! Got ‘em! But the house is still a disaster! Can they clean up before mother arrives? Will the Cat come back to clean up their mess? I guess you’ll have to ride and see if that answer is a yes!
The Cat in the Hat is a dark-ride, motion-simulator with couches that can seat up to six humans, LARGE Cats, or things — not necessarily in that order — at least 36” tall.
- Similar to the book and all of Seuss Landing, there are almost no straight lines in this attraction — everything was designed in the same curved, slenated, and wonky matter that Dr. Seuss drew in.
- Of the brother and sister in this story, only the sister is officially named. The sister is named Sally where the brother is only referred to as Conrad in the 2003 film adaptation of the book.
- In the book the mother’s face is never revealed. The ride follows the tradition of mystery by ending any image of her right above the neck before she can be revealed.
- While we don’t know where the children’s father is during the story, a family photo can be seen where you board the ride vehicles. Once again, conveniently cutting off before both parent’s heads.
- While it may look like just a couch to the untrained eye, this attraction’s ride vehicle design was adapted for use in Men in Black: Alien Attack at Universal Studios Florida.
Appropriately named Cats, Hats and Things, this gift shop is where you can find all of your feline-inspired wacky wares. Adorned in Red, White and Blue this shop is a tribute to our star Cat. You’ll find the Cat in The Hat front and center in the shop juggling household items just like he does in both the book and the ride. Where the Cat is, the things aren’t far, Thing 1 and Thing 2 are running along the ceilings and overseeing shop ops from atop merchandise shelves. The gift shop offers souvenirs such as plush toys, home wares, apparel and more.
(Yes, you can grab a “Thing” T-shirt for yourself and all your wacky travel companions!)
You may exit this ride feeling one (or a couple) of the following feelings:
- An INTENSE urge to clean your home
- A sudden desire to own toilet paper adorned with “Thing” heads (unfortunately, not in the gift shop)
- A want, no, a NEED to meet the Cat of the hour
You can meet The Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2, amongst other Dr. Seuss characters in the Dr. Seuss Character Zone at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Appearance times can be found on the official Universal Orlando Resort app.
I wanted to end this guide with “What would you do if your mother asked you?” but I simply couldn’t find a way that would do. So instead I’ll say “that is that” and be gone with a tip of my hat.