Florida: Universal Studios aka Harry Potter Mania!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I completely forgot that wrote this blog and didn’t post it.  This whole time I thought I had it up already!  THIS IS A GEM lol.

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A few weeks months ago I was just in Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.  My boyfriend was nice enough to go with me to this park for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Needless to say, he quite enjoyed how nerdy I became.

We took a morning stroll from Rosen Inn on International Drive and walked to Universal in the morning around 8.  We found out afterwards that if you bought the package of staying at Rosen Inn and the Universal tickets, you would get early entrance of an hour to the park.  Not having gotten the package, we woke up too early so we decided to take the 15 minute walk to the park.  You can also get a ticket for a complimentary shuttle to the park. But we were too good for this.

After a few minutes of cold finger struggles at the fingerprint scanning stations, we finally got in the park.  We started with Islands of Adventure. Our first ride?  Dr. Doom Fear Fall.  I hate dropping roller coasters but my boyfriend convinced me.  We also went on the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man but couldn’t ride the Hulk because it was too cold.  We had express passes, so we skip the lines and got on pretty quickly.  Carrying on, wasting no time, we went on Kong which was awesome so intense.  Headed through Jurassic Park, we bee lined to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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I’m pretty sure, I looked like a child in a candy store.  I pulled by boyfriend this way and that way, in and out of stores until we decided to stop at our first Harry Potter ride: Dragon Challenge.  We had to stand in line to put our belongings in a locker.  The lockers are governed by fingerprints. They’re sort of small for a regular adult size bag though.  When I finally got out of that mess, we had to go through metal detectors to make sure no loose change or things our pockets would all out.  It was higher security than the airport!  After choosing our dragon, the Chinese Fireball, the ride took us through tons of twists and loops with our feet dangling in the air.  This was probably my boyrfriend’s favourite ride.

I was at an ultimate high, strolling around Hogsmeade when we found the Owl post station.  We bought a pack of 10 post cards (all Harry Potter themed, of course).  I bought stamps outside because I knew they would be double price in the park, and wrote and sent our post cards straight from Hogsmeade.

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Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was next.  Like before, they had lockers for you to leave your things.  It was chaos because a lot of people forgot their locker number.  We couldn’t use express pass on this, so we stood in line for about 45 minutes.  It wasn’t so bad considering… As expected the ride was amazing.  I won’t spoil it, but a funny story did happen.  We were mid screaming when the lights turned on and someone over a speaker said, “Please stay seated.  Ride will resume soon.” I think this was the scariest part of the ride.  A few minutes later, the same voice came on the PA and said “Ride will resume now.” And the ride calibrated, shaking us left and right and then we were off again.

Surviving this ride, we decided to see what else was in Islands of Adventure before heading to Universal Studios.  We walked through The Lost Continent area but weren’t that interested in any of the rides.  We also walked into Seuss Landing, where we hopped on the kiddie ride: The high in the Sky Seuss Train Ride.  Let me tell you, what a ride!  So thrilling, so fast!  I’m kidding, it was cute though.  These two areas were really just picture taking area for us before we went to hop on the Hogwarts Express.

The train was a ride, in itself.  When we got to Universal studios, we walked out of King’s Cross station and took a picture of the Knight bus which was just outside of the station.  There was a long line to take a picture with Stan Shunpike, so we headed straight into Diagon Alley.

First things first, we went to eat at the Leaky Cauldron.  The wait was long and we were getting pretty hangry, but we were happy to drink up the yummy butter beer and have a seat when our time came.  We inhaled our lunch and rested a bit before we went to explore the alley.  The food was tasty but the butter beer was the best part.  The big white dragon, on top of Gringotts, spit fire once in a while but we missed it every time.  I popped into a store and picked up a Pygmy puff for a friend and a chocolate frog for myself, secretly hoping to have Dumbledore’s card inside (surprise, surprise I got Miss Ravenclaw).

When our food was digested, we rode our last ride in the magical world, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.  The things you saw as you lined up were just as great as the ride itself.    I planned on getting some butter beer ice cream but I was too full, sadly.

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Extremely excited to get away from Harry Potter (though he didn’t say it), my boyfriend was finally extremely happy to find Springfield: Home of the Simpsons.  We had a beer at Duff Brewery, checked if there were Bort license plates at the Kwik-E-Mart, posed with one of the Duff beers (Surly) and then hopped onto The Simpsons Ride. It was good and super cute.  We stayed away from Kang and Kodos’ Twirl n Hurl but we did walk through Moe’s Tavern.

While he visited the little boys’ room, I stopped by to say hello to Spongebob Squarepants and saw Gary instead.  We walked through Hollywood and went on the Transformers: The Ride-3D and the Revenge of the Mummy.  Both were solid rides.  We skipped San Francisco, nothing much we wanted to see there.  Then our final ride was the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket.  It was thrilling and I played ‘I will survive’ and sang it at the top of my lungs the whole way through.  I believe it is the tallest roller coaster in the park.

We were both extremely tired, so we left.   We didn’t know at the time but we needed a ticket to actually get on this bus, But since we walked there we didn’t have one.  Luckily, the bus driver was nice and let us on anyway (it was the last run of the night).  Dinner was at Black Angus Steakhouse; it was super cheap and the steak and mashed potatoes really hit the spot.  I’d go back there again.

I can’t believe I checked Wizarding World of Harry Potter off my bucket list.  It was definitely worth the 600 dollars CAD (two tickets plus two express passes) because I had so much fun.  I wouldn’t have as much fun without my boyfriend either.  I hope he knows how much I appreciated his patience with me as I acted like a child.

#wortheverypenny

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