Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back from our Universal Studios and Harry Potter Theme Park vacation!

Ok we really had a wonderful time, but wow were the theme parks full of people!  Yikes!  It seemed like every single nationality was there, people from literally every country all over the world.  Most were drawn to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as we were, and thank goodness we stayed in an on site hotel because we got early admittance before the general public.  It was wildly packed full of people otherwise.  The wait for getting into Ollivander's Wand Shop was nearly an hour and that was with our one hour early admittance to the park!  I can imagine what it would be without it.  If you ever go, staying on site at one of their 3 lovely hotels is well worth the extra money, and we got fast passes to nearly all of the rides.  This meant our wait time was less than 15 minutes and many cases less than that for rides while the general ticket people had to wait over an hour in some cases!  And that's for one ride!  Our family was able to ride every ride we wanted at least twice.  If we had regular tickets we might have gotten on half of them 1 time if we were lucky.  Save up and get the better tickets and hotel if you plan on going.

Some things we saw:


 The 2 outter kids are mine, with their long time friend in the middle that we took with us, see the foggy look of the picture?  That would be due to the humidity there, which was really bad!  It's wet there all the time, and rains nearly every day for a little while.
   That was the mythos restaurant, which is really neat and had decent prices on their good food.

 Behind them in this shot is the Incredible Hulk Roller coaster which Hulk-Smashed me when I rode it and left me sick to my stomach for an hour!  Not for the faint of heart!

And here's some shots of the HP theme park side:


Look at the people, and this is with early admittance! After everyone else piles in there's barely room to walk.  And forget about sitting down, people were literally sitting on the pavement by midday.  


 The three broomsticks, where we got a complimentary free breakfast as well for staying at an on site hotel.  Hubbs and I chose the traditional English breakfast with a pumpkin juice-should have took a picture but I didn't think about it at the time :(



Some of our goodies from there, minus a few things the kids already packed off to their rooms:
The butterbear was really good (better than the pumpkin juice which to me was sort of too tart and had a funny aftertaste but basically tasted like liquid pumpkin pie-crust and all), I got the frozen which seemed a bit better than regular.  My son bought me a quick quotes quill, the kind Rita Skeeter used during goblet of fire which is in the large green box in back.  I'm waiting on green ink to arrive by mail before I can try it out :)  I'll use it to write notes to you all when you buy minis from me, that would be fun.  Otherwise there's a pygmy puff, a shirt with that on it right below it, a felix felicis shirt, a Hogwarts bi fold wallet, a Gryffindor metal crest blank journal, exploding bon bons, chocolate frog (which another great perk of staying on site is room delivery of all your purchases or else the chocolate never would have made it without melting), a "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" mug for coffee, butterbeer mugs, inflatable tongue, and you cannot go to HP park without picking up wands!  My daughter chose Luna Lovegood's wand, my son the elder wand (Dumbledore's), My husband got Voldemort's bone wand because it looked cool, and I chose the black and silver wand of Narcissa Malfoy for the same reason.  It was less about her and more about it being neat looking.  Anyway, the majority of this stuff can be bought in their online store here:   http://www.universalorlando.com/Merchandise/Shop/Wizarding_World_of_Harry_Potter/Merchandise.html
for anyone who can't get there to buy it in person.  The majority of what's in the park is right there to be honest.  There was very little variety in any of the stores, it was as if they were basically carrying the same thing, just mixed up into different presentations.  My daughter very nearly bought Hermione's dress from goblet of fire there but changed her mind when she heard it would take all of her money she had left :)  It was a pretty thing though, at least what I could tell on the stand it was on.

And finally some shots of our hotel and the luau we went to there:







Videos of luau:

      

3 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous! I'm hoping maybe a visit is in my future but you never know. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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