Universal Studios: Harry Potter & More

After Magic Kingdom, the family decided on Universal Studios as its next destination. We didn’t start as early, mainly due to being super tired from the prior day, yet we arrived around 8:45am and received decent parking with the park being so-so busy. Instead of heading off to Harry Potter first, we decided to take it bit slower as not to be rushed hoofing it across the park.

Stopping at Shriek 4D, the line was 45 minutes with the line moving faster than that it seemed. I think it was due to Shrek 4D being a show, which held a higher volume of people, and before we knew it the showing was starting.

Piling into the front row, the family enjoyed good Shrek comedy, a sweet 3D screen, and the fun 4D effects like moving seats (they were on airbags and the blow off valves sounded cool), water sprayers, and air blowers. We laughed but the spiders are the creepiest part.

The Minions line was over 2 hours so we decided to pass on it till another day.

Moving on, we hit-up the Mummy Returns ride. The kids were pumped until it started. LOL. Getting in a larger car, the Mummy Returns started off with a storyline consistent of the Mummy movies (I still love those films), and with lot of real fire, which was straight-up HOT, and speed like a no other ride. At least for me. Upon existing, the oldest was melting down again while the younger ones were scared during the right yet super tough afterwards. I am super proud of them.

Then it was a bit of back tracking, to another 10 minute ride, Twister. Twister really showed its age being a 90s movie and the wind, which wasn’t much, scared the kids the most. We had fun being that we are 90s kids and really loved Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. The swirling tornado was very similar to the man made tornado found at the Arizona Science Museum.

Then it was bathroom breaks and the walk to Diagon Alley. Being a PotterHead, I was so stoke for this part of the day. Yet to my disappointment, Diagon Alley and the stores were to darn small for the amount of people that were packed in there. Quality Quidditch Supplies was fun and I almost bought a quaffle for the sports room but it was tough to carry. I jumped into Ollivander’s Wand Shop and did some shopping. An Oak Wand chose the little one and a Ash and Elder Wand chose me. Imagine that LOL.

Continuing through Diagon Alley, we saw the dragon on top of Gringotts, see below, and I found Butterbeer. Oh my fucking dam! Butterbeer so darn good that I drank it like a dehydrated hobo. The Butterbeer was followed up by a Dragon Scale. Hot dam that is a good beer. Dragon Scale is a Red, which is one of my favorite beers.

I bought a Tales of the Deathly Hallows necklace, like Xenophilius Lovegood’s, in Borgin and Burkes and almost bought a bunch of other junk. Dam I’m a PotterHead.

Catching up to the group, we board the Hogwarts’ Express and traveled to Hogsmead for more rides, seeing the town, and Hogwarts.

Hogsmead was packed, just as packed as Diagon Alley yet having the castle as a destination, made it worth it.

Walking into Hogwarts, and what we thought was just a tour through the Hogwarts interior, yet were treated to a ride at the top – The Forbidden Journey. The tour was fun and we saw Dumbledore’s study and so much more. I wish there was a bit more to the tour, ah well.

The Forbidden Journey almost made me hurl, and I mean hurl. As fun as it was, it was a tummy turner. We all had fun and the kids had their pants scared off with the dragon and Dementors.

Afterwards, we all jumped onto the Flight of the Hippogriff which is a family friendly ride. By this time we were all done with Harry Potter since the crowds were tremendous and the huge groups, 50 and more, made it almost unpleasant.

The remaining day was spent going through Jurassic Park River Tour which we got swamped and the ladies were even wearing ponchos, us guys toughed it out, and the pictures are funny as heck. Being soaked already, the group decided to rock down to Rip Saw Falls. Rip Saw Falls was super fast and totally worth doing. Probably one of the best water rides I’ve ever been on.

Going into the 11th hour of Universal Studios Orlando, snacks and ice cream was on the menu.

That was until the Hulk was spotted.

Being to much of a panzy, Joy, my brother and cousin took to it. They loved the Hulk and said it was as intense as it looked. I’m not sure I’d do it even if it was earlier in the day but we’ll see.

We have a second day planned at Universal Studios so we’ll see what that day has to offer.

Other Florida 2015 Destination Blogs & Pictures

Disney World: Magic Kingdom
Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure
Disney World: Typhoon Lagoon
Epcot Theme Park
Animal Kingdom
Hollywood Studios
Kennedy Space Center


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