Our oldest grandson and I spent a day at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando last Wednesday. A single day to do both parks justice didn’t seem feasible, but we made it work by purchasing express pass tickets and hitting all the rides we knew we wanted to ride.
The day began with rain! Such a bummer! But we got in the express pass line for the Minions ride and got out of the weather quickly. It wasn’t one of our “must” rides, but it served the purpose of keeping us dry and warm. The same was true for the Jimmy Kimmel ride. They were both fun, but not really what grandson Garrett was looking forward to on his first visit to Universal.
The rain slacked off somewhat, but the day was much colder than we’d expected. We stopped in a shop and I bought a hooded sweatshirt and we both got lanyards to keep our tickets and passes safe from the elements before heading into Diagon Alley.
Here’s Garrett outside the unassuming entrance to the magical world of Harry Potter:
Much to his embarrassment I asked complete strangers to take a photo of us in the middle of Diagon Alley. I told him he was going to get used to me being an extrovert. I’m not sure he ever embraced it, though.
He sort of thinks I’m nuts. He’s not wrong.
We stopped into Gringotts,
and we rode the Hogwarts Express:
We drank butterbeer once we arrived at Hogsmeade:
We rode spectacularly produced rides in the World of Harry Potter. They’re such a great mix of roller coaster action and film that reality gets all contorted by fantasy and you feel you really are dashing about a Quidditch field or escaping from Gringotts. One’s senses are confused and delighted in so many ways. I giggled and screamed in the same breath.
Hogwarts Castle was an amazing sight.
We ventured to many other parts of Universal and Islands of Adventure, taking on mummies and assisting Spiderman, but The Magical World of Harry Potter was the highlight.
Garrett and I had a blast. Okay, I had a blast, and I’m fairly sure he did–he’s not quite as extroverted as I am. (Note the Slytherin hat.)