On Wednesday evening my daughter, Ashley, who’s visiting from Illinois, and I decided we’d drive to Orlando. Studly Doright had suggested we go to one of the theme parks, offering to give us his hotel points if we wanted to spend the night. We were as giddy as little kids, and promptly made plans to visit Universal Studios.
We drove over on Thursday and went to Universal City Walk for an early dinner and a movie (Aladdin!) after checking into the Doubletree hotel. We didn’t stay out too late, though, because we planned to be at the park when it opened on Friday morning.
We arrived at Universal by eight a.m., along with those who had early admission because they were staying on property. To our surprise and delight we were waved through by one of the workers and were allowed to board the Escape from Gringott’s ride in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter along with the early admission crowd.
We rode every ride we wanted to, and one of those twice, never waiting in line for a ride more than 20 minutes, thanks to good timing and express line tickets. It was a magical day.
Above, we posed outside of Hogwarts.
Those critters above are from the Men in Black ride.
Ashley, below, wore her protective goggles with style and grace.
Below, the dragon surprised Ashley by beaching flames into the sky. It was intense.
We had fun in Toon Town:
After we posed for the two photos above we rode a couple of rides that left us soaking wet. My only regret for the whole day is that I didn’t think to take photos of us looking like a couple of drowned rats. After we left the park we had to stop at a turnpike oasis and change clothes. My tennis shoes are still wet 24 hours after the adventure.
We’re back at Doright Manor now, recuperating from the trip. Exhausted, yet happy.