Tackling Universal Orlando like Champs.

ajyLet me start by saying, WHAT A FREAKING DAY!

As I reflect on it, I realize this is going to turn into a pretty long post. But I don’t want to end up forgetting anything and would love to look back on this particular day in the future and remember everything. So if you hang in there till the end, awesome! If not, I won’t hold it against you 🙂

We had the absolute best time.’Twas a day filled with excitement, laughter, horror (for me, you’ll find out why later), tears (also me), and a little bit of disappointment (that’s for you “Skull Island” ride).

SO, here we were on a Friday night, planning to make the 4 hour trip to Orlando on Monday morning. Joey had a game Saturday, presumably practice Sunday, and then Monday would be his off day. Wellllll, come 11 pm on Saturday night, Sunday was now his day off. We still had our friend, Yuval, visiting from Israel, who was more than ready to make the trek on about 3 hours of sleep. We discussed what to do on the way home from the game and at 11:30 pm decided we were going to rally, get up, and leave our apartment by 4 am.

And that’s exactly what happened. I won’t lie, I fell asleep on the way there (so did Yuval), I honestly don’t know how Joey stayed up the entire day, but he did. We got to Universal 30 min after they officially opened, at 8:30 am. We were all so excited and I couldn’t wait to get to Harry Potter World for some ButterBeer! I’ve been to the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, Hollywood back home, but WOW, Orlando’s version is much bigger and much better (sorry home).

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We strategically made our way through the theme park, seemingly hitting all the rides right before they massively filled up and had hour long wait times. This was not the case for the newly opened “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” ride. We had no idea that it had only opened a mere 24 hours before we got there, so we waited close to 3 hours total for the ride. I say total because this is the actual breakdown: we initially waited for about 30 min until a MASSIVE rain storm came through and nearly drenched us, we tried to weather the storm in line but had cameras and phones in the backpack that we didn’t want to risk, so like everyone else in line, we ran for the nearest shelter zone. We happened to find some space under a drink kiosk umbrella to wait it out. After about 15 min of that, the storm calmed down enough that we decided to get back in line for the ride. Luckily, because everyone fled, the line was shorter and we ended up waiting under a cover for the rest of the time- as in the next 2 hours of time. Now you may be thinking, why didn’t you just skip it altogether. And believe me, we should have. The line is so misleading and you never actually see how close you are till you’re actually getting on the “tour tram” for the ride. You spend all your time weaving back and forth hallways that never give you any sense of where you’re at. Then suddenly, you’re picking up 3D glasses and lined up for the tram.

I won’t give any spoilers away, but basically you sit on this tram and it takes you through a tunnel into an area where there are huge screens on both sides of you. So you’re looking side to side, the first thing we all hated about the ride. You have no idea what side you’re supposed to be looking at. Then the tram starts to move again to another set of screens. From here on out, I can’t tell you what you’re supposed to see or do, because the ride broke down. We were sitting on this tram, in the dark, for 15 minutes. Then, they got the ride moving again and brought us back to the beginning, where employees told us we could get back in the “fast pass” line to ride again since it broke down. Yea, no thank you. We passed. Luckily, an employee who saw how disappointed we were, gave us all a pass to get on any ride without a wait. We used it to ride “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” for the second time. Then we went to customer services to tell them of our disappointment and they gave us another pass to get on a ride without a wait. Again, we used that for another Harry Potter World ride, “Dragon Challenge,” my least favorite ride of all time.

“Dragon Challenge” is a HUGE, twisting, upside down, feet hanging, big dropping rollercoaster. So if you know me, you know I’m TERRIFIED of rollercoasters, I don’t even enjoy the “California Screamin'” coaster at California Adventures and that is like a baby rollercoaster, but I do it to make that darling boyfriend of mine happy. SO when I saw where the guys were going with this, as we walked towards the ride and I saw the thing in all its evil glory, I strongly stated that I would gladly stay behind and watch the bags and wait. Of course that wasn’t going to be good enough for either of them and long story short, I got on the damn thing and inevitably hated every second of it, like I knew I would *insert sass emoji here*

I literally cried my way through the entire line and throughout every upside down, twisting turn of the damn coaster. But at the end, made the boys proud and then made them buy me some ButterBeer 🙂 I guess that made it worth it. Of course that would be until later in the evening, when we would use a FastPass to return to that personal hell of mine. So thank you Joey, Yuval, and Dragon Challenge, for the lost voice that ensued for the following week and a half.

butterbeer

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Other than that little speed bump, which I’m pretty sure is actually one of the highlights for Joey and Yuval, I had an amazing time at the park. Joey even managed to get his own private wand show, after claiming “I am the chosen one” to a cast member who had already done a show that we watched and were actually leaving. After asking “Who is with you” to which Yuval replied, “It is I” we were told to stay in the room while everyone else exited. And there, the kid who’s never seen a Harry Potter movie or read the books, got a magic show and his very own magic wand. We laughed about that literally the entire day. Little did Joey know, he would have to give the wand back at the end or spend $50 paying for it. Those magic wands are expensive!

We wandered around the park till 7 pm and rode basically every ride at least twice, someone even found the time to take a mid-afternoon nap 🙂

sleepyyuval

Again, Joey drove home and I fell asleep, only to later be awoken by two grown men singing oldies at the top of their lungs, quite the performance.

We got home close to 11:30 pm and were all ready to completely knock out, which we did 🙂

It was such a good day filled with unforgettable memories and I’m so glad we were able to share the day with Yuval.

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till next time!

xoxo,

Amanda

 

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