Friday, December 31, 2010

And the picture fest begins…

First up, Universal Studios:


Averi loved this guy.  She kept giving him a thumbs up.  And the Mummy ride is awesome.




First rollercoaster ride


“Snow” fell during the Barney show.  It was just soap, but the kids loved it.


The next day was Islands of Adventure.  We started the morning in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which was absolutely incredible.  The attention to detail was amazing.


After riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (mind-blowingly amazing, but be prepared for some motion sickness), we ate breakfast at the Three Broomsticks.  It was the best food we had at Universal (which wasn’t saying much, I’m afraid).  They served a decent English breakfast, although the blood sausage was not to my liking.



Me, sporting my new earrings Ashley brought for me from Mexico.  Sadly I lost one of them less then a day after I received them while I was on the X-Men version of the Tea Cup ride.  Spinning extremely fast + large earrings = sad Chelsey.



The butterbeer was delicious.  It was like a very sweet cream soda with a lovely foam at the top.  The pumpkin juice was quite good as well, like drinking liquid pumpkin pie.




I love this picture of Hogwarts at night.  Gorgeous. 

We didn’t browse any of the shops (good thing for my bank account), since the lines for the shops were as long as for some rides, although we did regret not purchasing a scarf later in the week.  Kiera and Ashley did brave the hour and a half wait for Ollivanders.  It was worth it, since Kiera was the one in her group picked to try out the wands.


I thought that Seuss Landing had the best Christmas decorations of any park we went to, Disney included.  They were so fun and whimsical.


The kids loved getting to meet the Grinch.  Yes, he was rude.  Yes, he was extremely funny.  And yes, the kids had no idea what to make of him.



Ah, my hero!



Unfortunately this picture turned out blurry, but I love it anyway.  Check out Averi trying to make Spider-Man hands.

Some recommendations if you’re planning on visiting Universal Orlando:

1.  Stay at the resort (we stayed at the Royal Pacific).  It’s very close to both parks.  You can walk or get a water taxi.  You also get in an hour early to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  You should have seen the crowds swarming the place when it was opened to the general public.  We were so glad we got that bonus.  But the best perk of all is using Universal’s Express Pass.  Your room key gets you in the express line of almost all rides, which takes you directly to the loading area.  We didn’t have to wait more than minutes for any ride (except Harry Potter and the Rock It rollercoaster, which don’t have Express Pass lines).

2.  If you don’t stay at the resort, buy the Express Pass.  SO worth it to skip the lines.

3.  Don’t buy the meal deal.  You’re very limited to what food you can get, and most of it was pretty nasty.