Sunday, September 18, 2011

Orlando Universal Studios Islands of Adventure [The Wizarding World of Harry Potter]

Orlando was the last and longest stop on our Florida tour. We spend 4 days there. It was my idea to put it last, because it's proven that you remember the last days of your vacation best, so you should do fun things there.

I'll split this in 4 entries (1 day each) because there are SO many pictures.

The first day, we actually wanted to take easy because there are 4 Disney Parks and we had 4 days. You do the maths.
But then I've read of the new (well, 2010 is quite new) Harry Potter part at Universal Studios and decided, we had to go there too. Of course that meant squeezing two Disney parks into one day, but who cares about organization, right?
So we stood up really early that day, had a big lunch (it had to fill for the hole day... food in amusement parks is crazy expensive!):

Drove all the way from St. Petersburg to our Orlando hotel, then drove to a ticket place (yeah, we still haven't gotten them yet...) and then drive to Universal. But luckily, we're quick, so we got there around 1pm, plenty of time left.

First, we went to Harry Potter, of course. Since I've grown up with the books and always loved them immensly, I can't tell you how happy I was! They really did a great job with the looks of Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and the attractions. It's a little weird though, that they show us the winterly Hogsmeade in a super hot Florida...

I really wanted to check out the shops, but I knew I would have bought too much, so we went for an attraction first: a small roller coaster called "Flight of the Hippogriff."

I'm a roller coast person, I really love them! The speed, the wind, the loops (this one had none though), the ups and downs, I just love the thrill! Can you believe I don't like a motorbikes?

Finally we went for a little shopping! I really had to hink about my money, because I head Disney ahead of me. I skipped Ollivander's (the line was really long, somebody has to tell me, what's going on in there, you couldn't see at all through the windows!) and took a quick glance at Zonko's

I directly went to Honedukes. They really have a lot of great stuff, but it was way to crowded. Altough I wanted to buy so much, I just got this:

The chocolate frog was really gross ... but it had a card and you get the box, which is both really cool. I got Rowena Rawenclaw. Also this:

Butterbeer! It was so disgusting ... I don't know what it was ... maybe creamsoda with marshmallow fluff on top? I don't know, it was just really yak! But I wanted the mug and now it's sitting on my shelf.
I also wanted some other candy, but in the end I didn't want to spend that much money and also I would have had to eat it!! I found an ebay shop, selling all the stuff you can get there, so maybe I'll get some later.

Finally, we wanted to take the Hogwarts ride.

The ride is great! You're sitting in a sort of controlled bench and are then flying around in the castle ... but it looks like outside the castle! Got it? Well, I guess you have to see it, but it's really cool!
You can watch a video here:

Finally, we also wanted to check out the rest of the park and take some other ride - they have a big roller coaster I wanted to experience!

This is The Lost Continent. It's about Sindbad and Poseidon and stuff ... wasn't really interesting, but the setting is very impressive.

We then went to Jurassic Park:

and Toon Lagoon:

This area was so cute!! Everything looks like from a cartoon and very colorful. But this ride (Rip Saw) was probably one of my worst ideas ever... We really should have look at the other guests first. It's a log flume and you get so very soaking wet, it's not funny anymore. There was no dry spot on my body after this ride and we had the half day ahead! Even if it's warm, you shouldn't walk around in wet underwear, you can get sick! And it's not the water that splashes at you ... it's the water that sloshes in the boat when it's stopping.
Never again!

Finally we went to Marvel Super Hero Island, which has the big Hulk Coaster.

So we were standing in the line ... and next would have been us ... but check the sky! They closed the ride just when it was our turn, because of an upcooming storm. We were so pissed!
But I guess it was better because two seconds after we left the ride it started raining like hell. For two hours. We spend them in a restaurant nearby to be the first when the ride would open up again. But it wouldn't...

Our last visit was here:

Dr. Seuss isn't famous in Germany and all I know about is the Grinch and Horton ... but the only ride, that was open was The Cat In The Hat, which is indoor. We had no idea what it was about, but it was so cute!! I really regret I didn't buy a Thing One or Thing Two T-Shirt!

After that, we wanted to leave, it was late. BUT on our way out my dad saw that the Hulk Coaster was working again and so we ran there and YAY could take the ride. Yokatta ne~

Haa, this was a long entry and I'm sure you skipped all the boring information and just checked the pics. Never mind!

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