Monday, April 4, 2011

Disney Vacation Part 4: Day 3 Universal Studios

Why on earth did we go to Universal Studios when we were in Orlando for such a short time and there is soooo much to see and do at Disney World itself? I think the answer to that is pretty obvious: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I'm about as big of a Harry Potter Geek as they come. Who knows when and if we will ever get back to Florida, so there was no way I was NOT going to check it out.

If we thought Magic Kingdom was busy on the first day we were out there, that was nuthing. I had wanted to get to Universal right as the park opened, but our shuttle didn't get there until the park has been open for about 45 minutes. The lines for almost everything in "Harry Potterland" were at least an hour long. In talking with one of the park workers we found out it was a "slow" day. Most days the wait to get into that part of Universal is THREE HOURS and the line to the attractions are about TWO HOURS! Yikes!

Clockwise from the top left (Photo below): Gate into Hogsmead, Hogwarts Train, Olivander's wand shop with it's hour wait to get into the store, The Owlry that you could only get into by going through Olivanders.(We passed on this as by the time we got to this part Blockette was very angry with us. More on that later.) Clockwise from the top left(photo below): Hogwarts.(The castle had a ride inside it but Blockette was too short to go on it.), More of the Owlry/Owl post, Gladrags and Potages. (both these places were false storefronts, but the windows had moving displays which were neat.) Now, here comes the part where we got Blockette VERY VERY angry with us. Harry Potterland has a grand total of three rides. Blockette was only tall enough to ride one of them, and by gosh we were going to ride that ride. The Flight of the Hippogriff. Look at that nice happy picture of her (below) as we are standing in line. Do NOT let that fool you.

As you wait in line you see Hagrid's Hut and the Hippogriff nest. You also see the roller coaster zooming above your head. This was not a crazy loop-de-loop upside down and inside out kind of ride. Just a basic roller coaster, but it was fast. We were in line for less than 20 minutes, but in that time Blockette saw that coaster go by one too many times and she started freaking out.

She did NOT want anything to do with this ride. Oh but the mean parents we were, we were bound and determined to go on this one ride with her. Once she was on it surely she would think it was fun? Yeah. right. So we took our screaming child and forced her on the ride. Right before the ride started she stood up and almost made it out of the car. Good thing Mrblocko was quick and grabbed her back in just in time.

The ride was fast. I am a wimp so I was a bit scared myself. I had to sit by myself though since it was a 2 person side by side ride. Rides alone are always much more scary. At least to me they are.

Once it was all over we asked Blockette if she enjoyed the ride, and she stated that she did not and never ever wanted to go on it again. EVER. She was soooo angry with us.

I thought maybe eating lunch might lift her spirits so we headed over to the Three Broomsticks and the Hogs Head. Some food, Pumpkin Juice (like drinking liquid pumpkin pie) and Frozen Butterbeer (which tastes like a very rich and creamy version of cream soda and butterscotch) did improve her spirits slightly. It wasn't until we went to Zonko's that we saw a real change in attitude. I picked up a Chocolate Frog (My Wizard card was Salazar Slytherin, drat...I wanted Dumbledore!) and some Tongueburners Toothsplintering Strong Mints. Then she saw them... the Pygmy Puffs. She was in love. I was about to tell her no when I heard the nice British fellow behind the counter shouting out that someone had bought their very first Pygmy Puff. Well for some reason I thought that was super cool so I caved.

Blockette named her Rose, which oddly enough happened to be the name of the British fellow's Mum. The man was just tickled. Apparently he had not heard anyone name their Puff Rose. I find that odd. I mean it's pink. Doesn't Rose seem like a logical name?

As a side note, the night before we left on our vacation I watched "The Half-Blood Prince." At one point in the movie Luna Lovegood tells Ginny Weasley, who happens to have a pygmy puff on her shoulder, that pygmy puffs "were known to sing on Boxing Day." I casually mentioned this to Blockette, who after asking me what in the world Boxing Day was, repeated this factoid to everyone she met in the park. With a smile on the kiddo's face, we decided that we had experienced all we could of Harry Potter's World. We had some time to kill before our shuttle would pick us up. So we went on some Dr Seuss rides.

And splashed around in Toon Lagoon. For some reason Blockette was scared of Bullwinkle and Broomhilda.
Then it was almost time to go. On the way out we passed this really cool dress store where I debated buying a dress. Then we saw this pair.
The woman called herself Jewel of the Nile and the man said his name was something that translated to "Perfection." They spoke with a Gypsy accent, which amused me to no end. Blockette talked their ears off for a good 15-20 minutes. We had to drag her away so we wouldn't miss our bus.

More of day 3 to come was a busy day!


  1. What a great vacation! I haven't been to Disney in 10 years!

  2. I hadn't been since I was a kid. The things that I remembered they had changed so it was almost like going for the first time.

    Hopefully no one is getting too terribly bored with all my vacation ramblings. Going on a vacation was a huge deal for me. I figured writting about it on here was better than constantly talking about it with my friends and family. Then if they don't want to hear about it they can just not read the blog!


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