Universal Studios & The Magic Kingdom

30 06 2018

11 Jun 18

Today started off with buying some coffee and filters and then returning the rental car.  I found the rental car return desk off the hotel lobby and patiently waited.  I am not quite sure where I learned or developed this habit, but I strive to always be at appointments 5-10 minutes before the appointment time.  8am came an went with no rental company representative in spite of the fact that the sign on the desk indicated they were open starting at 8am.  I decided I wasn’t going to wait any longer and filled out the paperwork and dropped off the keys.  We had a busy day ahead and I wasn’t going to waste it waiting to return a car.  Having been burned by a different rental company when I did the same thing in the past, I decided to take a video of the rental car before I left the hotel.

Yesterday we purchased some breakfast foods and we had breakfast in the room this morning.  Then it was off to Universal Studios.  The main draw here, at least for 75% of the group, was Harry Potter World.  I have never read the books and I have only seen a few of the movies.  Now Pandora, Ikran and the Na’vi are my thing!  That will be another blog post.

We had 4 tickets to get in to Universal Studios and at this point in the vacation, there are 5 in our party.  You know that saying that “more is caught than taught”?  I was reminded of that today.  I knew there were 4 tickets and 5 people.  I was going to stay in the hotel room while the others went to see Harry Potter Land.  However, my youngest caught my trick of setting up the situation such that I get to be the one that doesn’t go.  Unfortunately, she learned it and implemented it before I had a chance today.

So we went to Universal Studios.  After getting tickets, we went directly to Diagon Alley and wandered around there.  My wife and daughters went in to many of the shops.  I tried going in to a few but there were just too many people in too small of a space.  Below is a picture of my wife and two daughters in front of Gringotts Bank.  There is a dragon on the top of the bank that occasionally breathes fire.  Sorry no picture of the fire-breathing dragon.


We got some ice cream as a snack and I had the ButterBeer ice cream.  It was actually pretty good.  We, mostly they, wandered around shops in Hogsmeade.


We had some lunch and then rode the Hogwarts Express.

After that my lovely wife and I decided to go to the castle and go on the ride.


The ride is kind of like a roller coaster where you are strapped in a four seat bench and you fly through various parts of Hogwarts including flying through a Quidditch match.  I don’t get motion sick but I was NOT feeling all that well after this ride.  I can say I did it once.  I don’t know that there is anything that could convince me to ride that one again.

On the way out of Universal Studios, I took a picture of a beautiful Hibiscus.


Also on the way out my awesome daughter pretended to be a dinosaur.


After we left Universal Studios we went back to our room in Disney Springs to get my youngest daughter who “had” to do some errands and couldn’t go to Universal Studios with us.  We went and spent some time in the Magic Kingdom and rode the people mover.


The adults were in the vehicle behind our daughters.

After doing a few more things in the Magic Kingdom, we went for dinner at Ohana.  While waiting for our reservation, I took a picture of Maui and the flowers in the lobby of the Polynesian resort.


We were finally seated and took some pictures while waiting for the food to start arriving.


After dinner we took a family picture in front of Maui


Until next time



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