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Orlando Trip Recap Part 3…

January 31, 2011

{ First two days are recapped here}

{Third and Forth days are recapped here}

Day 5:

The fifth day of our trip was the day we had set aside for Harry Potter world and the pep rally. We really weren’t sure what to expect with Universal since we always have always been Disney-only type of Florida travelers but I did a little research and hopped for the best.

Let me tell you that my overall impression was that this was NOT Disney. The details and the magic are missing. The theme of the park, more obvious than the “Harry Potter” theme is LINES. You wait in a line to do everything. Lines for the stores, lines for the restaurants, lines for the rides, and if you wait a little too long to try and enter the park then you have a line to get into the park.

The park is great though, it’s fits your imagination perfectly and if there were a few thousand less people it might have even felt like a Hogsmead holiday!

First stop once inside was directly to the back to ride the ride in the castle called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The line wasn’t TOO bad since we at the park for opening and tried to hurry to the back but this was a line I’d actually recommend. It weaves all throughout the castle. This seems to be your only chance to tour the castle and they make it pretty interesting. You go through classrooms, see the sorting hat, go through Dumbledore’s study and finally onto the actual ride that is so so fun! (To my wuss Brother is was “scary” and made him “queezy”… pish posh, I thought it was FUN!)

After riding the Forbidden Journey ride I tried my darnedest to convince my family to go on the Dragon Challenge ride but when they saw that your feet dangle it was a no go – so we went on “Flight of the Hypogriff” which I am pretty sure is meant for 12 year olds. Then, even though it was only 10:30 in the morning we got in line to eat lunch at the Three Broomsticks.

I was beyond excited for some butterbeer and I think we had about 3 glass each. The only way I can describe it as a frothy cream soda. It was exactly what I always imagined when I read about Harry and his friends ordering them. The food was eh. It was expensive and we had to wait in line for over 45 minutes just to order it.  But eating in the Three Broomsticks then ordering a butterbeer from the Hog’s Head was well worth it!

Also, I can not begin to tell you how cold it was. We had on so many layers and even going into places didn’t warm us up – That snow on the roof tops might as well have been real for as cold as we were, so pardon the ugly scarf+ hood +jacket combo.  (The bottom left is me with my good friend Mary Clare who I was excited to run into buying butterbeer!)

Once we ate and were ready to wait in more lines we decided to visit the shops. We did Zonko’s gift shop, Honeydukes and Dervish and Bangs. We skipped Olivander’s since I wasn’t planning on buying a wand anyway…

Honeydukes was really cool, and we bought a cute jar with colorful candies well as a Chocolaty Frog (our card was Godric Gryffindor!)

Dervish and Zonkos were equally as cool and just as themed. They had the house scarfs, the sneakascopes etc… everything a fan would recognize. Totally neat! But, at the same time I had to remind myself that this was a theme park because it was expensive! The house scarfs were $40 each!!

Once we saw everything in Harry Potter World, we headed out into the regular Islands of Adventure.  Universal is good, and if I weren’t such a crazy Disney Fan I might say it was great, but I just felt like I was cheating on Disney the whole day. I felt like Universal was the knock off version of  Disney and even though it is a lot fun, I am Disney girl.

By the time we made it out into the park rides were all at about a 120 minutes wait time and both my husband and my brother were being babies about quick moving rides so we didn’t ride a ton. Luckily I had been to Universal when I was in High School so I had done most of it before.

We ended the day pretty early only to realize that the pep rally had been canceled due to snow back home. The cheerleaders and band couldn’t come down so we were without pep.

Day 6:

Game day baby!!

This morning  I woke up early to go back down to our office where I had a full morning of the coaches meeting  (which meant I got to read my book) and packing the office up to go home. The other girls came down to help so that went by quickly.

We rode with my mom and brother to the game and got a GREAT parking spot. Some of Greg’s friends joined us for tailgating, where they all celebrated the fact that 4Lokos were legal in Florida.

We of course won the game and we had a GREAT time! It was cold, but it was so fun to get that lead and hold on to it. The final score was 23-7 and since Albie and I decided to take the team bus back to the hotel we stayed to watch the trophy presentation.

When we got back to the hotel ALL the fans and the band were in the loby to welcome the players back. This was by far one of the most fun things I have ever done as an NC State fan and I couldn’t resist taking pictures of our players as they entered like they were little celebrities! (Linebacker Nate Irving and QB Russell Wilson above).

Once we warmed up a bit we headed to the hospitality suite where the bowl reps had a champagne toast for us all. We toasted to the season, to the team, to the hard work of the staff and to Coach O’Brien’s 100th victory!

Day 7:

Day 7 we left.

Day 7 meant back to reality.

Day 7 was sad.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2011 9:27 am

    Take me back!!!!!!!

  2. February 1, 2011 10:46 am

    Reading your post makes me want to read Harry Potter. I’m not 100% convinced yet, but the pictures and descriptions you gave were wonderful!

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  1. Harry Potter World… « Oui, Bien Sur!

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