This year for my birthday we spent the weekend with the in laws at their new condo in Orlando mainly so that we could check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal, because we’re mature like that.
The Hogwarts Express, we had to fight so many kids to get this photo.
In front of the Dueling Dragons – the scariest amusement park ride that I’ve ever been on. I’ve never shrieked so loud in my life – the Asian boys next to me were horrified I’m sure, and Abe laughed at me the entire 60 seconds but I just couldn’t control the sound coming out of my big mouth. Honestly, it was really terrifying like when they say “high speed’ they freaking mean it. It was a roller coaster where two cars go opposite directions on opposite tracks so not only are you flying up and down and upside down, but there’s another car zooming by you the whole time. We went on only one other Harry Potter besides this one – The Forbidden Journey, which is part simulation and part shit jumping in your face, and it was actually pretty good. Much better than any other simulation rides I’ve been on in the past – this one didn’t make me scream, but I did have to cover my face a few times.
[Just a pic of Hogsmeade with all the shops like Zonko’s, HoneyDukes, The Hog’s Head, and in this case Ollivander’s happens to be here too…]
So how was it? Honestly, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, it was really awesome. If you’re not, then don’t bother to hit this section of Universal because it’s just a mad house! We got there 30 minutes after the park opened and it was still insanity, all the lines were 45 minutes or more. We waited a full hour so that I could buy a wand in Ollivander’s… yeah I bought Hermione’s wand, it’s the prettiest. We stuck around Universal a little while after Harry Potter, but we were pretty spent after all the waiting in line.
The following day, the in laws took us to see the Manatees at Blue Spring State Park. For a few conversations, I wasn’t really sure what they were talking about but once we clarified that it was a creature in the water, I figured it out (there is a language barrier here sometimes). Also, I’m pretty sure this is only my second time in a State Park of any kind. We were like: $8!? That’s it!? Amazing. This was also coming off of paying $22 for two butterbeers the previous day.
After seeing a ridiculous amount of super cute manatees and a retarded amount of really huge and creepy fish, my first alligator, and first armadillo (who knew there were armadillos in Florida?) we made our way to another family friendly type place for them to check out for future guests.
This was a strange place… it was sort of like a lazy river where you can bring a raft if you want and float all around in this like riverish thing that looked pretty man made since there were stairs going into it and even railings, but it had a ton of fish and stuff in there… and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how they kept the alligators out. The water was crystal clear but only 12-24 inches deep, it was a strange place… and people were actually in there swimming and using nets to catch the fish swimming around (why?). I mean, look at me, I’m dressed in layers and people were there swimming – apparently the water was warm. I kept seeing all these signs with this otter, and I was like, WTF!? What is this otter saying? He’s saying, “for everyone’s safety your float otter not be taller than me – 5 feet. Do people in Florida call floats – otters? I don’t know, I was super confused, or are they saying like – your float ought not be bigger than me…like a stupid play on words? Ok, yeah that took me like 2 full days to figure that idiotness out. I get it, in my defense my husband just got it too…
Overall it was a good little weekend away for the experience. I’m not glad to be home by any means, but I’m not exactly feeling rested and refreshed either. Family can be challenging at times, but I am happy about the sunshine and the time away with my husband.