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Old 10-19-2010, 06:20 PM   #1
Teknik_DC2
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Our Universal Resort Vacation and Caribbean Cruise 10/6-10/18, 2010

The planning for this vacation started less then a month after we returned from our cruise on the Glory last year. A coworker and good friend of ours told us they were considering taking a cruise for there 5th wedding anniversary and asked if we wanted to join them. Of course we said yes as we wouldn't turn down the oppertunity to cruise again. Valisa and her husband picked the route they wanted to do and the planning proceeded from there. They are divers and as such they chose the Western Itenerary specifically for diving locations. As the months went past we the Legend out of Tampa was chosen as our ship of choice due to its close proximity to Orlando. We are all huge Harry Potter fans and with the Wizarding World just opening at Islands of Adventure at the Universal Orlando Resort we added the extra days prior to our cruise to go experiance it. We even had 2 additional people join us in Orlando for the Harry Potter experiance. Kyles sister Emily and his friend Mike. With everything set it was time to vacation.


(from left to right) Me (Jeff), My wife Kiera, Mike, Kyle, Valisa, and Emily

With the introduction out of the way lets move on to Day 1 of a 13 Day vacation.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:22 PM   #2
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Day 1: Travel to Florida

Our journey begins early in the morning of October 6th. As i'm sure many of you do we had an early flight to catch which ment an early waking. We had to be to the airport even early then normal to meet our friends Kyle and Valisa. They would be our vacation partners for the whole trip and we would be taking there bags with us. I booked our flights thru Southwest long before our friends booked there flights. Because of such they never found rates as cheap as what we booked our Southwest flights at. So they ended up flying with American Airlines. Because we were allowed 2 free checked bags each we took there luggage with us so they wouldn't have to pay baggage fees with American.

We awoke at around 6am and soon had the car loaded and on our way to pick up Kieras mom. She would be dropping us off at the airport and then take our car back to her house so we wouldn't have to pay to park it. at around 7:15 we arrived at the airport and vacation had officially begun. Kyle and Valisa were already waiting for us and after quickly getting all the bags checked we quickly said goodbye as they had an earlier flight they had to run and catch. Kiera and I had plenty of time tell our flight so we grabbed breakfast and then relaxed and uploaded a few new games to our phones before leaving Salt Lake. We even ran into Mike right before getting on our flight as he was arriving for his.

Our first stop for the trip would be Las Vegas. Kinda odd going in the wrong direction but oh well we were leaving the cold and rain of Utah behind us. I would end up missing the "rash" can though lol.






Before we knew it we were soon boarding our 9am flight for Las Vegas. It was finally here. The vacation that was nearly a year in the planning. The flight to Vegas was plesant and short. I've visited Las Vegas 10 times in the last 5 years but i've never actually flown there. So it was pretty interesting to see the land from a different angle. It was actually kinda pretty seeing the fire red rocks and Lake Mead from above.












Our Layover in Vegas was only for about an hour and a half. We quickly found our next plane that would take us to Tampa and then took in the sights. I love how close the Las Vegas airport is to everything. I love how you can see all the different resorts the town has and how close it all is to you. This is the only city i've been to where a major portion of the city is so close to the airport. To kill the time I also allowed Vegas to take $1 of my money (slot machine) and we grabbed a Strawberry Cream Frapacchino from starbucks.









We were soon back aboard a plane and on our way to Tampa. The flight was smooth except for when we went over the storm system in Arizona. I guess it was pretty bad down below and there was even a tornado. This flight was longer then what i'm use to but it wasn't too bad. We filled the time reading books, listoning to our ipods, and watching movies on our netbook.




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Old 10-19-2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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Time went by quickly and we soon started our decent into Tampa. The ocean we were over soon turned to land and we were soon on the ground. We were in for a very pleasant suprise this year. You see last year we cruised on the Glory the Exact same dates as we did on the Legend this year. However Orlando was experiancing record heat and humidity for the few days prior to a cruise. When we stepped off the plane in Tampa we expected to hit a wall of heat and humidity just like we did last year. We were so relived that there was none of that this time around.





We made our way down the baggage claim and found Kyle and Valisa waiting for us. There plane arrived 15 minutes prior to ours. However they enformed us that Mike sent a text to them and his flight was delayed in Chicago (he was suppose to arrive 15 minutes after us) so we had to wait an extra hour for his plane to arrive.




Mike soon arrived and we were on our way. We had to go pick up our rental van from Enterprise first though. We got a 2011 Dodge Caravan which was a decent vehicle.



With the van loaded we were on our way out of Tampa with the next stop being in Orlando. I have to say the freeways are layed out kinda crazy in the Tampa area though. They were so bad that our GPS was even getting confused. But we soon found the I-4 and had smooth saling from there to Orlando. The drive isn't bad at all. We made it in just a little over an hour.

Once in Orlando we were starving so the quest was to find food. We couldn't eat anywhere real fancy like a sit down restaurant because Kyles sister Emily would be landing in Orlando at 9:45 so we found a Poppies chicken and had a decent meal. After which Kyle and Valisa dropped Me, Kiera, and Mike off at our hotel to get checked in while they went to the Orlando airport to pick up Emily.

We ended up staying at the Doubletree Universal. We chose it for its close proximity to the Universal Orlando Resort so we could walk there each day. The hotel was very nice and I highly recommend it. We booked a corner room and it was very spacious with plenty of room for 6 people to stay in. I couldn't recommend this hotel enough especially for how little we paid each night for it.

We were at the hotel for over 2 hours and we still hadn't heard back from Kyle or Valisa yet. So we called to make sure they were ok and they were just pulling into the parking lot of the hotel. I guess they got lost pretty bad when leaving the airport and ended up paying around $10 in toll road fees finding there way back. Oh well we were just glad they were safe.

The day was soon over and we tried going to bed to prepair for our early and long day we would be spending at Islands of Adventure, Harry Potter, and Halloween Horror Nights. However most of us were on Utah time so that made things difficult for falling asleep. We stayed up for probably an extra 1 1/2 just laughing and joking with one another in the dark. But we eventually fell asleep relaxed knowing we were on vacation.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:53 AM   #4
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:58 PM   #5
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Alright heres Part 1 of Day 2. Its very long and Photo heavy. Unfortunatly I didn't have time to finish all of Day 2 at once so it is split into 2 parts. harry potter today and Islands of Adventure and Halloween Horror Nights tomorrow.

Day 2 Part 1: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Our second day of vacation started very early when the alarms in the room started going off at 7am. That may not sound tough to some but we were still stuck on Utah time which is 2 hours behind Florida. We were quickly up and getting ready though as we had a full exciting day ahead of us. The girls all showered the night before so us guys got ready quick and we were soon leaving the hotel so we had time to stop and get breakfast and still be at Islands of Adventure before it opened. Our hotel was right across the street from the Universal Orlando resort so we walked to the parks each day. It wasn't a bad walk at all. It only took about 10-15 minutes and sure beat paying $15 a day to park there.





We were soon at CityWalk. The entertainment complex bulit between the two parks. After finding a photospot on a surfboard we found next to it what we would be having for breakfast. Cinnabon. The Cinnabon cinnamon rolls hit the spot and with our stomachs filled it was time to continue onto the parks. One thing that was a scary thing to see though. 90% of the crowd was turning towards Islands of Adventure instead of Universal Studios. At this point we really hoped the lines would stay managable dispite all the people heading IOA for the same thing we were. Harry Potter.






There was a large crowd waiting right outside the gates of IOA (Islands of Adventure) but we were able to walk right up the automated ticket machines to print our tickets that we bought back in January (we bought our tickets right when the announced the price raise so we still got 7 day tickets for $100 each). One pleasent suprise we found though was that you can buy your HHN (Halloween Horror Nights) tickets at any ticket window. Since the IOA gates still hadn't opened we decided to pick up our HHN tickets then as well so we wouldn't have to buy them later in the evening. By the time all 6 of us had bought our HHN tickets the gates opened and IOA opened for the day with everyone heading to Harry Potter.





We would have been right with the crowd but we had to stop at guest services for a quick moment. When Emily booked her park tickets she recieved a collectable Harry Potter holigarm ticket so she needed to pick that up. After a few minutes waiting we were on our way to the back of the park. Right at the end of the port of entry you catch your first glimpse of Hogwarts castle. We then proceeded quickly thru Suess Landing and the Lost Contanent.





Finally we made it to the back of the park. Up ahead we could see the enterance arch to Hogsmeade Villeage. The excitement now was almost unbarable. We were finally there. Right inside the gates to the right is the Hogwarts Express. Billowing smoke like it just pulled into the station to drop Hogwarts students off for school. The train conductor was also there greeting everyone as they walked into the village. This character was great with an excellent english accent and making us feel as we had really just walked into the town.






After meeting with the conductor we made our way further into the town. We were in total amazment. Here we were actually in the Wizarding World. The books and movies opened up completly around us. There was Zonkos Joke Shop, Honeyduks Sweet shop, the Three Broomsticks, the Owlry and Post office. Everything in the Wizarding World is increadably detailed. They didn't skip out on anything. We decided what should we do first. Reports all summer said to make a decision of what to do first as two things get very busy later in the day. Ether head to Hogwarts and go on the Forbidden Journey ride. Or head to Olivanders wand shop to see and wand choose its wizard. We ended up choosing to go to Olivanders as the line didn't look too bad yet and it was on the must do list.




When getting in line for Olivanders we caught our first direct view of Hogwarts castle. Holy cow this thing is breath taking. I don't know if theres even anyway to discribe the beauty of this structure. I'm sure any other fan of the series would say the same thing as well. The line for Olivanders moved farely quickly. We didn't mind waiting as we were taking in the whole ambiance of the Wizarding World. The line ran past 2 (fake) shop fascades. The first is a sporting goods store called Spintwitches. The second a book store called Tomes and Scrolls. When in the Wizarding World pay very close attention to all the shop windows (even the fake shops) as each window display does something magical. (I will post all the window photos in a future recap).








While waiting in Line Valisa hoped out to go get a snack while waiting in line. She ended up coming back with Pumpkin Juice. One of the popular drinks of students in the Harry Potter Books. The look on Valisa face after taking a drink was priceless. Needless to say she was not a fan of the Pumpkin Juice at all. She continued to pass it around the group and all of our opinions of the juice were mixed. For the most part all the girls hated it. However all the guys didn't think it was bad. I wouldn't drink it just to drink it but it wouldn't be bad with a meal. It taists kinda like some put some pumpkin spice in apple juice.

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Old 10-20-2010, 05:59 PM   #6
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After about a 35 minute wait it was finally time for our group to enter Olivanders Wand Shop. Wow the detail here is incredable. It looks just like it does in the first movie with shelves packed to the celeing with hundreds of year old wands. And the dust on the boxes show that. There is also a display case showing all of the wands "birthday" wands avalible for purchase. The door soon closed and the wand keeper welcomed us to the shop. He then proceded to say that someone special was in the shop who would have the oppertunity of being dressed for a wand and finding the wand destined for them this day. From 90% of the reviews I read online its always a child who gets picked. Much to myself, Kyle, and Mikes dismay as we all wanted to have our wand choose us. However to our suprise Kyles 18 year old sister Emily ended up being the one chosen this day.








The Wand keeper asked emily a few questions and then took her arm measurments. He then haded her a wand and told her to point it at a bell and repeat a spell. She did so and the bell shook like crazy and got very loud and then many other bells starting chiming. The Wand keeper took out his wand and cast a spell stoping it all and telling emily "your quite the over achiever". He then proceded to hand her another wand and then repeat another spell. Nope this wasn't the right wand ether as the rooms started shake from severe thunder and lightning and rain. After the wonder keeper stopped the storm he handed her another wand and said try this one. When she took it in her a bright light encircled her and the wind blew just like in the movie. She had found her wand. With the show over the wand keeper sent all of us into the Post Office where we too could buy a wand if we would like. Overall the wand shop experiance is pretty cool. I can only imagine how much a little kid probably lights up each time they get picked to be fitted for there wand. If the line isn't too long do not miss this show. It really is pretty special.








Inside the post office you can buy any of the birthday wands (a wand linked to your birthdate based of the celtec calender) or many different character wands (like harry potters, voldemorts, dumbledor, ect....). They also have postal related items like staionary, quel pens, stamps, post cards, and stuffed owls. Look into the top of the room to see many owls purched and hooting waiting for there next delevery. Some of the owls have even recieved special awards from the ministry of magic. You can also have anything stamped here with an official Hogsmeade postmark. Emily showed us all her wand but then decided to not buy it. We thought she was crazy as (at least us boys) would have loved to have been picked to have a wand choose us.





Attached to the Post Office is the shop called Dervish & Banges. In this shop you can purchase any Hogwarts house (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin) items like shirts, robes, ties, scarfs, ect....... They also repair magical items and have some school books. We looked around for a minute with Kyle and Kiera booth picking out robes (to try on not to buy) and both were in Gryffindor. I tried out a broom before we were on our way out of the store. Watch out for the Monster book of Monsters though. One thing about all the stores in Hogsmeade is that they are very little. This isn't because of poor planning on Universals part. They were designed small to stay true to there actual size in the books. Remember these buildings are suppose to be hundreds of years old. So keep that in mind as the shops do get very crowded and can be hard to move around in. On very busy days there will even be lines to get into the shops.









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Old 10-20-2010, 06:00 PM   #7
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After leaving Dervish & Banges we made our way thru the Owlery where the rafters had many owls hooting away. The rafters even looked like they would with thousands of owls taking rest there if you know what I mean. We then proceded onto the most major part of the Wizarding World. We were going to Hogwarts castle to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. A ride described as the most technologically advanced ride in the world.





We made our way thru Hogsmeade to Hogwarts and were soon walking thru the school gates. We were all so excited. The wait time was posted at 45 minutes. That was ok as this is ride that is worth waiting in line for. Especially since this line actually has things to look at. The line starts in the dungons of the castle. here you will pass a statue of the one eyed witch as well as the Mirror of Eresid and the Postions classroom where you can here Neveal Longbottom being yelled out for mixing a postion wrong.









After the dungons you find yourself in the greenhouses. This is where most of your time in line will take place. However its not too bad as the line constantly moves. However I can only imagine the nightmare the greenhouses could become during the summertime. While in the green houses look for some recently planted Mandrakes.







After the Greenhouses you will reenter the castle into the Oxford Corridor. here you will see a couple more statues and the jewels that keep track of the house points. And the end of the Corridor is the famliar Phoenix statue that leads to the Headmasters office. After the corridor you find yourself in the Portrat hall. Here there are hundreds of paintings hanging on the walls. pay close attention as this is the wizarding world so a few of the photos move and talk to you and one another. Universal did an excellent job with the moving portrats and you really can't tell they are really TV screens. They look like real paintings that are moving. Just don't take a flash photo as it ruins the effect and won't turn out.








The next room you come to is the Headmasters office. Along the wall are many wizarding items that Dumbledor has collected thru the years. Keep an eye out of the Pensive as well from the 6th film. The best part about the office is that Dumbledor is actually there speaking to you. and he looks real too. He explains why you are in Hogwarts. That we are the first muggles ever allowed in the school and the professor bins will be giving a lecture about the history of hogwarts in the defence against the dark arts classroom. So we are told to procede there but to be careful as the grounds keeper Hagrid has lost a dragon.





Next you find yourself in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. But before the professor shows up to give your lecture Harry, Ron, and Hermione show up under the invisability cloak. They explane to you that the lecture will be very boaring and to ditch it and come watch a game of quidditch instead. Hermione tells you to meet her in the room of requiernment where she will enchant a bench for us to fly on. Ron then casts a spell that goes wrong and made the room shake to the rumble of thunder. Hermione fixes the spell and the kids leave under the invisibility cloak.


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Old 10-20-2010, 06:01 PM   #8
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Next up you pass the fat lady and find yourself in the Gryffindor common room. Here a few more moving paintings give you a safty speal about the enchanted benches. You then procede down a final hall where you find the Sorting Hat also giving a rythmic speal about the being safe on the ride. The line for this ride is truely amazing. It could be an attraction in and of itself. The only complaint I have for the line is that once you get in the castle from the greenhouses the line moves way to fast. But thats ok cause if you'd like to see the line again at your own pace they do offer "castle tours" which puts you in another line to move at your own pace.





The only thing I can say about the Ride itself is WOW. This thing is awesome and there turely is nothing else like it in the world. It mixes your standard dark ride elements with motion simulater movie screens. All while sitting on the back of a huge robotic arm. This thing is so awesome and is not to be missed. Even if your not a harry potter fan. Here you'll encounter many scary creatures from the book that are litterally in your face as you follow Harry on an adventure of a lifetime.

After the ride you are dropped off into a shop called "Felches Emporiam of Confiscated goods". Here you'll find many things that Mr. Felche has confiscated from students and find many other random souviniors and items for sale.






Right outside the exit of Felches was the next ride we woudl be heading to. The Flight of the Hippogriff. This is a kiddie coaster that is right outside Hagrids hut on the edge of the forbidden forest. Here Hagrid teaches you how to approch a Hippogriff and take you on a flight. The coaster is actually suprisingly very fun for a kiddie coaster. Plus its the only way you can get up close to see Hagrids Hut. Liston close as you'll hear his dog fang barking inside and you'll also have the chance to bow to buckbeak. The views of the Wizarding World from atop the coaster are great as well. Keep your camera out as the coaster is mellow enough that you won't lose it.












After riding the Hipogriff We decided it was time to try out Butterbeer. The lines for the carts were pretty long but a secret not many people know is that the Hogs Head Pub also sells it. There is typically a line in there as well but its not near as long as the carts outside on the street. The Hogs Head Pub is pretty cools and just as detailed as everywhere else. Watch the Hog on the wall as he will occasionally move and snort. Also listen for a maid by there stairs cleaning up upstairs. For those of you who drink Alcohol there was also a specific brew of beer made spicfically for the wizarding world that you can buy here. I don't drink so I couldn't tell you how it taists though. Kiera and I decided we didn't want one yet so while everyone else waited in line we walked around the rest of the Three Broomsticks which is attached.





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Old 10-20-2010, 06:02 PM   #9
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What can be said about Butterbeer. It is possibly one of the best things i've ever drank. I don't even know how to discribe it. Possibly best would be a mix between Cream Soda and Butterscotch. If you don't like ether of those still give it a try. Most the people in our group hates Cream Soda but loved butterbeer. Kiera and I didn't get one at this time but we did later in the evening and would end up buying probably 8 more over the course of the time we were there. Its that good and addicting. They have 2 kinds. Regular like a soft drink and a frozen slush version. Most of us perfered the Frozen but the regular was still really good.






With everyone having there Butterbeers in hand we decided to check out Honeydukes and Zonkos tell the butterbeer was gone. These shops are also very small but also don't get near as busy as the post office or Dervish & Banges. Honeydukes sells an asssortment of treats like Chocolate Frogs, Every Flavor Beans, and Caldren Cakes. Zonkos sells many joke and gag gift type items. Look for the Pigmy Puffs where if you adopt one they will have a special naming ceremony for it. Also listen to wispers underneath the extendable ears.









With the butterbeers gone we headed to the next ride. Dragon Challenge. This ride use to be called Dueling Dragons and is a extreme coaster with two different track layouts. The best part is the tracks are intertwined and you have multipule close calls with the other trains of people. Mike felt he was too large to fit the seats so he headed back to ride Forbidden Journey again in the single riders line while we did Dragons Challenge. The new theme of the coaster is that of the first task of the Triwizard Tournament in the 4th book and movie. Walking the line outside you see many banners cheering on the students participating and even come across the Weaslys crashed car in the woods. Inside you enter the champions tent where the Goblet of Fire is on display. Eventually you also pass the Championship Cup and the golden eggs the dragons are to protect. You also pass a room with floating candles before a long walk thru dark caves where you then choose if you want to ride the Hungarian Horntail (blue) or the Chinese Fireball (red). We chose the Horntail for our ride as the Blue track is by far the better (although more aggressive) ride. Also with inverted coasters like these the only way to ride them is in the front row. It may take some extra time but its well worth the wait. Kiera and I rode first and then Valisa, Kyle, and Emily rode. after we were done we decided not to reride the red side and that we would do it later. Overal they did a good job on the line for the ride but i'm somewhat dissapointed. For those who remember the old Dueling Dragons line they removed many of the cool features of the line and left it empty. So now its just kinda blaw once you get past the floating candles. This is really my only dissapointment with the detail in the wizarding world. The tracks should have been repainted and the que more detailed. You can really tell this ride is what to the blows from budget cuts. Still both coasters are a great ride and the blue track is still my favorite inverted coaster.










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Old 10-20-2010, 06:03 PM   #10
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Once done with Dragons Challenged we retreved our stuff from the lockers and then tried finding Mike (we didn't know he went to Forbidden Journey). We called and waited and nothing from him. By this point we were starving and had spent half the day in the Wizarding World. We decided to leave to go get some cheaper in food in Jurassic Park and wait for Mike to call us back.








Well I was hoping to be able to finish day 1 but man this is taking forever and I have other things I need to get done. So I will try and finish the last part tomorrow. Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions.

TO BE CONTINUED>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:42 PM   #11
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i'm still here reading and waiting for more....
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:04 AM   #12
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Sounds good so far!
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:39 PM   #13
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Love the TR! Thanks for posting so many pictures too. I am living vicariously through them until we get to go back!!!!
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:30 AM   #14
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great report so far, love all the pictures
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:32 AM   #15
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Day 2 Part 2: Islands of Adventure and Halloween Horror Nights XX

Before leaving the Wizarding World it was perfect time for a bathroom break. Plus we still couldn't find Mike so it was a good way to kill some time. If you go to the Wizarding World make sure you use the restrooms here. Heck don't use them if you don't need to. Just go into them. There is another special gem inside of them. You can hear the ghost of Moaning Mertle speaking. She says many different things and can be heard in both the Men and Womens restrooms (she only in the womens in the book/movies). If you can go late in the evening so that your one of the only people in the restroom so you can clearly say what she is saying though. During the peak of the day you can bearly hear her with the hand dryers going and all the people.

Anyways we decided to just leave Mike a voicemail and headed out of the Wizarding World to go find some food. The next Island we came across was Jurassic Park. Last year it was my favorite area of IOA. Its still alot of fun but unfortunatly it has been dwarfed by how awesome the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is.





We decided to get Lunch at the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. Right when we got there Mike finally returned our phone calls to find where we were. Turns out he while waiting for us on Dragons Challenge he decided to go ride the Forbidden Journey again using the single riders line. He got on the ride very quickly but unfortunatly the ride broke down while he was on it. that was why he couldn't answer his phone and it took a few minutes tell they got it up and running again.

Anyways the place we ate at is called Burger Digs and is pretty decent and fairly priced too. Keira and I got a Chicken Sandwhich to share so that we wouldn't be too full when dinner came around a few hours later. The whole discovery center is pretty cool. If you go and especially if you have kids take a look around. The bottom level is full of kid focuses activities and if your lucky you may even get to see a baby Raptor be born. We saw this last year and it is a really cute experiance. Unfortunatly this year we barely missed it.



With all of us now full from lunch it was time to continue on and experiance the rest of not only Jurassic Park but most of Islands of Adventure. The first ride we came to is one of my favorites. The Jurassic Park River Adventure. I've said it before but this is hands down my favorite water flume type ride. The 80 foot drop at the climax of the ride is amazing and no other drop in my opinion compares. The ride takes you on a tour thru the Dinosaur paddocks of the park. However theres always gotta be some type of chaos and the Dinosaurs break loose and you get attacked by Raptors, the spitting dinosaurs, and climaxing with an encounter with the T-Rex.

I've rode this ride many times between Orlando and Hollywood and unfortunatly this was my worst ride of them all. Not all of the dinosaurs were working properly and the T-Rex's jaw was stuck open. I also remember alot more raptors poping out at us. Oh well the drop is still great and one thing happened this ride that has never happened in the past. We got Soaking wet. Ususally we get a little splashed but this time we got way wet. We were shocked but at least it wasn't very humid so we dried quickly.



After we survived the River Adventure we proceeded thru Jurassic Park and onto the next Island. Toon Lagoon. This section is themed to the comic strip characters from the Sunday Newspaper. It also has a few characters as well from old Saturday morning cartoons. The name of the section should give you an Idea about the type of rides here. They are water rides and very wet ones at that. Theres the duddle doo right log flume ride and the poppie river rapids. Although we were still wet from Jurassic Park after watching a few drops on the ripsaw falls we decided that we didn't want to get any more wet this day.




We did look at a few shops though and they have those little cartoon bubbles posted all over for some photo ops. We spent a good deal of time finding some fun ones to take pictures under before moving on to the next section of the park. Kyle and Emily also found a dip-n-dots stand where they found themselves a cool treat.










The next Island we came to is Marvel Superhero Island. Another awesome section where 2 of the best thrills in the park are located. The area is themed to the superheros and also the villans of Marvel comics. Kinda interesting still to see what ends up happening with this section a few years from now since Disney has since bought the Marvel Company. Watch closely on the streets as you might see your favorite superheroes walking around like Spiderman, the X-Men, or Captain America. However in all the rides the video and such are themed as they would be as if you were in a comic book. So the videos are Cartoons.




The first ride we rode in the section use to be the hands down best ride in the park. Now its in a tough fight with the Forbidden Journey. That ride is the amazing adventures of Spiderman. You enter a tall skyscrapper that is home to the Daily Buggle newspaper. After wandering the offices of the building you see news reports on tv that many of Spidermans Villans have stolen the staute of liberty. Where is spiderman? Also many reports are afraid to find out whats going on so the daily buggle sends you to find out. You board a vehicle and are on your 3d adventure where you come across spiderman and get attacked by his villans. The ride is incredable. Basically kinda like a motion simulater that moves you thru actual sets that have 3d screens built around them to project the characters. You also experiance a 400 foot freefall (or so it feels). Really this ride is awesome and I can honestly say still that I don't know if I like it or the Forbidden Journey more. Do Not Miss this ride.





After Spiderman we headed to the next thrill ride. The Incredible Hulk Coaster. Wow this thing is amazing. Hands down the best Extreme Coaster i've ever been on. From its slow incline turning into a quick launch and immidiatly being thrown into a barrel roll and the other 7 inversions on the ride it is none stop intense from start to finish. However the coaster has seen its better days. Its getting really ruff and is in desperate need of a repaint. Unfortunatly that will probably come later now as the Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit coaster in the Studios is badly broken mechanically. Still the ride is another do not miss ride especially if you love rollercoasters. If you get motion sickness, don't like going upside down, or rough shaking this ride may not be for you though.




We had a half hour until we needed to be inside Universal Studios for our Halloween Horror Nights stay and scream tickets. What better way to kill the time then by going back to the Wizarding World and taking another ride on the Forbidden Journey. We quickly walked back around the park thru the Port Of Entry, onto Suess Landing, thru the Lost Contenant and back into the Wizarding World. Hogwarts was much more packed now then it was earlier. showing a 60 minute wait. Good thing for the Single Riders line.

Heres the thing to know about the Forbidden Journey. Your first time you ride it make sure you take the time to wait in line so you can see the dungions and the greenhouse and other sections of the castle. Once you've done that take the single rider line from them on. Instead of having to wait an hour to ride we were on and done with the ride in about 12 minutes using single rider. Yeah you don't get to ride with other people in your group but that doesn't matter as most likely they are in the vehicle next to yours. The single rider line dumps you out in the Gryffindor Common room so you miss most the castle. But You can always do a castle tour later on if you wanna see the castle again. Single Riders line is well worth it if you want a quick and fast ride.



Valisa and Emily were still feeling a little sick from Spiderman and the Hulk so they decided to sit out the Forbidden Journey. After we rode we meet back up and were on our way over to Universal Studios. But we had to grab one more thing before we left the Wizarding World for the evening. Another Butterbeer. Kiera and I finally bought ours as well at this time. We only got the Frozen but the regular is excellent as well. Keep in mind though that the regular is carbonated but the frozen one is not (my wife doesn't drink carbonation thats why we only got frozen). Also buy the suvinior mug. Its $11 your first drink but you can get refills for only $4.25. Sure beats paying $6 each time in a plastic cup. The suvinior mug can also be used to get discounts on other drinks too thruout both parks. We had a small carabiner that we used to attach the mug to our belt loops when we weren't using it. This was great as we didn't have to carry it everywhere and we even rode all the rides with it like this (they won't let you take it on rides if its loose. You'd have to use the free lockers).


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