Monday, February 11, 2013

Hello There, Hogwarts!

Liz, Meriem and I had Monday off this week, so we took advantage of our coinciding non-work days and finally took a trip to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure!

I missed Hogwarts so much. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of my favorite places to be (next to Disney of course). Universal really stepped up their game with that whole section of the park. The animatronics on The Forbidden Journey are so in your face it's great.

When we first arrived, we made a bee-line to the ticket booth and managed to get Florida resident annual passes, as well as a little discount for having a Coke product with us! (It was a Dasani water bottle...but hey it says 'Coca-Cola' on the side!) As soon as we had our passes we ran straight to Wizarding World, took a pit stop in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, and then went to ride The Forbidden Journey! Meriem and I had already been to the park before at some point in the past (it's been three years for me) but it was Liz's first time. It was so much fun to be inside the castle again, seeing all the props and decorations that look like they're exactly from the movie. The wait time was only 15 minutes! Last time I had gone it was the summer the park actually opened, so all of the lines and crowds were ridiculous. It was so nice to basically walk on most of these rides! Anyway, when we finally went on The Forbidden Journey, we were locked in our seats ready to go...and the ride stopped. Of course it breaks down when we finally get on the ride. Thankfully, it was only temporary and before we knew it, we were off flying!

Fun fact about me: I am easily scared by animatronics. Especially the ones that look like they want to eat me. (Hence my love-hate relationship with Dinosaur.) So all throughout the ride I would start screaming when the dragons and dementors come up on the video screen, just because I knew what was going to happen after we got done with the simulator portions. After the ride Meriem asked if Liz was the one screaming since she had never been on it...when really all the screaming was from me.

After Journey, we decided to quickly hop on Flight of the Hippogriff for giggles, then Meriem and I went on Dragon Challenge while Liz looked around the merchandise shops. Dragon Challenge is fun, but it was a lot more low key than I remembered it from three years ago. Maybe I've just gone on so many big rides since then it seems a lot more chill than the others. Anyway, after the ride we met back up with Liz at Honeydukes, looked around and finally decided to eat at the Three Broomsicks. There, I finally had butterbeer!!! I also had a grilled chicken salad, which was super yummy!
Butterbeer with my roomie, Liz!
Of course, I posted a picture of my lunch on Instagram. Little did I know that my friends who live in the same apartment building as me saw that picture and texted me saying they were in the park too! Unfortunately due to bad timing, we never actually met up at the park. We did however go to their apartment after the parks to watch Chamber of Secrets. Anyway, back to Hogwarts!

We finished our lovely lunch and went to watch the Durmstrang and Beauxbaton show, which was pretty neat. We decided that we had done basically everything in the Wizarding World, so we headed towards the Marvel section of Islands of Adventure!

I wasn't a huge Marvel person the last time I went to this park, but since then I've fallen in love with Iron Man and The Avengers so I was nerding out pretty hard. Right before we went on the Spiderman ride, we saw a bunch of people gathering on the sidewalks to see the heros ride in on their motorcycles to meet with the guests. While we were waiting, I all of a sudden see a green face peer over my shoulder and look at me. For a second I thought it was just someone with a mask on, but then I realized it was the Green Goblin from Spiderman! We had quite the conversation:

Goblin: "Are you waiting for Captain America? He's such a dream boat."
Me: "You know, I'm more of an Iron Man girl myself."
Goblin: "Ooh Tony Stark, I like that guy's attitude."
Me: "Yup, definitely my favorite."
Goblin: "He might have a bit of a drinking problem, on the verge of being an alcoholic."

Then he just skips away! It was really random but pretty hilarious. Characters never really interact with me like that so it was fun to have one of those random encounters.

My encounter with the Green Goblin
We then went on Spiderman ride and The Hulk roller coaster (my favorite!) to finish up our Marvel adventure before heading to Universal Studios quickly before it closed. We experienced the Minion Mayhem attraction and then rode The Mummy twice (I screamed a lot the first time...). Afterwards, we headed back to Wizarding World to ride Forbidden Journey one last time, and buy some butterbeer to go! On our way back we had Chick-Fil-A for the first time, and then hung out at our neighbor's apartment to watch the second Harry Potter.

Overall, it was definitely an amazing day!

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