Universally Fun

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On Sunday, we went to early church, came home, changed, had lunch, and then headed to Universal Studios for a family fun day.

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I was talking to my friend, Whitney, the other day and told her that the greatest part of living in Orlando is that you probably know someone who works at either Disney or Universal. We are lucky enough to know co-workers of Chris who work at Disney and Chris’s sister, Annie, works at Universal. Last week, I called Annie to see if she had any comp passes we could use and so she met us for a super fun day at the park.

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We have had a lot to do lately, but with Chris’s work schedule and the stomach virus that knocked out Chris and Bean in the past two weeks, we haven’t had a real FUN family day in a while. Universal seemed just the ticket. I was especially excited about Seuss Landing, a whole area of the part that is designed after all the Dr. Seuss books.

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Everything about this part of the park was amazing – the colors, the designs, the shops, and rides. It looked like we had stepped into the pages of one of Dr. Seuss’s books.

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The first thing we did was ride the Caro-Seussal. I am a sucker for a good carousel and this one did not disappoint.

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After that, we all rode the “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” ride. Even Gracie! She wasn’t quite sure what the heck was going on, but she sat on the seat with me and looked around with her eyes as big as saucers and her mouth hanging wipe open.

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Bean thought it was pretty awesome. On this ride you got to control whether you went up high or stayed down low and he seemed to enjoy having supreme power to choose.

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After an hour in Seuss Landing, we headed over to the real reason I wanted this family fun day… The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Have I told you about my love of Harry Potter? I’m not quite those people who dress in capes and carry wands wherever they go, but I’m close. I read all the books this year with one of my classes (they get to choose their own novels in my class, but about 75% of the students in this particular class chose to read along with me) and I have been hooked ever since. Twice we have had plans to go to Harry Potter World at Universal, but both times our plans were canceled. This time, though, I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I FINALLY made it!

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And it was awesome! The attention to detail was incredible. All of my favorite details and side stories from the books were there in real life. I got to go into Zonko’s Joke Shop and Honeydukes Candy Shop! I even went to the Owlery and the train station where the Hogwarts Express was parked.

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I think the artistry of the place was totally lost on Gracie. She did not appreciate.

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I mean, how do you sleep through THIS????

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Anyway.

My sister-in-law, Annie, dragged me into Hogwarts and made me ride the Harry Potter ride. Now, I do not ride roller coasters. Or rides. Or anything that requires me to be strapped in and hurled through the air. Apparently, Annie missed this memo about me. Either that, or she hates me.

But I’m pretty sure it’s the missed memo one.

I actually caught myself thinking, “Just don’t cry, just don’t cry, just don’t cry,” during the ride.

Sadly, that’s a true story and a very true statement.

When I came off the ride, I have never been more relieved to see these sweet little faces… (well, Bean’s face is kind of creepy in this one, but you get the idea)…

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After my Harry Potter fix, we moseyed on over to Toon Town and then the Marvel Comic area.

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Bean walked around pointing to everything, saying happily, “That scares me! That scares me!” The only thing he actually seemed scared of, though, was this giant cartoon rocket. It had misters underneath it so that you could cool off in the heat, but Bean literally thought the rocket was about to take off on top of him.

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It was pretty much an awesome day. We were there almost all day and the kids hung in there like troopers. They had just as much fun as we did, even though both of them were too short to ride any of the real rides.

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It was really nice to have a relaxing, carefree day with no responsibilities, no schedule, and nothing to do but enjoy each other. I thought that I would be dragging on Monday after such a busy Sunday, but I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to start the week.

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And I think that was the universal consensus around my house this morning.

Family fun day: Success

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