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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19 thoughts on “Universally Fun

  1. I am so jealous! I have been dream of visiting the World of Harry Potter. It looks like you had an amazing time with your family and had a much needed day together!

  2. What wonderful family day — the perks of living so close the parks! My family fun day, well it consisted of getting bundled up and sleding, but I guess that’s the difference between Orlando and Northern Michigan! 🙂

  3. Oh wow, I had no idea there was a Seuss section at Disney! I have got to plan a trip out there now 🙂 Great pictures!

  4. I had no idea there was a Seuss part of Universal! I have been REALLY wanting to go to the Wizarding World of HP since it opened. Hoping to make it that way soon!

  5. How fun!! I was definitely living vicariously through you in this post. For my family to go to Universal/Disney World we would need to plan a vacation, including plane tickets. I want to go to the Harry Potter place SO badly! I’m glad your family had a blast 🙂

  6. ALSO — I tagged you on my page! Check it out 🙂
    It would be fun if you’d play the game, too!

    http://www.mypinkscribbles.com
    post is titled “Tag.. I’m it!”

  7. I’m so jealous!!! I want to see the World of Harry Potter!! That must be so cool!!
    I’m glad you had such a great time with your cute family 🙂

  8. I know how you feel about the roller coasters – I have to work my way up to them and it’s been years since I’ve actually ridden one so chances are that I’d probably have to just sit that one out.

    That said, the Harry Potter stuff looks awesome as does that Dr. Seuss carousel! Glad you were able to go and have fun!

  9. Amy

    I have got to move to Florida. Shorts in January and Harry Potter at Universal are amazing!

  10. So fun! Can you bring the Caro-Seussal to Brooklyn? Or at least the warmth?!

  11. I’ll have to show this to Reagan later. She’s going with her school’s music department in a few weeks. Since she’s done Disney a couple of times already, Harry Potter is at the TOP of her list of things she’s excited about.

  12. Nikki

    I cant’ wait to go to the Harry Potter theme park! My Hubs and I were in Orlando for a conference he was attending last March, but of course it was during Spring Break, so I didn’t even try to tackle those crowds! I wonder if there is ever a time when it’s not busy…

  13. Jamie

    Family fun day looks amazing, and im super jealous of the weather. Although, its in the 60’s here in Charlotte, NC, it could be a little warmer. But most importantly, I can not get over how handsome the little bean man is. Could he be any cuter???

  14. We’re taking my now 18-month-old son to Disney in November with my husband’s family. I can’t wait to see how he reacts to everything, but I have to admit I am most excited about seeing the Harry Potter park!

  15. Looks like a blast, even for the kiddos being so young! Super jealous about Harry Potter World, I have been an obsessed fan for 12 years now and haven’t made it over there yet! Bean being afraid of the rocketship is hilarious 🙂

  16. I am SO JEALOUS you got to go to Harry Potter World! I am desperate to go, but it won’t be happening soon, since I’m due in May with our first kiddo. Living vicariously through you until I get the chance.

  17. Megan

    I just finished the last Harry Potter book last night. I’m ready to read them straight through again!

  18. Oh how I love Harry Potter world! When we went in October I was pretty sure Mike was going to have to drag me out, I didn’t want to leave. Glad you guys finally got to go!

  19. That photo of Gracie and Bean in the stroller–one of my favorites!!!

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