October 17, 2018

Fall Break at Universal Orlando

 Any Harry Potter fans out there? When Harry Potter came out, I was living in Falls Church, VA and commuting via bus & subway to DC for work. I remember being in a complete zone on those bus trips trying to get one more page in. Or staying up way too late to see what happened next. And now that I have a little boy, I get to relive all the magic of Harry Potter.

Last week was fall break for those of us in Colorado and we had an entire week off. 
Since our son had recently finished the 1st HP book, we knew the timing was right for a trip to Universal Orlando. 
Here are some of my favorite moments from this fun trip.

My first suggestion is to buy Harry Potter shirts before you go. Target (online) has a decent selection and they are half the price of the ones at the park. I also got some of the fun Harry Potter lego mini figs as a surprise for Asher. 

 As far as hotels go, you can't beat staying on property for the ultimate experience. Universal's original 3 flagship hotels come with front of the line passes at Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure which are invaluable! Most wait times with this pass were about 5 minutes. The longest being 15. The regular lines were 30 - 60+ minutes. 

The other benefit of staying at one of these hotels is the proximity. We popped from the hotel to the parks non stop. The hotels have fabulous pools and show movies at night which is one of our favorite ways to relax on vacation. 

The first thing we did at Universal was head to Olivander's to buy Asher's wand. They let in a small group of about 8 children and 1 child is picked to go through the experience of having the wand pick them. Of course you realllllly want your child to get picked. I was a little sad he didn't get picked, but as we walked out (we were the last in the line), Olivander called over to Asher and asked if he was buying a wand today and then Asher had a PRIVATE experience with Olivander where the wand picked him. Yes, those were tears in my eyes. M A G I C A L

 It is hard to describe how magical Diagon Alley is at Universal Orlando. It is so detailed and well though out. Total amazement. Asher & I discovered that frozen butterbeer is pretty much the best thing ever and ingested about 10 million calories worth of it on our trip :) 

Because we were visiting for most of the week and had fast passes, we easily saw everything several times while on our trip. So every day we would venture into City Walk for a nice relaxing lunch. I can not recommend this enough. There were never any lines, service was amazing and the food was really good.

Another day we'd done the parks in the morning and decided to hotel pool hop for the afternoon.
At Disney, this is a no no. At Universal I confirmed with our concierge that any Universal hotel guest can visit any other Universal hotel pool. They even have a town car to take you to the neighboring hotels, which is pretty sweet!

On our very last day, we decided to have a pool day only. We transferred to a hotel near Disney Springs and spent the ENTIRE day in the pool and using their water toys.

The night we left we snuck in dinner at Disney Springs because we are total Disney geeks and had to get a little Disney magic before heading home. 
This vacation was the perfect mix of fun & relaxation. Until next time Orlando...