I am back from the blogging break, which means it’s back to regularly scheduled programming around here. And that my friends means a Chatty Blogs post (and linky) on the 15th of every month, so here it is!
Having said that, to be honest, when I sat down to write this post, I was at a complete loss for words. I knew what I wanted to talk/write about, but the words just did not flow. For the longest time I simply kept staring at the blank note on the screen, as if staring would automatically produce the words that need to be written.
And this was completely out of character for me. Because I normally have a lot to say, and tend to overwrite, which makes editing a pain, but still, you get the picture. But then I guess, when you take any kind of break, you lose your momentum & flow, and getting back to the swing of things becomes harder the longer you wait. But clearly there is nothing to do, except keep at it, even if it means you end up with a ramble-y introduction to your post. 🙂
And at any rate, all the loss of momentum, flow, and whatever else is completely worth it, especially when you’ve just taken one of the most fun vacations of your life. Which is exactly what I did. So I thought I’d share the highlights with you all as well, which might be especially useful if any of y’all are planning a trip down there.
However, please note that I’ll be doing a more detailed post on Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in the coming weeks, sharing the top things to do, some handy tips, as well as the best resources to plan your vacation. This post is mostly a quick overview of the entire experience.
Disneyworld & Universal Studios Florida – 2018
So originally when we planned this vacation, we only meant to go to Universal Studios, because well it has Harry Potter World, and do I really need another reason? But then we found out that Walt Disney World was only 20 minutes away from Universal Studios. And considering we were already flying all the way over there and Disney is kind of a world famous destination, we thought what the hell, let’s get it done as well.
Having said that, Universal was still the priority, so we spent 4 out of 5 of our days in the 3 Universal parks, and only 1 day at Disney. Which meant we only did 1 Disney Park, out of the 4 theme parks, and 2 water parks that Disney has to offer. So you should know that our Disney experience is limited in that sense. However the one park we chose was Magic Kingdom, which is Disney’s most famous and iconic park, so I don’t really have any regrets.
And honestly I am super glad that we only did that one park, because even though it was kind of sweet and nostalgic and all that, it was also kind of underwhelming. To be fair, it’s mostly because we are roller coaster people, and the Magic Kingdom was mainly a ‘experience’ oriented park. Not that there weren’t any rides, there were many options, and we did enjoy all of them. But mostly our day involved standing in super long lines (even though we had gone during off peak season) for a 3-5 minute 3D/4D show.
And after a while all of us were over it. Yes, all 3 of us. In-fact I thought D would enjoy it more than he did, but I guess he is a little too grown up for Disney? Because he constantly pointed out that it was baby stuff. It was NOT. But well 6 year olds have a different world view about what exactly constitutes baby stuff.
However (and I don’t mean this in a sexist way – only saying this because we need such disclaimers in 2018. sigh.) I feel like girls would possibly enjoy Disney more than boys? Especially because I know my younger self wouldn’t have cared as much about the rides, and would have been totally down for Disney experience, especially the princess dress up stuff.
That being said, Universal parks were wonderful. Yes, they had their share of ‘experience rides’, but they were a whole lot more fun, so we didn’t mind them as much. In-fact we really enjoyed most of them. And then there were the roller coasters, which I have to tell you were some of the coolest ones I’ve seen and been on anywhere (and I’ve tried out some crazy coasters in the past).
And all of this was outside of the main attraction (for me anyway), which of-course was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. However I think I will talk more about that in a seperate post, because otherwise this post will turn out to be 10000 words long at the very minimum. Also, I have taken a lot of pictures there, which I would love to share, and don’t want to dump it all in this post.
However I’ll say this for now. I used to love roller coasters. But then I experienced the Harry Potter rides, which combined the Harry Potter experience with the roller coasters.
Which meant that during the ride, we were flying through Hogwarts, escaping from dragons, riding alongside Harry in the Quidditch field chasing the snitch, facing dementors, and even deflecting spells from Bellatrix Lestrange and Lord Voldemort.
And after experiencing that – I just have to say this: Sorry vanilla variety coasters – you are just not good enough for me anymore, we need to part ways, my friend.
So anyway (coming back from the Potterhead tangent), like I was saying earlier, Universal has 3 parks, the main 2 theme parks (Universal Studios Florida & Islands of Adventure) are right next to each other, and are connected by the Hogwarts Express.
The third (relatively new) park is Volcano Bay, which is a couple miles away from the first 2 parks, and is a water park. And while it’s not nearly as big as the 2 original parks, it’s one of the coolest water parks we have been to, especially considering the Tapu Tapu system of virtual waiting lines.
So all in all, we spent 4 days at Universal, 1 day in the water park, and 3 days exploring Universal Studios Florida & Islands of Adventure, and that gave us enough time to do all the rides (and repeats), fully appreciate the experiences, including the biggest attraction, which was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
And overall it was a super fun vacation. Which is why I’d highly recommend it to everyone, Potterhead or not, keep Universal Studios, Florida on your list of places to visit in US, and trust me you will not regret it.
As for me, I plan to go back there in some years. Once I’ve visited (and checked off) some more places from my USA bucket list, and most definitely after my son has read all the books in Harry Potter series. Because he has asked to get a wand of his own when we go there next time, and my condition for him to be ‘eligible’ for the wand is that he reads all the books. What? Don’t judge! A girl has got to do what she has got to do, to get her child to read her favorite book series.
That’s all from my end folks. I would love to hear from you! When and where did you take your last vacation? Was it a place on your bucket list? Do you believe in having travel bucket lists? Do share!
The #ChattyBlogs Linky: A monthly linky which goes up on the 15th of every month, and is open for 2 weeks.
Here’s how it works:
- Write a chatty/rambly post – it could be a deep, thought-provoking one or even a random ramble. No judgement here.
- At the bottom of your post – add the #ChattyBlogs badge, and link to this post (which hosts the linky) to encourage other bloggers to join in.
- Add your link to the #ChattyBlogs linky.
- Visit and comment on the fellow bloggers’ post in the linky.
Note: I have created a twitter handle for ChattyBlogs & registered the actual hashtag #ChattyBlogs. So, when you do write and link up your posts, please do use the hashtag & I will be sure to RT & share it.
You can also connect via the Chatty Blogs Facebook Page, on which I will be sharing all the posts that are linked up every month.
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