Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Week of Parks - The Universal Edition

Oh man, when we decided on two days at Universal I really was not sure that was necessary. I had no idea how cool some of it would be. My goodness. The Harry Potter stuff completely blew my mind. For example, every time the dragon would blow fire it was like getting blasted with a heat wave. In a crazy good way.

The kids all selected wands from Olivanders and surprisingly, they all picked completely different wands without trying. That was my favorite part about it. No one copied anyone else and no one tried to go out of their way to be different. They all genuinely picked what they liked and each one was different. I loved it.

The wands are interactive, which means they have an infrared sensor. Periodically there are golden seals in the street. If the kids stand there and do the correct spell (move their wand in the right pattern) then something mAgIcaL happens. They got a real kick out of that. It was fun, but some of the spells were tricky to master. Also, parents, if your kids are wanting to do this be prepared to set back $50 a pop. We were a bit shocked to say the least. When in Rome, er, Diagon Alley....

Most of the lines weren't too bad, at either park, but the Harry Potter roller coaster had a bit of a wait. When I turned around and saw our whole group looking at phones to pass the time it was really funny to me. I would have done the same except that I was trying to conserve my battery to use for pictures.

Gringotts was the coolest. It is unbelievable how much went into building this and how elaborate the sets were. It was impeccably done.

This coaster was a combination roller coaster/3D experience. It was a bit odd. Jim didn't find it to be too much, but there were times I had to peek out from the 3D glasses to regain some grounding.

My second favorite part of this park is the Dr. Seuss land. It was soooo cute! The colors, shapes, everything. It was just amazing. Plus, it was little kid friendly so there was a lot that Tate could do here. We found this area on accident as we were leaving the park our first day there and had to go back the next day because it was just so great. Lesson learned: read the park maps before you go. Don't miss the good stuff!

Tate loved the interactive park where he could spray water and climb to his heart's content.

He also loved the Caro-Seuss-el. I think we took him on that more than any other ride and every time he smiled like it was the best thing ever. 

Universal was fantastic. It definitely surprised me. There were fun rides, delicious butterbeer, great stuff for the kids, and my BIL won the Fear Factor physical challenge! Good times. At first I questioned the need for two days here but now I'm so glad we did it this way.

Five days of amusement parks is quite a lot. At the end of the week we were all spent, but it was an amazing trip with fun people and will be something I hope all the kids remember for a long time. Except Tate of course, but he will see pictures and hear stories and grow up lamenting the fact that he doesn't remember it. What a remarkable week it was.

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