Happy Friday everyone! Today we are moving onto day 5 of our time in Orlando!
If you remember, we stayed out a little late the previous night, partying with McKesson. So the 5:00am wake up call was definitely not welcome. We had to load up all our junk into the car, drive to Cabana Bay hotel, check in, and get on a bus to US before early park opening. I was questioning my sanity at that point. So was my family.
Val was pretty much zombie girl.
We made it through the park turnstiles around 6:40am and headed straight to the new Harry Potter area. Along with every other person staying at a Universal hotel.
The reason I decided to book a room at the new Cabana Bay was strictly for the early access to Harry Potter. I knew that without that extra hour, we would never get to ride Escape from Gringott’s, and I just had to ride it.
This line/mob of people is the line to get into Diagon Alley! They started letting people in right at 7am and it we pretty much just stayed in this giant line in order to get in line for Gringott’s.
When we made it to the ride que the sign already said 105 minutes! Haha, that would actually prove to be an under estimation.
We wove through a bunch of ropes, chains, and hallways until we ended up here. Oh man!
I knew that the 105 minutes was how long it would take up to just get into the bank part. The sad thing is that there is nothing really cool to look at when you are outside waiting. We were all bored out of our minds and tired, very tired.
By the time we made it into the bank it was kind of hard to appreciate the amazing detail and how perfectly replicated Gringott’s was to the movies. I’m glad I have some photos to jog my memory since I felt completely foggy that morning.
So the wait ended up being more like 140 minutes, ugh. But compared to people arriving around 9am and waiting 5-6 hours, I guess I can’t complain too much.
Was it worth it? Kind of. I never would have felt satisfied if I didn’t get to experience it. The atmosphere was uncanny and the ride itself was really cool. But honestly, I prefer Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. My advice would be to wait until the hype dies down to make a trip to Diagon Alley. Otherwise you may end up feeling underwhelmed by the new headlining ride.
After a mind numbing morning of waiting, a butter beer was just what the doctor ordered! After that we rode a couple other rides and then headed back to the hotel and crashed.
But before zonking out I had to get a pic of my Hogwarts shirt! It won’t be making an appearance again for a long time so it had to be documented:)
I think we slept for 3 hours!
Val was dying to swim in the cool pools at Cabana Bay, but we got rained out😦
So we pretty much just explored the hotel, snacked in the dining hall, and waited for the rain to stop so we could go have dinner and re ride favorites at Universal.
I must have been suffering from party hangover still because I really can’t remember much from that night. We went to Springfield, took a bunch of pics, had a Squishee, bought Cam some awesome shirts, and then I think we wandered Diagon Alley.
Don’t you just love this shirt?! It had to be purchased. This is one of my favorite Simpson quotes despite the fact that I love salad:)
Ok I think I’m remembering now. Cam and Val shared some fish and chips at the Leaky Cauldron and I decided that I was going to eat ice-cream for dinner:)
There was a line to get in line at the Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour! But this was a line worth waiting in. They had unique flavors that all sounded fantastic. I wound up getting sticky toffee pudding. It was so good! All buttery and brown sugary (drooling).
I really wanted to try caramel apple strudel, pistachio, and butter beer, but at $5 a cup I stuck to just the one. Also, I didn’t want to repeat the previous night with another food coma.
After dinner/ice cream we rode the Hogwarts Express over to IOA wandered around there, made a candy stop and called it a night.
Moving on to Day 6!!
We were much more rested for early entry on our second day with the Universal guest privilege. Not totally fresh, but enough to get by:). IOA is way way way less crowded for early entry compared to Diagon Alley. We arrived just after 7am, no crowd and basically walked on to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. We even had space to wander the shops and streets, it was so nice to feel non claustrophobic in Hogsmead.
We rode some coasters, despicable me, and whatever Val wanted to do since Cam and I were both pretty theme parked out.
I even let her get Dippin’ Dots at 9am. It was the last full day of our trip so why not?!
We also figured that since it was our last day we should ride the water rides. I am not a fan of water rides. I am that girl wearing a poncho on Splash Mountain. I do not care what people think of that. Because I don’t like walking around humid Florida with wet underwear! But that day I was throwing all caution to the wind, mostly since we planned on leaving immediately after:)
Before and After. Yeah it’s hard to tell. But let me tell you. The raft ride will soak everyone from head to toe and everywhere in between! Don’t even think you might get lucky and only get a little wet. There is no lucky on that ride!
Haha, you can tell more with Cam. Not an inch of dryness.
Back at the hotel I burned off some sugar while the afternoon down pour was going on.
But hooray it didn’t last as long as the past couple of days and we were able to get in some pool/beach time. Cabana bay has a lazy river, two big pools, hot tub, and water slide! But believe it or not, I think my kiddo liked all the games they had the most.
That evening was pretty relaxed. We went back to Universal one last time to grab some dinner and ride the Simpson’s and the Hogwarts Express. We actually closed the park and hung out in Springfield for quite awhile enjoying the atmosphere. It was my favorite thing about the parks.
And so ends our time in Orlando. Until we meet again…in October;)
Have a great weekend! I’ll be back on Monday with my “just pics” posts for all the Harry Potter stuff and also Springfield!!