Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Magical Week In Orlando

Where The Magic Happens 

Let's go on an Adventure

It all started August 29th, 2014 when Alisha booked us our 3-Day Park to Park Ticket for the Universal Orlando Resort. We wanted to see "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" themed areas that are based on the Harry Potter series. We decided that 3 days wouldn't be enough for a vacation so we made a whole week out of it.

I was counting the days - I knew my vacation would begin from the moment that I would leave Canmore to head to the airport .... I flew to Toronto on Jan 25th after work to meet my friends Alisha and Rhys which I haven't seen since they left the Hotel on October 5th, 2014. I arrived in Toronto at 12:19am ... We had so much to catch up on that we talked till 5am before heading to bed for some sleep. Next morning was breakfast, packing for Alisha and Rhys and getting CAN dollars changed to US dollars. We went for a lovely walk and even had time for some Geocaching. On our way back to the house we stopped at a lovely cafe "Castle Board Game Cafe" to play Harry Potter Trivia Game and to have some tea to warm up.

January 27th was the day we 3 were waiting for. We headed to the airport at 4am and were on our way to Orlando at 6:25am. We arrived in Orlando at 9:28am and headed straight to the hotel to check in and to get rid of our suitcases. Afterwards we went for breakfast at iHop and than took a stroll along International Drive. We found the Volcano Island Miniture Golf (olf) course and enjoyed the Tiki Falls and Volcano Voyage Course.

We went to Walt Disney World on January 28th which was a day filled with fun, giggles and magic ... yes magic! I think every child dreams of going to Disneyland or Disney World ... Well I must say even as an adult I loved every minute of it. The are serval parks in the resort but we chose the Magic Kingdom which included -  Main Street, USA - Adventureland - Frontierland - Liberty Square (incl.The Haunted Mansion (which was one of my fave))  - Fantasyland - Storybook Circus - Enchanted Forest - Tomorrowland. I also loved the "Space Mountain" rollercoaster which was in the dark. Awwwesooome!!

Most Magical Night Ever
Fireworks at the Cinderellas Castle
January 29th was a very hot day and we decided to spend some time at the pool next to our Hotel. The water was still very cold but I loved just sitting in the sun and to read my book. After the sun went down we headed out for dinner and then decided to explore more of International Drive. Florida seems to like Golf ... every few minutes another stunning golf course.

We found a pub called "Howl at the Moon" which was absolutely fantastic with dueling pianos. We even ordered a cocktail in a bucket. Very delicious!! We also stopped at Senor Frog's for some drinks and music.

The celebration of Harry Potter event started on Friday but because we had to switch Hotels we decided to go Saturday to Monday to get most out of our time. We spend the rest of Friday strolling along CityWalk and after that Alisha and I went to see "Into The Woods" while Rhys went into a sports bar.

We all have magic inside us! J.K. Rowling

On Saturday morning we headed straight for the "Islands of Adventure" to lay eyes on Hogsmeade. It was nice and "quiet" that morning so Alisha wanted to go on the first Roller coaster that see saw. (The Dragon Challenge). This was a roller coaster I wasn't sure I wanted to do because it was one of those where your legs hang free. We chose the green dragon first and loved it so much that we went straight to the re-ride line so we could try the orange dragon as well. We all expected the second dragon to be almost the same as the green but oh my were we wrong ... The orange dragon was much faster and had a couple more twists but it was also very fun. It was an unbelievable magical day. Hogsmeade also included "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey", "Flight of the Hippogriff" and as I mentioned before the "Dragon Challenge". You can also eat breakfast at the Three Broomsticks and the Hogs Head pub. It is very authentic and the attention to detail is absolutely amazing.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
On Sunday we decided to go and see the other Harry Potter Park - Diagon Alley. You can walk or take the Hogwarts Express to get to London. The train is full of surprises and a "must do" if you ever go to Orlando. To enter Diagon Alley you walk through the open brickwork. Three up and two across!! The creators have done an amazing job. You can visit Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes where I bought Fizzing whizbees and some chocolate frogs. (So gooood) and you can visit Ollivanders or Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour and even walk down Knockturn Alley. I loved the Gringotts Bank. Absolutely amazing work with detail and authenticity.
Yes the dragon breathes fire.

I think I can speak for the 3 of us - we enjoyed the "Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts" a lot. On Saturday night we all were rushed out of the park through the train station and then admitted back as special guests (VIPs) of the evening event. This gave us the opportunity to basically have both Harry Potter parks all to ourselves, fully catered with butterbeer and snacks from 7 -11pm. What an awesome evening party we had.

After exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for two nights we used our third and final day for the rest of the Universal Orlando park. I have a few favorites. I loved the Mummy ride with was mostly in the dark with burning rooftops and mummies of course. I also loved the Incredible Hulk rollercoaster and the Rockit rollercoaster. One highlight for me was also seeing and taking photos with the transformers. I was waiting for bumblebee but because of the windy weather he couldn't come out. I did see him on our last day at the park though!

We also watched a "Fear Factor Live" show and enjoyed a "Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue". I had such an amazing time in Orlando. I would do this all over again in a heartbeat. Anyone wants to go on an Adventure ... I am ready :) I posted some more photos of my incredible week on FB. For more details on our fabulous week and some more photos please check out my friends Alisha's blog - https://stringnkite.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/its-important-to-remember-that-we-all-have-magic-inside-us-j-k-rowling/

Adventures Are Out There!

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