Who doesn’t know the Universal Studios? Every notable film comes with a Universal stamp, from Back To Future to E.T, from Mummy to King Kong, from Shrek to Despicable Me!
The 4th of July (U.S Independence day) weekend was a long one and that was all we needed to go to Universal. (This post was long overdue, but like I said, pottery is occupying most of my time!)
After some last minute frenzy about whether to drive to Orlando or to fly, we decided flying was the best option, since Mr.Bee had busy schedule prior to our journey, courtesy, his office!
In 1.5hrs, we landed in Orlando from Charlotte. (I love short distance flights 😛 )
We checked our luggage into the hotel, the Cabana Bay Resort, which by the way provides free transport to the studios and back to hotel. We also got early park admission tickets from the Cabana Bay Resort, which is inside the studios. (We couldnt use the early park tickets because each day we would return more tired than the day before and sleep in till 8 in the mornings!) Although the resort we stayed at was awesome, we couldn’t spend much time there because we spent most of our time in the Studios.
After depositing our luggages at the resort, we entered the Studios without much delay, as there was no crowd at 10:00 in the morning. People generally start early!
Our main aim was to complete all the rides of Harry Potter before anything else, because, lets face it, Harry Potter rocks! (And also, we are his ardent fans! :P)
But before we could start our funfilled rides, we had to sit down at the first eatery at the entrance because we were very hungry. We ate pizza which was awesome.
We went to King’s Cross station (modeled after the original King’s Cross in London). The train ride of the Hogwarts express takes us to Hogsmeade, where Harry Potter and his friends would spend time during their holidays. We had the time of our lives….
Want to get into the 9-3/4 platform? Well, you can use the barrier like I did! 😛
They placed a full length mirror in such a way that , people standing behind us feel like the one infront of them is going through the wall, just like Harry does to reach Hogwarts Express.
I have always wanted to ride the Hogwarts Express…
On reaching Hogsmeade….
Also saw the thestral driven carriage… (If you have read or seen a Harry Potter book or movie, you will know this, but if you have no idea, a thestral is invisible to naked eye. Only if a person has seen death of a close person, then they can see thestral , the magical creature. The thestrals drive the carriages at Hogwarts)
Ever wondered how the every flavour beans or chocolate frogs look like? They look like just in the movies. We went to the Hogsmeade chocolate store..
I loved the ride of the Hippogriff, where the life like model of the magical creature from the books makes an appearance and blinks at us!
I also loved the Quidditch ride , where there is a 4-D simulation and I really felt as if I was playing the wizards game, with Harry. All the while, I continued to scream in the excitement! (My voice turned hoarse from all the screaming)
Going into the Hogwarts was another experience altogether, watching photos on the walls, with moving images. They were projected ofcourse, but still…
We even had butterbeer in the honour of Harry and his friends! (Luckily, butterbeer has no alcohol because it is served to kiddos as well. Butterbeer is good to taste, but people who hate sweet stuff,like me, can’t have more than one.)
We also went into the Ollivander’s wand shop where, they select a kiddo from the audience and just like Harry gets his wand in the first year, they select a wand for the kiddo. It was fun.
There was also a live program with performers dressed in the uniforms of Durmstrang school and Beauxbaton schools of wizardry.
Next stop, Jurassic Park!
With sudden rains ,we had to buy rain ponchos(rain coats), we went into the Jurassic Park Water adventure tour. It is among the best of the lot. The boat takes us into the midst of different life sized dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes , including raptors. Finally we come face to face with the T-Rex and just when it opens its mouth to have a bite off us, the boat jumps into a deep fall! I didn’t expect a deep fall and as usual, shouted at the top of my lungs. (Even though the ride scared the hell out of me, I did this a second time and managed to get scared again and kicked an old man sitting beside me! It is all together another story about how I ran after him and apologized later.. 😛 ) You see I forgot how deep the fall was!
There are very less pictures here because it was raining and we put our camera inside the bag to keep it safe!
At the Poseidon, we saw a fight sequence involving water and fire…awesome.
Looking at the hard work involved in constructing such beautiful studios and maintaining it, I began to admire the people and management who work behind the scenes to make the Studios a very memorable event.
We played in other innumerable rides whose names I have forgotten and enjoyed them thoroughly. Even with good shoes, my feet began to ache and that was our cue to return to our room and rest.
1. There is more to the Universal Studios than just a single post. Wait for the sequels, which will soon follow.