As the days grow shorter, chillier, and wetter (rain please come to CA!), I love reminiscing about my recent trip to Florida, where, even when it’s cold, it’s hot. My sister, Lee, and I took our charming and hilarious nephew, Jason, to Universal Studios Orlando for his 13th birthday. It was a week-end full of laughs, screams, and eating lots and lots of junk food.
Perhaps the most popular part of Universal is “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”. Harry’s world is divided into two parts: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. There are two fantastic 3-D rollercoaster rides: Harry Potter and The Escape from Gringotts (in Diagon Alley) and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (in Hogsmeade). The wait times for both of these rides get LONG (90 minutes). Neither ride honors the Express Pass, which means you cannot buy your way into a faster line. If you arrive as the park opens, then your wait time is about 20 minutes. I also recommend you stay in the park. All park guests can enter the park an hour before general admission. We like the Hard Rock Hotel. The rooms are nice and the park is a quick broomstick ride away (a little Wizard humor).
In addition to Harry Potter, there are many other attractions for Muggles to enjoy. We particularly liked The Simpsons Ride. Fabulously animated, this 3-D rollercoaster will make you scream and laugh as Homer’s special brand of humor is at its finest.
The Simpsons Ride, as do most other rides at the park, honors the Express Pass. If you are willing to spend $40 you can purchase an Express Pass that allows you to move quickly through the long, long, long, long ride lines. It’s money well spent.
I am feeling warmer already! Thank you Jason and Lee for the best shenanigans ever. Jason, what shall we do for Birthday Number 14?