This is one we’d been looking forward to long before catching the flight from London to Miami.
The day started off with a rather nice jaunt around the Florida Keys swiftly followed by what was the longest drive we had on our road trip – an almost 9 hours drive all the way to Orlando.
But who cared, we were having fun and fuelled by our excitement of spending an entire day (the following day, of course) at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
The four of us decided to stay at one of the Universal Studios hotels as we got queue jumps if we stayed and a chance to explore the Harry Potter World an hour before the park opened officially – plus they gave us (randomly assigned) collectable room keys that we could keep – I got Betty Boop and Lloyd got the Transformers.
When we arrived at the hotel, in what became a recurring theme of our road trip, we check-in and quickly ran downstairs to the pool for a couple of hours of splashing about, behaving like excitable children.
Thank goodness those things are so sturdy) and of course, there was some underwater twerking, it was kind of like a competition I guess but I digress.
After our pool time, we got changed and headed out in search of dinner.
There were so many choices but as I’d never been before (neither had Chris or Georgia), we decided to get dinner at the Bubba Gump shrimp restaurant.
We ordered so many shrimp based meals (some of which aren’t even pictures) and when it arrived, we soon realised our eyes were a lot bigger than our bellies and we’d perhaps ordered far too much.
This became a recurring theme on our road trip. The portions in the US are so much bigger than the UK.
Oh, I almost forgot to say, all the photos in this post were taken on my iPhone, I couldn’t be arsed to carry around the large DSLR camera at night and the following day, seeing as we were going to be going on rides all day, the last thing I wanted to do was to be saddled with the camera so iPhone photos are the only photos I have from our time here…
Soon enough, we accepted defeat and headed back to the hotel, bellies full and absolutely knackered, we were all asleep within minutes of getting back.
We got up bright and early the next day for breakfast and hopped aboard a boat to the Islands of Adventure – our first park for the day.
It’s safe to say we were pretty eager to get in! Plus how fantastic is it to get the run of the park without the queues.
As soon as the gates were opened, we whizzed past the rides and attractions in search of Hogwarts.
Soon enough, we arrived at Hogsmeade and made our way through the shops to Hogwarts…
The butterbeer stall was tempting but asides from just having had a huge breakfast, we were too excited to see Hogwarts to stop for a little early morning refreshment.
Finally, we could see Hogwarts in the distance… we had arrived!!!
A quick selfie was mandatory of course…
We walked through the school, past the sorting hats and so many other fascinating objects and rooms from the school and got to play quidditch! Perhaps not the best idea after having a tummy full of food but who cares, it was so much fun!
We finally stepped out and went off in search of dragons to ride. Thanks to the lack of queues, we rode two dragons (not pictured); twice.
Finally, we figured it was time to go explore other parts of the Islands of Adventures.
Which led us to Jurassic Park where we promptly got very wet.
We loved this ride though, again, we went on this twice (one right after the other).
We went on every single ride here (and I mean every single one) at least more than once and finally decide to go to check out Universal Studios.
The rides here are a lot tamer than Islands of Adventure but still so much fun! The weather was pretty fantastic too.
Actually, the one ride I wasn’t so keen on was the Men in Black one. Maybe because I was terrible at hunting down the Aliens but I got quite bored with it halfway through.
Asides that one though, everything else was so much fun.
We even popped into the Kwik-E-Mart (from The Simpsons for a spot of shopping)…
Headed over to Moe’s Tavern (also from The Simpsons) for some ‘liquid refreshments’…
… and we spotted the trailer from The Walking Dead. No Rick, Michonne or Daryl nearby though.
Finally, having gone on all the rides multiple times (bar the Men in Black one), we settled down for some fireworks.
Unfortunately, I either didn’t get any photos of the fireworks or they were so terrible I deleted them instantly so I haven’t got any to show you but they were pretty good and accompanied with a water show highlighting amazing movies and cinematic excellence across the decades (I know that’s not really selling it but it was quite good!).
Fireworks over, we filed out of the park and headed back to our hotel in a boat taxi.
The day was so much fun and we spent ages running about that we actually didn’t realise how knackered we were until we got back to the hotel. It’s funny how adrenaline totally numbs tiredness.
All in all, we had such an amazing time and, not that I need to, but I thoroughly recommend spending a day (or two) here.
It’s absolutely fantastic!