"Happiness can be found,
even in the darkest of times,
if one only remembers to turn on the light."
We ventured out in the early morning to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and landed at
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
John and I decided that we couldn't miss the opportunity to visit Harry Potter World while we were in Florida. Erin's wish was to meet the princesses, but the whole make-a-wish trip was also for our family. Erin suffered/endured a huge amount while fighting cancer, but so did Cecily, Caleb, John and I. Cancer really hits the whole family.
We are big fans of Harry Potter, we have been reading the books out loud to the kids and the kids have watched the first movie, so they were pretty excited to see "the real thing." We first stopped at The Three Broomsticks and grabbed some frozen butterbeer.
This stuff is seriously AMAZING.
We could have chugged it all day.
It was so hard to get the kids out of Honeydukes.
We let them each pick out a treat. Here they are admiring the chocolate frogs, but in the end all three kids picked lollipops. It didn't surprise me, my kids are serious lollipop addicts.
Then we visited Ollivander's Wand Making Shop. Erin's make-a-wish button let us bypass the 45 minute wait and we walked right into a most magical experience of watching Ollivander pick out a wand for a guest - complete with a few swish and flicks and a wingardium leviosa and a little bit of magic.
Most of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is shops (those wands are pretty pricey!), but there are also a few pretty cool rides, but most everything is geared towards older kids/adults so we finished this part of our day with Hogwarts Castle.
The castle is pretty amazing, we walked through the entire thing and I loved seeing the pictures move and talk in their frames. Cecily though, was pretty upset that the staircases did not move. Here's a really dark picture of John and Erin in Professor Dumbledore's office.
When we got to the top of the castle we got to go on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Ride (the kids waited in the parent swap and watched the first Potter movie) and soar above the Hogwarts grounds on "broomsticks." Really though, we were strapped into seats and the ride was part magic motion part amusement park ride. I got so motion sick in it that I closed my eyes for most of the ride hoping that I wouldn't throw up. I don't know what has happened to me...I guess I am getting old because I used to love motion rides. John, however, enjoyed every minute of it, especially when the Dementors sucked his soul out (they take a picture of you and then smear it across the screen).
Still on Univeral's Islands of Adventure we stopped at
"A person's a person, no matter how small."
--Horton Hears a Who
We hit the Caro-Seuss-El first.
Then One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
This was a Dumbo-like ride where the rider controls the up and down motion of the ride. But, there is one catch, at certain parts of the ride the fish that surround the ride shoot out water. Cecily was "driving" our fish and she kept running us through the water and got me soaked. We had a good laugh about it. I love making memories with my kids.
We ran into The Cat in the Hat
and The Grinch.
We ate lunch at the Circus McGurkus Cafe and went on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride that goes through the Cafe. I think it was one of my favorite Seuss rides with a Star-bellied sneeches theme. The kids and I really love anything Seuss and I have to say that Suessland was seriously at the top of my make-a-wish trip list.
We took a nice walk to the other side of Universal
Universal Studios Florida.
It was hot.
I think this picture shows that.
ha ha...I can't help but laugh.
We saw "A Day in the Park with BARNEY, BJ and Baby Bop!"
The kids were mesmerized. They asked, "is that really Barney?" It was so cool for them. The kids sang right along too, "I love you, you love me..."
Near the end of the day we stopped at the Curious George Playground.
We spent an hour playing at the ball park.
It was getting past dinner time and a thunderstorm starting rolling right in. We dashed to the stroller and ran across the park to our car. We made it to the car before the big drops fell and boy they fell hard. It was like a monsoon.
We got back to our villa in the GKTW Village, parked ourselves in front of the TV and watched Tangled. I have to admit, that anytime we ate in our villa it was here, in front of the TV. We never ate at the table, we were such couch potatoes (no one complained). I love vacations!