Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Universal Studios Florida: A Photographic Diary, part 6

In the comment section on the previous post I was asked about the ticketing situation. This is what we did, we bought a 2-day 2-park ticket. Universal was running a prommotion that time where you get the third day free if you purchase 2-day ticket. Now we needed to purchase a multiple park ticket to hit both Diagon Alley (which was on Universal Studios) and Hogsmeade (on Universal's Island of Adventures). I believe we paid less than $200.

Now I believe we hit every single ride, except the big roller coaster. Even the 14-year-old did not want to touch the massive roller coaster, thank heavens for small miracles.

So to continue with the photos:

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While the group decides where to go first - the 14-year-old and the 8-year-old naturally have opposing ideas where that would be - I was happy clicking to document the moment.

To be perfectly honest, I have enjoyed this trip more than I thought I would, despite the suffocating heat and humidity and the constant need to drink and pee alternately. It was something I would happily repeat - in the winter time.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Universal Studios Florida: A Photographic Diary, part 5

The reason why we chose to go to Orlando instead of Los Angeles was to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which at that time was only available in Universal Orlando.

I am a fan of the movies and the author who I believe is a genius for creating a whole new world of wizards and witches and making everyone that read the book or watched the movie be transported to this make believe world.

There is a big catch though. Like any money-making endeavors, the Harry Potter experience is broken down into 2 parts – Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. The main attraction of riding the Hogwarts train can only be accessed when you purchase tickets to both attractions (Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley). However, if you are there to experience this attraction, wouldn’t you shell out the extra dough to get the most of your visit? That was what we did. We bought tickets to both attractions and rode the train to get us from one attraction to the next. And given that we had 3 days to explore the entire park, we have allotted so much of the time to both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley hitting both rides, which are incredibly awesome for kids, but outrageously scary for me.

Having seen the 7 films over and over again, I can safely say the park has captured the details of both attractions very well. Stepping inside Diagon Alley I experienced the same thrill and excitement that a child felt. Every nook and cranny of the attractions is full of things to see - things that a fan of the movies or the books (I have never read the books.) can relate to. The famous butter beer that the main characters in the movie drank was a must try for me. The gift shops were full of merchandise that I wanted to take home with me, only the financial burden of doing so prevented me from doing it.

While the rain did not ruin the experience for me, it was the crowd that put a frown on my face. I would have expected the park to be crowded in the summer time with all the kids off school and in the park, but still the park was elbow to elbow packed in Diagon Alley!

In conclusion, this is a great experience for a fan of the series like me. I would go back and visit again, but this time in Los Angeles and I’d make sure that I would pick a date in winter to visit again so that I can photograph the attraction to my heart’s content.

And now for the photos:

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HOGSMEADE

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DIAGON ALLEY

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