Tag: Trip reports

Islands of Adventure trip report – September 2014 (shorter wait times, King Kong’s progress, and a “thank you” to Team Members)

Islands of Adventure trip report - September 2014.

It has been three months since my entire family visited Islands of Adventure together, so we were excited about spending a beautiful day at the park last Saturday. The lower summer crowd levels and wait times and the slight temperature drop spurred us on our adventures at the park. Arriving at IOA around lunchtime, we decided to head to the shaded umbrella tables next to the Green Eggs and Ham quick-service restaurant in Seuss Landing. Although it wasn't open this trip, we still ate our … [Read more...]

Universal Studios Florida trip report – September 2014 (Fall crowds, HHN prep, more Diagon Alley, and The Boxtrolls)

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I headed to Universal Studios Florida this past Saturday for this month's trip report. Since I was visiting the park by myself, I was determined and eager to take my time enjoying the park's attractions on my own schedule. Arriving mid-morning, the sign for Universal's Christian music festival, Rock the Universe, was hanging from the arched entrance to USF. All of the entry turnstiles were open and busy, but the lines moved quickly. I was pleased with the moderate crowd levels, and the … [Read more...]

Visiting Diagon Alley for the first time: A truly spellbinding experience

Visiting Diagon Alley for the first time again.

It has been nearly two months since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley’s enchanted brick wall first opened for the world to experience. I often find myself craving a weekend visit as I muddle through the work week. So when the last-minute opportunity to visit with someone who hadn’t been to either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade popped up, I had to jump at the chance. As someone who has now clocked over 15 journeys to Diagon Alley since its soft opening days, it was magical to see … [Read more...]

Magic Kingdom trip report – August 2014 (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, LeFou’s Brew vs. Butterbeer, Hub construction)

Magic Kingdom - August 2014.

My Walt Disney World trip this month was to Magic Kingdom last Sunday, on a very sunny, very hot day. Although we did not spend a long day at the park, by pre-planning our FastPass+ attractions, my family and I were able to enjoy ourselves and not have to wait for a lengthy period of time for our preferred rides. When we arrived at the park, the summer version of the entertaining Main Street trolley show was occurring. Talented performers usually ride the horse-drawn trolley and stop at … [Read more...]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – August 2014 (World Lion Day, Falcon’s Fury testing, Howl-O-Scream construction, and more)

Busch Gardens Tampa - August 2014.

Last Sunday, we arrived at Busch Gardens Tampa around 10:30 in the morning and found the crowds to be much lower than we had anticipated. The summer travelers are finally starting to thin out, and it’s a welcome sight, indeed. We came specifically that day for the World Lion Day celebration. Add in that it also happened to be the celebration of the two adult females' birthdays (Iris and Rose turned eight on August 15), and this was a great party put on by Busch Gardens. The park set out all … [Read more...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2014 (scoping out Skull Island, riding out Ripsaw Falls + trying out CityWalk’s Bread Box)

Islands of Adventure - August 2014.

This past Saturday, I spent an enjoyable day at Islands of Adventure. But first, I ate lunch in CityWalk and explored the progress of the area's ongoing construction.   Universal CityWalk Since I arrived at Universal Orlando around noon, I decided to try the recently-opened Bread Box sandwich shop. The employees I met were very friendly. I ordered bottled water, a roast beef sandwich, and, based on the recommendation of the order taker, the homemade potato chips. Including my Annual … [Read more...]

Universal Studios Florida trip report – August 2014 (changes to Diagon Alley & Hogwarts Express, surprise shows, and touring Gringotts)

Universal Studios Florida - August 2014.

Looking forward to enjoying thrills and adventures, my family and I visited Universal Studios Florida on a very hot and humid August day this past weekend. Like millions of visitors each year, we thoroughly take pleasure in the area theme parks, but sometimes in a slightly different way. At USF – and most of the other Orlando theme parks – our son, who has autism and cannot speak, usually has a strict routine and order of what attractions he rides. This trip, however, was surprisingly an … [Read more...]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – July 2014 (summer crowds, the park’s best show, and how NOT to tour)

SeaWorld Orlando - July 2014.

We thought we were so smart – in one of the busiest months for theme parks, we decided to visit SeaWorld on a Friday instead of a weekend. And instead of arriving in the morning, we figured that if we got there later in the afternoon, we would miss any crowds that might have already gone through. Oh, how wrong we were. It was the most crowded day I'd ever seen at SeaWorld. We started our tour by trying the Sky Tower, but it was a 40-minute wait. So we made for Antarctica… which was a … [Read more...]

Disney’s Hollywood Studios trip report – July 2014 (Frozen Summer Fun invades Disney!)


Do you wanna build a snowman? For the first time in forever, you can do just that at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! My family and I visited DHS to celebrate our son’s birthday and to experience the new Frozen Summer Fun occurring daily now through September 1, 2014. Near the entrance to the park, we saw a new large sand sculpture of Olaf, the loveable snowman from the Disney movie Frozen, and it helped set the mood for a cool day. After swiping our MagicBands, we were each given a … [Read more...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – July 2014 (Hogsmeade Station, Kongstruction, fun in Toon Lagoon + a CityWalk update)

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The summer always brings many tourists to Orlando to enjoy all the world-class attractions, especially Universal Orlando Resort. Over the weekend, I joined my fellow travelers and toured Islands of Adventure. But before I got to the park, I took a brief stroll through Universal CityWalk.   Universal CityWalk As CityWalk continues to expand its restaurant and food options, I noticed two new eateries opened since my last report, which provide guests with more quick-service … [Read more...]

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