Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 5: "Spooky how time flies when one's having fun." -Gilderoy Lockhart (Harry Potter)

On day 5 we went to Universal Studio's Island of Adventure.  
We got there right when they opened and headed straight for...
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!   

"In dreams we enter a world entirely our own" -Albus Dumbledore
...and that is EXACTLY what this Wizzardly world is like, entering a dream world!  
It is SO amazing!

We had heard about this Harry Potter world and we knew it was going to be one of the highlights of our trip.  We really wanted Cami to be able to enjoy it so we decided to let her watch a few of the Harry Potter movies (with lots of covering her eyes and parental guidance).  I am so glad we did because she fell in love with this charming series.  She had a million questions, most I couldn't answer and had to go to my nephew, Austin, the Harry Potter expert in our family for help.  I cant wait to read the books with her in a few years.  Anyway, she is hooked! 

You walk through the entrance and right into Hogsmede village.

This place was amazing!  Even if you aren't a Harry Potter fan, the attention to detail and creativity of this world would just blow you away!  It feels like you have stepped right into one of the books.  Every window, street, employee, ride, food and beverage is made to make you feel like a muggle who has discovered a secret world!  While exploring you can see signs that say "no muggles", moving newspapers, singing toads, owls, wands, magical candy shops, spells, and more!   It really brings the entire experience to life. 

Pats classic iphone pic.  Gotta love it.

We were told that one of the best experiences in Hogsmede was Olivanders wand shop.  This is where you go to see how the wand chooses its wizard.  Since it is part attraction/part shop, we weren't sure if Cami's button would get her to the front of the line so we headed there first thing.  Sure enough they spotted her button and put us right in front of the 45 minute line.  This was our first hint to how we would be treated the rest of the day at Universal.  The show was great and if she had any doubt before, now Cami was sure that this magic world was for real.

Cami had a wand AND a Gryffindor robe choose her.  
Sneaky little thing...

Here is our little muggle-born witch in front of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  She kept saying "Expecto Patronum!"  It was awesome!

Dont mind Caden chowing down on his apple...he is CONSTANTLY eating!!!

Next we headed over to the kids favorite ride.  This is a roller coaster and I was a little nervous that Caden would hate it, but he got off and said "again, again" he LOVED this ride!  I think we're in trouble because these kids are little thrill seekers.  eeeeeeeek!
The employees escorted us through the exit to the front of the line.  Then they let Cami ride as many times as she wanted.  Which was a LOT!

Next we headed into Hogwarts to go on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  The kids couldn't ride it so Pat and I left them with Grandma and were once again, escorted by the amazing staff at Universal to the front of the line.  

This ride was like nothing else I have ever experienced in my life!  This ride features the newest technology and whatever they paid the guy who designed it, wasn't enough!

Walking through the castle was AMAZING!  They had Dumbledores office, the sorting hat, the defense against the dark arts classroom, and all the paintings on the walls talked to each other.  This is one line I wouldn't have minded waiting in.  Only because you needed a good hour to take in all the detail. 

 After the ride, we had to take Cami through the castle to show her all the cool stuff inside.  Then Pat took Grandma on the ride while the kids and I went on Flight of the Hipogriff again!

Then we were in need of some Butterbeer...
I will forever crave this stuff.  It is SO delicious! 

and a candy break...

We shopped around a bit.  
Cami loved this store because it had Hermione's dress in the window.  

Thanks to Grandma Di-Di for watching the kids so Pat and I could go on the Dragon Challenge together.  This line was 2 hours long and again, we were escorted to the front!  It is the best coaster I have ever been on!  It is supposed to be 2 dueling dragons.  We got to go on both... in the front!  The 2 dragons were completely different rides.   They are constantly speeding toward each other (at 60 mph) and at the last possible second they dart one way or spin up and away.  I was told that they are weighed each time so that a computer can make the appropriate adjustments to get the timing just right.  Our feet came within INCHES of the other people's on the opposing dragon.  
We could barely walk after.  

When we'd had enough Harry Potter fun, we headed here..

"Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how."
— Dr. Suess (The Cat in The Hat)

On the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train ride the conductors were SO cute with Cami!  They made her the honorary conductor for the day.  She got to say "all aboard" in the speaker and toot the whistle.  One of the conductors gave her his hat and gloves to wear on our ride.  When we got on they announced that they had made Cami Carver the honorary conductor for the day and everyone clapped.  Cami was beaming!

We got lots of special attention.
Caden cracks me up, he is so nervous in every character picture.

Caden was THRILLED that he got to go on every ride!  
He felt like such a big boy conquering  every ride in this area.

The mild rides were perfect for Grandmas and children. (hehe haha).

After all those rides Caden was wiped out!  

So while the "chunker" was sleeping, Cami took us each on this CrAzY ride.. 
she went 4 times!  She LOVED it!!!
Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls.

Next we hit up Jurassic Park Land.
Granny Di was freaked by all the dino's!

but not Cami!  That girl is so brave!

Thank you to Universal for treating the wish kids and their families like gold.  We really got excellent treatment all around.  You can tell that they have made these amazing kids top priority.  Universal has a new special place in my heart.
Thanks Universal!!!

"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."
— Dr. Seuss


  1. Glad you guys had such a great day! (And I like all the quotes you put with things.) Cami looks so cute in her robe. :)

    I was super impressed by Universal's service. The button and "golden ticket" were seriously magical there!

  2. No wonder Cami loved this place. I would too! It was really good to meet you the other night. :D

  3. Chelsea, I have been having so much fun reading your posts, it is taking me right back to that magical place all over again. I just love more then anything to hear all the many ways that they made Cami feel so important, so special. I just love it!!
    I was waiting for you to post on this day, this was the best place for us too...Carson was a little young for "Harry Potter land" but he also loved the flight of the hippogriff, and rode it multiple times. As for the rest of us we are with you.... That Hogwarts Castle ride is hands down the most amazing ride ever! I don't know if anyone can ever top that... it's Amazing, we loved the Dragon Challenge as well, ahhh... I want to go back!

  4. That is awesome!!! You all deserve it!!!


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