We were determined to get to Universal Studios and Harry Potter world before the crowds so we got up before any earthly creature should and hopped into a van early enough that we would be at the park as it opened.
Our tickets that we begged approval for last visit still worked, although we discovered a curious thing. Unlike our Disney Park tickets, our names were not on our own tickets, but it does matter that you use the one that you signed in with. If you happen to mix them up (and why wouldn't you get nameless tickets mixed up?) you don't get into the park. This small problem was sorted out in short order, and a pen fixed the issue for good. Onward!
Along with everyone else on the planet! We moved as one with the crowd straight to the farthest edge of the park, straight to Hogsmede, straight to the Forbidden Journey ride in hopes that we could ride it at least once without an hour plus wait. WRONG! We arrived with the crowd and queued up with the crowd and discovered there was already a 75 minute wait with the crowd. Fine. Foiled. The mamas decided to ditch the lineup and took the littlest Rink to the empty Dr. Seuss park where fun could be had as easy as sneezing!
|It's like walking into a Seuss book!|
|And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street!|
|SQUIRREL! Friendly little guy came right up to Mama Rink for a bagel bite, except he reached right past it and started to crawl up her arm! The Rinks almost had a new pet!|
Minor detours out of the way, we reunited with the successful Journeyers and decided to leave Hogsmede to actually see the rest of Universal Studios. Upon leaving, we were advised that we could not get back to this area of the park without a number and call back time. They noticed that maybe there were too many people looking for the Harry Potter experience. When we asked how often that happened, we learned that it was practically never. Lucky us.
|The escape from Hogsmede was exhausting. Better stop for a snack!|
|A pause... it is good to breathe!|
|We left the Islands of Adventure Park and headed to Universal Studios. First stop- catch the Blues Brothers! But we had time to kill in New York, so we paused for what could be my favorite holiday picture!|
|This cool guy could play!|
|Songs actually came out of his mouth! AWESOME!|
|A little bit of singing and dancing along, and it was time for lunch. Lunch for holiday champions... turkey legs and ice cream!|
|Mmmmmm.... bet you want a bite!|
And! Burned by the fact that today she still wasn't big enough to ride the Duelling Dragon roller coaster, Avery was eager to ride on the Rockit Roller Coaster. She was certainly tall enough, and with the determination of the unfairly rejected, she stated that she would even go on as a single rider! The line ups were long for the ride, but really the attraction to it baffled me. Ride straight up for about a million stories and then plunge into a loop-de-loop, except that it is not good enough to just loop. You have to twist around the loop for it to be really fun!!!!! Avery set off with the Papas, and the rest of us grabbed lemonade and a patch of fake grass. We didn't take a picture of this roller coaster, but just for you, I found a you tube of someone sitting right in the front! So if you want to (almost) experience it, here you go:
We were almost ready to leave, except for one thing. The Incredible Hulk. This green roller coaster had been taunting me for the two days we spent in the park. It really looks awful. And exciting. And scary. And wrong. But I finally decided that I would rather regret that I rode it, than regret that I didn't. And so I did, along with Mama Rink. And you know what? IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!
|Awesomeness on tall green poles!!!|
|And because we are Canadian, a wet ride as the sun goes down and the crowds leave seems like a great idea! Kids rode Dudley Do Right's boat a few times!|
|And just because Connie told me that Hogsmede is also awesome at night, we made one last stop.... They were letting people back in again. Still crowded. But now it was also dark! And a whole other experience because of the lights and special touches. Truly magical!|
Goodbye Universal Studios! You sure know how to throw a party!