Travelogue: Florida, Part 5

February 2021
Where We Stayed: Margaritaville Resort Orlando Cottages

Wednesday, February 23, Universal Studios
Day 2 of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! My bad luck with illness continued and I woke up Wednesday morning with a wicked sore throat. Uh oh. Yet again we arrived to the parks relatively early but still had to wait for all those early admission people to have their fun before we could enter the parks. Fun fact: if we wanted to buy the “express pass” for the rides for all five of us, it would have cost $1,300. Cripes.

We waited in Islands of Adventure’s Seuss Landing to be let into Hogsmeade. The kids and I played HeadsUp, which is always a great way to pass the time in a line. I was still not feeling well (theme of the trip by this point, right?) and it was going to be a super hot day, so I decided to head off on my own to Springfield: Home of the Simpsons at Universal Studios. 

Walking over to the other park took about 20 minutes. One of my must-dos for the trip was to buy the GIANT Lard Lad’s pink donut. So off I went in search of a donut. Very on-brand for me. 

Springfield was cute. I’m not a big Simpsons fan or watcher, but I’ve seen enough episodes over the years that the experience was not lost on me. Very colorful and very cute. I found my donut and it was truly delightful. I got one from the first batch of the day, so it was still warm! Given that it was the size of my head, I could only have a few bites – but I saved the rest for the kids to try. 

I made my way back to the entrance of Universal Studios, running into Betty Boop on the way. I always love spontaneous character interactions in the parks – I think it’s one of the best things theme parks can do. 

I re-entered Islands of Adventure – and Mike and the kids were still in line for Hagrid’s Motorbike. So I went shopping and relaxed in the shade. When they finished the ride, we met up for lunch at Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. I had shepherd’s pie and the rest had fish ‘n’ chips plus butterbeer. We had a big cozy booth at the back of the restaurant – it was such a cute experience. 

After lunch Mike and the kids wanted to get in line for the Flight of the Hippogriff ride, so they did that and I went to hang out in Jurassic Park land. I didn’t do many rides on this trip because a) I’m not a huge ride fan to begin with and more importantly, b) I was feeling like a trash can for so much of this vacation, between the GI issues and the cold I developed. Splitting up kept us all happy – they got to experience the rides they wanted and I got to chill and try not to make my illnesses worse. Don’t be afraid to split up if you’re traveling in a big group – divide and conquer and everyone can have the experience they want or need in that moment! 

Unfortunately for Mike and the kids, the Hippogriff ride broke down just before they were set to board. What a bummer! But they got to experience 4 of the 5 Harry Potter rides at the parks, which I think is awesome. 

They waited outside in the hot mid-day heat to try for that ride, so when it didn’t work out, they were in desperate need of a break. Mike decided to get in line for Velocicoaster. He tried to get S or E to join him, but it was just too intense of a coaster and both girls declined. He didn’t push it and went to ride solo. I took the kids to the Jurassic Park play area so they could rest and cool off with the splash pad. 

Mike exited Velocicoaster with the biggest smile on his face – he said it was the best rollercoaster he’s ever been on but agreed that it would have been way too much for the kids. 

The kids wanted a further cool down, so Mike took them on the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride. I went to literally lie down on a bench for a while – my cold was ramping up! 

We stopped for Icees and a rest, then Mike took S and A on the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride.  While they were doing that, E and I went to find one of her souvenirs and then stopped at the bakery in Seuss Landing for a few treats. 

We reunited with the others and our day was reaching its end. The kids wanted to do a few of the rides in Seuss Landing, so we all went on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride and Mike and the kids did One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, which was the highlight of A’s day. 

We finished up the day at the shops at City Walk – because all the kids had gift card money to use up. We went home tired and happy and had leftover tacos for dinner. 

Rides: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Velocicoaster (Mike), Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. 

S: Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
E: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
A: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Mike: Velocicoaster
Annie: Big pink donut

Isn’t she beautiful?
Jurassic Park Loungefly! I am obsessed. It features Ian Malcolm!
Betty Boop made an appearance!
It was hottttt.
Meanwhile, back at Hogsmeade…
Time for lunch!
See ya next time, HP!
The cutest cupcakes in Seuss Landing.