I cannot believe it has already been a week. Boy has the time flown by so far. Just a week ago we were in Philadelphia getting ready to head down to Florida. Since then we stopped in SC and traveled around Florida.
So far we’ve seen rockets, the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, Everglades, and so much more. Sure the next week plus we would be staying in Orlando but it will all work out. Tons of theme park days are ahead of us. We are even going to do a day or two at Disney. Plus soon we would be swimming with dolphins.
Day seven started like the rest of them. Me being up way too early and my daughter still sleeping. We weren’t in too much of a rush to get to the parks this morning so I let her sleep in for a bit. Around 07:30 she was getting up and by 08:30 we were heading out the door.
We still made it to Islands of Adventure before the park officially opened and were able to take advantage of that. We got on one ride before the park opened to everyone else. The morning was mostly filled with rides. We rode a bunch of rides between both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.
Like you probably guessed if you’ve been following along. We didn’t wait more than 20-25 minutes per ride since neither one of us liked to wait in lines. Around noon it was time to find something to eat.
Today we wanted to have a nice cool place indoors to sit and eat. It was a coin toss between Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Hard Rock Cafe in CityWalk. Hard Rock won but I think that was because it was closer to us. I just may never know why my daughter picked it.
It didn’t matter though since we would end up visiting both places before we headed back home. The inside of the Hard Rock is huge. Not surprising when you consider that it is the largest Hard Rock. Today I ordered a Long Island Ice Tea. It wasn’t worth it. I can get a better one back home.
I can tell you that will probably be the only adult beverage I will get for the rest of my trip. I doubt I will order anything else when we go out to eat. Between the price and me not really feeling it, I just can’t see me ordering another drink out.
We also ordered food. Of course, you would expect that. To my surprise she ordered the Mac and Cheese again. Perhaps she is off her burger kick but who knows. I guess time will tell. I ordered the burger so she could try it.
It came out a little too rare for her liking. For me it was okay. I would have liked it cooked a tad bit more but it was still a good tasting burger. Plus the onion rings were amazing. I would definitely go back to this Hard Rock for the onion rings. Not everywhere can do them good. That wasn’t the case here.
After lunch we headed back to the resort and hit up the pools again. Each day it started to feel like it was getting hotter and hotter. I really don’t know how some people spend open to close at the theme parks. Maybe all the waiting in long lines helps but I just don’t know. I need to have that break in the afternoon back at the pool.
We went swimming and afterwards we got ready to go back to the theme parks. We wouldn’t be walking back today. We decided we would drive and park the car since it would probably storm sooner rather than later and we wanted to try and hang out till the park closed.
The one thing I forgot to do was time how long it took to leave the hotel, park at CityWalk and walk into the theme parks. It really feels like it is about the same amount of time in the afternoon. I am also 100% certain that it is quicker to walk in the morning though. My next trip there I will have to check it out and time it.
This time before we headed straight for the parks we checked out CityWalk a little more. There’s not many stores to check out but there’s a few. Plus a really big Universal Store where you can find a lot of stuff you would find in the parks. This is a great place to visit if you want some Universal Merch but don’t want to go into the theme parks.
We ended up not buying anything this time. Good thing we didn’t because I didn’t want to have to carry it for the rest of the night. Once we got back into Universal Studios we headed back towards ET to ride it again. We rode some more rides and walked around the park again.
Again we found ourselves in Diagon Alley. My daughter really wanted a Cauldron Cake so we grabbed one. It is a huge cupcake that is baked in a reusable cauldron. The cake was nice and moist and the icing was delicious. The cool thing about this cake is you can reuse the cauldron. They even give you a recipe card so you can bake the cake at home. I can’t wait to try it again one day. Come to think of it, I probably should have bought another cake so I could have two cauldrons. I know my daughter and her friend would just love to have a cauldron cake every once in a while.
As we were heading to Islands of Adventure we got stuck behind the parade. It was nice to see Universal Orlando doing that. My daughter seemed to be a little annoyed because she really wanted to get on her next ride. However, it didn’t take too long for the parade to pass and we were on our way.
It was nice to see the parades back. While I don’t usually watch them, it’s nice to see a lot of the stuff come back that was taken away due to the pandemic. It’s really all these little things that make the theme parks worth going to here. Six Flags near my home has tons of rides but no where near the level of “extra” stuff that the Universal Orlando parks have.
We ended up back in Hogsmeade in no time and got ready to ride Forbidden Journey. I am not sure what number this is for us. This has to be at least the fifth time we rode this ride so far on this trip. The wait for it was only 15 minutes so we did our little walk through. Everything seemed to be like it was every other time.
We finally made it to the loading area and were loaded into the seats. Now for me, I am wedged into the seat. Universal is not as size friendly as Disney is. I can fit in the seat with little problem but it is tight. The over shoulder restraint comes over and snaps down like 3 or 4 clicks. So I am good by my arms have to be down and can’t be to the side.
Anyway, the ride started and went smoothly for most of it. The dragon chased us around. We made it out of the forest and onto the quidditch field. We got chased by the dementors like every other time but once we got up close to them something happened.
All of a sudden the ride stopped. We were half on our backs and at a decent angle. Of course, my daughter was freaking out. We were in a pretty dark area and she was kind of scared of this area of the ride with all the dementors around.
Luckily, we were only stuck there for a couple minutes. No more than 3 or 4 I would think and then the ride started moving again. To be honest it could have only been for a minute. Not really sure. You know how time works when you’re in a theme park. It either goes fast or slow. Before you knew it we were walking off the ride.
Day started turning to night as we walked about the park. I must say it does have a completely different feel when the lights start coming on. It brings more joy and excitement and even more thrills. Outside rides like roller coasters feel faster and a little longer.
Unfortunately, we didn’t stay the whole night until closing time. I wanted to but she was getting tired. It was a long day after all. We stayed till about 08:30 at night. It was really cool seeing the park at night. Hopefully, we can stay late again on our next visit. As we were walking out we passed by Ripsaw Falls and my daughter wanted to ride it. It did have a short wait but I did not want to get soaking wet right before we headed back to Cabana Bay for the Night.
Tomorrow we will do the water rides since it is going to be hot. It will be hotter than the past couple of days so it will be a great day to do the water rides. Plus tomorrow was going to be our last full day staying at Cabana Bay. If and when we come back to Universal we will be staying in a different area of Orlando. We won’t be able to work to the park that’s for sure.
I hope you are enjoying following along on our most recent journey. I can tell you that we are not even half way through it. There is still so much more to come from swimming with dolphins, visiting food and wine, and a visit from family. I pulled out all the stops when planning this try to give me self and my daughter plenty of time together and plenty of time away from my daily grind.
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