Day 2 - I am the Lost Weasley Sister!!

Even though I know I'm in the Hufflepuff house. A Weasley could be in Hufflepuff, right??

Wednesday, February 9th at Universal Studios - 830a-2p

Harry Potter. Harry Freaking Potter!! We missed HP during last year's trip. By a day or two. And I was bitter then. But I shouldn't have been. I'd been seeing the coverage (blogs and podcasts) about HP. And it wasn't necessarily good news. Not that the section of the park was bad. Far from it. It was about the crowds. The Crowds!! Happily, we're going 10 months (or so) after the opening. And we're going during the off season. Hopefully that'll help us out.

There was a bit of a snafu with the tickets, but once that got finalized, we were in line before the opening of the park. The plan was easy enough. We walk through the gates and we get to the Harry Potter section. We would shove kids...trip the elderly...whatever it took to get us to the ride earlier than everyone else. The only problem...we didn't have a map of the park until we got into the park. And not everyone was heading to HP. What's up with that?? We followed some of the crowd and used Universal workers as gages. My favorite moment was as we were turning the corner. Two workers were standing there and I point in the direction we were moving and mouthed "Harry Potter??" They shook their head yes and I knew we were on the right track.

Then, there it was. Hogwarts!! Hogsmeade!! There was too much to take in. And we both were on the same page, "Ride now. Pictures later." Good call.

I had to check my bag (along with EVERY other person in Universal), but after a few minutes, we were walking through Hogwarts. The ride itself...fantastic. You're in a "car" with four people, but you don't ever see anyone else. Hermione uses some kind of magic on you and you're flying through the air. You see all of the characters and dragons and spiders and...well...spoilers. You don't go upside down, but you do go a bit vertical. So scaredy-cats might have some issues (Scott did on the second ride-through). If you're not're going to be in for a treat.

After the big ride (still have no idea what the name is), we went on the Hippogriff ride (kiddie roller coaster), then we went for the main event...Butterbeer!!

Butterbeer was cream soda-y with a foam on top. The foam never seemed to go away. It was good. But I liked the pumpkin juice better. Why oh why does pumpkin juice not exist in the real world?? Why don't wizards exist in the real world?? But I digress...I only consumed a third (maybe a half) of the Butterbeer and left the remainder with Scott while I went on the roller coaster. When I was done with the ride, he was done with the drink. Worked for me.

A bit of picture time around the land and we went to see the rest of the park. We saw the thing with Poseidon and went on Spiderman. I can't remember if we hit any other portion of the park. But then we went back to HP Land and had lunch at the Three Broomsticks. One more ride (single rider line is the key!!) and we were done at Universal Studios.

Hollywood Studios - 430p-8p

We checked into the new hotel and rested for a bit of time. But before we knew it, it was time to go to Hollywood Studios. There was one reason to go to HS this evening. It was mainly to see Fantasmic. We didn't get a chance to see it last time. After a little aimless wandering, we went to claim our seats for the show. And a good thing we went when we did. It was crowded. Really crowded. Luckily the Argentinian girls in the section next to us kept us entertained. Yeah, sure they did. But after a while, the show started. And it's always great. I love this one.

Then there was dinner. I knew there would be a good station dinner. It was just really hard trying to figure out the logistics. Luckily, the logistics worked FANTASTICALLY well. I couldn't have hoped it would have turned out so well. As I told Scott on the way back to the hotel, that was a rep meal. We met up with Jeanne at Il Mulino at the Swan (never been!!). Wine, Appetizer, Meal and Dessert. God Bless America. Jeanne is great. Her husband had JUST come back from Peru, so I had plenty of conversations with him about that. It was a good evening. It was a late evening. And we had an early start to tomorrow...


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