I’m back from my tip from Universal Studios Orlando, and boy what a trip it was!
A few things to start off with, yes, I went alone. Yes, I chose to go alone. Yes, I had a fantastic time, and yes, I would go alone again. I’m a very social person, but I need my alone time. It was great taking this vacation by myself, and there was nothing weird about it, at all! If you’re considering going somewhere alone, and are unsure about it, don’t be! Sometimes taking a solo trip is just what you need. Also while leaving for my trip I was emotional. It’s funny to think how things change, and to see how far you’ve come. I’m so grateful for all the chances I have been given thus far that allowed me to take this trip. Shit sucks, but this trip showed me everything isn’t always bad, and there’s bright days right around the corner, or in this case, just a plane ride away.
So let’s start from the beginning!
Friday February 1, 2019 10:30AM
I got ready and was all packed for my trip. My mom, sis and I all made our way down to Boston Logan International Airport. I drove down because I know my way around better and LuLu had to be taken in for some work while I was away (She’s all better now!). I got to the airport and got through security wayyyyy to early, and ended up having to wait around at my gate for over an hour! When boarding finally began, I got really anxious. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. I flew JetBlue, so I got to pick my seat ahead of time. I picked a window seat, of course, and got to board the plan first thankfully. I put my luggage overhead and settled in. Headphones in, volume up. Didn’t want to talk to random plane people haha.
A quick three hours with some catch up on Hulu made the plan ride a breeze. When I landed in MCO I did NOT get lost and found my way to the Universal check in point. I got a little zipper pouch with my tickets and some coupons! Sweet! From there I waited for the shuttle to pick me up to bring me to my hotel. I was so tired and hungry, I just wanted to chill out. The shuttle ride took a little longer than expected, as it stopped at almost EVERY resort on the property to drop off the other passengers, it’s okay. This helped me out on the other end.
ANYWAYS. I checked in, changed and then grabbed some food at the hotel. It was called Urban Pantry, and was like a glorified cafeteria. I greasy burger and some fries was just the thing I needed before I turned in for the night.
Saturday February 2, 2019 8:00AM
GOOD MORNING ORLANDO!
I was never so excited to be up so early. I got ready and then head downstairs to grab some breakfast. To my delight, they had Eggs Benedict. My breakfast of choice. It was decent. I then went outside to wait for the shuttle. When I got there I was so excited, I could hardly wait to start my adventure. When we arrived, I was simply amazed.
This is what first greeted me (besides the hoards of strollers and more security to go through) when I finally got in to the resort. Universal City Walk, as it is lovingly referred to, was filled with restaurants, movie theaters, clubs, shops, bars and carts to buy all the stuff you don’t need. I didn’t take many pictures when I was first walking through because I was taking it all in.
I took this one photo because, Hard Rock Cafe, a favorite chain spot of mine, and the Toothsoome Chocolate Factory, which will be discussed in depth later on. I decided to go to Island of Adventure first. OH BOY. Again, just breathtaking when walking in. There’s just nothing quite like an amusement park that isn’t built in 20 minutes the night before.
This little alley of shops, including a Christmas store, a Cinnabon, and a boutique with tacky resort clothing.
There was the Hulk roller coaster (no, I didn’t go on it), 3D Spiderman ride, Dr Doom drop ride, another big nope on the scale, arcades and more. This was a little kid’s, physical or at heart’s, superhero dream come true. The first day consisted of a lot of walkthroughs. I didn’t know where I was going, and was pretty much just taking it all in. I did a lot of shopping this day too. But I did go on a few rides. The first one I stumbled across was Skull Island: King Kong. I was only a 10 minute wait, so I said, what the hell. I’ll go in it.
A 3D thrill ride exploring the island of Kong. You get on a little bus that takes you around the island. Combating giant Worms and other various creatures. The line itself was cool too, because there was lot of creatures in cages, and boxes making growling and hissing noises as you walked by. There were pitch black coves with people hiding in them, reaching their hands out to grab helpless line waiters. It was fun. I’m a fan for the 3D rides for a few different reasons. 1, I hate roller coasters. They are not fund, they are train tracks of fear and dismay. 3D rides allow you to be somewhere else, and even though you know you aren’t really there, its still fun. So after I fell off a rope bridge and almost got eaten by a T-Rex I continued my wandering.
Jurassic World is what I came across next, I was going to wait in live to meet a Velociraptor, but I felt that WAS something better experienced with other people. Guess I will just have to come back!
Anyways… continue on I did into Hogsmeade. *tacky Universal music ensues*
Wooo! I made it! Words do not really describe the pure enjoyment of this place. The attention to detail was incredible. And I got to buy an overpriced cup of Cream Soda with whipped cream. It was a great time. I have to admit, I didn’t take half as many pictures as I should have, but my phone was away for most of this trip. I wanted to enjoy myself.
I spent a little time in and out of the shops. I went in to HoneyDukes, because I don’t know, I had to?? Instead of me buying a chocolate frog in a cardboard box that I was never going to eat, I decided to spend an extra $8 and buy a glass jewelry box instead. This way, I have something that I WOULD use and can keep as a memory forever, and not a giant chocolate frog that would turn that weird white color that chocolate does.
My next stop on my list today was to take the Hogwarts Express in between parks.
They had this one all set up and stationary for all your selfie needs.
Here is a crappy video of the train because I was not prepared. The train ride to the other park was short, but not short of entertainment. The ‘windows’ had screens in them that opened up the woods and mysterious of the Harry Potter world. The sliding doors of the carts had screens as well, and you could see students walking around out in the halls of the train. Diagon Alley was just right around the corner.
I got off the train and was thankful that I was not waiting in the line that was on this end of the tracks. Here’s a few more sights that greeted me on the other end.
Just a few more beautiful sights to be had.
I then ventured into the main attraction..
Again, no words for seeing this for the first time.
This guy, in the smaller bank. who ACTUALLY responded to questions.
Of course, one of the things that I needed to do was go to Olivander’s and buy a wand. The one that I chose was called Hawthorne. The description is:
I didn’t get the chance to get on any rides this day, but not to worry! We are still only on day 1. The reason I did not is because I tried to go on the Escape from Gringots ride, but was told I could not bring my backpack, and I understood why when I finally did get to go on it (more to come on that). I went to wait in line to use the free lockers and promptly noped my way out of that situation. I decided that today would just be a day for exploring and shopping, and maybe a ride here or there if I could.
After watching a brief street show about the three brothers and spending much more money than I was anticipating to spend, I decided to venture around to the rest of the park.
The Back to the Future train
No caption needed for this one.
I went on one more ride before calling it a day. FAST AND FURIOUS SUPERCHARGED. Hell yea.
This is a car blog after all, so here are the cars ;).
Once again, another 3D thrill ride down the streets fighting Shaw and avoiding pieces of flying scrap metal and bullets. A high speed pursuit without actually moving in the ‘party bus,’ exactly my kind of ride. Here’s a few more looks for good measure.
It was peaking in to late afternoon, and I had been up wandering around since early that morning. I had bought everything I could get my hands on, so I was time for me to venture back to the hotel for a little bit. I walked through City Walk to see what there as for food and such.
Hard Rock, my favorite chain.
This photo does not do this place justice. The largest Hard Rock Cafe in the world. It was a goddamn Colosseum, LITERALLY!
This was some neat stuff too.
I walked around and back to the shuttles and went back to the hotel for a couple hours to decompress, process everything I had seen for the day and get ready for dinner. I was not sure where I was planning on going, but ended up deciding on Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.
Nice view of the entrance at night.
The size of this place was nuts. It was awesome. The steampunk theme inside the restaurant was awesome. I don’t have many photos of the inside because I didn’t want to disturb anyone’s dinner. I took a few at the bar though.
So pretty, so much chocolate alcohol.
CHOCOLATE CHERRY MULE. Not to sound like an alcoholic, but I’ve had my fair share of mixed drinks in my short time since I turned 21. This drink was, BY FAR,the BEST drink I have ever had. So far. I have plenty of time for more adventures after all. I ordered myself a Filet Mignon, which was the best meal I’ve had so far too. For dessert, I ordered the Chocolate Mousse, I dark rich plate of deliciousness. I would fly back to Orlando just to eat here, if you get to go, or go back to universal, this place is a must.
After dinner, it was a late night walk back to the shuttles and a short ride back to the hotel. I turned in for the night, ready for another full day.
Sunday February 3, 2019 7:30AM
Good morning again!
I was up even earlier this day because I knew I had a lot of ground to cover in such a short amount of time. It’s funny though, time. I sit here and think to myself, wow, last week I was so excited to go, and now it’s all over and is just a memory. A great one, and one that I will no doubt experience again.
Day 2 was going to be ride day. I didn’t take my backpack this day so that I could get on and off the rides as I pleased. To my delight, a few of the rides had single rider lines, lucky me! The first ride that I was heading to was Escape from Gringots, since that was the first one I sent away from the day before. On the way there though, I stopped at the Transformers ride, the wait was short.
Walking through the bank was super cool, and again wicked detailed. However, while stationary waiting in a section of the line, you can see how the line winds through the back of the building, so far out, I couldn’t see the end. I CAN’T imagine how busy and how long this line gets during busy season. As it was, the ride broke down while I was standing in line, and had about a 75 minute wait.
Once I was in there though, more 3D action ensued. Except, this time the ride had some drops.. Let me tell you, when Bellatrix smashed our tracks and I was teetering off the edge, I was screaming. The older couple next to me did not make a sound the entire time, and I was yelling my head off. Ah, a good time. Worth it though. Super fun. Here’s a few pictures from inside, and the dragon again. Rawr.
I ventured out of Diagon Alley and walked around to the Men in Black:Alien Attack. This was a shooter game as you go through a course with a laser gun. I will say this, Universal made the waiting in lines bearable. There is a lot of cool stuff that they have set up to look at, take pictures of. I wasn’t able to take too many pictures because it was not that busy for the most part. The line was always moving. I did snap one blurry pic from inside the line though.
I walked around a bit more and caught a glimpse of the Despicable Me characters. Minions!
In this same area, there was a diner with a bunch of old cars outside it.
Naturally, this was a cool spot for several different reasons. Cars, of course. And they actually run! The day before when I walked by these were not outside. The place was also my favorite color.
I was done with Universal Studios for the morning and walked around to the other park, Islands of Adventure. I didn’t realize that the day before I had not walked around a whole different side of the park. There was a Dr. Seuss section!
Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, books of my childhood, movies I loved, and still do. For nostalgia purposes, I did go on the Cat in the Hat ride through, which primarily little kids went on, but I don’t care, it was awesome.
The next section was of the Lost Continent. It was filled with large rock statues and old temples. Again, the attention to detail on some of theses structures was just incredible. I ate at Mythos for lunch, which was supposedly the best amusement park restaurant two years in a row. But. in all honesty, it could have been better.
That fancy butter though…
Beforehand while I was waiting, I went into a little shop across the way that had the pick a pearl gig and pick your setting. Me, being the sucker I am for jewelry went and got one, and I’m glad that I did.
Buying junk and props are great and all. I”m a bit of a collector of all sorts of stuff myself. But having something that can commemorate an experience that can remind you of it everyday is cool too. This was my gift to myself.
The rest of that afternoon was filled with sights like these and people watching. An even more interesting pass time in an amusement park. I played in an arcade for a little while. Because how can I resist that??
And naturally, I won this guy out of a claw machine game. The master, even in Florida.
Ah, the walks back are always nice.
After a long day of my endless roaming around, it was time to head back to the hotel. It was Super Bowl Sunday after all. I had some homework I needed to get done and I wanted to watch the game. What better way to enjoy homework AND the Super Bowl all at once? I will give you the answer…
A rooftop bar. Drinks. Wings. Giant TVs. I don’t think anything could have been better. OH WAIT. The Pats won their 6th Superbowl. That definitely made it better. WOO! GO PATS! Time for bed, and time for my last day here.
Monday February 4th, 2019 8:00AM
TEARS. I was sad that it was my last day, but I had my fun and was glad that I went. Breakfast consisted of leftover wings and fries, which surprisingly tasted better cold than it did warm the night before. Oh well! There were still a few things that I wanted to do that I had not done the last few days. Today was going to be a shorter day.
I wanted to go on the Forbidden Journey ride in Hogsmeade, so I head straight there. The previous two days the line was more than an hour and I just was not about that. The line today was only about 20 minutes. Soooo, I was not overly prepared for that ride. It was not a roller coaster and was not scary. But all the omni theater stuff and flying around made me a little dizzy. It also did not go upside down, but it tipped you pretty far back when flying around the spider cavern. It was awesome 10/10 would do it again. That was the last ride I did at Universal Studios. But I did a bit more exploring.
I circled around to the Jurassic World exhibit, where I got to watch a dinosaur hatch. There was a group of friends, probably around my age, and one of them was absolutely freaking out about this. Once it hatched, she got to name it. It was great.
After some more people watching I stopped in for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp before continuing on to the last few rides. 10/10 would eat there again. SO good.
Literally some of the BEST shrimp I have ever eaten in my life. Highly recommend.
I got to keep that glass too, another cool token of my journey. After Bubba Gump, I ventured over to Island of Adventure again for the last few rides of the day. The first one I went on was not something I was planning on originally, but decided to give it a shot, Race through New York with Jimmy Fallon. As one of my favorite late night hosts and cities combined into one, why not? It was another 3D adventure through Times Square. Again, although you aren’t really moving, it definitely feels like you are. We ended up on the moon and rode a roller coaster back to earth. Fantastic.
Revenge of the Mummy. I had seen the ride on the map the two days prior, but like some of the other ones, it had a long wait time. Today, it only had like 15 minute wait. Now, I thought this was another 3D ride, or just a ride through with scary mummys and stuff. And I was right… about half of that. The first 10 seconds you ride through and mummys jump out at you and then. you go up a hill, and theres only one way back down.. backwards. Let me tell you, I was not prepared for that indoor, dark ass roller coaster, that was NOT 3D. The lack of 3D glasses while waiting in line should have been a hint, but it was too late when I realized it…
WELL, I was done for rides for the day anyways. That was enough screaming and heart attack for a lifetime. The rest of the day was lowkey, taking in the sights of the park before I left.
My mom told me she had come to this place when she was on her honeymoon. Ironic timing.
I bought an overpriced slushie for my walk back to the shuttle too!
It was bittersweet for sure. I hung out in my hotel room, packing up my stuff for the flight home the next morning. I swear my suitcase weighed twice as much as it did while I was packing than when I had arrived.
I went back up to the rooftop bar to take in some of the sights I did not get a chance to the night before. I’m not a huge fan of heights, but being able to see everything from high up never gets old for me.
It was quiet up here. Even with all the rush of cars and people below. I was sad to leave. I could’ve hung out up there all night.
There were not many places I was interested in for dinner. So I decided to go back to Toothsome Chocolate Emporium for my last meal in Orlando. The Cherry Chocolate Mule did not disappoint again, not one bit. For dinner, another Filet Mignon, why not.
Again, some of the best food I had ever eaten. I bought one more item to commemorate my journey, and of course a chocolate bar.
One last view of the two places that were perfectly set next to each other if you ask me. A little contrast is sometimes a good thing. *Sigh* Goodbye Universal City Walk, Hard Rock Cafe, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, Bubba Gump Shrimp, and the rest of it all. It was fun. Until next time.
The lights of the night life faded in the distance and I ventured back to the hotel with a weekend full of memories. Time for an early flight the next morning.
Tuesday February 5th, 2018 6:00AM
Ugh… waking up early, and not for fun reasons. I was thankfully the last pick up before heading to the airport, so I didnt have to have a tour of the whole property like when I had arrived.
Pusheen and I are heading home!
The plane ride felt like 5 minutes, unlike the one there.
Unlimited snack on JetBlue!
I had a great time. I was so glad I went, and happy I went solo. Trips alone are fun and sometimes needed. It was nice to be able to do my own thing at my own pace without having to worry about other people. Goodbye is just a see you later, I’m sure I’ll be back again to make even more memories.