Even though Harry Potter World was a highlight, we also had fun at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Read about how we spent the rest of our trip to Orlando.
Before settling down in our new home in Dayton, Ohio, Kyle and I went on a whirlwind of a road trip. Read about all the stops we made along the way:
Stop 1: Destin, Florida
Stop 2: Tampa, Florida
Stop 3: Harry Potter World and Orlando, Florida
Stop 4: Charleston, South Carolina
Stop 5: Seattle, Washington
Stop 6: Orcas Island, Washington
Stop 7: Our new home in Dayton, Ohio
Prefer to watch our visit to Universal Studios and Orlando?
Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was obviously the highlight of our trip to Orlando, but we also made sure we took some time to enjoy the rest of the park and also catch up with a friend on our visit. If you haven’t read about my first experience to Harry Potter World, click here to relive the magic with me!
I haven’t been to Universal Studios since I was about eight-years-old, so I was excited to get to explore it and Islands of Adventure. We literally stayed at the park from open to close, and it was worth it to get to fit so much into one day. Our goal was to walk through the park and have a few experiences here and there rather than focusing on riding a bunch of rides since we were beat after our day at Harry Potter World.
Here are some of the highlights from our visit:
ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE
I’ve been a fan of Dr. Seuss since I was young. The first book I remember reading on my own was Go, Dogs, Go. But after working on cruise ships and having to dress up as Sam-I-Am and Thing 2, Dr. Seuss just has an extra special place in my heart.
I was literally like a kid in a candy store when we walked into Seuss Landing. Everything was super colorful and welcoming. We wandered into a few of the shops, and we went on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride where we saw excellent views of the park.
My only disappointment was the lack of Sam-I-Am. When I dressed up as Sam on the ship, I always joked about how he was so underrated, so naturally he’s my favorite Seuss character. The only place we found Sam was at what looked like a Green Eggs and Ham small restaurant, but it was closed when we walked up to it.
Marvel Super Hero Island
Even though I never read any comic books, I love the Marvel movie franchise and had the time of my life when we visited Marvel Super Hero Island. I’m not much of a rollercoaster gal because I get super bad headaches when I try, but Kyle rode the Hulk ride, which he really enjoyed.
While we were there, we witnessed a motorcycle race between Storm from X-Men, Captain America, Spiderman and a female character neither of us recognized. The girls were sassy, Spiderman was cocky and it was so much fun.
We both enjoyed this land a lot more than we thought we would. It featured old school cartoons like Rocky & Bullwinkle, Popeye and Dudley Do-Right. We didn’t do anything beyond admire and reminisce on the old comics and snap a few photos.
By the time we got to Jurassic Park, the rides were temporarily shut down because of the weather. Luckily, it didn’t last too long, but as mentioned, we weren’t really looking to ride too many rides anyway, so we didn’t mind.
In the Jurassic Park area, we wandered around the Discovery Center and admired some of the displays they put together outside.
The Lost Continent
We didn’t actually do anything in The Lost Continent, but we did run into Puss in Boots, so that was fun.
Springfield: Home of the Simpsons
When I was younger, I remember watching The Simpsons with my dad and brother, and it was a big part of Kyle’s childhood too. When Kyle and I first got into the park, we had to walk through Springfield in order to get to Diagon Alley, and we were so tempted to stop and take it all in, but we resisted. Luckily, we decided to come back to it later in the day after experiencing all of the Harry Potter magic.
Walking through, it really feels like you’re in Springfield. It’s so colorful and crazy and fun. We couldn’t resist making a stop to Moe’s Tavern to drink up a Flaming Moe. It was set up just like the TV show!
Here we rode the 3D Transformers ride, which was so cool. The wait was a little long, but it didn’t seem like it because the entire line was a Transformers experience. It felt like you were a crucial piece in trying to battle the Decepticons, and by the time you got on the ride, you were pumped to help save the world and all that shiz.
This was our last stop of the day before we got something for dinner. We decided to do the Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon ride, which I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would. While you’re waiting for the color of your card to get called, you get to sit in a room and watch video clips from the show. The actual ride itself is a 3D experience where you get to race Jimmy Fallon through New York and back to the studio.
The CityWalk is an area right outside of the parks that features shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife. After our long day at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, we had a surprisingly delicious meal at The Cowfish. I only say surprisingly because it features burgers and sushi, and I thought that was an odd combination, but they know what they’re doing.
For an appetizer, we shared the crab rangoon dip, and there’s a reason it’s the first thing on the menu. It’s so good. I would go back for that alone. For dinner, Kyle had the seared sesame tuna salad, and I had the fusian specialty bento box with the boss sushi. I’m telling ya, if you’re a fan of Asian food, go here after your day at Universal. It’s the perfect place to wind down and enjoy a good meal.
The last thing we did in Orlando was meet up with my friend, Cassie. We worked together on the Carnival Elation, and now both of us have hung up our life jackets to enjoy life on land.
While we were waiting for Cassie to get on her lunch break, Kyle and I wandered around downtown Orlando. We walked into a couple art galleries and took in some of the architecture. We had lunch with Cassie at a place called Bento because I feel like I’m always craving Asian food. I had a bowl of curry, and Kyle had some udon noodle soup (even though it was a million degrees outside).
Have you ever been to Universal Studios in Orlando?