Day 12 – Universal Studios

I woke up at 4am today, which gave me time to finish off yesterdays blog post and work on a YouTube video. At 6.30am I woke up Christy and Kevin and went to have my shower.

By 7,30am we were all ready and out the door. Sadly the boats are running at the moment so we had to walk to the parks. Luckily it wasn’t very far. We were quickly through security, over the bridge and in line for early entry at Islands of Adventure. Christy had been feeling unwell on the walk over but luckily it didn’t last too long.

We only had to wait a few minutes before the park was officially opened around 7.45am and we on our way, with the crowds.

It was our intent to ride Hagrids but before we got there someone came back saying it was down, so we quickly turned back and headed towards Velocicoaster (we’d only just gone past the turn off). We were very excited to ride this. And after a quick walk through the line area, we put our bags into the lockers and almost walked on to the ride. And what a cool ride it is. And a decent length – when so many rides/coasters are super short. My only issue with the ride was I felt it rattled my head around. I noticed this on other coasters today – not sure it’s a new age related thing or from being post covid. Sadly it meant I was only keen to go on most things once.

Since Hagrids now had a wait time of 120mins Christy went back onto Velocicoaster while Kevin & I waited.

When Christy returned we continued the walk around to Hogsmede. Love the feeling when you first walk into that area – it never gets old. It’s beautiful with snow on the buildings.

We checked out a few shops (like the candy shop where Kevin bought a pumpkin pasty – which he liked but wasn’t impressed with amount of pumpkin in at.

At 9am, when the park officially opened, we caught the Hogworts Express over to Universal Studios. Such a fun ride / mode of transport.

We went to try and get a cup of tea but were unsuccessful so went into Diagon Alley to explore.

We visited some shops and then went into Knockturn Alley – the theming here is incredible, well it’s like that in all the Harry Potter areas.

We then went to ride Escape from Gringotts, however the ride had broken down so ended up with quite the wait – over 30mins I’d guess. The ride, when we eventually got on, was pretty fun – I didn’t remember it all so it was a surprise :-). It seemed very quick though.

We collected our bags once more from the lockers (nearly every ride requires that you use them), then went to The Leaky Cauldrun for a sit down and a cup of tea – though after ordering (via the mobile app) found out they didn’t have any soy milk !!

After our break we went back out into the main Universal Studios

and came across some street performers. We sat on the curb to watch. It singing Christmas songs acapela and were really good. It was also another nice little rest break.

Next up was The Mummy ride which only recently reopened after a refurb. We had around a 15min wait for this one. And as like always, I’d forgotten that it’s a dark coaster. Again a fab ride but again my head felt rattled around. Maybe I’m getting too old for roller coasters ??

While trying to decide what to do next, Kevin realized he didn’t have his phone. It seemed it was close by so he went back to check the locker he’d just used for The Mummy. It was there.

I happened to spot The Tribute Store, which we’ve never been in, but have seen in lots of Disney vlogs. It’s a cool store and obviously is currently all Christmas themed. I loved seeing the displays.

We then rode Jimmy Fallon – again with a rather long wait – well, longer than we’d like. This was cute and quite enjoyable and it was fun doing a new ride.

We then went in search of lunch – which was from Central Crepes. We must have arrived at a bad time however and was told it would be at least 40mins. But we wanted to try these so went and sat and waited a table nearby, then Kevin went back nearer the time they would be ready (but still had to wait about 2omins). Finally they were ready. I had the vegan berry crepe, which was delicious. Christy had a plain crepe with sugar which she really enjoyed. And Kevin had a strawberry hazlenut crepe which he wasn’t a big fan of since there were only a couple of strawberries and lots of hazlenut stuff.

With full tummies we headed around to ride ET. This was also having problems so wasn’t the usual walk on that it is. It wasn’t too bad though and I enjoyed this. So did Christy. Kevin said the best part of was getting off. Guess he’s not too nostalgic.

We had a quick look through the main store but only Christy bought some earrings for me for Christmas.

Our last ride was Minions. And another longer than expected wait. Kevin and I opted for stationary seats. This is quite cute but basically just another simulator ride.

Christy then rode Rip Ride Rocket while Kevin and i enjoyed a snack while sitting on the grass. Kevin had an icee and i had a packet of chips. I realized at this time (around 4pm) that I was really done for the day.

Yes I could push and do more, but then I didn’t know how I’d fair tomorrow. So Kevin and I left Christy at the park and walked back to the hotel. I must say it was so nice to sit on the bed and put my feet up. Kevin wasn’t too good by now and almost immediately fell asleep.

Christy turned up about an hour later. At 7pm Kevin went to the Island Dining Room, where we ate last night, to order some dinner for tonight. He had Wonton soup, and I had some spring rolls and gyozas. I enjoyed mine, Kevin not so much. Kevin had also ordered a pineapple donut for desert and it was HUGE. Crazy huge for one persons desert. Needless to say Kevin didn’t manage to eat very much of it.

I’d been on my laptop pretty much some coming home (having a a break earlier to do a bit of handwashing and refill our meds) and finally got this post finished at 9.45pm. So it’s now time to read a few pages and go to sleep.