We had a blast visiting family and friends for the holiday, and generally just kicked up our feet and relaxed for most of the trip. We did spend one day enjoying one of my Christmas gifts to Tom - a pair of tickets to Universal's Islands of Adventure! (which was especially exciting because I'd always promised him we would go one day, but in our 6 years of being together we never had! So it was long overdue, really!)
Islands of Adventure is like DisneyWorld for big kids and adults. While I like Disney, I've had my share of The Mouse over the years, and usually opt for a different type of theme park if I'm going to go do the tourist thang. Islands of Adventure has it all - shows, characters in costumes, big roller coasters, small roller coasters, water rides, shops, kiddy rides - and endless entertainment. It's divided into sections or "Islands" that focus on different themes - Dr. Suess, Superhero Comics, Cartoons, Jurassic Park, a Lost Continent, and the new and just-recently opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
We had no idea they were even adding this Island to the park, but we were ecstatic to be able to go into Hogsmeade and Hogwarts and ride the rides as well as eat and shop in the little village. We were amazed at how well everything was done - almost exactly like the movies! You can get a butterbeer at the Hog's Head Bar (they were actually pretty tasty!), try out and choose wands at Ollivander's, buy some joke gifts at Zonko's (that you can't find anywhere else), or venture into the Hogwarts castle where you can tour the inside while waiting for the ride. And if you're big Harry Potter fans (like us, we admit it) you'll love that the castle is setup exactly like the movies (with Moaning Myrtle in the park bathrooms and moving and talking paintings in the castle) and really enjoy all the little details in the new section of the park.
Did you guess that it was my favorite?
If you are looking for a fun theme park to visit in Orlando, we highly recommend Universal's Islands of Adventure for a fun-filled day. And definitely make sure to visit the Harry Potter area - but a tip of advice? Don't order the ribs if you dine at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade.
Anyways, now that we're back home it's time to get things back to normal around here, so be prepared next week for a return to our regular daily posting schedule of home improvement tips, tricks, and inevitable mistakes as we continue our never-ending adventure of making our house into a home we love!
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