Saturday, November 27, 2021

Theme Park Day - Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

For our second theme park day, we opted for Universal Studios. We got the tickets through Groupon and saved a little $$ (always a good thing). We opted for the park hopper pass so we could visit both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The main purpose being so that we I could ride the Hogwarts Express between the two sides.

When walking in, the Jimmy Fallon Race through NYC had a non-existent line. So we went there first, Clarissa surprisingly loved this ride the most and went on it two more times (the ‘eeh’ and basket of puppies really spoke to her…lol). After the second time, the NBC panda was down for a photo op…..given pandas are a current favorite animal…..she happily posed with the panda.

We found our way to platform 9 ¾!

And then hopped aboard the train. Upon our arrival in Hogsmeade we found the Owl Post aka post office (despite talking about it, we forgot to bring a postcard to mail….).

Of course we visited the castle. Clarissa has never been a fan of roller coasters, so we did the walk through option and walked through the castle and Richard took the single rider lane…..ironically, we both exited at about the same time.

We partook in some Butterbeer (more Richard….the rest of us aren’t the biggest fans….gasp I know).We walked through the Diagon Alley (aka a quaint snowy village) before heading around the rest of the park. 

C & R opted to ride the Spider Man ride. We searched in all the Starbucks shops for the elusive ‘I was here’ Starbucks Mug to add to our collection, but sadly could not find one. When reading up on the park, it’s recommended to ride the train both directions, so we did return later to ‘London’. 

After back in Universal Studios, we did the usual things like Men in Black, get a beer at Duff’s bar (Simpson’s area), found the hidden Harry Potter area, and we did the above-mentioned Race through NYC again. We had prebooked a reservation at the Chocolate Emporium for lunch (pretty much the only way to get in). It’s a cute steam punk restaurant with some of those insane desert milkshakes. After eating our lunches, Clarissa and I shared a chocolate one. It came complete with a brownie on top and filled with chocolately goodness.

We had a good day and after walking over 18K steps, we opted to call it a day. We didn’t feel too guilty not staying from open to close. Especially knowing we will be back again/regularly as we have the townhouse now. We bought the Freestyle cup at universal also, so we have that tucked in our owner's closet for a future trip. Honestly, so handy and much less to worry about remembering to bring on every trip.

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