Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 3 - Into the Fire

Okay, to be fair the weather was actually not unbearable on Thursday, which was nice considering it was our first day out to one of Orlando's attractions. Universal's Islands of Adventure is the go-to spot these days since they just opened (in June) The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. So as you might imagine, everyone and his muggle-loving brother was there.

Follow along our counter-clockwise park tour. Our first stop was a surreal Dr Seuss inspired Seuss Landing.

We then passed through The Lost Continent, which conveniently offered an authentically stylized Lost Continent ATM...

...before arriving at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Despite the snow on the rooftops, it was reasonably hot, particularly when the sun was not behind the clouds. The facades were quite impressive, and while you had to wait in line to get into the candy/magic shop and wand shop, once inside, there was little to get excited about beyond the air conditioning.

Does it look like a wall of people between us and Hogwart's castle? Why yes it does, because it is. John was willing to spring for the Express upgrades (outrageously priced ticket upgrade that lets one bypass the folks from steerage and walk right in) solely for the purpose of avoiding the 75+ minute wait in the direct sun to get into Hogwart's - but those are good for all attractions - EXCEPT this one. So we'll have to come back to get the full HP experience.

By the time we arrived at Jurassic Park, Stan had given in to trying on appropriate shading from the sun, and Vonna was getting hungry...

We stopped in Toon Lagoon for lunch at Blondie's (as in Dagwood and...)

...and then walked through a street of newspaper comic strip characters brought to life in three-dimensions (and we don't mean Vonna and John).

Rounding out the last leg of the trip was Marvel Super Hero Island, which had some nice subtle references that only die-hard comic fans would catch (Murdock & Nelson Attorney's At Law on one building), and lots of less than subtle two dimensional larger than life reproductions of Marvel's heroes.

On our way out, we stopped at the AMC in the Universal Citywalk to enjoy a film in an air conditioned theater. Inception wasn't starting for another hour, so we decided to watch Despicable Me. It was definitely good for a few laughs.

On our way back to the condo, we stopped off at one of the many Brazilian Churrascaria restaurants in the area, and proceeded to overindulge ourselves in a variety of meats, salads, cheeses and more. Too much food. Let that be a lesson to us all. We definitely won't be going back to that place before say, Monday?

Friday we're off to Disney's Hollywood Studio, and on Sunday we're booked for Kennedy Space Center. With each passing day the show draws nearer, and one thing we've yet to resolve is the serious lack of pots and pans that meet our personal chef's cooking needs...

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