This Universal Orlando Resort trip report covers my first visit to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade areas opened. Actually, my first visit in a long time.
Not to date myself, but my last visit before this was shortly after Islands of Adventure first opened, and when my must-dos at Universal Studios Florida consisted of the likes of Earthquake: The Big One, Kongfrontation, Back to the Future, JAWS, and…well, you get the idea. It had been a long time, and parts of the parks were virtually unrecognizable from what I remembered.
Expect a lot of Disney comparisons and “Walt Disney World v. Universal Orlando” type stuff, because Disney is what I know, not because I have some oddly misplaced sense of loyalty to Disney and refuse to accept the fact that any other theme park could possibly be as good as Disney. (I know, I know…nobody can touch the themed masterpiece that is Dino-Rama…)
This Universal Orlando Resort trip report will also include a lot of photos of the new Diagon Alley area of Islands of Adventure, as that’s probably where I spent 50% of my time during my days in Universal. I’m not even a Harry Potter fan, but I was absolutely blown away by this land, which I consider to be Tokyo DisneySea caliber (for those who don’t follow my Disney postings, that’s basically my highest praise). I don’t want to get ahead of myself, though, I’ll be gushing over Diagon Alley enough in the subsequent posts on the trip report.
I’ll be posting it in several parts over the course of the next couple weeks. If you’ve read my Walt Disney World trip reports in the past, the format here will be somewhat familiar and somewhat different. I intend upon doing “break-out” posts for certain subjects within this trip report (I mean, I could write 10,000 words and share almost as many photos of the greatness that is E.T. Adventure alone!), so I’m not going to fixate on anything too much, and instead just share some photos, and general impressions.
Click on the links below to view each installment of the trip report. Links will become active as new installments are posted:
Part I – Rope Droppin’ Diagon Alley
Part II – Night Photographin’ Diagon Alley
Part III – Christopher Walken=National Treasure; Michael Bay=America’s Butt Pimple
Part IV – Overall Impressions and Random Musings
If you just can’t get enough of the photos here in this Universal Orlando Resort Trip Report, “Like” the TravelCaffeine Facebook Fan Page to see more photos. I will be posting preview photos there, plus “outtakes” that don’t make the trip report!
I’ll level with you–after not being too active with this blog for a while, I’m trying to kickstart it again and post here on a regular basis. If you enjoy this trip report, the photos, whatever, I would greatly appreciate it if you’d share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc., via the social media buttons on each installment to help spread the word. I also love reader comments offering any type of feedback, questions, or thoughts you have…it lets me know people are reading, and everyone loves comments, right?!