A Travellerspoint blog

USA

Harry Potter's Wizarding World Lives Up to the Hype (1 Good)

WEEKS 1 - 3 WEATHER: SUNNY, 30 DEGREES C, 85% - 90% HUMIDITY, LIGHTNING STORMS LATE AFTERNOON

sunny 30 °C
View Thomas's Great Adventure on edandsuet's travel map.

Hogwarts Train

Hogwarts Train

Universal Studios beats Disney hands down in providing an enthralling, immersive experience with a meticulous level of detail and Hogsmeade/Diagon Alley connected by the Hogwarts train is a prime example.

Whether it is sipping on Butter beer outside the 'Leaky Cauldron', wandering the cobbled streets of Hogsmeade village, boarding the Hogwarts Express, sampling shepherds pie in 'The Three Broomsticks', whizzing through the air on a magical flying bench during a Quidditch match, escaping from Gringotts bank deep within the vaults, surviving a close encounter with Lord Voldemort himself or marvelling at the shops in Diagon Alley - I can appreciate the spectacle even if I'm not a Harry Potter fan.

The rides themselves are a masterpiece in thrills and spills where the stories and characters are vividly brought to life. Now, where did I park my broomstick?

Where Did I Leave My Broomstick?

Where Did I Leave My Broomstick?

Hogwarts

Hogwarts

Posted by edandsuet 11:51 Archived in USA Tagged world studios orlando harry universal potter Comments (0)

Revenge of the Cockroach (1 Bad)

Weeks 1 - 3 Weather: Sunny, 30 degrees C, 85% - 90% humidity, lightning storms late afternoon

30 °C
View Thomas's Great Adventure on edandsuet's travel map.

It sounds like the latest enthralling roller coaster to be unveiled at Busch Gardens, but sadly this was not the case. We were struggling to find a room for Saturday night in Orlando as our fantastic 10 nights at Drury Inn was at an end - I was nearly weeping into my backpack as the hotel was one of the best I have ever stayed in.

Everywhere half decent was fully booked so we resorted to Motel 6 rated 3 blobs on Trip Advisor for a bargain basement price of $60. We have stayed at Motel 6 before, many years ago when we did a road trip across California and Nevada and the chain motel was okay.

The room appeared perfectly clean on first inspection even though the air was heavy with the smell of mildew and some other unidentifiable pong and the walls were paper thin.

However, it didn't take long for the beasties to appear once the lights went out. I have a pet hate of cockroaches; I just can't abide them. I had a sleepless night after a trip to the bathroom using my trusty head torch which revealed that the room was infested with them. Checking out never felt so good.

Posted by edandsuet 06:40 Archived in USA Tagged orlando motel 6 Comments (0)

The Beauty of Disney - Efficiency is an Art Form (1 Good)

Weeks 1 - 3 Weather: Sunny, 30 degrees C, 85% - 90% humidity, lightning storms late afternoon

sunny 30 °C
View Thomas's Great Adventure on edandsuet's travel map.

Meeting Donald and Daisy Duck

Meeting Donald and Daisy Duck

Americans love Disney and all it encompasses - it is a universal fact; nothing is more American than Walt Disney's vision.

Most Disney visitors at this time of year are home grown and come attired in their favourite Disney costume, Mickey/Minnie t-shirt or donning Mickey ears to show their devotion to the mouse. There are even Jedi Knights wandering around and feeling the force with their light sabre accessories.

Disney is a well oiled machine run by impeccably dressed and well rehearsed cast members, still managing to smile in the heat and humidity even though the thermometer climbed to well over 90 degrees in the shade. There is not a blade of grass out of place and the parks are devoid of any fast food wrappers or stray discarded cups - it is sanitised perfection harking back to a begone era of wholesome schmaltz. Disney is selling nostalgia in the bucket load and extracting every last dime from its guests but I admire the sheer scale and efficiency with which it is delivered.

The prime-time shows are of a West End standard; whether it is the stunningly choreographed 'Beauty and the Beast', the vivid animals performing in 'The Lion King', skilled puppetry in 'The Little Mermaid' or the night time fountain extravaganza 'Fantasmic' that brings together all the Disney characters and songs orchestrated by Mickey himself. One of my favourites was the Pixar Short Film 3D Festival offering that reworks a Mickey and Minnie original black and white cartoon in an enthralling and entertaining way.

Thomas's highlights were collecting autographs and photos from Mickey and co (he managed to track down Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy Duck, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Stitch and Pluto) as well as swapping Disney pins with cast members. Thankfully, I was spared sing-a-long Frozen; Walt Disney was in a benevolent mood that day!

Disney Magic

Disney Magic

Meeting Mickey Mouse

Meeting Mickey Mouse

My New Best Friend!

My New Best Friend!

Posted by edandsuet 06:28 Archived in USA Tagged disney orlando Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]