Harry Potter and More

Trip Start Jul 14, 2010
Trip End Aug 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Saturday, July 31, 2010

We have spent the last three days in Orlando using our 3 day Universal Studios pass as part of the Harry Potter package we booked.back in June. The days are hot and humid and sleep has been in short supply since we have been here - we have been leaving the hotel room at 8:00am and not returning until after 11:00pm due to the late closing of the parks and the night life out on International Drive. Our package includes access to wet'n'wild water park so we have also been induging in water slides and wave pools at night.

The Harry Potter area of the "Islands of Adventure" park was jammed packed with people every day so it was difficult just walking around however the rides, exibits, and atmosphere of the little village and castle was just fantastic. The best ride was the Harry Potter Castle ride which took you on a broom stick ride on a dragon chase. Tish was over the moon with the experience.

The 3 day pass was just about the right amount of time to see everything in the peak of summer.
The 39 degree 90% humidity days certainly didnt deter the crowds though and some of the rides had up to 170 minutes waiting time. We were able to circumvent some of the queuing by travelling as "single riders" which usually cut the waiting time to 5-10 minutes although it meant we usually didnt sit together. There is a new ride named "Rocket" which is one of the best I have been on ... it starts with a vertical climb then vertical fall. There is a video camera on the back of every seat so when you finish theanging ride, you can view all your expressions .... Tish couldnt stop laughing after watching my video on the screen. At Harry Potter World, there were more than 90 minute queues just to enter the theme shops so in the end we entered none .... so I didnt get to buy my magic wand.I havent been in crowds like this since the millenium new years eve at Sydney Harbour.

As it was almost 20 years ago, Orlando is full of British and European tourists.
You see more English soccer team shirts in the street and at the parks here than you would at a Manchester United game. Today we even met a small child from London wearing an Aussie soccer shirt that his Aunty sent him from Brisbane. I get a chuckle out of seeing all the soccer parphernalia as the American media are constantly poking fun at the masculinity of soccer players.

We are now shifting our focus 20km south into the Disney area which means changing hotels to the Ramada on Highway 192. We have booked that hotel for 4 nights at $28 per night so we hope it it isnt too bad. We met a school teacher on the plane who is moving with his family to Orlando due to the low cost of living here. He told us hotel rooms go for as low as $21 per night which is comparable to the $18 per night in some Las Vegas Casinos. By the way, the guy on the plane foreclosed on his house in Los Angeles (paid $280k seven years ago - now assessed at $95k).
He has bought a 4 bedroom house in Orlando for $87k which was last sold 3 years ago for $232k.
I sure hope the housing bubble in Australia doesnt burst as bad as the one over here.

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jean on

Hi Tish and Andrew,
it's been great catching up with your blogs this afternoon, you both look very relaxed since your time in Yellowstone, I guess I will have to go back to the USA one more time to experience the granduer of the place eh? What a contrast from Orlando you are certainly mixing it. I liked your poem Tish, everybody has to start small, keep at it you can only get better! one day you may even be a famous poet!
It's still very cold here, Keisha is still with us but is very slow and crippled but still looks very healthy. Make the most of your last week, Love, and God Bless, Mum. xxx

Derry on

Hi Tish and Andrew.... Congratulations on keeping the info flowing...it has been great reading and we are with you in spirit. You are certainly getting around, fitting in enough experiences for a group of 10 of you!
Cant wait to hear how the $28 per night accommodation was....
Simone and family have been here from France last few weeks, so apologies for lack of contact. Looking forward to your return, even if you aren't.

Barbara on

Hi Andrew & Trish,wow it has taken me forever to catch up with all your travel news,I was away last weekend & just getting around to your blog ,so much to read but had to take everything in & feel as though I was there as well ha ha.Yes Trish your poem was good,keep up the good work.It would be exciting seeing all these wild animals in their natural habitat,looks like you are taking advantage of every minute,take care auntie Bab x

Paul Carroll on

Some good advice on yuor poems --start small. A further bit of advice is to keep em small....smaller the better......try to limit them to just one word.....can't wait to read the next poem.

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