It is Day 03 of our trip and I have about 30 minutes before the gym opens which is basically the only “down” time I’ve had to update post about my travels in any lengthy detail other than photo dumps on Instagram. I want to try to get everything down before I forget things so I’m just going to do a stream-of-consciousness type entry and not fret about grammar or spelling. You know, basically like every other day I write anything else. I put a lot of pictures on Instagram but I also took some with my “real” camera and I’ll pick a few of those to show with each entry and do a bigger photo dump after we get back. However, if you want to check out some more photos – check out my instagram.
We could get into the park with our early passes at 8am but we had breakfast at 3 broomsticks at 9am and because I’m terrified of being late, I basically buffered everything we did until breakfast so we spent a lot of time waiting. I made the kids wear their Hogwarts robes even though they felt dumb, I knew they wouldn’t once they got there. We got to the shuttle 10 minutes early but it arrived 5 minutes early. On the way to the park I started crying. THE FIRST TIME. We got to the park entrance like 40 minutes early and walked around City Walk for a bit, but then got in line for early entrance about 7:40am. As we were waiting in line and I started crying again but luckily bonded with the woman in front of me who was also excited. As the lines got longer the kids saw others in their robes and they started being REALLY glad they wore them.
They let us into the park and we headed straight for Hogsmeade. One the way there I just got so worked up, crying and gasping and the second we saw the sign I just started pointing and smiling and it was AMAZING. We walked in and I started just snapping pictures and trying to soak it all in. We decided to try to squeeze in a trip to Olivander’s for our interactive wands. We were the first “demo” group of the day. They brought us into the most AMAZING little replica of Olivander’s and the most amazing man posing as Olivander greeted us. Then, he noticed my kids in their robes and he used BOTH of them as the guinea pigs for the demo! This was why I made them wear their robes, I was told that could catch his attention. I didn’t tell them that though, because I didn’t want them to get their hopes up. I was also warned that the kids don’t get the wands they get in the demo for free, but we were planning on buying the anyway so it was fine. The whole thing was – basically – magical.
I bought Luna’s wand which is the one I wanted all along, Donnie bought Voldemort’s because it was the coolest looking, and E bought Narcissa’s because he’s Slytherin and wanted something from the Slytherin line. We tried a few spells before breakfast but they are VERY finicky. You have to do things a certain wait. Day 02 and none of us are still great at it.
We went to breakfast at 3 Broomsticks and it was lovely. It all looked exactly how I expected and it was a filling breakfast and a great relaxing start to the day. Then we went straight for the Hippogriff ride and Wesley fell in LOVE with Buckbeak just seeing her in line. It was really strange! AT this moment he’s ridden that coaster about 15 times so far. He loves it. Nikki, on the other hand, screamed in my shoulders the whole time, “I’m SCARED! MAKE IT STOP!” I made her get back on again because I know her and I knew she’d regret not trying to enjoy it since it is geared to kids. She has since ridden it about 5 times but still closes her eyes every time.
Donnie talked Nikki into doing the Dueling Dragons too because she was (barely) tall enough. I told her if she got scared to do what she did on the Hippogriff ride, just close her eyes. Donnie said the measured her like 3 times going in to make sure she was tall enough, she told me later she kept hoping she wouldn’t be. She said she kept her eyes closed the entire time so it was scary, but not awful. E and I went next. Neither one of us are coaster people and I get really motion sick but I wanted to experience everything so we headed in. E kept trying to talk me out of it! I was all, “DUDE. Stay strong or I’m backing out!” But we got on and basically he ended up loving it. I closed my eyes through about half of it and just said, “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD” over and over again. It was kinda great, kinda awful. I did it again Day 2, but I’ll tell about that later.
We decided it was time to leave Hogsmeade for a bit and we headed to Seuss land. We did the 1 Fish, 2 Fish spinning ride. Donnie sat that out because he doesn’t like spinning and E and I partnered with the kids. It was fun for the kids trying to position our fish to get the wettest (trick: stay in the middle) it’s actually a pretty good ride. They control the fish up/down and get to get wet. We did the Seuss train too, but at that point Wes had been to the dark side of thrill rides and found it boring.
Next was Jurassic Park where we rode the ride that has a raft and a bunch of animatronic dinosoaurs (I don’t have time to look up names as I realize I’m not even going to get to day 2 before my run!) and it was great. I’m glad Wes is tall enough to ride MOST rides. That one we all sat on one row together, it was nice finding a 5-person ride so no one had to go alone. It was definitely freaky/scary at parts,more than I thought it would be. And we got pretty wet. It was fun. Since our stuff was in a locker staying dry we headed over to Cartoon world to do the falls, another wet ride. That line was SUPER long. Longest wait of the day so far (that would be the pattern, great lines until about 12 every day) but the kids totally thought it was worth it. It was basically a log ride, another one we could all do together – 5 person friendly! I made Wes sit behind me and I held his legs the whole time though because I just felt like he was too small for the giant drop I knew was coming. It was scary and we got SOAKED. It was great.
After that we decided to get lunch and then headed back to the hotel (I think) and ended up letting E take a nap while the rest of us played in the lazy river at the hotel. Then we went to the OTHER pool where the kids rode the slide and Donnie and I kinda napped by the pool. Then dinner at the hotel and the kids swam some more while Men In Black played at the pool.
I’m not going to have time to get into Day 2! And I know this lacked personality but I’m trying to just get it all down and then do a proper dos/donts and actual thought about everything later. Just throwing the details out now!! Thanks for being tolerant with this horrible format/brain dump! Here’s 3 pictures!