Florida Vacation Day 3: Harry, Seuss, & the House

On Saturday, we woke up bright & early and made our way to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. Our main goal was to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but Seuss Landing was a must-see as well! It was a gray day that was already supposed to be light crowd-wise, and that proved to be true...UNTIL we got to Harry Potter. It was crazy, crazy, crazy crowded, but it was SO cool to be able to see Hogwarts and the snow-capped roofs of the village of Hogsmeade right there from the park! I wanted to stop and take pictures every five seconds! There were tons of people lined up at barrels in the street to buy Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice and we just missed a group of students from Durmstrang giving some kind of performance! Unfortunately, we weren't able to ride the rides since it was just our little family at Universal, but we still had fun wandering around the "town." We went into Zonko's, then let the girls choose candy in Honeyduke's. So fun! Blog01 Blog02

I loved seeing the Hogwarts Express and the Owl Post! Blog03

The highlight of our Harry Potter fun was having lunch in the Three Broomsticks! I had frozen Butterbeer (in a fun plastic souvenir mug) and Brad had regular Butterbeer, but we all sampled each other's. I had no idea what to expect, but it's similar to cream soda with a little bit of butterscotch. Then it's topped with butterscotch foam or ice cream. SO.GOOD. I've been craving another one ever since I finished mine that day! Funny story - I really wanted a straw for my drink (it was like trying to drink a slurpee with ice cream on top with no straw or spoon or anything), so Brad went to get a straw from where the other condiments were. He didn't see one, so he asked a (completely in-character) hostess. She said something like, "Well, I'll give you a hint. It's very near by. Although, I must ask, for what do you NEED a straw?" Brad told her that it was for a Butterbeer, and her reply was,"Oh my. While I cannot stop you from using a straw with your Butterbeer, we do not advise it! It will cause your Butterbeer to foam over!" Brad took a straw from her anyway, and we had no "foaming over" issues. :) We all had a traditional English meal of fish & chips, and they were quite yummy! The Three Broomsticks was awesome - it looked just like the movies. If you looked upstairs from our table, from time to time if you paid close attention, I noticed that you could see the flickering shadows of what looked like people talking upstairs. Blog04

Unfortunately, we weren't able to ride any of the Harry Potter rides since the girls aren't big enough and we didn't have anyone to stay with them and we didn't want to ride alone. Someday, though! When our girls are bigger we will absolutely go back and experience it all!

From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we went to Seuss Landing, a really neat "land" full of everything Seuss-like and several completely kid-friendly Seuss-themed rides. Blog01

Our first ride was The High in the Sky Trolley Train Ride. I was really nervous about how Mollie would do with rides, but I thought if she didn't want to go on, it wasn't a big deal - she and I would just wait while Brad and Natalie rode. The ride was not scary at all, and Mollie willingly got right on and did great. She did get a little nervous when we went out over the water, but she was ok by the end, and the first thing that both girls said when the ride was over was, "That was FUN!" I'm pretty sure it's the first real ride of any kind that the girls have ever been on. From there, we went on the Caro-Seuss-el, which was a definite favorite. Blog02

The next ride was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. This is really similar to the Dumbo-type rides at Disney. I was really uncertain about Mollie, rightly so this time. Brad and Natalie got into one of the fish, then I tried to sit Mollie down in the next one with me, but she was not having it. Never one to make a scene, I scooped her up and we watched them from outside. I was sort of glad because they ended up getting pretty wet! Of course, after it was over, Mollie decided it looked like fun, but we were already on to something else - The Cat in the Hat Ride. We got to ride around inside the story of The Cat in the Hat, together in a blue couch! It was cute, but actually a little scary for our non-thrill-seeking girlies. The Cat causes quite a lot of havoc and the couch does a lot of spinning, so the girls were a little uneasy about all of that, but it turned out just fine. Blog03

Our final stop was a play area in Seuss Landing called "If I Ran the Zoo." It was really cute - lots of things for the kids to twist and turn, poke, crawl under, and spin. One part had little holes you could peek into to see things, and the last one said it was a photo surprise, so I took a picture and it was a reflection of Natalie next to me, looking through a different hole with her nose pressed against the window, so I took one of her and one of Mollie. Those were good for lots of giggles. :) There was a tall white furry Seuss creature who would play tic-tac-toe with you electronically on it's belly, and Natalie got a kick of that. Then there was another guy in a bathtub who you could twist a lever to make him come out of the tub and then spray water. I don't know if this part had a name, but there was a manhole cover, and when you stood on it, it was like you could hear someone in a goofy voice underneath who supposedly was suffering from a bad cold. Natalie would stand on it for a long time and just when you were sure it wasn't going to actually do anything other than talk, it would "sneeze" and water sprayed up onto the person who was standing there. Mollie wouldn't stand on it, but Natalie thought it was fun and did it a couple of times. Blog04 Blog05

After exploring all of Seuss Landing and walking around just a bit in the rest of the park, we decided to head over to the vacation home where the whole family was staying. The house was nice, just about the perfect size for our family (although 7 bedrooms would have made it perfect, instead of 6). It was in a really nice gated community with a big shallow pool, but each home also had a private pool on the lanai with a soft mesh fence that we could lock so that we could sit on one side with the babies and watch the girls play in the pool. It was the perfect setup. Natalie was so anxious to swim that I came upstairs looking for her and found her totally naked, rummaging through bags like a small crazy person, trying to find a bathing suit. Pretty funny!

And here are my Instagram phone pics from the day: RoadTrip2

Up next: EPCOT!!!

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