By the time Day 7 came around, we had pretty much been to every Disney park multiple times. It was time to explore Universal Studios!
The downside to going off Disney property, is that you have to pay for transportation. You can either take a cab, which we were told would be about $35 each way, or you can take the MEARS bus. The downside to the bus is that it only comes once an hour, and you have to reserve it in advance. It costs $18 per adult for round trip. We decided to go with the MEARS shuttle, at least for the first day, since it was the cheaper option.
Our day started out very frustrating. Out shuttle was late, and we ended up getting to Universal later than we wanted. Only about half an hour later, but we were still frustrated because we expected there to be crowds. I should also mention that you have to have cash or a check to pay for the MEARS shuttle – no credit cards. Luckily we were told this, but what we were not told is that they prefer exact change (basically just to make it easier on the drivers. Now you know, and can avoid waiting for people to go and change large bills.
Once we got to Universal, we quickly realized that there were no crowds. It was cold. In fact, this was probably the coldest day that we were there. You can tell by looking at this photo, that there were very few people there.
While there were no crowds, it also meant that it was too cold to do any ride that involved getting wet. Sorry, but I don’t want to be cold AND wet all day. There were some people on those rides though! Some bought cheap ponchos to wear on the wet rides, and others just braved the cold. Crazies.
Being huge Simpsons fans, we were excited to check out the Kwik-E-Mart and the new Simpsons ride. The Kwik-E-Mart was fun, and had some fun Simpsons references. The ride was fun and different, and although we didn’t really have to wait in line, the line area was pretty entertaining as well.
After hanging around Universal Studios and riding some of the classic rides like MIB (meh), ET (classic, but meh), The Mummy (better, and different than the Universal Hollywood version), we decided to check out Islands of Adventure.
Islands of Adventure was more crowded than the other park, but still really not bad compared to what I’d heard it could be.
One of the things that I really wanted to do was see the, because it was a special Holiday show, was the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” stage show.
It was a cute show. Not broadway quality or anything, but worth seeing.
After the show, we decided to head over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Yes, friends, it is the moment you’ve all been waiting for!
Let me first give you a little background: I have not read any of the HP books, and I have only seen parts of the movies. That being said, I know generally what goes on and didn’t feel the need to do either of those things before we went. Sorry my HP fanatic friends.
After saying all that, you now know that I am not in any way a HP fanatic, but this was reeeealy cool. Universal did a great job with the buildings and facades, the atmosphere was great, I’m really really glad I go to experience it all – especially since it wasn’t super crowded! Here are some photos – because I know that is what you all really want to see. 😉
Yes, this is my husband drinking Butterbeer. No it is not alcoholic. It is basically cream soda with whipped cream on top. You should have seen the faces of some really excited parents that were sorely disappointed when they found out it wasn’t alcoholic.
You’ll have to come back for Day 8 to see more HP photos, and reviews of the rides!
After a long day at Universal Studios, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. Dinner was at the only had been to before and decided to come back to. Wait, I take that back, the only DINNER place that we came back to.
Up next: Dinner at Boma! …..and more Harry Potter…. 🙂