Kristian’s Winter Getaway – Day 2 – Universal

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I went on a 4 day trip to Florida for some solo travel time.  This is one of four posts about that trip.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Even though the Harry Potter Festival was taking place at Universal Studios from Friday to Sunday (a coincidence, I promise you), I knew I had better luck experiencing the parks if I went the day before.

I purchased a single day park-to-park pass and, to help save time, I also got a limited express pass.

It didn’t hurt that I was a single rider and some rides had single rider entry.

So, after parking the car, going through security, walking through the restaurant and entertainment area and entering Islands of Adventure…

…I strolled through Seuss Landing…

…and The Lost Continent…

…making my way into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Hogsmeade was already filling up with people…

…so I didn’t waste time getting myself a butterbeer (butterscotchy soda with a sweeter cream froth top)…

…and riding my first rather intense ride of the day at Hogwarts.

From there, I took advantage of the other Islands of Adventure rides…

…and explored areas devoted to both comic strips…

…and comic books…

…where characters came to life…

…to help make some memories.

 

Eventually, I made my way back to the Harry Potter area so that I could catch the train to Universal Studios Florida…

…and check out Diagon Alley…

…where dragons roared…

…mermaids frowned…

…and this fish pie made me think about lunch.

So I headed to Finnegan’s Bar and Grill for a Dingle Seafood Pie (salmon, cod and shrimp covered in mashed potatoes)…

…and relaxed a bit.

I had already walked a good deal by this point.

But, after stretching my legs, I kept exploring…

…taking notice first of monsters…

…and then of alien robot trucks…

…talking dogs…

…and so many other characters.

It didn’t take long before I started posing with them…

…sending pictures back home to show my 4 year old of characters he might recognize…

…and even some he might not…

…which leads us to Springfield.

This really was an impressive area at Universal Studios Florida…

…complete with the Kwik-E-Mart…

…Moe’s…

…Duff Beer…

…a taco truck…

…and a giant donut.

Mmmm….donut.

All the walking (over 9 miles) eventually led to new hunger…

…so I stopped at The Cowfish for some dinner on my way out…

…and decided on the Black and Brie burger.

This burger cooked medium rare had brie cheese, fresh blackberries, thyme infused honey, sake marinated Asian pear and micro greens.

It was one of the best burgers I’d had in a really long time.