Orlando Birthday Vacation: Part One

For my birthday, I was ecstatic to find out that Zac had planned a surprise trip to Orlando for my birthday. We had been talking about wanting to go to Universal for months now, and we were finally making it happen. 

Day one at Universal, we were so excited to check out the highly talked about Happy Potter World. We took the Hogwarts Express, which was one of the coolest things ever, and arrived in Hogsmeade. We walked around the town and explored the different shops. We stopped inside the local tavern, Three Broomsticks, where we enjoyed a deliciously fulfilling lunch. You can choose from several main courses such as turkey legs, roasted chicken, and shepherds pie, and several more. I ordered the roasted chicken, and Zac ordered the roasted chicken with a side of ribs. 

We were not disappointed, in fact, we were so full, we were second guessing our decision to choose such a filling lunch but oh well, we enjoyed every bite of it. We sucked it up while we sipped on our delicious butterbeer. I was so excited to report that the butterbeer lived up to all it's amazing reviews. The first sip was like, "Wowww! Yummy!!" That foam on top of the beer was just so sweet and tasty. Zac and I thought the foam tasted sweet like butterscotch. 

After visiting Harry Potter World, we walked around Islands of Adventure. I had some fun with the comic strips. 

This was my best "When your boyfriend tells you there's a dinosaur behind you" face. Ha, ya right...

That evening, we stayed to watch the Mardi Gras block party. They had a bunch of different floats with different themes and as they would drive by, they'd toss a handful of beads out to the crowd. The beads were coming at us so quickly, people were getting smacked in the head left and right. It was kind of funny until I got smacked in the head. 

That evening, Fall Out Boy performed live in concert in the middle of Universal Studios. The crowds were crazy! It was too hard to try and find a place to stand for the concert so we took advantage of the short lines and tried the 4D Shrek and Minion experience. 

After the end of a long day of travel and exploring, we called it a night and crashed as soon as our faces hit the pillows. 

Day two, we woke up excited to and ready to hit the park. It was OFFICIALLY by birthday!!! 

I couldn't resist sending mom a throwback from our family vacation to Universal studios from when I was a kid. 

Day two we explored the park a little more and got in line for a lot of the rides. After standing in line for 45 minutes to ride the Rip Rocket, we finally reached the front. We got in our seats, secured the safety harness, chose a song to ride a long too, and enjoyed the ride. What an adrenaline rush! The steep 90 degree incline up to the top of the hill, followed by a steep and speedy decline, left us scared and screaming for joy all at the same time. When we got off the ride and watched our playback of the video they take of you during your ride, we were dying laughing. Zac's face was like, "Oh sh**" and I couldn't stop laughing. We had so much fun, Zac decided we HAD to have the express passes so we didn't have to wait in anymore lines to ride again. After getting our express passes that let you skip ahead to the front of the line, we were able to ride back to back another three times in a row. 

By the fourth ride, I'd hit my limit. I was getting motion sick from all the flips and turns so many times in a row. I think the G's were starting to catch up with me. I had to tell Zac I needed to take a break or this funny picture was going to be reality. 

We headed back over to Harry Potter World to enjoy another round of butterbeer. I started feeling better so we decided to get in line for the Forbidden Journey ride in Harry Potter World. Unfortunately, this is one of a few rides that you can't use your express passes on. Luckily for us, the ride had technical difficulties minutes prior, so the lines were shorter. Of all the rides, I would of preferred a longer wait in this line because the details inside of the Hogwarts School were so awesome. The movie was literally coming to reality right before my very eyes as I traveled throughout the different corridors and classrooms. Without spoiling it for those of you who still want to go and see it for yourself, I'll just leave it at, it was awesome. A+ to the designers of Harry Potter World. Nailed it. 

The Forbidden Journey ride blew. my. mind. I was not expecting all that. It was so cool! All the details, the animation, the props, etc. The look on my face in this picture was after a dragon blew in my face. I was thinking to myself, "What just happened?! That was awesome!" And then Zac's face is more like, "Hmm...I wonder what we're eating for lunch.." 

It cost us $100 to buy a three day photo pass that would allow us to save any of our pictures that we took throughout the park, on our photo card. I'm all about the pictures so I had to get it, especially since someone *cough cough* left her memory card at home. I loved all the pictures we got of our faces on the rides. It ended up working out for the best. I was glad I didn't have to tote my camera around the park. 

Zac and I thought the wizards wands were so neat, especially since they were interactive in the Harry Potter Worlds. We contemplated getting one, but I couldn't bring myself to buy one. I didn't know what we'd do with it after we got home lol. Most likely, I'd end up walking around the house yelling "spectrum patronus". I'd probably do it to the dog too and freak him out. So ya, Zac said I couldn't get the wand. 

After a long day at Universal, we left the park and walked around City Walk trying to find something to eat. Everything had a long wait time, so we put our name on the list at Mexican and played a round of miniature golf to kill some time. The course had an alien invasion theme, so I posed accordingly for a selfie. 

For dinner, we requested a table near the stage to listen to the mariachi band perform. They performed a couple mariachi classics before performing recent songs with a mariachi twist. 



  1. It sounds like you had the best time at Universal for your birthday! I'm glad that you got to try butterbeer and that you loved it, and I'm with you that the Harry Potter ride through Hogwarts is probably my favorite ride. All of the details inside the castle are so amazing! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!

  2. I didn't know they did the photo option now, but so worth the money I'd say - especially with so many great photos!! So glad you had a great Birthday! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  3. I absolutely love Universal! All the rides are so fun and during Mardi Gras you get to see so many awesome bands! Glad you had an amazing birthday! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  4. What a fun surprise!!! I wan tto go to Universal!!! And Harry Potter World!!!!!!!! That butter beer sounds delicious!!!

  5. i was JUST googling HP world in Orlando for our next vacay! my daughter (she's 7) is loving the HP books so i wanted to see what the height restrictions are for HP world and it seems she can go on most rides, yay!


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