February 13, 2023
The day is finally here! We weren’t sure if we were could make it happen, but we HAD to do it!
It’s 5:15 am and we are awake (2:15 am for you West Coast peeps). Who wakes this early? Us crazy Looper people!! After an hour long drive, we finally arrived at our destination: Universal Studios.
This isn’t just any trip to Universal; it’s a red carpet trip. We splurged and signed up for the VIP Group Tour. Universal offers both a private tour and group tour. The main difference is there are other people in the group tour (max 12 people total) and you can ride each of the 12 preselected rides once whereas the private tour you pick what rides you want and can ride them as many times as you like.
Morning started with a breakfast buffet followed by joining our tour group of 10 people total (including us) and our tour guide. Over the next 8 hours, we were taken to 12 rides, served lunch, and saw a special access locations including under the Mummy ride tracks and mingling with aliens at the Men and Black attraction. After our tour, we chilled in Diagon Ally and let the little wizards play with their wands.
I must say, Universal does a great job with keeping the magic alive, especially in the Diagon Alley and Hogsmead (Harry Potter sections for you Muggles). We purchased wands three years ago on our first trip to Universal and brought them on this trip. While our little wizards were eager to cast some spells, we realized the wands weren’t behaving property. A quick trip to Ollivanders’ Wand Shop and they were repaired (i.e. replaced). The wizarding staff member took the wand in the back stating that sometimes wands just need a new core; that the feather or hair needed replacing to reenergize the wand. The staff member reemerged with the magic fully alive in the wand and stated repairs are guaranteed for the life of the wand.
VIP Group Tour is the way to go. We hit all the rides we wanted to see, were fed, and received express passes for after the tour. Additionally, for rides Michael didn’t want to go on, he was able to hang with the tour guide while we all went on them. The tour guide even held our bag for us.
A total of 10 miles walked and 13 hours were spent at the park.
February 14, 2023
Happy Valentines Day.
Lil Sudden surprised us with a box of donuts and a bucket. Why a bucket you ask? It’s handy and I lost mine. Where else can I put a freshly caught fish? Or water to soak our snorkeling masks in?
What did you do for Valentines Day? Matt, the kids, and I played in the trees.
Orlando has a ropes course/obstacle course in the trees at the Tree Trek Adventure Park. There are 4 total sections and each section has between 9-11 challenges. Challenges include zip lines, crawling through things, walking across things, and swinging across large gaps high in the trees. I was a cross between Ninja Warrior and Tarzan as I trapezed in the sky. After 3 hours, the courses were complete and our arms were done.
The day before was a lower body workout. Today is an upper body workout. You have to even it out, right?
You need to toss some ballast before climbing cargo nets