Since the kids had the whole week off school at Thanksgiving, we decided to take advantage of the break and take a trip down to Florida.  


Totally NOT true!  I actually wasn’t exhausted after our trip.  It was all good 🙂 .

Hang on tight, because here we go!!


We went to Universal in Orlando, and stayed on site at a hotel we have stayed at before – Cabana Bay.  It’s a funky hotel that is themed in 50’s decor.  


The lobby was really pretty too!

IMG_3449 IMG_3499

Thanksgiving week is actually a great time to go to the park.  It really wasn’t overly crowded, at least not during the day. In the morning you could hop on most rides for a short 10 min wait.  The more popular rides were around 20-30 mins wait.

Later in the day, the wait time climbed to 50-60 mins for the popular rides.  60 mins was the longest we waited though. Harry Potter rides were the most popular.  At one point, the main Harry Potter ride wait time was 120 mins! Yikes. My point? Get to the park early!!

Well, when you do get to the park early, you will see a zillion other people waiting to get into the park.  No worries, this line moves fast! But it looks horrible, right??


The cool thing about Universal, compared to our local Cedar Point, is that the “wait line” is themed and is as much a part of the ride as the actual ride itself.  There’s a lot going on while you are waiting so it’s a great distraction. It did not feel like we were waiting that long.  Especially the Harry Potter attractions.  It’s quite entertaining to wait at the ride line!  Thanks to my generous friend Jennifer, we borrowed her Harry Potter movies and watched them all before we left.  We were prepared! 

Even though it was almost Thanksgiving, the park was decked out for Christmas.  I’m pretty much a Christmas hater before Thanksgiving (don’t even try to play Christmas music in early November.  NO THANKS!), but the park definitely got me in the spirit. We got to see a Macy’s parade right in the park.


Loved the confetti!!


There is a new ride which we loved – Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon.  The waiting area looked just like you’re expect a studio for the Tonight Show to look.  There were video game tables to play while we waited, and live entertainment.

While Zach was playing a game, Hashtag Panda came over to visit him.  Zach was getting pretty mad because he thought it was us tickling him (Hashtag was behind him while Zach was concentrating on his game).  Zach was quite surprised when he turned around to see Hashtag!! (hilarious!, although Zach didn’t think so. LOL!)


Outside of all of the cool VR rides (that sometimes make you feel like you’re going to puke!), our family loved the Men In Black ride.  It’s a shooting game where you try to score the most points shooting at aliens.

One day we bought some crazy awesome cupcakes at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.  They were to die for! I’m drooling just looking at this picture.


One of the holiday specials at the park was the light show at Hogwarts.  The show started with snow falling on the castle. It looked quite pretty like that!


Then various characters were shown on the castle doing Christmas-y things.  Such a great description, am I right?? Well, you get the idea (I hope) from this picture.  It was a live action light show.


The show ended with fireworks!

The Harry Potter area and rides were definitely one of the highlights of the trip.  As you would expect from a movie studio, the area was amazing (and so lifelike!!).


We did splurge on some butterbeer.   ($8 a glass. ugh)


You just have too.  It’s delicious!


The Jurassic Park area was pretty cool too.


Eeek!  Watch out 😉


I insisted that we ride on the Dr Seuss carousel.  You’re never too old for a carousel ride!! (my son disagrees)


We also went on a kiddie Seuss trolly.  Fun!! (really, it was!)  Don’t mind the gauze on my face… my excitement was a trip to Urgent Care.  Long story short, I’m just fine!


We enjoyed our time on vacation.  Always fun to take a break!!


Glad you made it to the end of my pictures 🙂  Thanks for stopping by!


Q:  Have you ever been to Universal?  What is your favorite ride?

Q:  Do you watch any late night talk shows?

I have the Tonight Show on my DVR, but I never stay up late enough to watch it live!

Q:  Did you travel anywhere at Thanksgiving?

5 thoughts on “Our trip to Universal Orlando”
  1. Fun!!! Thanks for sharing lots of fun pictures about your trip. I would have thought it would be very busy over T-giving because everyone has off school. I do want to hear more about the gauze, though. 🙂 I have never been to Universal. We DVR Colbert every night. We always watch his monologue and then watch the interviews that interest us, which isn’t many. Right now we have 9 on our dvr we need to catch up on!!!
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…A wonderful, thankful day.My Profile

    1. So a bump behind my ear, under my skin (it’s been there for a year!) turned out to be a cyst, and got infected (ewwww). It got so bad over just a few days (red, painful) I had to see someone pronto! After a quick visit, I was feeling much much better. Luckily it was all behind my ear so it couldn’t be seen! When they said they could numb it, and cut it, I said YESSSSS! Do it, please! (sorry, it’s gross, but hey, it’s life)

  2. It looks like you guys had a wonderful time. The schools here also give the whole week off so families travel, it seems like a good idea where you are so you can take a warm vacation in sort of the off season like this. Glad you didn’t have to wait long for the rides, that hotel looks so cool, and those cupcakes look delish!

    I too am not a huge fan of Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I think I’d get into it at a theme park. I feel like stores do it for marketing, but a theme park is wanting to keep you entertained and get you in the spirit- plus it takes a LONG time to prepare for Christmas at a theme park, so why not experience it as long as ya can?
    Amy Lauren Scott recently posted…The Week That Was + Thanksgiving (Nov. 19-25)My Profile

    1. We never used to have the whole week off for Thanksgiving, but I think it’s a trend that most schools are going to. And soon, winter break will be here! My kids get a lot of time off then too, but not me. I’m working most of Christmas week 🙁

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