Zach and I had been desperately wanting to see the Harry Potter attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Mike and Bailey had not. So because of the cost of admission and the fact that Universal really isn't for little kids, we decided to split up on Monday.
Since Mike actually had a conference to go to, he went every morning, and we met up around lunch time. On Monday morning, the kids and I met my mom at the Gaylord Palms hotel, where she works sometimes. The hotel atriums are very cool, and the kids loved it there!
We texted this picture to Mike to see if he would think that Zach was actually out fishing without him. He was not easily fooled.
After a nice snack with my mom, we headed out to the pool at the Yacht Club.
Bailey really liked playing on the sandbar.
And then, while Mike and Bailey stayed at the pool and enjoyed some ice-cream, Zach and I headed out for Harry Potter land. I will say this - it was weird to leave the protective bubble of Disney World. Disney creates such an alternate reality for you, especially when you stay at a Disney resort, that you forget there is a real world out there that's not perfect.
In any event, the conductor was waiting for us to take us to Hogwart's.
The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride was incredible. The castle was so detailed that we took the tour after we finished the ride, so we could slow down and really see things.
Then it was back to Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley shops.
And then, Ollivander's. Zach had been talking about buying a wand at Ollivander's ever since we told him we were going to Florida. They only let about 20 people in at a time, so we waited for about 20 minutes to see the wand demonstration. It was so totally worth it! Just like in the book, the wand chooses you.
Wand boxes from floor to ceiling.
And you could pick someone else's wand if you wanted to.
Zach received a wand of birch, tied to his date of birth, from a wizard in the shop. I don't know that we would go back to Universal, but this was one of the coolest attractions I've ever visited. Of course, if you don't know the books or the movies, it is completely lost on you. ;-)
After a cheap meal at Waffle House, we took the kids to the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum on International Drive, because Zach loves that stuff. We went in thinking that it was such a tacky tourist attraction, but actually, we would probably go back. Bailey started getting antsy after about an hour, but we could have stayed way longer. We are such tourists!
Next up: Magic Kingdom!