Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida

September 12, 2016

Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida

LIFE IMITATES ART: CINEMATIC MAGIC AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Mine and Luxy's America trip was a whirlwind from start to finish: we began with hectic New York City days from Uptown through Midtown Manhattan before heading Downtown for my birthday, followed by a momentary lull into a deceptively-languid repose in Orlando (must be that sultry, humid Florida weather) where we promptly threw ourselves back into a frenetic pace at Walt Disney World (the walking. So much walking). Somewhere between arriving and departing Orlando are snippets of authentic Americana forever lost to Instagram Stories: snapping up Elizabeth Arden and Kate Spade at Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets! Doing our best Queen Bey impressions over family-sized seafood platters at Red Lobster! Putting on my Homer Simpson voice at IHOP: "So I ask him: If this is the House of Pancakes then why can't I eat the walls?" Waking up early and padding downstairs in my dressing gown to go the gym (the Pokemon Gym, that is - Team Mystic FTW!) by the hotel fountain all while minding the 'Beware of alligators and snakes' signs. 
Lake Buena Vista had its moments, fo' sho. And we were going to see out the end of our trip with a big bang. So on our penultimate day, Luxy and I headed to Universal Studios Florida for more thrills (Skull Island: Reign of Kong! Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey!), more spills (we cooled off from the steaming Florida heat by being dunked in Jurassic Park River Adventure and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges) and more feels (emotions were abound as we rode the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade). Don't even get me started on how emotional I was to meet a larger-than-life Lisa and Marge Simpson then run amok in Springfield (I wanna go to Mount Splashmore! Take me, take me, take me now! Nownownownownow!). 
I didn't even mind that I had to change out of my drenched leather Lacoste trainers into flip flops, nor that Luxy and I didn't get a chance to visit the hundreds of other attractions in Universal Studios Florida because we decided our time was best spent riding Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey and Jurassic Park River Adventure twice (it really was that good!), although I was kicking myself for missing out on the photo opportunity of posing with a giant Simpsons donut (let's be real, all the bloggers pay $5 not to eat but to take pictures with it) beside Lard Lad. But how can I complain, when I've come full circle? E.T Adventure was every bit as thrilling and magical as I remembered it, when I first rode the ride in Universal Studios California aged 12, and lunch at Hard Rock Cafe was even more kitsch and nostalgic that I'm older (that there was a juiced-up Pokemon Stop outside chock full of Eevees didn't hurt either). It may have taken me 18 years, but I came back for my #UNIVERSALMOMENTS. Here's hoping it won't take me another 18 years to make some more. 

#UNIVERSALMOMENTS

SUPPORTED BUT NOT SPONSORED BY UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ME, EXCEPT PHOTOS OF MYSELF BY LUXY

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Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida

Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida


Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida





Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida



Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida


Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida

Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida



Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida




Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida



British Airways fly direct from London to Orlando from £600.
A single day Park-to-Park ticket with a Universal Express pass starts from $220 (our tickets and passes were complimentary).

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