Butter-beer and touring-plan success at the Islands of Adventure

Up at 6 this morning! We headed in to Islands of Adventure by 6:30 and were walking to line up by just after 7 for rope drop ( gates opening) at 8. All the onsite hotel guest get in an hour early so we saw them racing in. We were first in the common folk line though! Yay! I bought a book with infor on all the rides at both Universal and Disney and including touring plans set out by actuaries who specialise in working out how to minimise line-waits and maximise number of rides. We followed their touring plan for Islands of Adventure today quite closely. It paid off!

The folk who work through the park clockwise as they enter or anti-clockwise, often miss out on the biggest draw card- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- altogether due to massive lines and wait times.

As soon as the rope ‘dropped’, we ran full pelt till we came to the centre of the park- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!! We forced ourselves to ignore all the enticements of Hogsmeade and instead join the queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey- which is ‘arguably the most in demand theme park attraction in America’-( The Unofficial Guide: Walt Disney World 2013). The wait time was a do-able 45 minutes. It wasn’t as long as that and the lines at most of the rides we have done are made quite interesting. Half our time was spent winding our way thru the castle, oohing and ahhing over all the little details, the talking portraits. The ride itself was a motion simulator dark ride. I was terrified I woul fall out of my seat the entire time and also scared for the 7yr old too being so little. Of course that is silly and part of the ride itself! Job done- haha!

After the ride- time to explore Hogsmeade. We are huge huge Potter fans so we indulged here more than we will at Disney. We got a wand each, though didn’t get one chosen for us. Too long a wait I would have imagined. I somehow got a Fleur Delacour wand though I got the names mixed up and got it thinking it was Luna Lovegood I was getting. I am in no way at all like Fleur!!!!!

Butterbeer. What can I say. I loved it! The foam is amazing. I liked the iced better as it was all thicker. The drink’s creators spent 3 years and about 16 different attempts to create the drink perfected tonJK Rowling’s liking and to accommodate lactose intolerant folk. We loved butterbeer!

We planned to come back to Hogsmeade and move onto more rides, but after we left, all too soon we heard announcements that it had been closed due to cross Nd no more let in for a while.

The Spider Man simulated ride was brilliant- so was the sopping wet Bilge Rat Barges.

We had a surprisingly cheap lunch at the chosen-because-it-was-visual Mythos.

Lots of other sights, a couple extra rides-I won’t bore you with details. The Sinbad stunt show was cheesy but the others really enjoyed it.

By the time we were in the car, we realised it was 10 hours since we had arrived. We picked up some frozen pizza and snacks and came home to chill.

Tomorrow- sleep in, lunch, dinner and probably window-shopping at Downtown Disney( the part you can go to without a ticket.

( photo: is it Zeus? Outside Mythos restaurant)

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