Summer Travels: The Final Vacation - Islands of Adventure

After 8 days of nonstop traveling and vacationing, it was almost time to go back to North Carolina, but not without one more night in Orlando.

I had one more full day to spend with Errol, and I pictured a nice, relaxing day after averaging 5 hours of sleep over the cruise. But Errol had something else in mind... a surprise trip to Islands of Adventure! He wanted the last day to be special, and he hadn't been to Harry Potter World yet, so he wanted his first time to be with me.

Islands of Adventure is great for older kids who are tall enough to ride roller coasters. The roller coasters aren't as big as Busch Gardens, but still thrilling! There are lots of different places to walk through in the park, including...


...Jurassic Park...

...Marvel comics...

...and Toon Lagoon...

But of course, the highlight of the day was Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Being my third time there, I gathered a number of tips to make the visit there as efficient as possible. And as the most popular part of the park, these tips will benefit you to minimize the your wait times and maximize your experience. Pictures and details will be in the next post

Overall the trip was perfect, and everything seemed to fall into place despite being completely exhausted from my cruise. We got up so early to make it to the park as it opened, and the adrenaline helped me make it all morning. Once lunchtime came, though, I was beat. After some discussion, we decided to go to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch, take a nap, then come back. After this decision, it was like fate was being fulfilled before us. 

Fate #1: We decided to take advantage of the summer extended in the summer. It helped us feel a little better about leaving to take a nap. Also, we found out that there is free re-entry for the park and parking!

Fate #2: Not only did the nap rejuvenate us for the rest of the night, but there was a severe thunderstorm that lasted the span of the glorious nap! 

Fate #3: As we re-entered the park, a mother and daughter approached us and gave us their Express Pass tickets because they were leaving!!! At this time, it was 5:30PM, and the park closed at 9PM. The Express Pass made up for the time we spent napping! It was a glorious feeling to walk past all of the line, and only wait 10 minutes per ride. 

Fate #4: Because of the severe thunderstorm, a lot of the park emptied out, leaving the last couple of hours to spend in Harry Potter World, with minimal lines, and minimal crowds. 

So, as you can see, the day went perfectly. It made me completely forget the fact that the next morning, I would be leaving for North Carolina again, not to be reunited with Errol again until September. 

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