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  • kathleen855

Universal Studios Hollywood, nope.....Orlando

Early in the Summer we decided that I would take the two teenagers to Universal for their birthday present this year. We planned to go early October over Fall Break. It had been a rough year already, and we needed to do something different.

Well, I didn't realize when I booked it in June just how different it would be. We waited and waited to hear about Universal Hollywood reopening date. I pondered cancelling the trip because it just didn't look like it was going to happen, or even rescheduling but the calendar wasn't looking likely for a while. We had also talked my amazing friend from High School into joining us, and so I really wanted to take this trip.

So, we looked all the way across the country to Orlando, where everything was open! It wasn't much to upgrade the flights, and we decided to skip VIP like we had planned in California, so the cost wasn't a whole lot more. We had a WONDERFUL time. I think the only challenge was figuring out how to manage both the masks and the humidity! Still can't quite figure out how people live there right now.

We stayed at a Universal Hotel, the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. I don't know that I would normally have upgraded to that level when traveling with the kids, but the Unlimited Pass that allows for skipping the lines was well worth it. We always do Fast Pass at Disney, so it just made sense to try the same at Universal.

My boys are both Harry Potter fans, so that's where we spent a majority of our time. Their favorite experience was Hogwarts Express, and that's only available with the 2-Park per day ticket, well played Universal.

The first day we spent at Volcano bay was a great choice, as it rained a little bit. This mattered a whole lot less since we were already in swim suits, it would have been another story at the parks. The slides were great, and there was a lot to keep the boys busy for a majority of the day.

We did go to Disney Springs on two nights we were there since Universal closed by 6pm. I was surprised at how crowded Disney was, but they did do well with line management to get into their stores, and with distancing. Masks were definitely required, and people would kindly remind those not wearing them to do so.

See that fire breathing dragon? I totally slayed it, with shouts and celebration. My two patient teenagers probably spent a total of 25 minutes posing, over and over again while I tried to capture that picture. He breathes fire every 10 minutes, but not always. It has sensors for wind and things like birds to make sure not to traumatize park guests. So we tried, over and over and over again, and when I finally captured the picture, I celebrated.

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