For my 18th birthday, I received aeroplane tickets to New York and Orlando Florida.
Unfortunately, my dad got taken ill at the time (ill explain this later) and we weren’t able to go until the following year (summer 2015).
I was thrilled to receive these tickets. I have always been a fan of the different places as well as the food and drink in America, mainly cheesecake, burgers and milkshakes. Yum.
America’s food portions were especially big. The burgers, pizzas and ice cream were served in particular big portions, a challenge to eat. Yum. Yum.
I watch various films and TV series’ set in America particularly in New York and always wanted to visit.
My mom had often traveled there on business trips and had come back saying that she’d seen lots of tourist spots such as Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, along with the shopping opportunities.
My mom also told me about the various hotels she’d stayed in in New York and highly recommended. I also had heard good reviews from friends who have been there previously, in which they told me all the places they’d been or seen, comparing it to ‘One Big Film Set’ – when your there you actually feel you are on one.
Fascinated I wanted to go to New York at the next chance I could. Constantly nagging and asking my parents to take me.
As well as New York I also wanted to visit Orlando Florida. I’d been before when I was younger and really enjoyed both the atmosphere and the excitement of the location.
One of the perks of Orlando Florida is the hot weather and the swimming pools. We could lounge and enjoy the sun as well as go swimming.
The shopping opportunities are equally as good in Orlando as it is in New York, possibly better, especially as a lot of the items for sale were linked to Disney.
I was excited to be going to the different theme parks, Disney World Florida, Universal Studios and Island of Adventures.
The rides in each park are exciting and fun; I admire how most of the rides are linked to various films and how accurate they show film in the ride.
I enjoyed how the rides vary in thrill so it suits all people whatever their preference. As I’d already been before I knew what rides to go on and which things were at each theme park. I also knew there were various things to do other than theme park rides.
3D cinemas with spin off from movies such as Shrek including simulators, parades with music and characters from different films interacting with the audience watching are quite popular.
On discovering that I would be going to Orlando Florida, I looked at the theme park websites as well as speaking to friends who had been there recently to see if anything had changed or for anything I recommend.
One of the new attractions and theme park that caught my attention in Universal Studios was ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’. Being a big fan of the Harry Potter film series I was very excited about this, I was eager to see their interpretation of the Harry Potter films.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Orlando was Universal Studios.
Since I last went, newly built and brand new attractions had opened. There are two different Harry Potter attractions, one at Universal Studios and the other at Island of Adventures. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had come at last.
Universal Studios opened Diagon Alley, a wizarding street behind The Lucky Cauldron unknown to Muggles (non – magical people) on 8th of July 2014 and Hogsmade Village, the only wizarding village in Britain opened on 18th June 2010 in Island of Adventures.
Friends who have been already have told me how good it is and how its like a winter wonderland for Harry Potter fans. Friends passed on their highlights as well as recommendations of what to do at each theme park.
I had lists as long as my arm of recommendations and highlights. Adding to the excitement I read reviews online about each theme park, which were all quite positive, highlighting other aspects of the theme park.
The designers and builders of each the theme parks rose to the challenge and built each park to the fullest extent, doing the Harry Potter films a justice.
Each theme park was built as a replica to each location they were portraying, including all the exterior or interior of the shops and buildings featured in the films.
Unlike Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – at The making of Harry Potter, there were themed rides and attractions at Universal Studios and Island of Adventures.
The rides were especially linked to the attraction, at Diagon Alley there was a ride called Escape from Gringotts, a family orientated roller-coaster based on the scenes featured in Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2 where Harry, Ron and Hermione were trying to find the horcrox that was hidden in Bellatrix Lestrange’s volt.
At Island of Adventures there were a number a rides for all the family to use. Forbidden Journey is a ride that all the family could go on and enjoy.
The Ride of the Hippogriff was a child friendly roller coaster based on Harry and Sirius Black riding on Buckbeak in Prisoner of Azkaban.
Then there was a non-child friendly rollercoaster, Dragon Forbidden based on the scenes in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.
All of this made me really excited to be able to go to each theme park, soaking up the atmosphere of each one, enjoying the attractions and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Planning it to the very last detail, I was so excited. However, a few days before we were due to fly to New York, my dad woke up in the middle of night in pain.
Rushing him to the hospital we discovered that he had a kidney stone, small but painful. Ouch. Luckily, we caught it early and got him seen quickly.
Unfortunately, my dad had to be operated on, and the kidney stone removed. Though the kidney stone was successfully removed, this put a delay on our holiday.
To make sure dad had his speedy recovery, we decided to cut our losses and rearrange the holiday for the following year in summer 2015.