Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Family Vacation 2015, Part Two - Universal

 Day one at Universal.  This place is massive.  And clean, unlike a certain park with flags in the St. Louis area.
 Eli had to get a shot with the Universal World.
 Everything at Universal is oversize, including the entrance.
 The first thing that caught our eyes was Megatron.  This was a completely automated robot.  He was a mean character.  At this, we ran across the way to ride the Transformers thrill ride.
 Bad Ass Optimus Prime greeted us from the roof.  The Transformers ride was one of many "4D" rides.  Intense!
 We were getting close to Diagon Alley, and caught a glimpse of Grimmauld Place, home of Sirrius Black.
 Once inside Diagon Alley, there were many familiar places that were replicated down to the finest detail.
 Need to send a letter?  Have your owl do it!
 It was a labyrinth of sights and sounds.  And it was crowded.
 There was a goblin inside Gringots money changing store...
 ...and a killer dragon on the roof.  It was massive!
 The buildings were such great Harry Potter replicas.
 .....not yet......
 In Knockturn Alley, it was dark and scary.
 I wonder who the Daily Prophet is digging up dirt on today?
 .....everyone watching.....not yet......
 The famous Leaky Cauldron.
 The Weasley's place was super fun, and looked exactly like the movie.
 Get your Quidditch supplies here.
 Gregorovitch's wand store was small and not very crowded....
 ....because Ollivander's was packed to the walls with people, and it was big.
 ......Finally!  You could feel the heat from this baby, too!
 The Knight Bus was awesome!
 And the bloke driving it was a hoot.  He had his talking head with him, too, which you can see just over Tyson's head.
 Eli found the English telephone booth!
 Back at the condo, there was a bitchin water slide and pool.
 Woosh.
 Woosh.
 There was a lazy river, too.
 Day two at Universal.  Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.  Wonderful details of the buildings were everywhere.
 The Hogwarts Express was an awesome sight.
 Eli talks to the conductor of the Hogwarts Express.
 More detail in Hogsmeade.
 The amazing Hogwarts Castle.
 The sorting hat entertained us while we waited in line for the Harry Potter "4D" ride.  It was one of the coolest.
 Hagrid's hut, complete with massive pumpkin.
 Buckbeak the Hippogriff.
 Another view of Hogwarts.
 Godrick Gryffindor.
 The points each of the houses of Hogwarts won and lost.
 Salazar Slytherin.
 Awesome details inside the castle.
 The grand bird that stands guard over the entrance to Dumbledore's office.
 The Pensieve, in it's very elaborate setting.
 More outstanding detail inside the Hogwarts castle.
 It was nice to see the Fat Lady portrait waiting to let us in!
 Besides the world of Harry Potter, there was Jurassic Park.  Love the Explorer.
 This dude was pretty menacing.
 Eli and Flannery going down the huge log flume ride.
There were so many good photos to be taken in the world of Marvel.  Unfortunately, none of them were good.  But it was a cool place anyway!

Super fun couple of days at Universal.  The rides were very fun, and most were fun for all ages.  Although, like most theme parks, the food was ultra expensive, the park itself was top notch.  Cleanliness seemed to be top priority, which was a welcome change.