Monday, June 8, 2015

Universal Orlando {Vacay Day 6}

We finished up our trip at Universal Orlando.  Avery got to meet Diego right as we walked in the park and was giddy with excitement.  McKenna wouldn't deign to have her picture made with him. 
 
While Avery was meeting Diego, Chad set off to buy gloves for all of us.  It was so cold and the wind was blowing.
 
If Avery wasn't already on cloud 9 after meeting Diego, her life was about to be made when we met Scooby and Shaggy next to the...wait for it...Mystery Machine!!! 



As if things couldn't get better...we made our way around to the Curious George play area.  None of the water stuff was on while we were there because it was so cold but the girls still had a ball.
 
Actually, they had about a million balls...some of them shot at through air hoses and the like.



And they met one of my childhood favorites, Woody Woodpecker. 

And Curious George!


We literally had to drag Avery away from the Curious George area and made our way around to the Simpsons.  We really aren't big Simpsons fans but we did have doughnuts from the Lard Doughnut shop there and they were delicious!  Chad proclaimed them the "best theme park food ever."


We had limited time because we were going to start driving back home that day so we went straight to Diagon Alley.
Want to take a ride on the Night Bus?
Diagon Alley was as crowded as Hogsmeade.  We wandered through and went in a few of the shops and the girls used their wands in a few places.



But it was really so crowded that we just looked around and headed for the Hogwarts Express. This was the SOLE reason we bought the park-to-park passes for Universal.

We loved the ride and I wish we could have done the one from Hogsmeade to London as I'm told its a different experience.

The train takes you to the other park so we made our way back through Seuss Landing.

 
Caught a little show... 

Met some more characters...



And then made our way out of the park. 
 
We met my college roommate for dinner.  My girls loved seeing her girls again!  I never would have thought that we would have 5 (and now 6!) girls between the two of us.


We left dinner and headed north.  We made it all the way to Savannah that night and then drove the rest of the way home the next day.

A few thoughts on Universal Orlando...
  • The Universal Orlando park seemed to have more attractions that were age appropriate for my girls (ages 7 and 5 at the time) than Islands of Adventure.
  • We took the girls on the ET ride and they had no clue who ET was.  I wish I had let them watch the movie before our trip.
  • It was really cold in January.  If you're going then...bring your gloves from home!  They were ridiculously expensive there.
  • The only way to ride the Hogwarts Express is to have the park to park tickets.  Otherwise, we would have purchased the single day tickets instead.
  • Bring your autograph books!  I didn't expect many characters to be there but we were pleasantly surprised to get almost as many signatures there as we did in the Disney Parks. 
  • Diagon Alley was crowded but there was hardly any wait throughout the rest of the park on the day we were there.
  • I bought our tickets through Undercovertourist.  They seemed to have the best prices when we went.
Have any questions or other tips?  Feel free to post in the comments below!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Our New Baby

I've been absent from the old blog for too long!  Meet the reason why...


 Our sweet new baby girl, Miranda!


She is an absolute doll and blessing!  I can't believe she's already over a month old.  These pictures were taken when she was eight days old.


Her big sisters are totally smitten with her and have been such a huge help around the house.


You'll be seeing a lot more of her on the Bay Bush!

Photos by Climbing Heights Photography.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

SeaWorld Orlando {Vacay Day 5}

We spent a positively fun, but frigid day at SeaWorld Orlando.  It was 40 degrees and blowing 40mph. Not exactly an ideal day to visit but we decided to make the most of our time.  That's one of the dangers of going to Orlando in January...it could be 85 degrees when you get there and 40 degrees by the time you leave.  You just never know.  That's how the weather has been the last two times we have gone in January.

But due to the weather, the park was relatively empty.


We honestly weren't sure how long we would make it in the cold so we decided to hit our must-do attractions first.  We headed over to Shamu Stadium for the One Ocean show with the killer whales.  It was so cold Chad bought a blanket for the girls to wrap up in while they rode in the stroller.


This show wasn't as amazing as I remembered but I guess there's only so much they can do now that the trainers aren't allowed in the water with the whales.


 
Next we hit the Pets Ahoy Show.  This was really cute and I love that all the animals are rescued from shelters. 



Then we headed around to the Shark Encounter.





(Side note:  The park is landscaped beautifully with lots of spots for photo opps.)

Next we visited the Sea Lions.

And made our way through Antarctica...
We made it to the Blue Horizons show which was the best one in my opinion.  We had a round of hot chocolates while we waited for the show to start.
 




McKenna spotted an artist drawing caricatures on our way out of the show and talked her Daddy into a drawing in no time.


And little sister couldn't be left out...

We went back through Antarctica to ride the Empire of the Penguin ride since it was broken down when we came through the first time.  We chose the tame version since I was pregnant.
The ride lets you off in "Antarctica" where you can see lots of penguins.  (It was really cold in there.)

By this time we decided to call it a day and made our way out of the park. 
 
A few tips:
  • Check their website for deals on tickets.  We didn't have any purchased ahead of time but I checked my phone on the drive over and bought them that way and saved over $20 per ticket.  They emailed the tickets to me and I pulled the bar code up on my phone for them to scan us into the park.
  • You can see the park in one day but they offer discounts for to visit again the next day. 
  • Don't miss the Blue Horizons show.  It was, by far, the best one we saw.
  • They have photographers in the park that take pictures and give you a bar code to see you pictures on the way out or later online (similar to Disney's photopass).

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