Arrival at the Orlando airport. I like that the hotel balconies look into the airport.
Cute Santa selfie station at the airport baggage claim!
This Universal hotel is in the holiday spirit. It is Pacific island themed and the tree is lovely,
standard gingerbread houses are lovely.
The Spongebob-themed gingerbread is fantastic! So cute!
So much fun!
Day 1 Drinks by the pool.
We even considered going in...
Boats travel between all the resort hotels and the parks. We travelled to the Italian-themed area for dinner. Really perfect. We sat outside in the square near the tree and people-watched everyone getting on and off the boats. Celebratory prosecco and pizza.
Nicely decorated indoor tree.
First thing is head for Harry Potter land. During the two days we rode all the rides (the fancy new Hagrid ride took 90 minutes in line but we rode it twice!), saw the dragon breathe fire over Gringotts, ate in both the 3 Broomsticks and the Leaky Cauldron, saw the wand ceremony in Olivanders, and drank butterbeer 3 ways.
As someone interested in logistics, I had a big issue with the cafe. Line management was terrible, will avoid and just go to the bar.
9 3/4 platform decked out for the holidays.
Hedwig on Harry's luggage keeps the line interesting.
We rode the Hogwarts express back and forth each day. Brilliant!
Wow, nighttime castle spectacular was impressive. I like this better than fireworks.
There is more than Harry Potter to Orlando Studios! It is a mash-up of so many different franchises. We are sitting at the Today Show cafe, when the Blues Brothers drive past the Minions ride. But it all works!
For rides I really enjoyed Men In Black (video game ride), Minions (theater seating with much silliness), King Kong (bus style ride with scary dinos), ET (cute bicycles! For the first time ever the ride broke down so much we had to climb out on ladders in the middle of the forest) and Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike (totally new and unique rollercoaster). And watch the safety show in line at Dr. Doom.
Poppy and Branch!
The section devoted to comics is very old-timey, but kind of hilarious. Marmaduke was never my favorite but I like that they have gone over the top.
The section for very little kids has a Barney store. Barney! Does anyone even remember Barney?
But also curious George-yeah!
I've heard the fountain may talk to you? But it did not talk to us.
The Suess-carousel. We did not get to Suess land until the very last second-super cute. I'm impressed because it seems extremely difficult to turn whimsey into life.
And of course the best ride in the park, The Fast and the Furious.
So it is the middle day 3 and we wander through one of the shops (we did way too much window shopping, many cute things, almost none of which I want in my life). And E- talks to one of the clerks and figure out there is a scavenger hunt going on! Of course I'm in! Get all the stamps and you get a treat....minion xmas ornament!!! We had a super fun time running around to all the places and they did have lovely trees, each decorated with that stores theme.
10/10 would do again!