Yep, I dropped the ball on finishing up Evie’s Wish Trip posts. That’s life. But anyway, we headed back to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on Friday, our last day at the parks. The parks were definitely crazier than on Wednesday because the Harry Potter Celebration was going on. The crowds made for VERY interesting people watching, though. People had some extremely elaborate costumes! I wish I had taken more pictures of THAT!
We hit up the Dr. Seuss stuff first since we didn’t go there on Wednesday. We started with The Cat in the Hat ride, but it was in the dark and jerked around and Evie didn’t like it. But she spotted the carousel afterwards and rode that a bunch of times. She also enjoyed the High in the Sky Trolley Ride and meeting the Dr. Seuss characters.
We headed up towards the Harry Potter stuff to see what was going on, but grabbed some kabobs first which were VERY tasty. The crowds definitely thickened as we got up there and I was very grateful for our special access to skip the long lines. We wanted to eat over at the Leaky Cauldron for lunch, though, so we took the Hogwarts Express over to Diagon Alley. The restaurant wasn’t too crowded yet and the food was very good. Ty and I each took turns taking Aleyna on the Gringott’s ride again and she enjoyed it a lot more this time. We walked down through Universal Studios and Ty and Aleyna tried out the Despicable Me ride to see if it was something Evie would like. The both agreed she wouldn’t like it so we moved on.
At this point, we started wondering where on earth we could find Dora the Explorer and friends. We’d seen her in the parade on Wednesday, but nowhere else. Suddenly we heard music and saw her float out in the street doing a little performance! Evie was SO excited! One of the staff members saw us watching and when the little show was done, grabbed us and put us right at the front of the lines to get pictures with all the characters. It was so amazing for Evie. Dora signed ‘I love you’ which got big smiles from Evie and then she pointed out that SHE had a backpack just like Evie! Pretty special.
These were the special moments with characters that made this trip so wonderful. They were all just wonderful. Evie and Aleyna also got some special attention from the lovely ladies dressed as flowers and they were so incredibly sweet.
I posted this video before, but it’s just so fun to watch! We wandered back up to the Hogwarts Express to ride back to Islands of Adventure. And here’s where Ty and I officially earned our Parents of the Year Award. I give you Exhibits A-D:
Yep. Aleyna was TERRIFIED (Evie was sitting in her stroller just out of frame, completely uninterested) and as you can see, I was the picture of motherly concern and sympathy. It was genuinely scary, though. He made scary sounds and lunged at her. I didn’t really want to get very close either!
After thoroughly traumatizing our daughter, we wandered down to the Marvel Comics area. We ran into these amazing guys on stilts right outside that area and they were just the best. They had us laughing so hard the whole time and both girls adored them!
Evie then started asking for the ‘train’ again, though, so we then walked back over to Universal Studios to ride the Woody Woodpecker ride some more. I think we went on it 6 or 8 times just over and over with Evie giggling away. Everyone was getting tired then so we caught the end of the parade and then headed back to Give Kids the World.
We got dinner and while we were eating, an entire group of ballerinas came over to the table to invite the girls to their show over in the castle. My two little dancers quickly finished eating so they could go to the show. Because of how scheduling at the village went and the fact that most families were still at the parks, the girls got a private show and plenty of attention afterwards.
The ballerinas eventually had to head home, so we popped over to the Princesses and Pirates Party and it was BY FAR the best party of the week. All of the volunteers completely committed to their various characters. The mermaids, princesses, pirates, and knights were just phenomenal.
The knights and pirates who froze when Aleyna would use her freezing powers on them.
The mermaids who made fishy faces with the girls.
The princesses who danced and twirled with Evie and made her feel so special.
We laughed so hard and had so much fun. We also learned that we should watch out for Aleyna. Upon learning that the knights were after the pirates, she immediately sided with the pirates and helped them escape. She’s trouble, that one.
We partied quite a ways into the night, but then finally headed back to our villa where we ordered pizza and stayed up way too late until Evie crashed for the night. And then the rest of us crashed.