Category Archives: Orlando

A Blog About Some Things


Get it?? Ha!

When we left last time we were heading to my first Cirque show…


Show #31: La Nouba
Where: Downtown Disney
Seats: Centre Orchestra
Rating: 9/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Natalie Braid

This was exactly as I’d hoped it to be. Daring stunts with flying trapeze (always makes my stomach drop!), tight-rope walking (Chelsea’s favourite), amazing trampoline acrobatics, juggling (he was so good he could juggle with bouncing balls off the ground as well as various numbers of things in the air), then juggling while standing on balancing cylinders, etc, etc, etc! This circus just gets bigger and crazier with each act. It was really amazing. We didn’t know that it’s actually Cirque’s 30th anniversary year either, so that was pretty cool too. Funnily enough, although it was awesome seeing all of the circus acts, I think my favourite characters were the two main clowns who just did funny clowning around to get the audience charged and going. Oh, and did I mention the bmx bikers who did incredible stunts?! Yeah.. pretty much can’t choose between any of the amazing things we saw in this show. Have I said amazing enough? Very cool.


Wednesday was Day Two at Universal Orlando and this time we dedicated the day to checking out all of the other rides outside of Harry Potter World (although of course we did revisit HP World for some more butterbeer while we had lunch at the Hog’s Head and we went on the Gringott’s ride again and visited Hogmeade again… you get the idea). We had great fun with the minions and Shrek and one of our favourite indoor rides was definitely the Simpson’s ride. They spend a lot of time working on the production design (which for some areas is freakin incredible!) and we really enjoyed a lot of the signage around.


We continued our Great American Carousel Tour – this time on #8, the Caro-seussical Ride! Pretty much the most uncomfortable creatures we’ve had the pleasure of sitting on but the theme was cool!


After more butterbeer, a ride on a Flying Hippogriff and going on the Forbidden Journey in Hogsmeade again (I think this is an equal first fave ride for me, with the Gringott’s ride – they’re both so cool!) we headed up to Jurassic Park and went on the craziest log flume ride I’ve ever been on! (more like a big raft boat thing). It climbed the highest rake I’ve ever been on in a ride (outside of a rollarcoaster) and then dropped us down as big a shute  just as a T-rex tried to eat us! As our stomachs came back to earth, we were drenched at the base of the drop. So we followed the experience with visiting Dudley Do-Rights water ride which dropped us even further and soaked us to the bone! 


When we arrived back at what we’ve decided is the best hotel in the world (definitely from this whole trip so far!) we received a lovely surprise from the woman at the front desk who checked us in. She had sent us chocolate dipped strawberries (like the cute tuxedos you see below) with a chocolate hotel themed frame and a bottle of wine. Super lovely and a great perk of being on our honeymoon! [We actually received another follow up to this on our final night from another staff member who Chelsea befriended – Earl from Thailand. We were feeling extremely spoilt from receiving two lots of honeymoon treats!!]


Thursday was our last day in Universal so we decided to take advantage of our one hour early admission (another perk of staying at our lovely hotel) and headed off while it was still dark at 6.30am. The 7am start at the park gets you into HP World an hour before it opens to the general public. It was super cool and we once again lined up for easily the most popular ride in the whole park – the Gringott’s ride! It was really cool seeing Diagon Alley all quiet and empty before it fills up with tonnes of people. And we followed up our lovely morning with lunch in the Leaky Cauldron, which was awesome. It’s kind of crazy being inside all of the places from the books/movies but super awesome and of course an incredible time for Chels.


Below are the final glimpses we took of Diagon Alley (after watching all of the themed shows including Celestina Warbeck and The Tale of Beedle the Bard)…


…before we bid a fond farewell to Universal Orlando and headed back to our wonderful hotel on the water taxi.


Today we have spent the day flying to LA and tomorrow brings more adventures!

But more on that later.




Harry FREAKING Potter World!

Originally when we were trying (unsuccessfully) to plan a wedding at home, Theresa wanted to come to the States for our honeymoon and the way she pitched it to me was “Dooooo you want to go to America for our honeymoon? Because-we-could-go-to-Harry-Potter-world!” I immediately responded with yes and 4 years later the dream has come true.

If you know me at all, even a little bit, you will know that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I grew up with the books and they make me so happy. So when Harry Potter world was created I treated it with the awe and reverence most people give to Disneyworld.


So Monday morning we were up before the sun for a quick boat ride from our awesome hotel to Universal – in particular Diagon Alley. Now I’m not going to post all of my thousands of photos – just some awesome highlights without giving away too many spoilers for those friends that plan to make it one day ( which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!)



We were so early we beat all of the crowds! We jumped on the Hogwarts Express (!) over to Hogsmeade and to visit the Hogwarts Castle, had a great lunch at the Three Broomsticks and back to Diagon Alley to go on the brand new Gringotts ride – which was brilliant.



We have formed an addiction to Butterbeer, sold at both parks – frothy, caramelly, creaming sodary goodness. Served cold or frozen and both equally delicious and addictive.



Now in that above photo you’ll notice my badge. That badge is like magic. We got them given to us at the ticket office and from then on EVERY single employee at the park has been congratulating us (including the Jamaican shrunken head in the Knight bus!). It also has gained us all sorts of awesome stuff (express passes, free Butterbeer, upgrades and so on). So cool. Apparently there are a couple of other honeymooners at the park and Universal likes to celebrate with us!

Now if they could only make a Doctor Who World…

Love (a very happy) Chelsea

PS – Tonight we are heading to see Theresa’s first proper Cirque du Soleil show! Review in the next blog!