Making Super Hero Family Memories at Universal Orlando Resort
It isn’t often that I get to bring my passion for blogging together with my passion for being a mother and a wife. My family is so super supportive of my blog, but rarely do they get to see the amazing things that happen when bloggers and brands come together. Thanks to this amazing event to visit Universal Orlando resort, which was organized by the Mom It Forward team… my family and I got to travel to Orlando Florida for an unforgettable experience that we will never forget.The main reason that I jumped on this opportunity to attend the Family Forward retreat, wasn’t so much because it was taking place at the fabulous Loews Royal Pacific Resort or because said resort is in super close walking distance to Universal Orlando, but mostly because this event was an opportunity for me to share the benefits of blogging with my family, and enjoy this family team building adventure. When I started my blog almost 5 years ago, I never dreamed that it would become such a huge part of my life … and it truly has become a family affair. My family helps me to product test and write reviews, they are supportive of the long hours and crazy adventures, the phone calls, the photos (the re-takes!), the trips and the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, we really are a team that works together to run our super hero family … so it was very exciting and fun to take this week long journey to Universal Orlando in Florida to celebrate the supers that we are.
Because our adventure was packed full of events, I will be sharing it in a few separate posts. Aside from being really (really!) excited for this trip, I will be honest and tell you that I didn’t quite know what to expect. The folks from Mom It Forward rolled out the red carpet for us (literally… that post coming soon!) by hooking us up to stay at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. I am a customer service freak, and I can honestly tell you that I have not one negative thing to say about this resort. From the moment that we walked in, we were treated like VIPs, and I get the impression that is how every guest is treated, as the entire week I did not see one disgruntled traveler. (and you have to admit, that is quite rare!)
One of our first exciting surprises was realizing that Universal Orlando park was literally a quick 10 minute walk from the hotel. They also had a ferry boat that would take you there, but we were so excited to see everything that we usually just took the little pathway over. The neat thing about this week long journey was that there were fun surprises popping up all of the time. So really, our 10 minute walk would usually turn into more like 25 minutes, but when you are having fun exploring and checking out the beauty all around you, time doesn’t really matter so much.
And that was part of the awesome-ness of it all … we were never in a hurry. I never felt rushed, and we just kind of went at our own pace, and I noticed that is what other families were doing as well. I have been on the rushed crazy hurry-hurry theme park trips before, and you know what? Not.Worth.It. It was so nice to be staying so close to the park and to be able to go back and forth as we pleased. I will share some more tips and ideas for maximizing your theme park enjoyment in a later post … but for this one, I am excited to tell you about how we kicked off our first night at the retreat!
The Mom It Forward team and the folks at Universal Orlando arranged for all of the Family Forward Retreat attendees to have an evening inside the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. I wasn’t quite sure what we were getting into, but I can tell you that the actual adventure of walking at night with your family through an extremely quiet and empty theme park is beyond exciting. It feels like a dream… all of the rides are quiet and you can see things, things that you might miss with crowds and chaos. You notice all of the intricate details, like how the ground has sea shells mixed in with the concrete and how there are little things placed strategically around the park.
The long walk to the back of the park to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was exciting enough, but upon arriving, you literally feel like you have just stepped into Harry’s world. MAGICAL. We feasted on delicious desserts and drank Butter Beer and Pumpkin Juice, we visited Ollivanders Wand Shop where we learned how to pick the perfect wand, we rode The Flight of Hippogriff, and somehow my hubby talked me into riding The Dragon Challenge. If you love roller coasters and beyond crazy (crazy!) rides, then you will LOVE this ride. As for me, I screamed like a 4 year old and am quite sure that it took a few years off of my life. That being said, it was, without a doubt, the scariest and most thrilling ride that I have ever been on.
Last but not least, we rode on the new and very popular ride: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. I have to say, this ride takes technology to all of the limits and is so exciting, breathtaking and wow… you find that just can’t stop saying “wow. You find yourself right in the middle of the action with Harry and his friends, and this is a must-do for any Harry Potter fan. The experience is amazing. Here’s a peek at our time spend in Harry’s world:
I am ever so grateful for the amazing time that we had on this journey and I will be sharing even more of our adventures in posts to come soon, so please keep an eye out for them, you want want to miss the re-caps, because I have some pretty exciting stuff to share!
And a HUGE shout out to all of the fabulous sponsors of this event: