Day 3: DD and DS decided to get to IOA early again to do VC, but the girls and I chose to wait and head to USF to get to Diagon Alley at opening. Honestly, with Hagrid’s off the list for EE right now, it’s just not that big a deal to get there that early. We never waited more than around 35 minutes for VC and the only other options at EE were Hulk and Spiderman, both of which have EP. But I digress…
The girls and I got to USF around 8:40 (opening at 9). They opened the gates at 8:50 and we headed straight to DA. It makes a HUGE difference to get back there at park open! You can really wander around and see everything, cast spells without waiting, etc. We wandered down Nocturn Alley, took pictures, DD16 bought a pygmy puff, and we headed to Ollivander’s. My kids were interested in the show, so we just went and DD14 picked out a wand (belonging to someone from Fantastic Beasts, it was pink???) and by this time, DS and DH had ridden HE over and joined us. DS decided to get a wand, too, and picked out Slytherin’s They walked around some more casting spells and we got in line for Gringott’s around 9:45. After Gringott’s, we decided to do Mummy (had to get it in again since we knew it was going to close the next day) and Transformers (which we all agree is a slightly lesser Spiderman, but worth a ride). Then we let DS and DH do RRR again and headed to City Walk for lunch.
We ate at Margaritaville, getting nachos, a shrimp and chicken bowl, and a burger. The food there is decent, the atmosphere is fun, and our waitress was awesome! After lunch, DH headed back for his afternoon break and the kids and I walked to IOA. We had seen people in the single rider line at Hagrid’s the day before and decided that might be the way to go.
Once we got to IOA and saw the Hagrid’s line, the kids had an argument about waiting (the line was back almost to Poseidon again and they won’t guarantee there’s an SR line at that point, you have to get up to the actual entrance to find out). After many strong words between siblings and some yelling from mom (keeping it real here), we decided to wait a bit and go to Jurassic Park instead. DS and DD14 rode VC in the SR line, which took about 30 minutes (posted wait was 60 at that point). Then we rode JP River and got MUCH wetter than planned (we were in the front!) and at that point another argument about riding other water rides ensued Mom ended it by saying I didn’t want to get wet, so we went to try Hagrid’s again. At this point (2 maybe?) the line was only back to the HE entrance, so we decided to go for it. We got in the SR line and ended up waiting around 45 minutes instead of the posted 75. The SR line is VERY boring, but the shorter wait was worth it.
At that point, we headed to USF (walking) and DH joined us again. I knew I wanted to see the Bourne show (though my kids complained a LOT, they do NOT like shows) so we planned on the 5:15 show. That gave us time to do RRR and Gringott’s (I tried to talk them into Jimmy Fallon but “Mom, it’s just a show! We hate shows!”). We then headed to ET and then went to Bourne for the 5:15. And let me tell you, 30 seconds in, the kids took ALL their words back! That show is so awesome! The technology they use is really incredible and the timing of the actors is so precise! When they issued the warning beforehand I was like, that’s really weird! I’ve never seen a show with a warning like a ride! But it was definitely needed! If you can handle it, definitely go see it!
By the time we got out, it was around 6. DD14 wanted to do Mummy one more time, but the rest of us were hungry and tired, so we headed to City Walk. We ended up eating a Red Oven Pizza Kitchen and it was a really great experience! We sat in about 15 minutes. We’d never been before, so not sure if this is a Covid change, but we ordered on the App and they delivered it to our table. We did have to go up to the counter to get waters to drink, but it was really an easy way to do dinner and the pizza was really good. We will definitely be back there! Then the girls did some shopping and we headed back to Portofino! The boat line for Portofino was really long, so we walked instead. It’s a really nice walk, especially in this weather, and only took us about 15 minutes, even though we were all really tired!