USF/IOA Trip Report (11 Apr 2021) Sunday afternoon

These trip reports end up being fun for me and sort of a history of our visit. I realize they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. If not, you should stop reading before wasting more of your free time.

Actors: DH, DW, DS (13), DD (7), DS’s friend

10 April - Drive from Maryland to Savannah - Embassy Suites.

11 April. We arrived through a rainstorm down Interstate 4 to our Double Tree at the Entrance To Universal about 1345. When the rain let up a bit we walked to Hard Rock Hotel to redeem our Freedom Passes. The rain was actually coming down pretty heavily (this was the day heavy storms passed through and a tornado even touched down earlier in Winter Haven). While we got a little wet, the weather thinned the attendance at USF to our advantage.

We didn’t have tomorrow’s UEPs yet, so after tapping in, we arrived at 1605 to the Bourne Stuntacular for the 1630 showing which actually got started close to 1645. The rain stopped after we left. From there, we explored Diagon Alley and the shopping for a bit till we decided to eat dinner at Leaky Cauldron (at about 1730 I think). The crowds had thinned so much, there were plenty of tables. While we were eating someone called out happily because they scored a Hagrid’s VQ. So I hopped online and grabbed one too (good till 1845).

After dinner we got in line for Hogwart’s Express, getting to IOA and the Hagrid’s queue two minutes late. They let me and the boys in anyway while my wife went with my daughter to explore Hogsmeade and Toon Lagoon and Seuss Landing. After Hagrid’s (which I agree is the best ride in both Universal and WDW) My wife met up with us and went with the boys on Kong while I took daughter on Cat in the Hat and then Red Fish Blue Fish. We all met up again with everyone but me riding RFBF again (for my daughter). Then we hopped on Spiderman before park closing (which scared my daughter).

Then I ran back to the Double Tree, grabbed the car and picked everyone up at HRH lobby. It was a good first taste of the parks, knocking out a few things which didn’t take Express Pass anyhow. Riding Hagrid’s already on Sunday took off any pressure I felt to RD it on Tuesday morning. Little did I know we’d get two more VQs. Even though it was only 5 hours, Hagrid’s, and Bourne were fantastic. Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley, HogEx, Kong, and SpiderMan were all gravy.

Up the next morning (Monday) we were set to RD USF. Then Tuesday was RD of IOA.

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Sounds like a great start!

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