It was the last day of our honeymoon, and to be completely honest I had been looking forward to it for a few days. I had guessed where we were going for our last day, and I was waiting for it just as eagerly as a little kid waits for Christmas.
We woke up bright and early and got off the ship as soon as we could so our day could begin. We hopped in the rental car and started driving. My excitement grew a little bit every time we passed a sign for where we were going (which happened a LOT):
Mr. Cardy was probably pretty annoyed with me by the time we finally got to our hotel because I was absolutely giddy. I couldn’t sit still, and I was just bouncing all over the place squealing nonsense about Harry Potter. You might say I’m a big fan.
I was really excited. Can you tell?
We checked into our hotel, and walked over to Universal Studios. Now, let me preface my excitement with this statement: Before our honeymoon, I had never been to a theme park other than Sea World or Six Flags. They’re great theme parks, but they are nothing compared to how elaborate and insane a place like Universal Studios is.
I felt like a six year old as I darted around the park, dragging Mr. Cardigan behind me. I wanted to see EVERYTHING there was to see. We got there as soon as the park opened, and I couldn’t contain my excitement over Harry Potter, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the rest of the park until I had seen it. So, we made a beeline, and Mr. Cardigan did his best to keep up with me as I practically ran to the Harry Potter section of the park.
THERE IT IS!
Looking back, I’m really, really glad that we chose to go there first. It was crowded when we were there, but it was nothing compared to how insane it was when we tried to stop back by before we left the park.
Yeah, see all those people? That’s the CALM time of day. Imagine it with about 3 times as many people, and you’ll have what it looked like that afternoon.
We leisurely wandered around Hogsmeade, taking in all of the sights. I was insistent on seeing every. single. thing. Mr. Cardigan was really excited to try the Butterbeer (I’m not a fan of cream soda, so I deduced that I wouldn’t like it), and once he tried it he was obsessed. I think he got three glasses over the course of the day!
We finished the street of Hogsmeade with all the shops, and then we saw what we were really there for: the castle.
Now, a word of advice to those of you who haven’t been and are planning on going: As Miss Jaguar mentioned last week, the line for the castle goes much faster if you split up and go as single riders. As in, the wait was about an hour and a half long, but we only waited 15 minutes.
BUT. If you take the single riders line, you will miss seeing ALL of the castle. You won’t see the greenhouse, Dumbledore’s office, or the awesome hologram video setting up the entire ride. And when you ride the ride you won’t really know what’s going on (it will still be awesome, but you won’t understand the story behind it.) Mr. Cardy and I weren’t aware of this when we chose to go in the single riders line that morning, so we ended up coming back to the park later that evening and waiting in the full line so we could see the castle. The wait really wasn’t bad at all since you had so many cool things to look at.
My other big piece of advice? Listen up, ’cause this one’s important. If you get to the Harry Potter park at a time where the lines are crowded and there is a two hour wait just to get into one of the shops (no, that is not an exaggeration), DON’T wait in the lines! The shops are cool to see, but guess what? If you just go to the general Universal Studios shop at the very front of the park, you can get almost anything that you can get in the shops, with absolutely no waiting to get in. They have the wands, the t-shirts, the chocolate frogs, the toys—just about everything. You’re welcome.
Once we finished up at the Harry Potter section, it was time to see the rest of the park. Furthering my image as an over-excited kid, my second favorite section of the park was definitely the Dr. Seuss area. What can I say? I love his books!
We spent most of our day in the park, enjoying the sights, and then we went to Universal’s CityWalk that evening for dinner. We were dying to check out Emeril’s restaurant there, but we had a feeling we couldn’t afford it (we were right).
Then, the next morning, we got up, grabbed breakfast and headed to the airport to come home! Usually, when a trip is over I’m really sad and not ready to come back—I didn’t feel that way this time. Our honeymoon was awesome, but it came on the heels of being away from our home for two weeks while preparing for the wedding, we had been away from our house for over three weeks at this point, and we were so ready to be home.
Yes, I just threw in a kissy picture for no apparent reason. It makes me smile, though. 🙂
And that, my friends, concludes the Cardigan honeymoon recaps. Stay tuned, because a little birdie told me that I should be getting my disc with wedding photos VERY SOON! And in the meantime, I have a few things I plan on talking about, like some last minute projects, and my biggest piece of advice for your wedding day!
Are you as big of a fan of Harry Potter as I am? Have you seen the theme park yet?!