Seizing Family Time at Universal Orlando [Review]

Spinning on the Accelatron at Islands of Adventure.

I had an idea about writing a series of posts on traveling to Orlando with a focus on Universal Studios rather than other attractions. You know what I mean…

Fueling up with bagels, croissants, Nesquik, coffee, and OJ from Sal’s Market Deli before hitting the parks.

My blog niche is “seizing family time” in whatever way/place/time you can. My husband and I had previously traveled to Disney twice with kids, twice without kids, and once when we were kids. I wanted to focus on Universal Studios. And the ways in which our family would have a different experience in Orlando. Less mouse if you know what I mean…

The Musings from Me family minus one…
The Teen. The Kid. The Preteen.

And, we had a fabulous time. Back in January, we enjoyed the parks on a three-day break from school and work. We truly seized all the family time we could. We spent as much time at Universal Studios as we could. Islands of Adventure, too. The three-day break was just “what the doctor ordered” for each of us. The Kid and Tween were 3 and 8 the last time we ventured to Orlando. Both have a combination of hazy and vivid memories of our last trip. The Teen was on a break between semesters at school. As we left the park on the final day of our three-day weekend, she expressed how grateful she was to be able to have a getaway. I am “building a business,” working long hours, and generally tired and exhausted. My husband is adjusting to a new job, all while hunting for a new job. It’s safe to say that we ALL needed a break at Universal in Orlando!

The Kid, The Teen, and The Preteen outside the Hogwarts Castle gate

The parks have slightly shorter hours in the offseason. On the plus side, finding a hotel room is much easier than in busy holiday and summer seasons. Did we have trouble getting on any rides? Nope, the wait time for rides was minimal. Even the Harry Potter ride — The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — only had a long wait on Monday. During January, tour groups of students from South America come to Universal Studios in what is their summer vacation. Of the three days we were at Universal — Saturday, Sunday, and Monday — Monday was by far the busiest, especially in the town of Hogsmeade where the Harry Potter attractions are located. Now on the Saturday and Sunday of our trip we rode the Harry Potter rides 2 or 3 times each day. On the Monday, we only managed the Harry Potter rides once each.  We couldn’t spare more time as we had other rides to do at the parks before we had to catch a ride to the airport.

The grandparents spent the day at the pool while we enjoyed the parks. We talked about our day at dinner.

But, seize family time we did. My parents even joined us not at the parks, but at the hotel…the Portofino Bay Hotel, which is on the lagoon, a short boatride from Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

The Kid, The Tween, and the Teen were ready for dinner after a long day of walking around the parks and Universal’s CityWalk at Trattoria Del Porto.

We’re a family with kids of different ages and genders. Our kids span from 8 to 15. Oh, and did I mention that we rarely agree on anything. If you think we rarely agree on everything, you would be quite correct.

The Tween is ready for our final day at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
My family and I were invited to Universal Studios and the Portofino Bay Hotel. The views expressed in this post are my own. I blog following the tenets of Blog With Integrity.

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