|Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom|
|Gardens outside the Japanese pavilion at Epcot Centre|
|Heading into Universal Studios, Orlando|
|View of Hogwarts Castle on the Hogsmeade side of|
the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
|Entrance to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride on the Hogsmeade side|
|Entrance to Kennedy Space Centre|
|The real Atlantis space shuttle|
We were fortunate enough to be at the right end of the park when Universal held their "soft opening" a few days before the official opening date. We were able to ride the Hogwarts Express and even visit the newest area, Diagon Alley, before the official opening date.
|Hanging out with the conducer of the Hogwarts Express|
|Hogwarts Express pulling into Hogsmeade Station before |
heading back to King's Cross Station in London (Diagon Alley)
This did not mean that we weren't there for the grand opening on July 8, of course. While we didn't arrive at the park before sunrise as some fans did, we did arrive early and waiting over 90 minutes just to be admitted to Diagon Alley.
|The dragon atop Gringott's Bank in Diagon Alley - lots of noise and heat!|
It was definitely worth it and we marvelled at the attention to detail in every aspect of this part of the park.
|A glimpse at Hogwarts on the Hogsmeade side|
We sampled butter beer (both the regular and frozen variety), watched some of the free shows and bought just a few things. It was worth standing in the 35 C weather (which actually felt like 43 C with the humidity) and the butter beer ice cream was certainly welcome. My daughter was thrilled and so pleased that our vacation coincided with the official opening - a date that wasn't released until long after we'd booked the trip. I'm sure she'll remember this trip for many years to come.
|Entrance to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in Hogsmeade|
|Some of the colourful candies in Honeyduke's in Hogsmeade|
Now that I'm back, I'm working on a new on-line video class for Curious.com, which I hope to be shooting in the next few weeks. If you haven't yet checked out my videos on Curious.com, please do so and let me know what you think of the platform. I'm very excited to be working with them and can hardly wait to show you the class videos.
One more thing: even though I've been away, there have been new videos posting weekly to my Youtube channel. Become a subscriber and you'll be immediately notified when new videos are released.