The girls and I decided to stay back at the house and relax while the boys left to go back to Universal Studios. While the girls and I relaxed by the pool all day, the boys spent more time at the main part of Universal Studios, riding more of the Harry Potter rides, riding the Hogwarts Express, exploring Diagon Alley, and just having fun. They came home in the early afternoon and then we all headed back to Universal Studios to eat dinner at NBC Sports Grill. After filling our tummies and waiting for the sun to go down, we decided to all go to Diagon Alley and walk through the shops. We even got to see the dragon at the top of the bank blow fire out of its mouth. It was pretty exciting. Then we all rode the Hogwarts Express train to the other side of the park. Madeline really loved the train ride. As we were walking out of the park, we saw some friends from back home in Colorado and chatted for a little bit and then headed back to the house.
After a few days of doing the Disney thing, we headed to Universal Studios to experience the non-Disney side of things. We were there mainly to experience all of the Harry Potter attractions. We spent most of this day exploring the Islands of Adventure Park. After a very mediocre Spiderman ride, the big kids and I stood in line for the Hulk ride while Mike took Madeline to Dr. Seuss land. The line seemed to take forever but, in the end, it was worth it because this ride was super thrilling. There were several loopty loops which was a lot of fun. Afterwards we met up with Mike and Madeline and explored the Harry Potter side of the park. We did a rider swap since Madeline was too small to ride and took turns with the big kids riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. I have to say this was the worst ride ever. It was so nauseating kind of poorly done. It made us all realize why there is just something so special about the Disney parks. Moving on, we walked through Hogsmeade, drank some butterbeer, and saw the Hogwarts Express. The big kids ventured over to another big kid ride while I spent some time in Dr. Suess land with Madeline. Then we all ate lunch in the shade and enjoyed some downtime. We headed back over to Hogsmeade to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Although we had a spot in the virtual line, we still waited in line for at least an hour. The weather was so hot and much of the line was outside, so we were not too happy about that but once we got inside the building all was well. The ride was amazing, and it totally exceeded our expectations. The big kids were excited to ride it twice since we had to do another rider swap because Madeline wasn’t big enough to ride it. I was a bit jealous they got to ride it twice. Since we were all melting by this point, we decided to call it a day and headed out of the park and made our way home to relax in the pool.