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Orlando - April 2016

Getting wet and raincoatsGetting wet and collapsible raincoats at Universal Studios, Orlando

Disney World - Epcot Center


Here Patty stands near the Epcot homage to Frozen - we call it unFrozen.

The various rides in Epcot, all relatively near the entrance, are interesting, but not really unique. We were able to cover all of Epcot in the single day we spent in this section of Disney World.

crossing the lake

At the southern end of Epcot various pavilions, representing countries around the world, surround a large lake. Here we take a boat leaving the northern edge of the lake to travel to the southern edge.

Epcot Ball from Japanese Pavillion

The Japanese Pavilion is near where the boat docks on the southern edge and has this beautiful view of the Epcot ball.

Moroccan Pavillion

Here, in Morocco. Patty and Craig peruse architecture and trinkets with a North African flavor.

Universal Studios - Two Harry Potter Worlds

Diagon Alley

Universal Studios has rides that were memorable (Spiderman), but we couldn't photograph in any of them. At the far end of each park is a portion of the Harry Potter world.

We spent most of our two days at Universal traveling between the two Harry Potter worlds - one in each park - using the Hogwarts Express as both a ride and as transportation between the two. The California version only has one of these worlds at the present time and we wanted to experience both parks while in Florida.

The Harry Potter world starts in Diagon Alley - a hidden, wizards part of London - and the Gringott Bank is at the heart of this sub-world. We got our Butterbeer here - different, but expensive - and browsed all the places made famous by the books and movies.

Then we made our way to the London Train Station and terminal 9 3/4 - for the ride to Hogwarts' Castle. On the left is the King's Cross station and on the right the train arrives in Hogsmeade.

Train between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade
Hogsmeade Main Street

As in the books, the train deposits people in the town of Hogsmeade, and we walked through on the way to Hogwarts Castle for the rides there.



Hogwarts Castle - present in both the Florida and California parks - contains only one ride, but the lead-up to the ride is fabulous. The ride line winds throughout the castle and people get a feel for the books and movies just by waiting to get on the ride. Other rides are available outside the castle, but this - like Diagon Alley - is the central part of this park.

Our time in Florida wasn't very long, but it was really fun to see the differences between the Universal and Disney parks in Florida and those in California.