The Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios is one of my all time favorite attractions.  I can still remember the first time I took the elevator to the 13th floor…. It is a must do for us, but sadly for me, I  have not been able to enjoy this particular attraction in almost a year due to two preschoolers…. so now I admire it from afar knowing my time to ride will be soon….Tower of Terror Turns Twenty Today

July 22, 1994 — The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
In tonight’s episode, you are the star in an episode of “The Twilight Zone. ” In 1939 Hollywood, five guests boarded an elevator at the Hollywood Tower Hotel and were never seen again. Although dust and cobwebs cover the lobby, which has remnants of the glamorous days when the Hollywood elite walked its halls, the Hollywood Tower Hotel’s maintenance elevator is still in use. You’re invited, if you dare, to take a trip into the fifth dimension and beyond, culminating in a 13-story drop sequence that guarantees a frightfully different experience each time you check in. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror can also be experienced in Disney California Adventure Park, Tokyo DisneySea and the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.

Tower of Terror Turns Twenty Today The Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios is one of my all time favorite attractions.  I can still remember the first time I took the elevator to the 13th floor….

This Week in Disney History: July 18-24

This Week in Disney History: July 18-24

July 22, 1994 — The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
In tonight’s episode, you are the star in an episode of “The Twilight Zone. ” In 1939 Hollywood, five guests boarded an elevator at the Hollywood Tower Hotel and were never seen again. Although dust and cobwebs cover the lobby, which has remnants of the glamorous days when the Hollywood elite walked its halls,…

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Carson selected his own wand today. He chose Narcissa Malfoy’s. #universalstudiosorlando #diagonalley #goflorida #lovefl #potterwatch

Carson selected his own wand today. He chose Narcissa Malfoy’s. #universalstudiosorlando #diagonalley #goflorida #lovefl #potterwatch

Headed back to #diagonalley to cast some spells & enjoy some #butterbeer ice cream #universalstudiosorlando #lovefl #goorlando

Headed back to #diagonalley to cast some spells & enjoy some #butterbeer ice cream #universalstudiosorlando #lovefl #goorlando

This Week in Disney History: July 11-17

This Week in Disney History: July 11-17

July 15, 1995 — Disney’s Wedding Pavilion opens at the Walt Disney World Resort
Couples exchange vows with views of Cinderella Castle and the Seven Seas Lagoon on an island near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. With classical arrangements of the most romantic Disney songs accompanying the ceremony and Cinderella’s Coach as the royal transportation, Disney’s Wedding Paviliongives couples a…

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This Week in Disney History: July 4-10

This Week in Disney History: July 4-10

July 5, 1988 — Maelstrom opens at the Norway pavilion at Epcot.
Set sail for adventure on a dragon-headed Viking ship, through the fjords and misty rivers where trolls from folklore lurk along the waterside. A voyage on Maelstrom may lead you to peril and adventure, with polar bear encounters and a plunge over a waterfall into the North Sea. But the spirit of Norway is also one of beauty and…

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New ‘Frozen Summer Fun’ guidemaps at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New guidemaps for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be in circulation at the Walt Disney World Resort starting Thursday, July 17.

New ‘Frozen Summer Fun’ guidemaps at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New guidemaps for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be in circulation at the Walt Disney World Resort starting Thursday, July 17.

We went to Universal Studios Orlando yesterday in hopes of catching a ride or two on the Hogwart’s Express during the soft opening.   We ended up getting there around 2pm to learn that they quit running the Hogwart’s Express at 1:45. Knowing that the day before they ran it in the evening from 5 to 7pm, we decided to stick around and play in the park for a bit before heading to Islands of Adventure, hoping we would get to ride the Hogwart’s Express late in the day.The Hogwart's Express - Universal Studios

Around 4:50 we headed back to King’s Cross Station to check on whether it would reopen, and even though the cast members couldn’t tell us one way or another, all the signs were there that it would be reopening soon so we stuck around.  After 15 minutes and several great chats with the staff working there, we were in luck, it opened!  I took a bunch of pictures of the entire attraction, and decided that this time I will show you through Kings Cross Station and the Hogwart’s Express.

 

The Hogwart's Express - Universal StudiosThe Hogwart's Express - Universal Studios

It is a really long queue but it looks just like you are in a train station.  After the first long part, you entire a huge open room that even has a snack shop with beer, pop, water, salads and sweets so you can purchase something to eat for your train ride or to enjoy in line.

 

Because we use our Stroller as a wheelchair for Carson, we had to go up in the lift (elevator), but Pat took the stairs and met us.  Stevie took the stroller out the handicap exit to get in line while Pat and I walked through the rest of the queue.

After you are up the stairs, pay attention to the decorations, there is a screen off to your left that allows you watch the others ahead of cross through to platform 9 3/4.

Once outside on the platform you are greeted by Hedwig sitting atop Harry’s trunk waiting to be loaded on the train.  He turns his head and blinks his eyes as if he’s looking at all the passengers are walking by.

The Hogwart's Express - Universal StudiosThe Hogwart's Express - Universal Studios

After passing Hedwig, we proceeded to our place on the platform to board the train.  The train was just arriving as we were walking toward the far side of the platform.

The Hogwart's Express - Universal StudiosWe waited for our turn to board the train on the passenger car.  As our stroller doubles as a wheelchair, each car has a compartment where the seat can lift up and provide room.  This allows a guest who’s unable to get out of their wheelchair to simply board the train and not have to transfer to another seat.

The Hogwart's Express - Universal StudiosThe Hogwart's Express - Universal Studios

Under normal circumstances, each compartment aboard the Hogwarts Express can hold up to 8 people.  So, in our case the compartment held all of our family and the double stroller just fine.  After getting all settled in the compartment, the door automatically closed and within a few moments our trip began to Hogsmeade.

We had no idea what to expect during this trip.  We thought we’d be looking out the windows of the train and seeing parts of the park or maybe even some of the Universal Florida backlot.  Inside the Hogwarts Express, the window is actually a screen looking outside to the streets of London as our train is departing King’s Cross station.  We see several streets of London and eventually into the countryside.  The doors looking out to the hallway opposite the train show the shadows of train passengers walking by our compartment.  We can hear voices of people talking, such as Harry, Ron, and Hermoine.  We even see a dementor floating by leaving a cold hand print upon the window.  Luckily, Harry casts an expecto patronum and the dementor disappears!

After 5 minutes, we arrive in Hogsmeade.  We then leave the train and make our way off the platform and onto Hogsmeade.

The train arrives right outside the entrance to Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure.  The Harry Potter Dragon’s Challenge roller coaster rides are nearby the station and you can even hear the screams of the riders as they wiz by the walkway.

The Hogwarts Express train at Universal Studios Diagon Alley is unlike anything we expected.  We had imagined the train station would closely depict what appeared in the movies, but simply thought the train ride would be a simple and brief transportation from one park to another.  We were completely blown away by how realistic it makes a guest feel when being inside the train and believing you’re en-route to an actual destination, whether it’s London or Hogsmeade.

We made a took a video of our complete trip starting from King’s Cross station at Universal Studios all the way to entering Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure. Give it a watch and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

The Hogwart’s Express – Universal Studios We went to Universal Studios Orlando yesterday in hopes of catching a ride or two on the Hogwart’s Express during the soft opening.  

Summer Celebration Giveaway Time

Summer Celebration Giveaway Time

It’s been a bit since we did a giveaway, and since Summer is in full force here in the Floria heat, we think it is a good time to celebrate it with a giveaway.  So we have once again joined forces with a few others to bring you the chance to win a $75 Disney Gift Card and custom made t-shirt from Behind the Mouse on Etsy.

Summer Celebration Disney Gift Card Giveaway

Winner must be 18 or older and a US citizen. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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London facade of #DiagonAlley just go through the doors. It is AMAZING. #universalstudios #potterwatch #orlando #travel #photography

London facade of #DiagonAlley just go through the doors. It is AMAZING. #universalstudios #potterwatch #orlando #travel #photography