Universal Orlando Resort - Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
Where do I start? This was one of my most fun getaways ever! Firstly if you know me you know I love all things Harry Potter, (and Disney), so collaborating with Universal was a dream come true. I was literally counting down the days until I was allowed to go and pretend I was a wizard for a few days...
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is just over a year old, unfortunately the room key doesn't act as a fast pass, but I'd rather pay for a fast pass and get the luxury of this hotel. As I walked into the hotel it was surprisingly calm for a theme park resort hotel, but this never seemed to change throughout the stay. As we checked in everything was calm, the room wasn't ready yet but this was fine, as I had to eat something after a 4hour drive from Naples. The food at Amatista was amazing, I had the jerk chicken for lunch with a Miami Vice cocktail... the drive was long! I needed something. My friend who came as my trusted photographer had the burger, which looked insanely delicious!
The hotel room was impeccably clean, the staff's attention to detail is incredible, everyone says 'Hello' to you as you walk past. I cannot speak any higher of this hotel, and I have stayed in some top resorts world wide! Luckily this resort has the added benefit of being walking distance from City Walk, as well as a shuttle boat. (Cabana Bay however, it is right on their new theme park Volcano Bay, it doesn't have boat access to the parks). I'll let the photos do the talking because I am sure my words wouldn't be able to do it as much justice, I was lucky enough to stay in one of the suites they offer!! Take a peek.
After being absolutely floored by the room, we ventured down to the pool before the storm hit and had a wonderful cabana. However we only got to make use of the cabana for a few moments before a lightening storm hit! They are very strict about the lightening in Florida, so as soon as a storm is in sight and their radar goes off it's all out the pool, and the pool area is evacuated too. The same with the roller coasters. From what I saw of the pool, there seemed to be a couple of waterslides too! Unfortunately I didn't have time to make it back to the pool as I was so busy in the parks!
That evening my friend Tyler (my trusted photographer!) and I went to Toothsome Chocolate Emporium for dinner. WOW. The milkshakes here are INSANE. This is situated just between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, right next to Hard Rock Cafe. We took the little boat from the hotel over to City Walk, with empty stomachs and went right in.
This was the first day tackling the parks! After being spoilt about the hotel, and gorging on amazing food, I was ready! I had strategically planned the day, starting with Universal Studios first, finishing with Islands of Adventure.
Tip #1 - buy a Park Hopper Pass, this allows you to take the Hogwarts express between both parks.
Tip #2 - make sure you cover all of Universal Orlando before entering Diagon Alley because you're best to take the Hogwarts Express as the last attraction over to Islands of Adventure
Tip #3 - None of the Harry Potter rides have fast pass, make use of early admission if you're in a Park Hotel, or take the Single Rider lines (you will be split up from your group though).
Tip #4 - wear comfy shoes, there is a lot of mileage around the parks, and City Walk!
For obvious reasons I couldn't get footage of me on the rides, hello, that's dangerous! So you'll have to take my word for it. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Roller Coaster is a MUST. If you love thrills and music, head to this ride first. Before you set off you get to pick your music that you'll ride too and at the end, you can see the music video of you whizzing about the track. However, before you hit this roller coaster make sure you stop by the Minions 4D ride, and Shrek. You will have to wear 3D glasses for these, but they're hilarious! Now, taking my Tip, we did a sweep of the rest of the park, Men In Black, Simpsons etc, before heading into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
If you've always wanted to be a wizard, this is the best place to be! You can buy a wand ($50) and wave it at certain things to watch the magic happen. If you're a Harry Potter fanatic like myself, then this is also the best place to be. It's just mind blowing how they've managed to set it up to replcate how the movie looks. Once I'd finished playing about we hopped on the Hogwarts Express over to Islands of Adventure before it got dark.
So this was our last and final day here, and I needed more time! There's so much to see, so much to do! And definitely not enough hours in 3 days to cover it all! This was the day I managed to get around Islands of Adventure, after fully covering all of Universal Orlando the day before. Where to start? With the Hulk ride of course!! Now, Tyler had to take Dramamine before going into the parks, and we had to sit down after this ride because, it got to him a little! This is not for the faint hearted, it's intense, it's big and it's loud! But I loved it!!! After wandering about the Marvel area, we moved onto Toon Land, where I was dragged onto a water ride, and you DO GET SOAKED!!!!!!! Do not even bother buying a poncho, you get soaked regardless.
Now, If you haven't read my Instagram then you won't know what my new favourite ride is, KONG! For this you need 3D glasses again, but just ignore them when they say it's a high speed rollercoaster, I know thats for their duty of care but if you can do Spiderman then you'll be fine! I was speechless coming off of this ride, its 4D it's 3D, its everything brilliant.
So after 3 days in Universal living the dream, would I go back? 100%, 100% over and over, I would go every week if I could. I had a blast, I had the most fun I've had in a long while. And I hope my trusted photographer had as much too, despite having to be behind a screen filming or shooting majority of the day.
Keep checking my Instagram for new unseen photos from the trip! There'll be a new photo update every Thursday for the next couple of weeks. And a video to come too!!!
oh and p.s Get a Churro! They're one of my favourite park snacks.
P.P.S!!! Jasper loved his gift basket, unfortunately he couldn't come with me so he got some treats for me to take back home, courtesy of Loews Sapphire Falls Resort!