The AccommodationsI can't explain how excited I was to visit this hotel, it's a newly constructed little slice of the past. I'd seen photos and I THOUGHT I knew what to expect. However, I was shocked at how detail oriented every. little. thing. in the hotel was. from the packaging on the hotel toiletries to the quirky artwork on our room keys. Everything was absolutely perfect. There was a little bar in the lobby, a HUGE dining hall area with pretty good food (we only ate breakfast there and mostly ate at the amazing restaurants on the City Walk), a little bar with a huge pool area and best of all... an in-hotel bowling alley.
|Photo Credit to + Pin by Kelsy of Honey and the Hive|
|Love at first.... sign.|
The ParkI hadn't been to Universal Studios since January and since then, they've completed the construction of Diagon Alley + the Hogwarts Express. I will admit to getting a bit emotional seeing it pull into the train station and getting to walk through Platform 9 3/4. We were let into the park an hour early as one of the amenities through the hotel and that extra hour was absolutely invaluable to our day in the park... we didn't even have to buy express passes (the new Gringotts ride is phenomenal) and we got to stand right in the middle of Hogsmeade with largely deserted streets.
You Say Goodbye...I'm keeping Kristen + Liz's photo exposure to a minimum (as requested) because they're two of my favorite people and if they didn't want to be in photos, they damn well didn't have to be. haha. There were a few vintage cars that were perma-parked in front of the hotel almost as decor and Amelia + I found ourselves oddly drawn to this amazing wood-paneled station wagon, so before we left, we snapped our last few photos in front of it.
We spent the week prior adding songs to a semi-hilarious, time-machine-esque collaborative Spotify playlist (here) and listening to it on the drive(s) was made me so happy we'd taken the time to do so. I'm so lucky to have such amazing friends who made this happen. Liz + I drove a total of 24 hours in 3 days (12 to + from Nashville in her new car and 12 from Augusta to Orlando and back in Kristen's car) + she purchased our tickets, Kristen + Katie booked the hotel, drove the 12 hours to and from Orlando and they all chipped in for gas + food. We all felt mildly crazy for shoving so much into 3 days but that was half the fun! The mania of doing as much as we can in little time made the trip charming and unforgettable.