So on my trip out to Orlando this year I was lucky enough to join forces with Paladone combining a geeky trip to Orlando and its Universal theme parks; while running competitions & giving away prizes courtesy of a the lovely peeps over at Paladone. Here’s a brief rundown of what we got upto…
Paladone and I wanted to show our respect to the victims and families of the Orlando Pulse shootings. So, we went along to Fanfest Orlando (Orlando Convention Centre) where all proceeds was being donated to the One Orlando fund.
The city and people of Orlando really got behind this event with fantastic support from the cast of Walking Dead, Arrow, and WWE wrestlers who all LOVED interacting with the fans. Of course an event like this doesn’t come without cosplayers and I have to say some very impressive cosplays including Negan (Walking Dead) Michael Myers (Halloween) and plenty of Harley Quinn’s!! (Suicide Squad).
A great day, awesome community spirit and Paladone and I was very happy to be there to support such a worthy course!
Islands of Adventure…
My first venture into the theme parks was Universals Islands of Adventure. If you haven’t been before this park is basically split into sections and includes license’s such as Marvel, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter.
After consuming a pint of coffee and a Cinnabon, it was time to hit the rides in Marvel Island. The Amazing Spider-Man, the Hulk rollercoaster, and Dr.Doom rides are always top of my list but I have to say, the coffee and Cinnabon before hand wasn’t a good idea!! However all this was forgotten after I bumped into Spider-Man, yes Spider-Man, he’s real folks!!
After the eventful morning of Superhero rides it was onto the more relaxed zones in the park, and time to enter Jurassic Park, which is one of my favourite zones in the park. Rides, bars, and a museum all JP themed, “welcome to Jurassic Park”.
However this time, it really did feel like I was on the island of Isla Nublar as it was that time in the day for the Orlando rain to hit, and boy did it hit hard. After standing in a tent for an hour, soaking wet and surrounded by Dinosaurs the rain finally stopped and I was able to dry off in the sun and walk over to the next zone – Harry Potter World!!!
Upon crossing the bridge from the JP zone you see the huge Hogwarts Castle, simply stunning with a huge amount to detail, so impressive! Of course visiting Hogmeade means wizards, magic, muggles and Butter Beer, and well I just can’t turn anything with the word “beer” down, can I?!…it’s delicious!!
However as the old legs start to tire, I just managed to get all the rides done in Harry Potter World and walk over to the Hogshead Pub for a cheeky pint and start working on competitions and giveaways with Paladone, as tomorrow I’m heading into Universal Studios for another busy day.
Like Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios is separated into zones, with licenses that include Transformers, Harry Potter and The Simpsons. Of course, nothing starts until the coffee kicks in so a quick Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks and I’m ready to rock and roll!!
So first stop….Transformers, I mean I just love Transformers and after the ride I was lucky enough to get photos of me with Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron. I was like a kid at Christmas, I can’t tell you how much it meant to me, even though technically they are men in suits, but we shall forget that eh!!
After checking out The Simpsons, Men in Black, Shrek, Terminator and visiting my old mate Bruce the Shark (JAWS) it was time to head back to the land of witches, wizards and Dragons! Diagon Alley is yet another section of Harry Potter World, but this time in the Universal Studios park. As I sat in Diagon Alley drinking Pumpkin Juice and watching all the muggles enjoy there magical experience it was time to hit some Harry Potter rides and then catch the Hogwarts Express back to Hogmeade and finish the day off with another cheeky beer (yes I like beer) in the Hogshead Pub before leaving the park and checking out Universals CityWalk.
So CityWalk is all about the bars, food, merchandise and party. Now at my age I’m all good apart from the latter! But whatever you are looking for, you’ll find it here. Great pizzas, margaritas, shopping, Cinnabon’s, (Make sure you have a Cinnabon, amazing) a Cinema and if you’re a Forrest Gump fan, Bubba Gumps restaurant is the place for you, awesome atmosphere and amazing food & drink!
Seriously I could write SO much detail about this trip, but it would take me weeks and I’m certainly no blogger. All I can say is if you’re a geek like me, enjoy the movies, good food, amazing atmosphere and a great holiday, Orlando is for you. I had so much fun working with Paladone on this trip, and if you scroll through my Twitter or Instagram (@grumpyandgeeky) you’ll see a whole load of things I got up to (along with Paladone prizes & winners) as i was so busy out there, I just couldn’t tell you all about it on here….it was crazy!!
I’d like to thank Paladone for their amazing support and who knows maybe one day I can go out there again for a longer period of time and cover more geeky subjects and bring you some Star Wars adventures also 😉
Hope y’all have a great & geeky day!