In just five days I leave for my first official agent trip as a part of the Magical Vacation Planner team. I will be spending three nights and four-ish days in Florida learning all I can about Universal Studios Orlando.
I have been to Universal Studios on both costs several times. I grew up in Southern California and have been to the original studios in Hollywood at least a dozen times growing up in the 1980’s. Of course that was before there were rides of any kind at the studio. Back then it was just the backlot studio tour and some pretty fantastic stunt shows. My favorite was the A-Team stunt show. Of course, I was obsessed with the show, so that’s not really a surprise. The Miami Vice show, which replaced it in the late 80’s was ok, but it didn’t have people pretending to be Hannibal, Face, Murdock and B.A., so it was not as cool. I haven’t been back to Universal Hollywood, so I have no idea what the current show is like.
I was actually hoping I could find one of the pictures of me with K.I.T.T., one of my favorite stops in the old park. The car actually talked to visitors, which as an 8 year old was so cool. I could not figure out how the car knew what I was wearing and who was with me. My kids were equally amazed when we visited Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot when they were 3 and 6.
I’ve been to Universal Orlando quite a few times too. In fact, when I lived in Florida, my husband an I had annual passes, but that was about 15 years ago. Jurassic Park: The Ride was still open (I cried when I heard it had closed) and Harry Potter may have been on my bookshelf, but he wasn’t featured in any amusement park. Considering what a Harry Potter fanatic I am, the fact that I haven’t been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter yet is shocking.
And I’ve never stayed at a Universal resort before. The last time I was there, I lived like an hour and a half away. There was no need to even think about hotels. I think in theory I knew they existed, but I’d never paid any attention. But now, I will be staying at Lowe’s Sapphire Falls Resort. I will also get to tour the other resorts, so I can find out all of the ins and outs in order to be able to make the best suggestions to my clients to fit their needs.
I will also get to experience the parks, including Volcano Bay, the water park that didn’t even exist when I lived in Florida. I cannot wait to check out the lazy river, and drink butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron. I am excited to see what has replaced my beloved Jurassic Park ride and to soar with Harry over quidditch fields. I want to get a donut in Springfield or maybe some Green Eggs and Ham in Seuss Landing.
But mostly, I want to soak up all sorts of information so I can pass it on to clients looking to have the vacation of a lifetime. I know it sounds totally trite, but I didn’t need to become a Magical Vacation Planner, I wanted to. I have a career that I have invested 22 years in, and for the most part, I enjoy it. But these last two months planning trips for people, I have found a brand new joy in my life. I may only have a handful of clients right now, but I am giving them my all because it is just so much fun!