Happy Birthday Craig! Universal Studios Osaka

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

I've been super excited to publish this post! On Tuesday it was Craig's 23rd Birthday and we decided to make it a memorable one by heading to Universal Studios. Now I have never been to a Universal before, but Craig has been to the Florida one and told me it was amazing! Back in my early teens I used to love going to theme parks, but as of the last 5 or so years I haven't visited one - so I couldn't wait to try out all the rides and act like a big kid again!

I will start by saying we were a little worried about the park being over crowded, as all the reviews we had read said about long waiting times for rides and barely being able to move about the park! However this was not the case! The longest we waited was 80 minutes and that was for the biggest ride at the park - Jurassic Park's Flying Dinosaur (which by the way was terrifying)! When we arrived we got our extremely predictable tourist picture by the giant universal globe, we then waited in a cue for around 45 minutes to get our tickets and then another cue for around 30 to actually get into the park, not to bad at all! We were blessed with great weather so waiting really wasn't as issue.


The park itself is massive and there is so much to see and do! The first thing we did was head to Harry Potter World, as it was the thing we were both the most excited about! All I have to say is - Can I please go to Hogwarts?! It was incredible! The entire experience is so realistic, Hogsmeade is just like you see it in the films, we enjoyed a delicious butterbeer whilst taking in the surroundings! The Hogwarts building itself is out of this world (literally) and we wasted no time going inside and cueing for the 4K3D Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, which was the best of the day - utterly thrilling and so exhilarating (sorry not spoilers). After pretending we were bessie mates with Harry and the gang we headed off to explore the rest of the park.

The next ride we went on was Hollywood Dream - a classic loopy roller coaster with loads of belly flipping moments, made even more enjoyable by the speakers in each seat where you could choose your own music to ride too! Unfortunately I seemed to have crooked my neck mid ride and came off like an 90 years old woman... After wandering around Hello Kitty Land (much to Craig's dismay) we then headed for some lunch in The Amity Village Restaraunt (Jaws themed) where we had shrimp burgers and chips, really yummy, filling and fairly reasonable for a theme park. After lunch we went on the Jaws boat ride - which although Craig described as tame, still managed to make me jump a lot.

Now the moment I had been dreading, The Flying Dinosaur. Normally I'm not really a wimp when it comes to roller coasters but for some reason lying face down whilst soaring through the air (extremely high up) didn't appeal to me. With this said, it was Craig's birthday and he so badly wanted me to come on it with him, so I did. I wouldn't say it was the most enjoyable ride in the world (I closed my eyes the entire way) but I'm glad I went on it. After wandering around the rest of the park we opted for some chocolate churros and a sit down as we waited for the Christmas tree lighting display.

After a 2 hour wait for the sun to set and two very cold and numb bums we finally saw the Christmas show and the lighting of the huge Osaka Christmas tree - voted the most illuminated tree with 534,280 lights! This was one of the most Christmassy things I have EVER witnessed, and I have witnessed a lot of Christmassy things before! The show was full of cheesy dancing, Christmas music, bright lights, a OTT love story, fireworks and of course the lighting of the breathtaking tree!

After a short visit back to Harry Potter World, to see Hogwarts at night, and to have another butterbeer (they are so good) we head off back to our Osaka appartment where we got ready for Craig's birthday dinner.

We had dinner at a lovely restaurant by the river called Moulin. We shared ajilo prawns and mushrooms with crusty bread, and creamy blue cheese gnocchi to start. Craig then had a seafood spaghetti whilst I enjoyed crab and turnip risotto for main, washed down with some wine we then headed back for a very long sleep!

Elly x

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