Day 5 Sarah, Serena and I went to Universal Studio's Island of Adventure. We went to see the Harry Potter theme park and had no idea that our ticket got us into the entire Island of Adventure! We had no problem entering the park with Serena. Everyone was super polite and awesome about service dogs. We made our way over to Harry Potter and were in absolute awe. This place was crazy! It had so many little details all the way down to crooked chimneys!
When you first enter there is the Hogwarts Express with a conductor taking pictures. Serena and I waited in line and went to get our photo. The conductor was so nice and was all excited to see and pet Serena.
We made our way around the park trying to take it all in. Everyone kept asking if Serena was from Gryfindor because she was wearing their colors (Maroon and Gold). Of course we said yes. What other house would she be from? haha! We went to the first ride (the Dragon one) and asked what to do with Serena. They didn't have any kennels set up at this one so they asked if we would mind just taking turns holding the dog and riding the ride. We had no problem with this. The ride was only like 30 seconds long. Plus we got to go up the exit line and get right on the ride! We thought it was great... little did we know it would get better. We went to the next ride (Flight of the Hippogriff) and asked what to do with Serena and they said we could do the dog swap again or they would set up a kennel for her. We asked for the kennel since we wanted to see what that was all about. They brought out this GIANT crate (literally big enough for a mini pony) and set it up right by the ride. Serena had the head of customer service stay with her while we went up the exit line (skipping the 45 min wait) and got to ride in the first row! This is Serena waiting for us while we ride the ride:
We got off the ride and came to get Serena. The staff member was so nice! She said people thought Serena was Sirius Black (a black dog from Harry Potter) and kept taking photos of her. She said she kept having to say that Serena was a service dog for one of the patrons. She was all worried I would be upset that people were taking pictures of Serena. I told her it was totally okay and if they wanted to take pictures I don't mind! Then we asked what would be best for us if we wanted to ride the last ride in the castle. She called up to her supervisor and got the clearance to take us through the express lane skipping the 75 min line! We then got a private tour through the Hogwarts castle and had a great time talking to the woman all because of Serena! She took us to the handicap entrance and Sarah and I had our own ride car to ourselves while Serena waited in another crate they had set up for her!
The ride was crazy cool and the staff waiting with Serena was so nice. We excited the castle and went shopping. Remember when I could actually hold Serena without it looking awkward?
We, of course, had to take a picture of Serena with the Gryfindor flag:
Serena and I with the castle in the background:
Some nice person took our picture in front of the Sirius Black sign:
Serena had to get her own picture in front of the sign too because of how many people called her Sirius Black:
We also got our photo with some Harry Potter Characters. Unfortunately Serena moved at the last minute:
Serena waiting in line with my empty Butterbeer glass:
The candy store! oh boy! Serena handled the crowds in all these little shops like an old pro. Most of the time we were packed liked sardines and people don't always see little Serena walking next to me. She stayed glued to my side and navigated herself all over. She even ignored kids running up and trying to pet her from behind. I was ever so impressed!
How big the castle was:
After Harry Potter we explored the rest of the Island of Adventure. We also found the special potty place they have for service dogs. It is behind the scenes in a quiet corner with grass. It was super neat seeing behind universal and how nice people were with helping us find the potty spot!
They had a toon land so of course we had to get Serena's picture with Marmaduke!
We went on a few rides in Dr. Seuss land so that Serena could have that experience. They were so nice about letting Serena on the rides. In the Cat and the Hat ride they had a special handicap car with more room for Serena to sit at my feet. At another ride they let Serena on the ride only if she would lay down the whole time. She at first was like "why? I want to watch!" But she was tired and went down and watched from there.
While leaving the park Serena learned to surf!