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7 November 2019

I Went to Universal Orlando Alone, and the World Didn't Implode


There's a huge stigma in Western society with doing things by yourself.

From going to the cinema - arguably, the least social activity you could possibly do - to eating out alone, there always seems to be at least one couple side-eyeing you.

Unsurprisingly, given that I moved to Italy alone when I was 18, I have absolutely never agreed with this ridiculous taboo.

Whilst having another person to share it with maybe more enjoyable, you absolutely don't need a companion to do what you want to do.

Which is the mindset I took when my family told me they were going to Legoland in Florida, and I realised Legoland was less than an hour from Universal Orlando.

Aka, Harry Potter World.

Aka, my absolute nerdy dream.

I won't pretend I wasn't nervous. I absolutely did feel like the odd one out when telling ride operators that it was just me.

But, the benefit of the single ride lines completely outweighed any embarrassment I possessed.

To start with, the day I was scheduled to go to Universal, was over one 24 hour window.

And so naturally, I woke up that morning to a tropical storm coming in from the Gulf, featuring torrential rain and palm trees doubled over.

But with one opportunity, a small hurricane was absolutely not going to dampen my spirits.

Obviously, I wondered what the hell I was thinking, as we made our way through wind and rain to drop me off.

But, like a Disney miracle, within 5 minutes of us driving under the Universal sign, the rain cleared, and the sun made its first, unscheduled appearance.



My first stop was obviously the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which absolutely blew my mind. Thanks to the rain, not many people had braved the weather and I walked straight onto my first two rides.

I wondered through the streets of Hogsmede, stopping in Ollivander's to watch a little boy in a full cloak have his wand chosen.

I went into Honeydukes, where the smell of sweets and chocolate hits you as soon as the door opens. From chocolate frogs to peppermint toads, there was something to tickle everyone's fancy.

Next, was The Three Broomsticks, where I stopped to grab a butterbeer, before heading out into the street to get on the Hogwarts Express, which takes you from Islands of Adventure (Hogsmede) to Universal Studios (Diagon Alley).



And oh boy, was Diagon Alley a TREAT.




I could've spent all day just wondering around the street, every detail was so accurate, it was incredible.

But alas, there were rides to be ridden.

The one thing I would say about Universal Studios, is that most of the rides are 3D/4D effects. So you'll be on a kind-of-rollercoaster, wearing glasses and watching whatever is in front of you.

Personally, I found they weren't for me, I love the thrill of a rollercoaster, but there's only one thrilling outdoor rollercoaster in each park of IOA and Universal. After five or six consecutive 4D experiences, I had to take a break because I was starting to feel motion sick.

So, I took a break to walk back to Islands of Adventure and finish my day there.





All in all, I'd say it is daunting going to a theme park by yourself - especially one which is generally meant to be visited with friends and/or family.

But nobody will give you a strange look, nobody, frankly, cares at all about what you're doing because they're all having such good times themselves.

I got a couple of surprised 'Oh, one?!'s when I told ride operators that it was just me riding, but soon enough you honestly stop caring yourself.

I am so glad I decided to take the opportunity. Normalising being by yourself is something everyone needs to be working towards. We're our own best friend, our own enemies, we're all we have when it all comes down to it.

So go and see that film, take that flight, visit the park, and don't worry about being the only person. The chances are, you'll find you'll like your own company just fine.

Love, Alice x


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