TMSM’s Adventures in Florida Living ~ Venturing to the “Dark Side”


Happy Wednesday Main Streeters! It’s that time again (already!). Yes my friends, it’s time to check in on your TMSM extended family and see what’s been going on down here in sunny Florida! There’s not a lot of new happenings, but truly that can be a good thing too. The weather is mild, so we’ve been out and about when we can be. This past weekend, we finally took the dive over to what Disney fans call “the dark side.” That’s right, we went to Universal Studios….. gasp! So, was it fun? Read on to find out!

We have been down here in Florida for roughly 7 months, and although we have been to Margaritaville at City Walk, we never actually went to Universal Studios. We have primarily focused on all things Disney thus far, but the boys were really itching to try something new. I know people have varying opinions on Universal, so I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself. I haven’t been there in YEARS, so it was like going for the first time all over again. We went to Universal Studios as opposed to Islands of Adventure because the kids wanted to ride the Rip Ride Rocket coaster. We rode that first, and it was a lot of fun, I have to say. Next we headed over to Twister, The Mummy, and just kept going from there. The rides at Universal are really elaborate, I was impressed. No, there’s no “magic” like you get at Disney, but you feel like you are part of the movies and such that the rides represent. It’s pretty cool.


I had heard a ton of hype of about Diagon Alley, and the new Gringott’s ride that recently opened. I have to confess, I’m not a Harry Potter fan. I have never watched a Harry Potter film from start to finish….. don’t judge! So, being that I wasn’t totally familiar with all things Potter, I wasn’t sure what to expect over there. Well, the atmosphere at Diagon Alley is really amazing. You feel like you’re walking into a different world, truly. We got ourselves some famous Butterbeer ice cream (we had to see what they hype was about) and decided to wait the hour and check out Gringott’s, the new ride. If I’m being honest, and I am…… Gringott’s is insanely awesome. That ride is like nothing I have ever been on before, and I’ve been on a LOT of thrill rides at amusement parks. It’s interactive, larger than life, and truly outstanding. Sure, I don’t know much about Harry Potter, but for an attraction like that, it didn’t matter. Nothing short of awesomeness, and I can’t wait to do it again. So, Universal Studios was a hit, we’ll try Islands of Adventure next time. The “men” in my house love Marvel, so they’re looking forward to trying that out too.



Yesterday, we were invited to a press conference at Fun Spot Orlando, announcing their new collaboration with Gatorland. Off TMSM has been super busy, and it’s been fun. The folks that run both Fun Spot and Gatorland are really, really nice people, we talked to both. While Disney is still our home base, it’s been a blessing that other businesses in the Orlando area have been reaching out to us and have been so welcoming. We can’t thank them enough! More great things are coming for Off TMSM so stay tuned. We did head out to the Magic Kingdom though to get some footage of the new construction at the Hub. More walls, and the Partners Statue was covered. The construction doesn’t look so great, but I’m sure it will all be worth it once it’s completed.

That’s it for this weeks Florida Living update! As always, thank you all SO much for keeping up with us every Wednesday, it means a lot to me! I wish you all a safe and happy weekend coming up…. till next time… See Ya Real Soon! ~M

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 6479 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele


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