Every Ride but One – Universal Studios Florida

Fracture
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Our trips to Universal through Make-A-Wish were amazing. Hands down. The cast members, the rides, the amazing treatment we received. Universal WAS Kennedy’s wish. She wanted to see Harry Potter world. That was her ultimate goal. We had the best time. We also had a strange curse afflict us while there. See, we had two days at Universal. That was more than enough time to ride every ride we wanted to ride. Even some we weren’t sure of. Both years, we were able to ride every single ride, but one. It was always one we really wanted to ride. Always. On our first visit, we made it through most of the rides on our first day. We decided to save Big Mama…i.e. Rip Ride Rockit for our second day, on the theory of saving the best for last. Our second day at Universal happened to be November 1st, and an odd thing happened that day. The weather decided that since it was November, it was going to show us how cold Florida was capable of getting. The temperature dropped into the 40’s (Thank goodness we had our jackets from home with us), and the wind picked up like you wouldn’t believe. The sun was shining bright though, so we set off on our newest adventure… Here’s the thing…like I said, it was windy. Rip Ride Rockit starts with a super-tall straight-up climbing tower of track. High winds. Tall tower. See where I’m going with this? The ride was closed for the day. We hung our heads, made sad faces, but figured it was all right because Kennedy wasn’t tall enough to ride anyway. We didn’t know when we’d be back, but we figured once we did go back, K would be able to ride, too. (And she did, but that’s another story). The second time we went was for Denver’s trip. He’s  not a roller coaster person, but his Mimi (my mom), totally is…and by his request Mimi had come with us on the trip. Because of the incident the year before, we made Rip Ride Rockit our top priority. We rode, it was short but glorious, and has a story to tell later. As we made our way through the parks with my mom, I was excited to take her to the Hulk coaster because it had been so amazing the previous year. After much of the day we finally get there to find what you see in the picture over there. The ride was closed, being torn down in Universal’s plan to make it even better.  By all accounts, the new ride looks amazing, but it totally cut yet another coaster out of our trip. I can’t say enough good things about Universal and their staff… But whenever we do return (2019, maybe?)…I’m going to plan to fully expect at least one awesome ride to be down for whatever reason might occur. Maybe if I plan, and expect such a thing I’ll be pleasantly surprised and the ride will be available. Yeah? Maybe?   Read more »

Tech-Free at Disney – Disney, Universal, Make-A-Wish

There’s a weird thing that happens once my plane touches down in Florida. Technology becomes unnecessary. I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m at home, it’s everywhere, in everything. I work on my computer, I play on my computer (and phone). When I’m away from it too long, I get a little twitchy (although I’ve found this to be less and less of the case since in the past couple of years). I’ll admit, on our first trip in 2014 while I didn’t have my phone out at all…the first couple of days I had out our camera taking pictures of EVERYTHING. No joke, I’m still editing photos 3 years later. Then, rather quickly, I stopped snapping photos every two seconds. I realized I was seeing our vacation through the screen of a camera. I wasn’t living it to my fullest extent. I was having fun…but I wasn’t IN it. So I put the camera (mostly down).  I pulled it out for big moments. I pulled it out for some cool shots…but I let the Disney photogs do their duty and dove headlong into it. I never regretted a moment. I never missed my phone. Disney has a lot of magic. For me, a huge bit of magic pulled me away from screens and showed me how much I don’t miss them if I’m living. I’m looking forward to our next trip in a couple of weeks. I’ll be putting away the phone and soaking in the fun!   Read more »


by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.


The Empty Room

A few years ago we longed for this day. For the past year we’ve dreaded it. This past Friday arrived. Dreaded, anticipated, excitedly awaited, tearfully faced… The teen got in his car and drove hundreds of miles away to the land he calls home. I have been a bit of a mess through the whole thing – and yet I’m proud of how I’ve handled it all.  Because, knowing his aversion to overly emotional stuff, I’ve kept my cool, and only been a bit more huggy than usual. We had our time to talk, and I was emotionally exhausted on the day he left, and been glad for the preoccupation of plenty of other things since he’s been gone. But there are those times. Those brief moments… When it overwhelms. When I cry. The empty room. Soon it will be cleared out and transformed into my home office again. But it isn’t yet. There are still pieces of him in there. And we all still pause outside the door expecting to hear Disney music emanating from within. The quiet nights. Nightly he would hang out with me after everyone else was in bed…we’d watch a Disney show of some kind, or Star Trek, or just talk with some random show on.  No matter what, the boy would be chatting, annoying, teasing, something… I still sit at my desk and glance at the door expecting him to walk through the door. It’s the frequent reminding of myself that he isn’t going to walk through that door that hurts. I know in time I will adjust. I know that he is happy. I know that I am incredibly proud. But oof… This empty nest thing hurts…even when you have two more sitting around pestering you.   Read more »