Sadly we did not have a lot of time to walk around the expo floor, but I managed to sneak a peek before the convention started. Quality of some pictures is poor, due to my phone camera being accidentally set to HDR mode :D The expo floor was AMAZING. When we walked in the first thing we saw was a HUGE barn and lovely animals Greg and his team prepared this year. Took some pictures of the horses and donkeys (my favourite) before the crowd arrived. Diorama area was not finished so I did not take any pictures hoping to see finished sets photographed with good camera later. Sadly I did not find any pictures yet.
|Creepers gonna creep!|
|Steve is getting ready.|
|Sheepsies are being silly and fall on their faces.|
We had giant creepers before - this time it was giant Steve right in the middle of the hall. Very cool and impressive:
|Hi giant Steve!|
I missed some panels due to work, but I hope I will watch them soon, since everything was recorded. I was really interested in panel for parents, Autism & Minecraft, Future of Minecraft (obviously because Nathan was on the stage!) and few others. I managed to listen and watch a bit of the panels that took place in the panel room I was working at for two days. It was a lot of fun!
Here some more pictures from Minecon taken with my crappy phone :(
The gates to the main expo hall... We were all impressed and amazed. It looked absolutely brilliant with the smoke and the lights, looked like a real portal! Great idea, my congratulations to the person who came up with this!
|Ha ha! Trapped!|
|This is self explanatory. I hope.|
|Very smooth ride!|
|Gates to evil!|
One thing about the amusement parks that is a bit weird and sometimes annoying is the picture taking while you are most terrified and/or have your eyes closed. Those pictures are also very expensive and not very good due to bad lighting and spartan conditions. We always go to see how it looks and end up not buying it. Well Island of Adventure and Jurassic Park offer you a different experience. When you enter the park you will be given a card with QR code, which you can use in places of interest to take a photo. Jurassic Park is a very good place to do that - we passed few picture spots with crashed cars with huge dinos behind them. This seems to be a solution to our problems - we never have any pictures together with Nathan... However upon our first visit to the park this system was not offered to us :( So we still have no pictures!
AND NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMAN - THE BEST DAMN THING IN THE WORLD:
Yes, it is Hogwarts. I want to live there... no kidding. I is this rare occasion that I am happy as a child. It doesn't happen very often, actually last time I remember was when I got my first contact lenses and I could see the world again in full size, with no distortion (15 years ago).
I was jumping with joy... and it didn't feel fake. The place is beautiful - we arrived at twilight to snowy village of Hogsmeade and made our way to Hog's Head for a pint of Butterbeer.
Everything looks so real and amazing, the staff is wearing appropriate attire in every place of interest. They are all very chatty and nice.
|He moved... I swear...|
After a quick pint, not to waste time, we proceeded with exploring. We stood in a long long line for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Walking through the corridors of Hogwarts feels magical - the pictures on the walls actually move and look very real. You can visit Dumbledore's office, Gryffindor common room, Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom with Hermione, Ron and Harry present! Later on you join a flying adventure with Harry. BRILLIANT! I regret we did not go there over and over again...
|Post office next to Ollivanders|
|Owl post office - so crowded!|
|Chocolate frog anyone?|
|This silly guy photobombed me. I loved it!|
|What to get! What to get?|
|Bye bye Hogsmeade!|
I don't know what else to write about this place. I do not want to repeat word "magical" all the time. But it was. If you want to feel like a child and you like Harry Potter novels - if you are ever in Orlando - make sure you find few hours to explore the Island of Adventure. It is worth it. I am sure I will go back!
This makes me wonder about other beloved books and movies - would I ever feel like I felt in Hogsmeade in any other theme park? I know for sure that even Lord of the Rings park would not make me feel this way. Maybe Witcher and A Song of Ice and Fire? I think they are too serious tho... Do you have any books or movies you would like to see made into a theme park?
Moving along with this post... There is so much ground to cover! Nothing as exciting as Hogsmeade but still lots of fun!
Two very distinctive elements of Orlando's scenery are upside-down houses. We visited one of them, Wonder Works, with our friends Sharon and Erik. To be completely honest with you - we did not know what to expect. We thought - eh maybe 1 hour to see this upside down thing and lets go to dinner! Well... I think we spent about three hours there and did not play, touch and see everything.
|Nathan and Erik felt like at home.|
|Erik and Ola at the bubble lab!|
|Did not hurt at all!|
|Poland CAN into space!|
DO NOT TELL ME POLAND CANNOT INTO SPACE!
We can and we will!
|Up, Up and Away!|
After a lovely adventure time we went to a great restaurant in Orlando, which was kinda recommended to us by friends from Mindcrack team - Fogo de Chão - a Brazilian Steakhouse.
Lovely food and amazing service, fun experience and definitely something different! Even tho I am not a meat enthusiast - I was very happy and impressed with the formula & presentation.
|Mix it up!|
Some gourmet salads from a huge buffet to start the meal. When you are done with those they supply some hot side dishes like potatoes, fried bananas (delicious and my favourite) and polenta sticks. The red card you can see in the corner on the picture below is a flip card. One side (red) says - No thanks! - and it is placed like that at the beginning of the meal.
|Get ready to flip!|
|Classy rats! (actually chicken)|
The staff circles around with different types of meat in the swords and tridents, you are able to pick what you want and how well done you want it. They cut a piece directly to your plate or let you pick it right from the sword with little tongs. Now... you have to remember to flip the card back to the No Thanks! side or they will just keep coming and coming...
Everyone who joined us was really happy with the choice of the restaurant. I liked it especially because I eat small portions of food and I had a huge choice and I was not afraid to taste new stuff. Which I would not do in a regular restaurant - being to afraid to end up with a huge portion of food I don't like. I wish the would be more places like this!
If you ever have a chance to try it out - do not hesitate! It was awesome!
And now for some fantastic randomness:
We visited Universal Studios - it was nice, but nothing compare to Harry Potter experience for me.
I enjoyed Minion Mayhem from Despicable Me 2 - probably my favourite raid along with E.T.
I enjoyed The Simpsons Ride, Transformers 2 and Revenge of the Mummy too!
I enjoyed M&M's even more. I am a fan of Peanut Butter version. Yummy!
We did a lot of cool things in Orlando, met hordes of nice people, gave and received hugs from old friends!
But it was soon time to say good bye! As it is now for me! We continued our trip and moved to the other coast - sunny California. But that is a story for the next post!
|Bye bye Minecon! We will miss you!|
I hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did! Thank you all for reading!
Don't be shy - share your thoughts!