I had the pleasure and privilege this last week to take my first vacation in over 5 years. We decided to treat the kiddos to a special (and much more expensive than any we’ve ever taken) vacation, and took them to Universal Orlando. My wife and I were both fully vaccinated, and we took all precautions we could with our kiddos. But they deserved something special, after both the pandemic, and some other stuff that has been challenging for us over the previous 5 years. Of course, I couldn’t just go to the theme park with a full-scale Hogwarts Express and not figure out a way to get a photo with my ICONX model while I was there!

We waiting through the long line to be able to ride the Hogwarts express from King’s Cross Station over to Hogsmeade, and I hoed to get a good photo once I got close enough. As it turned out, the line was way too close, lol. So I don’t have many photos that were usable from this point, but I did take the video above. The first photo below is the best photo I managed to take from the line for boarding, and the second photo is of the model inside the train, sitting in front of the “window” (which is actually a video screen that plays out a bit of story).

The kiddos thoroughly enjoyed the ride, and then we got off at Hogsmeade, where there was a much better opportunity for a photo comparison. I took several, but the one below is my favorite of this attempt. I was a little nervous leaving the model on the railing, because it wasn’t completely flat, but it worked out all right.

However, it wasn’t until we got into Hogsmeade that I was able to get the best shots. They have a full scale replica of the engine in the line / queue for Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure, and you can walk right up to it. So I had to do it, right? I got a bunch of funny looks as I unpacked my model from the Pringles can packed with plastic grocery bags, and then smiles and laughter as I placed the model on the train and took several photos as I backed away.

It does get quite tiny by the end, and I couldn’t get the full engine in the photo, but I’m quite pleased with the results. Anywho, I didn’t get any building done while on vacation, as this vacation was all about my kids having fun. So, this is my stop-gap post and sharing of some fun to fill the empty void of build reviews for the time being.

Oh, and if you were wondering… yes, I did consider bringing the Hogwart’s & Dragon model, but decided that it was more likely to get damaged than the Hogwarts Express. I would have loved to share a video of the dragon breathing flame behind the model, but I’ll leave that to @metalearth_globetrotter to pull off.