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Universal Studios–Harry Potter

Yup yup. The vacation to beat all vacations was not over yet! The next day we went to Universal Studios. We are both Harry Potter fans and wanted to see Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. Unfortunately, they split them up between the two Universal parks. That means you have to pay for admission to two parks, not one, and that ain’t cheap. You also don’t get to ride the Hogwarts Express Train between the parks if you don’t buy both tickets. We debated for a few quick minutes then decided this might be a once in a lifetime chance that was worth it. We dood it! We also got a special deal for express passes to jump the long lines. Boy, was that ever worth it! You should also know that security is very tight at both Disneyworld and Universal Studios. They do search all bags so you will stand in line for a bit before getting in. They also charge for parking. Sheesh!

Again, we rented scooters to get around ($50 a day) and took off for Diagon Alley. We spotted the Night Bus and got pictures of it then turned to see people coming in and out of a building. It was actually a façade that hid Diagon Alley. Inside, we found all the famous stores from the books. We purchased a Harry Potter wand at Ollivander’s. It came with instructions and spells but we had a little trouble working it well. Take the time to read before using. You can also purchase different character wands if you like.

London Night BusDiagon Alley

We spent a good bit of time in the Weasleys Wizard Wheezes shop where I got a magic chocolate frog and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Warning: the frog is solid chocolate! I got a Rowena Ravenclaw 3D card with my frog. In another shop Bernie got a Gryffindor hoodie for her granddaughter and I got a Gryffindor lanyard to hold my admission and express passes which you have to show at every ride. Take a lanyard with a plastic pouch on it for each person when you go to Universal Studios! I also got a large Hogwarts school patch.

Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and frog

For lunch, we ate at the Leaky Cauldron. We weren’t super hungry and were worried about the fast rides we would be going on later so we split a fish meal between us which worked out perfect. We both had butterbeers which aren’t cheap at $6.99 each but oh my they were delicious. I want another so bad. It has a lot of delicious foam on top. Mmmm!

The Leaky CauldronDrinking Butterbeer at the tavern.

After lunch, we hit the rides. We did the Flight of the Hippogriff™ roller coaster, the super fast and exciting Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey through Hogwarts Castle, a Quidditch match, and an encounter with death eaters. We also did the Hogwarts Express train which is an adventure in itself though mild, a wild ride through Gringott’s vaults, Men in Black Alien Attack ride where you get to shoot aliens, and the Fast and Furious speedy bus ride. So glad we ate light. On the castle ride, stuff was falling out of my pockets so be sure you secure everything very well. The train does accommodate scooters though you will need to walk on and off.

Platform 9 3/4 at the train stationHogwarts Express trainHogwarts School of Wizardry

Gringott's BankMen in Black ride

In the evening, we went back to Hogwarts castle to watch the light show on the castle walls which is totally awesome. They Harry Potter music and shoot off fireworks too.

Hogwarts night show

When it came time to leave, we stopped at Universal Studios Citywalk at the entrance/exit for dinner at Panda Express. Gotta have my chinese ya know.

We had so much fun that we are both hoping to go back some day and see more of the rest of the parks. It’s expensive but well worth it.

For more pics click here.

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