I WENT TO HOGWARTS FOR MY BIRTHDAY!!! :D
Yes! I'm a "Potterhead" and I'm not sorry! That being said, the opportunity presented itself to take a last minute trip to Universal Orlando Resort for my birthday and I LEAPED.
To experience the entire Harry Potter World, including riding the Hogwarts Express, you need to visit both parks. I started in the Universal Studios Florida park, which hosts "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley."
Diagon Alley is everything you could imagine it would be: Gringott's Bank, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, The Leaky Cauldron and so much more. I was in heaven, okay!
I headed over to Ollivander's for my (interactive) wand; they have the wands of all the main characters throughout the series. I chose Hermoine's wand then ran across to Madam Malkin's Robes for all occassions where I realized, although I chose Gryffindor, I belong in Slytherin house.
After casting a few spells around Diagon Alley, I grabbed a Butterbeer, then headed to Kings Cross Station to ride the Hogwarts Express. "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Hogsmeade" is in the Universal Studios Islands of Adventures park.
Using your park-to-park ticket, you ride the train and have the same experience as those students traveling in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", even the dementors. It's so cool!
A few minutes later, we were at Hogsmeade Station.
I was truly amazed at how much everything looked so much like the movies!
I walked through Hogsmeade, casted more spells, went through the shops (chocolate frog anyone?) and even stopped by to hear the Frog Choir.
Then, there she was.
GLORY!! I was home and complete.
After all that oogling, it was time to have fun! Since Hogsmeade is in the Islands of Adventure park, it makes sense that it's where they actually have the rides and rollercoasters for Harry Potter World. The attraction is still fairly new so expect crowds and a wait but it is well worth it. I would suggest to go as early as possible because I saw as the afternoon turned to evening, the crowds increased substantially.
After leaving Harry Potter World, I went through Islands of Adventure for a few more rides, back through the front to the main entrance and over to Universal Studios Florida to catch the parade.
This was a great experience that I encourage all "Potterheads" to try to make it to. I actually overheard someone saying this one is better than the one in California and the UK so I think made the right choice. However, I wouldn't mind visiting the others to see for myself. ;)
Til next time,