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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I was way late to the Harry Potter game. Like 17 years late. But once I read the first page, I fell hard and fast for all things HP related. I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone mid-March 2014, and I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows less than 8 weeks later. After that, I could tell you the differences between each book and movie, the backstories of the characters, the foreshadowing of each major event in later books, everything. I was in deep. So needless to say, I’m in love with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

I personally like to start with the Universal Orlando side because you should always go to Diagon Alley before you go to Hogwarts because you have to buy your supplies for school {obviously}. I also love the London area in general, and you can see the Knight Bus, Grimmauld Place, and King’s Cross before you go into Diagon Alley.

The first time that I went into Diagon Alley, and I almost lost it. I can’t say enough about the attention to detail that Universal poured into this area. I felt like Harry buying his supplies before my first year at Hogwarts, and there was real magic in the air. I mean, there is a fire breathing dragon!

Escape from Gringotts is the BEST ride at Universal Orlando! I love lots of the rides there, but this one is next level. It’s the perfect combination of rollercoaster and 3D screen ride, and even with as easily as my motion sickness can turn on me, I can do this ride all day. Also, there is a single rider line and it can save you tons of time if the regular line is long!

Sidebar: Butterbeer is the iconic snack of Harry Potter, and even non-HP nerds can tell you that. Butterbeer soft serve is clearly the best form of Butterbeer, and you will not convince me otherwise. I do still like the frozen Butterbeer from time to time, but cold, frozen, hot, whatever, this is the best hands down.

After exploring Diagon Alley for a while, catch a ride on the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross Station to Hogsmeade {aka – Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure}. This is my favorite direction to ride the Hogwarts Express because you walk through the wall to Platform 9 3/4, and yes, it is as cool as it sounds!

There are 2 big things that you need to know about the Hogwarts Express:

  1. You MUST have a park-to-park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express.
  2. There are 2 different ride experiences {Hogsmeade to King’s Cross and King’s Cross to Hogsmeade}, so you have to ride it both ways to see both versions.

I only thought that seeing Diagon Alley for the first time was serious. Seeing Hogwarts for the first time was way more emotional. My little Gryff-therin heart skipped a beat, and if felt like home. Yes, I know this sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

Another sidebar: if you might maybe be remotely prone to motion sickness DO NOT attempt to ride Forbidden Journey. You will be sick for the rest of the day, and I speak from experience. John doesn’t have issues with motion sickness and was sick after that ride. Walk through Hogwarts, see Dumbledore’s study, check everything out, and then peace out right before the loading area.

If you are remotely a Harry Potter fan, you need to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Even if you aren’t a fan, it’s still worth a trip {watch the first movie and you’ll be familiar enough to enjoy it}. It’s one of the most magical areas of a theme park ever, and it’s my current happy place.

My Outfit: Top | Bottoms | Shoes | Sunglasses | Hogwarts Express Purse | Deathly Hallows Cozy

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