Thursday, July 06, 2023

Travelling Thursday: Harry Potter At Universal

I realize I've left you hanging on some of our travels so I'm going to take the next few Thursdays to finish telling you about them, as well as to finish documenting the memories for our family. First, I'm going to finish off our March Break trip. It's hard to believe that four months ago today, we still hadn't left on this trip. If you want to read about other days, you can start here.

This day of our trip Janice and I had planned to go and do all things Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Last minute, Tessa decided to come on the trip with her family, and as she wanted to go to Harry Potter as well, Rachel also got to come along. This was a late breaking decision and Rachel was thrilled to be able to experience it. Sam doesn't care for Harry Potter so didn't care about not being able to go. It was a really fun mother-daughter-best friend day. Prepare for picture overload :)

It was so surreal to be walking up to the castle for our first ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. 

The details inside the castle were so incredible. It didn't even feel like you were waiting in line because there was so much to see -- moving pictures, little snippets of Ron, Harry, and Hermione reciting lines from the books/movies, and so many details. I really feel like I've been to Hogwarts!

Our next ride was Flight of the Hippogriff. Rachel had never been on a roller coaster before, and was a little nervous, but handled it really well. After that, we watched a Frog Choir perform and then it was off to The Three Broomsticks for lunch.
Rachel and I enjoyed all the Butterbeer this day. It was sooooo good!

I can't remember if we checked out Honeydukes before or after lunch but it was so fun to visit.
Then we caught the Hogwarts Express at Hogwarts Station and took it to King's Cross.
Tessa and Janice wanted to ride a different roller coaster, and Rachel was looking for something a little tamer, so we checked out Springfield (Simpsons' world) for Dave. Then we headed over to ride the ET ride. That was much more Rachel's speed.
 Then we ventured into Diagon Alley. Again, the theming was so well done.

Janice wanted a wand so we went to Ollivander's and then she was chosen for our group's wand ceremony. It was so surprising but she had such a good time and it was perfect because she actually wanted a wand!
Janice was so happy to have her wand!!!

Rachel wanted to get a Pygmy Puff so we picked one up for her. She named it "Plum" and got to adopt it in a special ceremony. The ceremony was held at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
We ate supper at the Leaky Cauldron and I just remember that it was sooooo good! (Are you sensing a theme here?!?!?)
Then we used Janice's wand to do some spells while Tessa and Janice went on another ride.
Sidenote here: I've often felt guilty that we don't take our kids to Disney World or Disneyland but this trip confirmed, once again, that our kids just don't like rides. Rachel tried but she was done after a couple of tamer roller coasters.
There was so much to see in Diagon Alley. We had so much fun!
We checked out Gringott's and The Knight Bus with Stan Shunpike.
Waiting for the Hogwarts Express from King's Cross back to Hogsmeade.
Tessa and Janice wanted to go on another roller coaster which had a long wait so Rachel and I went back to Honeydukes and then we found a quiet place and Rachel actually slept on my lap for about 45 minutes. She was done. She revived with about 20 minutes left to spend in the park and we went on a train ride (three times!) in Seussland.
It was a very fun, very full, very long day at Harry Potter but I'm so glad I got to experience it!


  1. So glad you got to do this! One of my besties is the biggest Harry Potter fan and she just loves going there as much as possible!

  2. It sounds like a lot of fun. I haven't been to Universal in so long because I prefer Disney!

  3. That is so fun to get to go to!

  4. The whole place is just SO neat, I'm so glad you have a great time!! I agree about having mixed feelings about not taking our kids to Disney, but we've decided it is A LOT of money to just be in 1 place. Maybe if we took a trip to Florida we would do a day in Disney, but we aren't 'dedicate our whole trip to Disney' kind of people.

  5. That sounds amazing! On our first trip to Universal my youngest two were too little to ride the "castle ride" as we called it but we still went and waited in line with my husband and older son because I had heard it was incredible and it did not disappoint! My oldest was picked for the wand ceremony on our first trip and the boys all had the best time casting spells around the land. We are HUGE and crazy ride people-- in fact my boys are starting to out ride me! And I'll go on nearly anything.


Thank you for being interested in my life as I blog it and for leaving a comment. Comments make me happier than reading a good book and drinking a cold Coke. Almost :)