To continue my “Visiting Florida” Series, I’m writing about Universal Studios, Orlando
Originally I was going to post Day 1 of Universal Studios and Day 2 together, but there is just so many memories from those two days that I decided to split them up
So as you guys know from my previous post, it is now Day 2 to visit Universal!
It is December 26, 2016 – Boxing Day!!
Day 2: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
Our second day in Universal was similar to our first, in that our sole plan was to go around Harry Potter World Part 2. Hogsmeade was built in 2010, 4 years before Diagon Alley. If you have only been to this park and not Diagon Alley, I strongly urge you to go back and visit!
In order to get to Hogsmeade, you have to go through the other parks in the Islands of Adventure, including Jurassic Park and Atlantis. These parks are beautiful as well and you should definitely check them out! Once you enter the Hogsmeade portion of the park, there is a giant overhead sign welcoming you to the town – be sure to take your picture there!
On the right side there is also a replica of the Hogwarts Express, so in the event that you did not buy the park-to-park pass to ride the real Magical Train, this is a pretty good option. There is also a conductor in front of the train who will pose with you for pictures!
Of course, after you get past the train, you notice Hogwarts in the distance. The beautiful, magical, breathtaking Hogwarts. There is the beautiful walkway in front where the Deathly Hallows War took place, and the “ledge” where Harry threw the Elder Wand away. One of the most attractive rides in Hogsmeade is the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” where once again, even though the line to wait is 75 minutes, it’s well worth it. The line for this ride actually is within the castle and you feel like a true First Year student entering the castle for the first time. All of the paintings on the walls are moving, the replica is lifelike, and the magic is alive. You will also see the Mirror of Erised and walk by several classrooms!
This is also a roller coaster, and by far, one of the best rides in the entirety of the Universal Studios. The use of technology throughout the ride makes the magic come alive, and having a smaller experience of 4 people to a “coaster,” rather than 16, made it a more intimate experience. The best part about the ride is that you get to go alongside Harry, Hermione, and Ron through Hogwarts, from the Forbidden Forest, to a Quidditch Match. I can’t explain the way the ride made me feel. I sat there, in between my family, riding along through a special effects, pre-created journey yet I felt like a hero, and was greeted as such at the end of the ride.
During the rest of the day, we continued to visit other parts of the park and then spent our last night in Orlando for our trip!
The way this trip made me feel was honestly indescribable. I got to visit a park of a world filled with characters that I have grown up with. I remember every midnight party at Barnes and Noble before a new Harry Potter book was released, and every midnight stakeout at the movie theater waiting to be one of the first people in the world to watch the newest beloved movie.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this second post about Harry Potter World lovelies! I will continue my Florida blog posts tomorrow when I talk about our trip to The Keys!
Additional Harry Potter Information here:
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