I’d be lying if I said I went to Universal Studios for anything else than the fact that Harry Potter “world” was there. I am a big fan of Harry potter (If you don’t know me, this will be news to you) I have read all the books, seen all the films, gone to Warner brother Studios in London, considered getting a dark mark tattoo, you name it, I’ve done it (I was sorted in to Hufflepuff, before anybody asks!) But nothing could prepare me for Universal Studios. As soon as we passed the gates, we head straight for the Knight Bus and Diagon Alley.
The first thing I thought of when I walked through that brick wall into Diagon Alley was “I can’t believe I’m actually here!!” and I’m pretty sure I squealed like a child. Can we just talk about the amount of detail and effort? Oh my god. I really felt that I was in the real Diagon Alley. We didn’t even get 5 seconds in and we ran in to Ollivander’s.
Now, I told myself that I would not buy a wand. What would I do with it? Where would it go? So what did I do? Bought a wand. I spent what felt like hours picking a wand but none of them felt right. I honestly felt “eh” about them and kept thinking “The wand chooses the wizard, Harry” (Go on, laugh. I definitely got way in to this..) and finally found one that I really loved. I ended up leaving with Cedric Diggorys wand!
Walking around we explored every single shop that was open and tried to find a Hufflepuff Badge (A blog post will be coming soon on my new badge addiction) We then bought some Butterbeer and went down Knockturn Alley. Aside from being sorted in to Hufflepuff, I do like to root abit for Bellatrix and Malfoy, so I really did enjoy Borgin and Burks.
After waiting to see the Dragon do it’s thing, we walked in to Kings Cross and Platform 9 and 3/4. (America, you really did so well capturing the London train station vibe, aside from the staffs uniform, I really did feel like I was in London a little bit.)
A lot of people have asked me since returning home “Is it true, the Hogwarts express takes you to Hogsmead?” Yes, it really does! You get on the train and experience Hagrid flying next to you, as well as Dementors boarding the train. So so good!
When we arrived it was another surreal experience. The shop pictured above is full with screaming baby mandrakes. A nice little touch I thought!
There was a lot of children around me doing something with interactive wands in the shop windows, I wasn’t aware that was possible when I bought my wand, but if I was to go back I think i’d buy an interactive one! (because I am a big kid)
After exploring and finally finding my Hufflepuff badge, we went to the Castle. I really was not expecting it to be that big! I knew it was a ride but I didn’t want to go on it (wuss.. I know.) but I loved looking at Hogwarts regardless!
After that we just walked around the park. I didn’t really find the rest of Universal interesting. That sounds so bad but I just didn’t. We just walked through the rest and got an Uber back to the hotel and got ready for the evening.
The Dessert Cruise
You know when you’re so excited for something and you know it’s going to be a highlight of your life? Some thing that is just going to be so special to you and you’re going to treasure it forever? That is how I felt about this cruise. I was so excited for it. I’d paid a lot of money to go on it and was it worth it? No. Haha! It wasn’t bad, but it really did not meet my expectations. We arrived at the meeting point and was greeted with non alcoholic apple cider and a flashing necklace (and a badge!!) and were told to wait while every one arrived. It was a pretty rainy evening and abit chilly but we got on the boat and were greeted with lots of little desserts that looked incredible…and then people kicked in. I was pushed out the way at one point, I felt rushed and I even heard a tut behind me. Taking my plate of desserts upstairs (I vowed to take a bite of every thing just to try, I’d paid a lot to be here!)
we were greeted with people taking up all the benches with their bags and refusing to move up. So my partner and I just went to the front of the boat and stood in the rain watching the sights and having a moan about how rude people can be haha! I spent most of the time stressing about getting a good view of the castle. I could see that the show of Disney Movies had began and the boat was still doing laps around the lake. When they finally parked (just in time) we were quite a way from the castle and my partner and I were standing on the wrong side, so we moved and I squashed between two couples so I could actually see things. It was okay, but it was my first time seeing the Wishes fireworks ever so I had high hopes it’d be amazing in such a situation. A couple got engaged and every one enjoyed it, some even were shouting and cheering at the end of the show. But if I’m honest, most people actually didn’t watch the fireworks, they just stuck to the buffet (just??? honestly?? haha) but each to their own and it was something to do! I don’t have any pictures worth showing so you’ve got this paragraph of moans instead. My apologies!! I did take home a ceramic Cinderellas Shoe though which held one of the desserts!
So that’s all for this week. Next week will be all about Animal Kingdom and my first experience with Wishes fireworks. See you next Sunday!