Monday, February 23, 2015

Universal Studios - Harry Potter World

I was so excited when my work decided to host a conference in Tampa and I got to go, but I was so bummed it was smack dab in the middle of Hal's busy season, when he works 7 days a week and isn't allowed to take time off.

Luckily my friend Trophie loved Harry Potter, and we found her a $20 flight to Tampa. Not too shabby. We met up at the airport and rented a car for the hour and half drive to Orlando.
We only planned to visit Universal Studios, instead of hitting Disney, because Harry Potter is boss.

The first day we only had the afternoon, and one park closed at 6 and the other at 7, so we hit to Islands of Adventure, which has the older Harry Potter world, with the castle and Hogsmead.
I think we both expected to feel so hot in Florida since it was freezing in DC, but it was 70 and rainy when we arrived and a cardigan was definitely needed. We were lucky that the crowds weren't too bad since it was the afternoon and it had been raining in the morning. We got some frozen butter beer. Which is delicious and butterscotchy, but will instantly rot your teeth out, and will make you want to barf if you chug a bunch before going on the castle ride that you didn't know was moving and 3D. 
Our second day we spent mostly in the universal park, in the new Harry Potter world. I must say, if you have to choose, choose universal. It's so well done. The level of detail is astounding. We started the day by taking The Hogwarts Express from Islands of Adventure to Universal. The train was so fun. We took it both ways, and I thought it would be the same, but it was different each way. 
Once we got into Universal I was so surprised. They did such a good job on the Kings Cross station, and making it feel like you were coming outside into London. We even managed to capture Kreacher peeking through the window. 
All of the shops on the Universal side were so wonderful. The level of detail was amazing. It was so fun to see all of the treats and the clothes and everything from the movies and books come to life. The Gringotts ride was really fun, but it's short and the line was really long. I think the Castle ride was both of our favorite. We even got to catch the Gringotts dragon breathing fire.
                                         

I'd highly recommend visiting Harry Potter world. It's not cheap, and as adults we weren't really interested in all of the Disney stuff, so it was perfect for a 2 day visit. I'd say we could have done all of Harry Potter probably in one day, but be aware that they close early in the winter. Overall, it was worth the money for a fun little short trip.

1 comment:

Tanika Rice said...

I won't lie---it was hard for me to read this post! I AM SEETHING WITH JEALOUSY!

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