Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

December 2016 - Orlando FL

We had never been to Universal Studios in Orlando although we have done the LA location.

Number One on our list was to see all of the Harry Potter exhibits. And we easily accomplished this.
Click here to see the rest of Universal Studios!!!
This was a truly magical day and we had such fun. You will need a 1 day 2 park ticket to see both.
There are two lands, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, each at a different Universal Park. You will need park hopper tickets to see both lands and to ride the Hogwarts Express. The Hogwarts Express is a must do!
They are multi-day passes available but as two adults we were able to cover everything in one day.

To get there we took a shuttle from our condo, return trip was $10 each. Most resorts and hotels have shuttles. Parking is expensive and will add to your long walking day.
The shuttle left at 8:15 which gets you to the park early. I would highly recommend getting there by 9AM before the crowds begin around 10. 

We more or less headed straight to Hogsmeade.

 The first sight of the town took my breath away, it was exactly like the movies!

We headed to the castle to learn that the ride, The Forbidden Journey wasn't operating today. We were allowed to walk through the castle though. Only complaint it is really dark!!
All the pictures move!

As we stepped back outside we came upon the Hogwart's School Choir of Singing Frogs

At Honeydukes™ the shelves are lined with all manner of colorful sweets, including Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs™.

We bought some butterbeer fudge, which was quite good, a lot firmer than most fudges and not too sweet.

Yeah, that's me in the middle.

After an early lunch at the Three Broomsticks, fish and chips and lamb shepherd's pie we headed to the Hogswart Express after a bathroom break where the mirror talks to you, at least in the women's.

Moaning Myrtle is no longer spending all her time in the girl’s bathroom at Hogwarts Castle. Now everyone’s favorite miserable, moping, and moaning ghost can be found in the restrooms ("Public Conveniences") in Hogsmeade.

If you have a Park-to-Park admission ticket you can ride from Hogsmeade to King's Cross or do it in the opposite direction. Definitely plan to do the round trip as it different in both directions.

This way worked for us because we would be meeting our shuttle at the exit from Islands of Adventure.

Here is a YouTube video showing our journey to London.

Each carriage seats six people. The film is great, even dementors fly by.

Muggles who have been to London will feel like they are back there it is so rich with details.

A few examples the Muggles might notice are that the lampposts that line the lagoon, because they are replicas of the “dolphin lamppost” that line the Thames River in the UK. Kings Cross Station is almost a mirror image of its real-life counterpart.


The Knight Bus - BTW it passes us when we were on the train.

Talking Head!!!

Also, the large central fountain is a replica of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus.


 Witches and wizards with a keen eye also will notice number twelve Grimmauld Place, with Kreacher peering out the window.

A couple of witches enjoying the sunshine outisde #12.

Through a side entrance to Diagon Alley!

A stop to exchange some Muggle money at Gringotts Money Exchange.

We store our cameras and purse in a locker as you cannot take them on most rides. The lockers are free for an hour and your thumbprint is the currency.

John had kept his phone.

OOPS I had researched Escape from the Gringotts ride and nowhere did it say it was a high-speed roller coaster as John HATES roller coaster. I kept saying we can go back but the attendant assured us it was mild.

Plenty to keep us entertained as the line moved briskly along.

This video does not give you the effect of the roller coaster!

We retrieve our items and are back in the Alley.

We turn the corner and this is what I was waiting for!

It is getting crowded now.

Whether witch, wizard, or Muggle, roaming the streets of Diagon Alley can work up quite the thirst.

Can't take enough photos of it!

Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment

You can find all your shopping needs.


School uniforms.

I'm sure you could find your perfect wand!

I need a house-elf!

We were advised that it would be a forty minute wait to board the express. No worries, there is plenty to keep us busy.

Getting ready to go through the wall to track 9 3/4.

Our bags should be here somewhere!

Well. here's Hegwig, waiting patiently.

It was only a twenty minute wait to board and on the way back Rubeus Hagrid waved good-bye to us.

Here's the journey back to Hogsmeade. Looks like it was a rainy day when it was filmed.

Did we love it all? Yes, would I do it again, absolutely. We had perfect weather, in the 70s and it was not too crowded.

BTW we walked  22,710 steps or 9.67 miles/15.6 km!

Linking up with:

Scenic Weekends
Monday Walks
Monday Morning Blog Club
Whatever the Weather - Wednesday - Friday
Through My Lens Monday
Life Through the Lens
Tuesday Travel
Our World Tuesday
City Trippin'
Wanderful Wednesday
SNAP on Wednesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
Budget Travel Talk
Weekend Travel Inspiration.
The Weekly Postcard


  1. What a perfect way to spend the day with Harry and my BFF.

  2. ...the snow is a nice touch!

  3. It really does bring the movie to life! The dragon on top of the bank is my favourite of this series.

  4. wow, incredible! i have not watched or read harry potter but the set is amazing!

  5. I'm not really a Potter fan, Jackie, but the museum does look fun. :) Thanks for the guided tour and for your company throughout the year. Happy 2017 to you!

  6. It all looks really great. I think 2017 will be our year for this trip


  7. Has been a long time ago that I've been to Universal Studios (CA), and I liked it much better than Disney:) Wow, you took some great captures! Hard to choose a favorite:) Many thanks for showing the honeydukes to ALL SEASONS! Have a great rest of the week!

  8. We went there a couple years ago and my boys loved it! So fun! Happy Holidays!

  9. What fun :-D and wow that's a lot of unexpected walking!


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