Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Universal Islands of Adventure! Hogsmeade!

When we were planning our trip to Florida we knew we would go to Universal to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! It so happens out tripped ending up being about three weeks after the opened the new Diagon Alley portion of the park! Perfect! My grandparents live about 30 minutes away from Universal so we got up early and got there about 15 minutes after opening. Thankfully we missed the terrible crowds. Grandma said cars had been backed up on the interstate recently, in line just to get to the parking garage!
We decided to do Hogsmeade Village first. Travis and I visited about two years ago (See our first visit here!) but Crystal and Marc hadn't been. We figured most people would head to the new section first so the line for The Forbidden Journey would be short.
 I didn't cry this time! A nice lady offered to take our photo and it actually turned out! As you can see, we were right. It was pretty empty!
 Please respect the spell limits.
Hogwarts! It is so amazing to see it in person. The line for the ride inside it was only about 20 minutes long. We ended up riding it four times during our two days in the park. One time the ride got stuck RIGHT when the first Dementor swoops down on you. It was SO SCARY and fun! Thankfully it was only stuck for about a minute, and we weren't upside down!
 I'm glad I was able to experience butter beer before we went vegan. It is SO GOOD. The frozen is better than the non and it is like the best cream soda-ish frostie kind of thing you can imagine!
I could have pumpkin juice though! It is yummy! And I didn't notice until after my second one that these bottles of it are 6.99! Crazy! I feel like the prices went up since the first time we visited the park.
They have styled everything so perfectly. It feels like you are really walking the streets of Hogsmeade. I wonder why they don't have characters walking around for you to meet. Like Hagrid! Or Voldemort!
They cleared out Zonko's Joke shop and expanded Honeyduke's. I guess because they opened Weasley's Wizard Wheezes over on the Diagon Alley side. I did NOT spend 10 dollars on a chocolate frog this time.
 I'm not a big roller coaster rider but after some convincing I decided to ride the dragon challenge. And promptly threw up. Dang it! So I sat out the rest of the big rides.
 Cute bathroom sign!
 Our Harry Potter pose! Wands out! Haha, you might notice some outfit changes in the next few posts. I decided to post by location instead of chronologically since we were in the same spots multiple times. It is kind of throwing me off!) We stopped at the Three Broomsticks for a snack. There is almost nothing vegan in the park, so Travis and I ate a lot of fries.
 Fizzy pumpkin juice! Even better than the regular!
 Early in the afternoon we decided to head over to Diagon Alley. They have constructed a train station so you can take the Hogwart's Express between the two parks! Of course that guarantees that most people will buy the park hopper passes. It's so expensive!
 It was pouring down rain when we got in line. The perfect time to ride a train.
You better believe there were lots of "Diaganelly" jokes that day! You know, the floo powder fiasco in the Chamber of Secrets? 
 You get directed into a compartment (thanks Nicki!) that seats 8 people. We were with a family of three. They window is a video screen and it plays stuff like flying hippogriffs and Hangrid waving, etc. And stuff goes on out in the hall too! It's cute. Sadly, the family in our cabin didn't care and were leaning forward looking at their dang phones blocking our view! When we rode the train back we made sure to get in a cabin first! Here we are, after standing in the rain!
Allright, I'll be back tomorrow to tell you all about Diagon Alley! It was AMAZING! Even better than Hogsmeade and if you've been to the park before I know that's hard to believe! I'm going to try to cut down my photos, but it is going to be hard!


  1. oh.... it looks so awesome!! I had just joined Instagram when you were there and it was great to see you having such an amazing time. I was thinking of going next year.... how many days do you think you need to see both parks?

    1. I think you need two for sure. You could MAYBE see everything in one day if you happened to go when no lines were over 30 minutes. We have done two both times we've been and that is just right in my opinion.

  2. Yesss, I have been waiting for this post!

    I can't believe they put Diagon Alley in the other park so you're forced to buy a park hopper pass. That is such a jerk move. I really don't care about anything else in either park, so it would be a huge waste of money for me to pay to go to two parks. I'm not saying that's going to stop me (and of course that's why they did it because they know it's not going to stop most people) but it does make me really mad.

    The Hogwarts Express looks so nice. I expected it to be just a regular old crappy train ride with wooden benches, but it's really cool that they made it like the real thing. I think they call them compartments. I should know for sure since I am reading the books right now, but I'm only about 80% on that lol.

    1. i heard they are going to do a ministry of magic part as well. i wonder which park it will be in. or will it be in between the two so you have to pay for THREE things!

      and i was so happy about the train! it is so cool and you really feel like you're going somewhere with the compartments (yes! that has to be the right word) i was expecting wooden benches like disney too.

  3. Both parks rule! The park hopper is worth it. The mummy is worth the 90 dollars it costs just to go there for one day. Or is it more than that. I don't remember. FUN FUN FUN. i love reliving this vaca with your words. It's like an audio of your voice is playing in my head. Like the old man in the princess bride. not that your voice sounds like that. and now i feel like i'm writing in my livejournal ten million years ago. boop.

    1. hahaha, mummy! i wish we could somehow ride that here. your end is my beginning!!!!!!
      like marc said, it is like i am talking, just nicer.

  4. Aghhh!! This is so rad. What a magical trip. I can't believe how much it looks like the movie.


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