So for the bulk of the trip there were five of us girls there for Universal Studios (okay but really we were there primarily for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter aka Harry Potter World) and I had the best time imaginable. I want to say up front that it didn’t even occur to me that going on a theme park vacation with 5 girls in one hotel room for 3 nights would ever be stressful or dramatic and I think that speaks very highly of the women I surround myself with. Y’all I have the BEST friends and because of that this trip was a non-stop blast. Obviously our feet hurt like you wouldn’t believe and we were all way exhausted by the time it was over but everyone was always down to have a good time and we all had a blast.
We stayed on site at Loews Royal Pacific and I HIGHLY recommend staying at an onsite resort because it was the MOST convenient! Plus we got to bundle in all of these great things like breakfast at the Leakey Cauldron and Three Broomsticks, Early Park Admission, and my favorite, Fast Passes!!!
First day was spent at Universal Studios and Diagon Alley primarily. We started with breakfast the Leakey Cauldron where I discovered how freaking amazing Pumpkin Juice is (Pumpkin Fizz is even better!) and then from there we picked our wands (!!!), got our first Butterbeers and took moving pictures at the Shutter-buttons Studio (also a part of our sweet package!). I got Ginny Weasley’s wand and Eden got Sirius’ for herself. The really fun part about the wands is that you have the option to choose an interactive wand (only an $8 difference) and with that wand you can cast spells around the park and make it rain, turn on fountains, make the lights turn on, grow plants in windows, etc… Super fun and an amazing detail they added in. We explored Knockturn Alley and Borgon and Burkes before returning back to the sunshine of the street! Unfortunately Gringotts was closed that day and didn’t re-open until we’d already hopped the Hogwarts Express to go to Hogsmeade.
Before taking the train over to Hogsmeade and the castle we took the time to explore the rest of Universal Studios and rode the Men in Black ride, The Mummy ride, and the big coaster where you make a music video (I can’t remember the name!?). Hands down The Mummy was my favorite and we ended up riding it four times before we left that weekend. This is where the fast passes/express passes REALLY paid off. The longest we waited all weekend was at the Harry Potter rides because you could only use a fast pass on the Dueling Dragons (my favorite coaster there for sure!) so deciding to go back and re-ride things a few times in a row was no skin off our backs (which was why the Mummy happened so much.) The Mummy ride also produced HANDS DOWN the best photo from the trip. I present to you all: Ellen’s Face. So distrusting of the Mummy! Honestly though that whole picture is gold, even the strangers in that picture are amazing.
We eventually hopped on the Hogwarts Express (seriously omg omg omg) and made our way to Hogsmeade. The train ride itself is it’s own interactive experience and it was really amazing both there and back.
Y’all I can’t stress enough how amazing the attention to detail is here. Like literally everything was PERFECT. When I say that I almost cried a few times I meant it. Maximum nerd level at all times, it was just unreal to be walking through a world that was confined to pages for my whole life.
We spent the rest of the evening in Hogsmeade riding the Dueling Dragons and the Forbidden Journey ride at Hogwarts. The Dueling Dragons is your classic steel coaster and it was my favorite because it was just so much fun! and the Forbidden Journey is almost a slow moving 4D coaster. They did such a fantastic job not only of the ride itself but the waiting experience! You begin inside the castle, wander through the herbology green houses into Professor Bin’s room and through the Headmaster’s office and more. It was AMAZING. Once again, the attention to detail and realness of the place was awe inspiring. We also hit up Honeydukes and few other shops to take advantage of the “Buy it in the parks and we’ll send it to your room for you” perk of staying on site. So good!
We returned to the real world winding our way through Islands of Adventure and made our plan of attack for the next day!