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Our Vacation: Universal Studios Was Awesome

by Tiffany in travel

The title of this post pretty much sums up our recent week long vacation in Florida.

We LOVED Universal and the kids did too. I have just as many fond memories of Universal as I do for Disney since those Disney trips as kids also included a trip to Universal Hollywood. My main reason for wanting to go on this trip was the Harry Potter world and I was not disappointed at all. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is worth every penny and every minute spent waiting in a line. It is the stuff dreams are made of.

Diagon Alley was enchanting. We walked around it for hours just admiring and drinking butter beer. My daughter who is a Harry Potter fan got a Hogwarts robe and an interactive wand as gifts from her Uncle. So we all had a blast walking to all the various places throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade that had areas where you could use your wand to do “magic”. There were several dozen places.

Paige and books are like peas and carrots… #harrypotterforever

A photo posted by Tiffany Washko (@tiffanywashko) on

Hogsmeade was way busier than Diagon Alley for some reason I cannot quite understand but it was also fun. The two harry Potter rides were also quite fantastic. The one where you are on a broomstick was incredible. The Hogwarts Castle and The Hogwarts Express were incredible. I just cannot say in words how magical it was to be in the world of Harry Potter.


A photo posted by Tiffany Washko (@tiffanywashko) on

The rest of the park was pretty fun too. We rode all the major rides and saw all the major shows. We spent three days there so we were able to get it all done with minimal wait times. This was crucial because rides like Spiderman or Minions are not worth the 1-2 hour wait times they often have. The best tactic is to spend multiple days and tackle all the rides in the morning until you get to all the ones you want. And there are two parks to explore if you get the park hopper passes like we did. One of the very best times we had though was at the Horror Makeup Show and there was no wait for it. It was fantastic!

So lessons learned? The road trip was rough and I am not sure if I would want to drive that again. Listening to audio books on the way there and back was a big hit though. Disney was mostly a bust for us but we might try another Disney park next time. We would definitely go back to Universal (both parks). We also need a day or two of nothing planned because all the walking was exhausting!

All in all we had fun and made some good memories. My daughter walking around the Harry Potterverse dressed up as a Hogwarts student and waving a wand around? Yes, that is priceless to me. And to her as well…she’s been listening to the books on audio ever since she got home. We must ride the Hogwarts Express again one day.

  • beau

    I had a much different experience in Orlando with my family. First off I agree everything Harry potter was brilliant for both my 15 year old and my 10 year old, and we couldn’t get enough of the rest of universal studios either. The rides were brilliant, uniquely non – Disney and we rarely waited in line. But we were hitting up the websites on crowd days and time while planing our week. But we also loved epcot, the Disney animal park (my wife’s favorite), and the Hollywood studios shows and rides. We didn’t spend much time in the main Disney World since it wasn’t much different than the California version but with a little planning, some early starts and the right websites the crowds can be avoided in the rest of the Disney parks and there is enough there for everyone. But hands down for me the highlight was Kennedy space center. Advise anyone to time their trip to fall or spring for the best weather.