I cannot believe I have been to Harry Potter at Universal Studios five times and I have yet to share one little piece of the magic. OK truth be told the first two times I was not even blogging yet but I could have shared afterwards right? I am a tried and true Harry Potter Fan. Honestly I re-read the books every year. I have at least one movie Marathon a winter season. And every time I am in Orlando, I must head to Universal Studios. Well I finally got energetic and started sorting through what literally is thousands of photos. I thought I might take you on a Tour. Or rather I might create a series and try to break this into manageable pieces for you. That way I caninclude a few tips and tricks along the way. Anyone want to take a tour?
I truly could not start anywhere else but at the beginning. I made it to Hogsmeade and Harry Potter the first time in December 2011 only a few months after the opening so it was crowded. Breathtaking when first spotted but still crowded. May 2012 was my next visit and then again in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Yep I am obsessed.
Hogsmeade was exactly as I pictured it. If you remember, the students of Hogwarts who are in their third year and above were permitted to visit Hogsmeade during scheduled visits, to shop and mingle with friends un-chaperoned, as long as they have a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian. Mainly, students frequented High street in the village. It was all there, The Three Broomsticks, Honeydukes, Zonkos Joke Shop and Hogshead. Keep looking and you will find Ollivanders, Dervish and Banges and even the Post Office. ( you can mail a letter from here, how cool is that). I did keep looking for the Shrieking Shack but maybe that will the replacement ride, now that the Dragon Challenge is gone.
Honeydukes and the Other Shops
The popular sweets shop located in Hogsmeade that always seemed crowded with Hogwarts students and occasionally even the professors of Hogwarts. The shop was always filled with many different kinds of wonderful and wild sweets, such as Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans, Cauldron Cakes, Blood-Flavoured Lollipops, Acid Pops, Droobles Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Wands, Exploding Bonbons, Skeletal Sweets, and so much more. Homeydukes was exactly as I pictured, an explosion of colour and treats. And I promise we will visit and take you inside soon….
It is pretty cool, stick around and listen to the Frog Choir or maybe get the chance to participate in the Tri-wizard Pep Rally. Let’s not forget the amazing rides, The Flight of the Hippogriff, Harry’s Forbidden Adventure and even the now closed Dragon Challenge (my favourite).
I promise to take you through all the wonder that is Harry Potter and Universal over the next few weeks but for today let’s just immerse ourselves in the world we all want to live in. Harry Potter is not just about the rides, it is about the experience, becoming part of the wizarding world.
And could there be a Harry experience without butterbeer?
Discover the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
As a very serious Harry Fan I thought I would try and gather all of the awesomeness together. Check back frequeently as I explore more of what the Park has to offer.
5 Secret Gems before leaving London it is time to explore.
Don’t forget to check out Hogsmeade,
You also may want to Visit Gringotts
Hagrid’s Hut and the Flight of the Hippogriff
The Forbidden Journey