Dream For Three

Universal Studios and Harry Potter World

With two days booked in Universal Studios we planned to spend the first day at Harry Potter World and then visit any other attractions that catch our interest the rest of the time.  Since we had woken early on July 12 (around 3:30am, probably due to being on European time still), we got ready and took the first ferry of the day (6:00am) to City Walk.  Our first task was to have breakfast, but it appears that nothing is open that early in the morning – especially not Cinnabon Bun, which looked very enticing.  We settled on Starbucks and then went to Universal Studios to get our pre-booked two day passes and wait for the earlybird opening (at 7:00am).

The park was opened and (after getting our express pass photos and lanyards) we made a beeline through Dr Seuss and The Mysterious Island to Hogsmeade.  Everything was very well done and we got in early for the Forbidden Journey (a very clever 3D (or 4D?) experience).  When we came out the line was already extremely long, so we were glad to have gone in early.  After perusing the shop (as there is at the end of most rides at Universal Studios) we headed to the Flight of the Hippogriff (a roller coaster designed for younger kids – we’re not really big fans of the big coasters, like the Dragon Challenge).  DD thoroughly enjoyed the Hippogriff and we re-visited it a few times in our two days at the park.

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After the Hippogriff we took the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley, which was also very well done.  It was by chance that we actually found the entrance to Diagon Alley (after leaving the train station), but in hindsight it wasn’t that hard to find.  We spent quite a lot of time in Diagon Alley, especially since DD got one of the interactive wands and went around all of the interaction points to see what it could do.  We also had an early lunch at the Leaky Cauldron and sampled butter beer (a butterscotch-like drink with a vanilla soda topping) – an experience well worthwhile.

While we were in Diagon Alley we went on the Escape From Gringotts ride, which was another good 3D (or 4D?) experience.  Of the two, I think that the Forbidden Journey was better.  Completing our shopping at Diagon Alley, we took the Hogwarts Express back to Hogsmeade (we wanted to see if the experience/show was different, which it was) – the line this time was much longer than when we had arrived; it probably would have been quicker to walk back through the two parks.

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We spent the rest of the day visiting other attractions at both parks, as well as doing a lot of shopping.  At the end of the day I decided that we would have dinner at the Hard Rock Café.  It was reasonably full, but there was a table available.  The service and food was very good and our waitress attentive.  However, what we have found is that the servings in America are so much bigger than anywhere else – we struggled to finish all of our dinner.

Taking the ferry back to our hotel, we turned in for the night and crashed out quickly.

 

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