Wizarding Magic at Universal Orlando + some tips (picture-heavy)

And so....the Orlando adventure continues (first part here) with Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure. These two parks were overwhelming for me because of one thing...the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Just to clarify for those who haven't been to Universal... the Wizarding World is divided into these two parks: Diagon Alley at Universal Studios and Hogwards/Hogsdmeade at Islands of Adventure (each having their own awesome rides). We ended up going back to Diagon Alley twice (riding the Escape from Gringotts twice!) which just tells you how much we all loved it.

As a Potterhead, that was probably the closest thing to heaven. No joke.

As for my kids and husband, well...you'll see in the pics below....

(FYI:My middle son has always been obsessed with Jurassic Park...nuff said.)


Universal Studios


Wizarding World Of Harry Potter


Diagon Alley







Butterbeer!



Springfield




Islands Of Adventure


Ollivanders

One of the things you can see while waiting for the Forbidden Journey ride











Back at Universal Studios (last full day in Orlando)










Goodbye, Universal....huhuhu
Eating at Florida Mall 




Our hotel was right beside the Disney Boardwalk so we would walk there at night after dinner when we're not too tired.

We could see the fireworks from Disney Hollywood Studios every night.

Short vlogs:



Below are some of the things I recommend to bring if you're going. I did a lot of research before we went, and here are the most useful items we used on the trip:

1) The most obvious ones: suncreen, hats, comfortable walking shoes that can get wet (ie.strap sandals), extra shirt
Because the Florida sun is BRUTAL, you will walk a hundred miles, and you will get wet in some rides

2) Filtered water bottles (ie. Brita)
Because the water from the water fountains tastes kinda weird (for me anyhoo)

3) Ponchos
Because it will rain at least once a day, especially if you go in August

4) Frommer's Easyguide to Disney World, Universal and Orlando
Buy the latest issue of this book before going. I used this to plan our trip, from what to FastPass to where to eat. This book is pretty bang on.
PS I also used this site for ideas on what to bring.

5) Portable battery power charger for your phone
Because you will use your phone A LOT (MDX app, Universal app, taking pics, posting on FB or Twitter), and you don't want to run out of battery juice right before that magic moment

6) Uber app on your phone
Our hotel was within DisneyWorld so we basically took the free shuttles and water taxis within DisneyWorld itself but anytime we had to leave the compound, we Ubered it. Saved us a lot on transportation expenses, and we were lucky enough that all our Uber drivers were awesome.



This Orlando trip was truly such an amazing experience, you guys! It was the best vacation ever, so much so that I'm still finding it hard to come back to reality even after all these days have passed. I recommend everyone should go and visit DisneyWorld and Universal at least once in their lifetime. You will not regret it!

Comments

Mica T said…
Oh I'm so jealous! There are so many fun photos in this post I don't know what to comment on! It's my dream to go to Universal and see the different Harry Potter rides and exhibits one day! :) I think I'll wait until the boys are a little bigger!

Hope you are having a good week :)

Away From The Blue Blog
rooth said…
So two things, I am SO glad that you guys had such a great time and all of the pictures have HUGE smiling faces. Secondly, my coworker and her husband are taking their three kids (ages and genders are basically like yours) to do the same thing in the fall for 9 days, and she was so happy when I told her that you thought it was the best vacation you had ever been on. All your resources and links have been useful to her too - thank you for sharing!
FASHION TALES said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
FASHION TALES said…
I'll be honest, I used to also be quite obsessed with Jurassic Park, haha. These are such wonderuful photos Emmy. It's a joy to hear that you guys had such a great time. That's incredibly important! Yes, I pretty much have Uber on speed dial! Perfectly convenient. :) <3 xx/M
FASHION TALES
We want to visit Universal the next time we go to Orlando so good to know. What boy doesn't love himself some Jurassic Park LOL I thought the same thing about the water from the water fountains in Orlando but then I'm used to NYC water ;p Yes JCW looks amazing any way. I actually did a tribute last week in honor of his enlistment. Good thing Seung Gi will be completing his service soon ;D Happy weekend Emmy!
Adam said…
My wife really wants to visit the Harry Potter one, she is a huge fan
Shannon Boyce said…
It looks like you had such a blast! They have a lot of really cool things there...Harry Potter areas, especially! they are so well themed. Great tips that you shared as well! I wound up bringing a portable phone charger with me. So helpful.
the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com
Chelsey said…
What fun! :) I loved my trip there last year and your tips are spot on.
Fashionably Idu said…
I like that 'picture heavy' warning that came with this post. Be rest assured I enjoyed every one of them! So cool, so fun! It's been over 10 years since our last visit to Universal Florida. You got me thinking it may be time to go back. Great tips Emmy, the raptor experience looks sooo cool!

http://www.fashionablyidu.com/
Laineypoodles said…
Awww... looked like a lot of fun!
Looks like you guys had so much fun! I'm hoping to plan a trip there next year :)
Your pictures show the family fun each had in Florida- what memories you will have! Planning is the biggest part of the vacation anticipation. I really need to start checking and using Uber.

Debra
http://www.kevinanddebra.com
Jane said…
It was exciting to go through your pictures! Lots of smiles! Love it :)
Kim Alston said…
Emmy, you planned this trip beautifully! I love Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and Kong Island! LOL I would've been your fourth kid! LOL Gosh that raptor moved so real in your video! AMAZING! Love the tips! So important.
http://www.averysweetblog.com/
So glad you had a good time in Orlando. I wish they had these Harry Potter rides when I lived in Florida years ago. Everything looks like such fun!

www.ohtobeamuse.com
Looks like y'all had a wicked amazing time. I'm not a huge potter fan, I think potter fans would be upset if I called myself one since I'm not that devout (ie haven't read th books hahahaha) but I did love the movies and I'm so curious about the potter world thing at universal. So cool to see it through your lens. I'm itching to go myself. We did Disneyland last year and it was pretty amazing, even at my age and without kids accompanying us hahahaha!

Sxx
www.daringcoco.com
LL Cool Joe said…
I loved going to Universal Studios. Now I want to go back! We went pre Harry Potter though. The weather looked great as well.
I would love to see all things Harry Potter! How did those Butterbeers taste?