Wandering Around the Wizarding World

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Patrick and I managed to fit in a very magical trip to Universal Studios, and most importantly, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 
We said our goodbyes to our extended family at the Orlando airport on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Instead of catching our scheduled flight to Houston that morning, we pushed our trip back 24 hours to spend one more day riding roller coasters and sipping on butter beer. 
One of the best decisions we’ve ever made. 

Upon entering the park, I really can’t tell you how much we geeked out at our first sight of Hogwarts castle.

I read my first Harry Potter book at 11 years old, the year I was supposed to get my very own Hogwarts acceptance letter. Devastated that it never actually arrived, being able to go to Hogwarts at 25 years old in a way, kind of made up for it.

When you walk into Hogsmeade, (for those that don’t know-the little village outside of Hogwarts), the beautiful soundtrack from all of the Harry Potter movies plays all around you. You hear shopkeepers yelling in their British accents, offering butter beer and trying to sell you all different kinds of magical objects.

Yes, I know these objects aren’t truly magical. But I did almost convince myself to buy another magic wand, (yes I already have one) a remembral, a quidditch quaffle ball, and a gryffindor t-shirt.

I’m a sucker for silly souvenirs!

But luckily I didn’t fall into any of those traps that day and my only souvenir ended up being the wonderful memories we made.

As well as a glass of butter beer.

Butter beer was much sweeter than I always imagined it being.

But delicious nonetheless.

For the book lovers who visit the park, the attention to detail in the shop windows is magic in itself.

From cauldron shops, tea shops, tiny book stores to “Gladrag’s WizardingWear,” I was blown away at the accuracy of the little town of Hogsmeade.

And seeing Hermione’s Yule Ball dress in all its glory was such a fun surprise!

There was also a little quidditch shop that’s store windows were filled with the many different gadgets that were described in the books, and even then some.

We had so much fun browsing the streets of Hogsmeade that we almost forgot about the rides themselves! 
Over and over we rode the Hogwarts ride, the Flight of the Hippogriff coaster, and the Dragon Challenge, which was formally Dueling Dragons if you remember it from years ago. 
We finally agreed it was time to explore the rest of the park, after all there was more than just one adventure in Islands of Adventure. 

We spent the rest of the day exploring Jurassic Park, Marvel Island, Toon Lagoon and everything else the park had to offer. 

I highly suggest you buy a poncho before riding the Jurassic Park river ride. 
We felt like we had just gone swimming in our clothes.

We then soaked ourselves again on the Dudley Do-Right log ride. 
What is it with theme parks and feeling the need to completely drench its guests on water rides!?
Naturally, we thought it was best to head back to Harry Potter world to dry off. 
Or really just to see it one more time before we had to leave. 🙂 

We stopped in the famous Three Broomsticks for a late lunch of traditional British fare. Ordering fish & chips at a theme park is risky business, I know. But they were absolutely oh-so-delicious!

After stuffing our bellys and drying off under the sun on the Three Broomsticks patio, we then revisited all the shops and rode the rides just one more time, soaking in the magic before we headed back to our hotel for the evening.

Cheers to a wonderful day and a ticking off a chunk from our bucket lists! 
It’s truly a magical thing when a childhood obsession comes to life like that. We had so much fun visiting the park and pretending to be kids again. The funny thing was though, all of the people geeking out over the little things at Harry Potter world were our age too! 
Have you ever been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? If so, what were your favorite parts? And did you read the books as a kid too!? 
As always, thanks for stopping by the blog and especially for following along on our mini-vacation!

  • Looks you had a great time! 🙂

  • So jealous! Looks like you had an amazing time!

  • My husband and I went for our Vacation in September! We spent three days between the two parks. We mainly went because we both LOVE the Harry Potter Books! It was sooo much fun! We enjoyed the frozen butter beer more than the liquid! How did you like the Forbidden Journey? The park was pretty quiet when we went, so we were able to ride it A LOT!

    Glad you enjoyed!

  • Looks like such a fun trip! That butter beer looks amazing!

  • It looks like you guys had so much fun
    The Doctor Diva

  • omg i am so jealous!!!!!!!!!! I've always wanted to go there. I'm kicking myself for not going there when we were in Orlando on our honeymoon.