Okay all, hold on tight to the Portkey, as I am transporting us Muggles to Harry Potter world today! (and finishing up the rest of our time in Universal).
We left off in “San Francisco”. A bit past SF you will see King’s Cross– the first hint of our entrance into the fantasy land! There are a few little Harry Potter references in a crossway that leads to other side of Universal. If you directly cross through King’s Cross you will end up in HP land.
Knight Bus, anyone?!
I am forever convinced this is the creepiest creation below in all of HP… even above the noseless He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named.
Before exploring HP land through King’s Cross, we decided to first explore that side of Universal Studios. We entered into Krustyland- a Simpsons Fan’s dream. I have never watched an episode of the Simpsons, but it was still fun!
For lunch we had Moe’s, which is a big cafeteria providing many options that are odes to Simpson’s food. (sorry to all the innocent bystanders that I captured in my photos- whoops)
I was still able to sniff out a vegetarian option. I had some hummus and pita with a veggie sandwich that was tasty & filling. I did notice that nearly everywhere we went in Universal Studios and Disney had accommodating options for people who don’t eat meat.
But most would opt for their delectable burgers & curly fries! This is the “Clogger Burger” below. That name…. hahah.
The big group of us also all had a try of the Lard Lad Donut!
It was so yummy! Even better than I expected. Mmm ! I thought it would taste like straight sugar, but it actually had great flavor that came through too.
Okay, zipping back to King’s Cross — crossing through we entered into Diagon Alley. Even if you are an expert in Harry Potter I think it’d be impossible to absorb all the details. It’s ah-may-zing.
First things first! Gotta grab a wand 😉 If you buy an interactive wand, you are given a map that leads you to place in the park where you can use your wand to “cast spells”, marked by a circle symbol on the ground that you step on, with a pattern for how to use your wand to activate the “spell”.
Each wand corresponds with a character from the series. Can you guess whose is whose?
Originally we all grabbed our character wands (Amy and I chose Hermione), but then we realized you could trade it in for personalized wand at Olivander’s. Basically they take your birthday and tell you what wand is specific for you. For my January birthday, I received the “Birch” wand!
Below is one of the spots you can use your wand I was describing earlier. In this one you can control the eyeballs. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write? haha.
Next, we rode the new Gringott’s ride which was just insanely incredible, easily one of my favorite rides we did the whole day. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Virtual reality + roller coaster= mind blowing experience. Wow oh wow- Did I mention I loved that ride?!
Time to finally try a Butterbeer!
The gang with our wands and butterbeers 🙂
They were SO gooooood! It is like a cream soda, but thicker. it’s very very sweet, and typically I don’t like any drinks too sweet- but gosh, I loved that. It almost had that root beer float type of creaminess. There is actually no alcohol in Butterbeer despite the name, so it is safe for kiddos & trust me- they’ll love it!
Below is a building that you can turn the lights on and off with your interactive wand.
Time to enter Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes!
In order to get to the second part of HP world, you have to take it Hogwart’s Express to get to the second part of the park. But first- you have to run through platform 9 3/4, of course.
All aboard!! We shuffled into a cabin that perfectly resembled the ones in the movies. There is a screen that has passing images of rolling hills, a simulated invasion of dementors, and finally your arrival to Hogwarts. Too cool.
We heeeereee! This is the Hogsmeade portion of the park.
It was really chilly that day, so it added to the real feel of the fake snow on the rooftops.
HoneyDukes was one of the “must-visits” for the day…
It did not disappoint! I was blown away by everything you could try that was straight from the books. Anyone brave enough to try the Bertie Bott’s Beans?
I opted for a chocolate frog. I mean you havee to get a chocolate frog, right? Next time I’ll be trying the pumpkin pasty. That is something in the book that always sounds so delicious too.
It was wonderful milk chocolate! I am not even a fan of plain milk chocolate usually (I prefer dark), but this was lovely & smooth.
Oh, and you get a trading card just like they do in the books. I received Bertie Bott!
Last, but not least, we saw THE Hogwarts. There is a ride called The Forbidden Journey inside the castle we rode too- it was a blast, but Gringotts still has it beat. Better just do both to be sure 😉 I was just wowed by the attention to detail, the magnitude, and again, the total immersion of the experience.
Okayy, I’m off to finish up The Order of the Phoenix now! Have a magical weekend, my friends 🙂
Questions for you:
- What is your favorite Christmas movie?
- Anything fun happenin’ this weekend in your world?