Well, I’m back from my all too short vacation and as promised, I’m here to tell you about my trip to Universal. I’m giddy just thinking about it.
I was pretty tired and co-piloting the 2+ hour trip to Orlando, but by the time we entered the park, I was practically skipping all the way to “London”…my friend could barely keep up with me. As we approached Kings Cross and Grimmauld Place, I spotted the Knight Bus. I snapped a quick picture before finding myself shaking as we crossed into Diagon Alley.
The moment we entered Diagon Alley, a smile never left my face. Everything within it is perfect and magical. The sights, the sounds, everything is perfect. The storefronts make me want to go into every one of them and stock up on supplies for my classes at Hogwarts. The music is exactly the same as the movie which is also in my top three theme musics from movies. Just at the end is of course Gringotts, and as I moved in slow motion towards it, the dragon above blasts fire and it’s perfect. The Gringotts ride is amazing, from as soon as you enter and wait in line to strolling through it’s main hall and getting up close to the goblins to the physical ride itself, down into the vaults.
Knockturn Alley is pretty cool too, and a treat from Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream is the perfect refreshment from the hot Flordia weather. I would have loved to go to The Leaky Cauldron to eat, but everyone else had the same idea, as they did for Ollivander’s. No wand this time.
And then there’s the train ride. Oh, the train ride. I didn’t want to leave Diagon Alley, but I wanted to ride the Hogwarts Express, so back out to London we went and into Kings Cross. You could have fooled me, I actually felt like I was in a train station. I have to admit, I probably would have done the passage through Platform 9 3/4 a little differently, but the feeling is the same as you turn the corner and see that scarlet steam engine. Ugh it’s so cool. And once you’re on in and in your compartment, the show is mesmerizing. I could live on that train.
Of course, we wandered around Hogsmeade and went on all the rides there, fighting the crowds. I’ve been there before and it’s just as magical. The details within both parks are so perfect and the thought that went into designing them really shows the guests the effort in the experience they are supposed to have.
After wandering around all of Island of Adventure, we decided to take the Hogwarts Express back to London. Make sure you do this, because the experience both to and from Hogsmeade is different. It’s also a nice way to end your trip in these magical lands, finishing in London. Sad, but kind of perfect.
Naturally, I’m already planning my return trip. And you all should be planning your trips here too. It’s worth it.