As you know, if you have been following my posts, last week I was in Orlando for work visiting Universal Studios. I was working with Mom It Forward at the Family Forward: Orlando Adventure conference. It was an awesome week with a bunch of bloggers and their families. Even though we kept busy we still had time to enjoy Universal Studios and all that it had to offer. After my VIP Exclusive Event in Diagon Alley I was pumped and ready to visit Hogsmeade that week and see Hogwarts.
The first morning that we had off we headed into the park an hour early (thanks to the perks of staying on Universal property) and headed straight to Hogsmeade. It was pretty empty when we got there. I was so excited to be able to walk the streets and actually look at everything without it being crowded. I took so many pictures and they are all amazing because there aren’t a 1000 strangers in them!
The first thing we walked (ran, whatever) to was the ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. We did not have to wait long, maybe 10 – 15 minutes, if that. The walk through Hogwarts Castle to get on the ride was an experience in itself. I mean, hello! The sorting hat and everything was there. The ride was awesome. I think it is better than the ride in Diagon Alley, but that is just me. I was nervous at first, and at the last second we decided that my flip flops might fall off so my friends grabbed them and I rode barefoot! I think I smiled the whole ride. The ride is not roller-coastery but if you are afraid of heights I would skip this one as the special effects make you feel like you are flying! There is also a spider section so beware if you are nervous around arachnids. I could have ridden this one all day but there was so much more to see in Hogsmeade. We went back a couple of days later and rode it again. I think it is one of those rides that I could do over and over again and never get tired of riding.
After the ride I took time to look at everything, take pictures and visit some shops while some of the group went on the Dragon Challenge. The Dragon challenge is a real roller coaster and I am not too keen on that. I also did a little shopping in the stores before taking the train back over to London. Specifically I did quite a bit of shopping in Honeydukes where I got some of Dumbledore’s favorite treats. As you can see I had the candy store all to myself.
The second time that we went back to Hogsmeade at the end of the week we were able to have breakfast in The Three Broomsticks. Again, with no line! Of course I ate the “American Breakfast”. For anyone that knows me, you know that I am very picky with what I eat and some of the “traditional” foods on the list were not very Kendra friendly. Without pictures showing me exactly what the English meals looked like, I was not going to risk being hungry all day.
It was amazing to walk around and feel like I was in the Harry Potter books. As you can see both times I went it was pretty empty. I can’t stress how amazing that extra hour in the morning makes all the difference with the amount of people who crowd into the area. I can’t wait to go again and experience all of this with my kids.
Last but certainly not least I wanted to leave you with the images of us walking through the platform to board the train. At first I did not realize what I was seeing and I had to go back and look again. I took a series of pictures of my friend going through and then she took a series of me going through as well. Put them together and this is what you get. I could have stayed there and watch people walk through the wall all day. This place really makes you feel the magic!
I have so many more pictures but I didn’t want these posts to get too long. I decided to add folders with a ton more pictures to my Facebook page and you can go and see them there!
*I was not financially compensated in any way for this review. I received tickets to Universal for attending a conference that was partially sponsored by them. All opinions, as always, are my own.