It has been 13 years and I still haven’t received my acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I was disappointed for a while but I decided to take matters into my own hands by going on a trip to Universal Orlando to see it myself!
In May of 2017, I went to visit Universal Studios. I’m a child at heart. I’m in love with movie magic, and I have never been so immersed in magic before while at Universal Studios. The smell of butter beer and sweets wafted through the streets of Diagon Alley as I passed the Leaky Cauldron; kids ran out of Ollivander’s with wands in their hands and chased each other into the Owlery; but my favourite of all, the dragon at the top of Gringott’s Bank blew out warm flames every few minutes.
After riding the Escape From Gringotts ride and exploring all of the shops in Diagon Alley, I hopped on the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9¾ and took a trip to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.
First stop: Hogwarts. Walking through the castle made me realize how long this must have taken to build. The attention to detail was mesmerizing. The castle had holograms of the characters walking around while speaking to each other, and the pictures on the wall moved. After riding the Hogwarts attraction, I explored Hogsmeade. The whole place – Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts – was identical to the Harry Potter films that I know and love. Every building, every window, every crack in the sidewalk was almost an exact replica. The rides were interactive and in 4D, aside from the insanely fun inverted roller coaster, The Dueling Dragons.
My favourite ride was Escape From Gringotts. The detail and the ride itself were incredible! While everyone waited in line, you got to walk through the bank where the Goblins actually moved as if they were just working at their everyday jobs! The ride was a roller coaster with a 4D twist and it was so fun! I unfortunately didn’t have my camera with me at the time to take photographs or videos, but here is a video from YouTube if you are curious: https://bit.ly/2N7roOb
If you love roller coasters, warm weather, and most importantly Harry Potter, then I highly recommend making the trip down to Universal, Orlando. I couldn’t even express in words at the time how amazing the experience was. They created an entire London street with a Knight Bus, a replica of King’s Cross Station, and a secret passageway that gets you into Diagon Alley, very similar to what is in the films.
Have you been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida? What was your favourite experience there? If not, would you want to go? Leave a comment down below!
For anyone interested in travelling and for those that want to see more, here are some helpful links to get you started: