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Florida Guide > Universal Parks

The second of Universal’s themed Harry Potter lands opened just before we visited our villa this summer and we couldn’t wait to see it! We purchased unlimited two park tickets as we had heard queues could be long and we wanted to be able to ride on the new ‘steam train’ between parks.

On our first trip we headed straight for Universal Studios and Diagon Alley.

After a hysterical chat with the conductor of the Knight Bus and the shrunken head, we stopped to take photographs at the houses from the films and almost missed the entrance to the alley behind the brick wall - I’ll let my Harry Potter mad niece describe her reactions……. .

“Walking through the brick wall entrance to Diagon Alley was amazing – I felt as though I was part of the wizarding world that Harry Potter first visited with Hagrid to buy supplies for his first year at Hogwarts School. I was greeted by a humming street filled with shops from the imagination of J. K. Rowling. Weasleys Wizard Wheezes where you can buy extendible ears, puking pastels and fluffy puffskins if you so desire! Olivanders where you can have a wand chosen for you be Olivander’s assistant or Madam Malkins to buy your very own Hogwarts robe. If all of this shopping gets your stomach rumpbling , buy an ice cream from Florian and Fortescue or some every flavour beans from Bertie Botts “

After a look around we decided to head to ‘King’s Cross Station’ to board the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade on the Islands of Adventure. It is quite a spectacular sight when the ‘steam train’ pulls into the station – particularly for younger members who don’t remember steam trains. Countryside scenes flew past and we really felt as though we were travelling with the school children on their trip back to Hogwarts.

We loved the Dragon Challenge ride and the Flight of the Hippogriffe as usual and The Forbidden Journey never fails to excite but by this time we were hungry and stopped at The Three Broomsticks for a Great Feast Platter – very good value if there are four of you and more than enough delicious food to prepare you for the return train journey to Diagon Alley.

We were just in time to catch the wizarding dramatic arts group performing The Tale of The Three Brothers by wizard author Beedle the Bard. This was a really clever re-enactment using life size puppets. Exploring all the side streets we came across Knockturn Alley where I was informed those who practice the ‘dark arts’ may be found and Borgin and Burkes provides them with their necessary supplies.

We were all ‘Pottered out’ by this stage so we decided to return another day to experience the ride ‘Escape from Gringotts’ – After all we still had all our other favourite rides still to do… Rockit, Transformers, Mummy, Shrek, Despicable Me? So many rides – good job we got 14 day tickets! !

Author: Dawn Axon and sisters (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 9 September 2014
Viewed 1656 times since 9 September 2014.

The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.

Feast for 4 at the Leaky Cauldron

mmmm....butter beer!

The Tale of the 3 Brothers

Gringotts lobby

Gringotts dragon

Magical shopping opportunities

The night bus

Before Take Off!

Hogwarts Express

Train selfie!

Harry Potter - Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Dragons Challenge

Dragons Challenge

Harry Potter - Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter

Harry Potter
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