For those of you who didn’t know, I am a huge Harry Potter fan! I mean DIE HARD! When the first movie came out I would watch it three times a day… and at the time I was convinced I was going to be an actress ( thank my mom for taking me to acting classes in the city every Saturday ), so I would act out every scene, word for word! … I was 9, don’t judge 😉
So anyways, you can imagine my excitement when I heard that Harry Potter World was opening up in Universal Studios Hollywood! Me and D went to Universal when they were still building it, but luckily they had just opened a store with all things Harry Potter to give everyone a sneak peek!
DeAndre had to convince me that I didn’t need Dumbledore’s wand… I’m still questioning his reasoning. But in reality, it was literally just a stick. I mean they curved a piece of plastic or whatever it was and painted it brown and drew some lines on it to call it a “wand”. So yeah, maybe DeAndre was right ( this doesn’t happen often 😉 ), but I guess I didn’t need it. And yes, he was probably right in saying that it would just get thrown somewhere in the house, never to be touched again. But that’s besides the point! haha
So back to current day, I may have had the will power to turn down the wand last year, but was I strong enough this year? Keep reading to find out!
We started our day bright and early, with a healthy breakfast and some comfy clothes . TIP #1: EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST! This way you’re not hungry early on and you can save money, instead of buying $4 waters or $12 chicken nuggets. And TIP #2: WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES! While I’m all about being cute and stylish, theme parks are crowded, meaning someone will probably step on your beautiful shoes, you’re on your feet 24/7 and you’re getting on and off rides all day long. Some rides will also leave you drenched in water ( Jurassic Park ). So while fashion is our passion haha, comfort wins every time we go to theme parks.
D and I tried to get to the park when it opened, but as we all know that doesn’t happen! We had to stop by the store first, which leads me to TIP #3: BRING WATER AND SNACKS IN YOUR BAG. Universal Studios Hollywood allows it, so fill up on some bars and nuts to keep you energized in between meals.
We ended up getting there around 9:45am and the park was already filling up fast! It was a Saturday. So TIP #4: GET THERE EARLY! They had employees taking photos upon arrival in front of the huge sign and again once you walk into the park, but you have to pay for those, so go with TIP #5: ASK SOMEONE TO TAKE YOUR PHOTO ON YOUR PHONE. But you can’t forget TIP#6: BRING YOUR PORTABLE CHARGER ( I’ve linked one here )
Our first stop was Harry Potter World of course! You guys, I kid you not, I couldn’t contain myself haha. I was literally panicking from excitement.
After briefly seeing all the cute shops we went in line for what we thought was a ride…. oops.. We waited for an hour to find out it was this wand choosing experience. Kinda cool, but definitely not worth the wait.
After this 15 minute experience, we decided it was best to look for a map so we didn’t end up waiting in line for something other than a ride. Flight of the Hippogriff it was! The ride was inside of the Hogwarts castle. It was STUNNING!! It looks just like the actual castle in the movie! But of course, the wait was 95 minutes… We agreed we’d wait in the line so it wouldn’t get even longer, then we’d go grab a bite. TIP #7: GO TO ‘FLIGHT OF THE HIPPOGRIFF’ OR ‘TRANSFORMERS’ FIRST, SINCE THEY HAVE THE LONGEST WAIT TIMES!
The ride was pretty awesome!! It is definitely one of my favorites! But by the time we got out, we wanted nothing but to take a break from standing in line and just sit down and enjoy some lunch. Which leads me to TIP #8: EAT RIGHT OUTSIDE THE PARK. THERE ARE PLENTY OF RESTAURANTS IN THE CITYWALK RIGHT OUTSIDE THE PARK WHICH SAVES A TON OF MONEY AND YOU GET BETTER QUALITY FOOD! We ate at Saddle Ranch Chop House and there wasn’t even a wait!
Once we got some food in our stomachs we went to check how much it would cost to upgrade to the front of the line passes since it was already 1:30 by this time and we really only rode one ride. TIP #9: UPGRADE TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE PASS!!! I can’t stress enough how worth it this was! It was only $50 more per person, so in our case $100 total to upgrade, so if you have the money I’d definitely suggest it. The pass lets you go to the front of the line once for each ride and experience. While this doesn’t sound as good as Disneyland’s unlimited front of the line pass, it is definitely worth it.
After getting this bad boy, the park was a breeze! We had a BLAST!!! Not only was Transformers a favorite ride of ours from before, it was just as fun this time.
I think my ultimate favorite was the Minions ride though!!! It was my first time on it and it was just the cutest ride ever!!! You HAVE to go on it!!
Before we knew it, we had gone on all the rides, ate all the yummy churros and went on my favorite studio tour. But what is Universal Studios Hollywood without some Butterbeer?! This drink from Harry Potter comes in a regular drink and frozen. Contrary to what they look like, there is no alcohol in them and they taste like cream soda. I got the frozen one and it was delish!
We had the best time at Universal Studios and my dream of going to Hogwarts finally came to life 😉
This was all made possible by TIP #10: BOOK YOUR TICKETS THROUGH CLOUD 9 LIVING! They have such great customer service and made it so easy to pick this experience and print out our tickets. They also have tons of different activities in major cities so if you’re not in LA, don’t stress!! Check them out!