Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is having a fabulous day. As most of you know, I recently got back from the United States Dance Championships in Orlando. I had such an amazing time! My Mom seriously took so many pictures…so I will be posting later on in the week about the competition itself once I get everything organized. While we were in Orlando I got to go to Universal Studios with my boyfriend one day, and with my dance instructor the other day. I had never been to Universal before so I was SUPER excited…especially about Harry Potter World. So I’m going to be honest here…Universal and Islands of Adventure were kind of a let down. I was expecting awesome roller coasters and attractions but most of the park is older and a little run down. The Hulk ride was pretty awesome, King Kong was CRAZY, and the 3-D Minion experience was adorable.
The real fun came the second we walked from London into Diagon Alley. From that point on I was literally skipping through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter like a little excited First Year at Hogwarts. You guys…IT IS AMAZING! It’s like you’ve walked into the actual Diagon Alley from the book, complete with Ollivanders Wand Shop, ButterBeer stands, and of course, Gringott’s Wizarding bank. My boyfriend could barely keep up with me lol:) My first stop was Ollivander’s Wand Shop where I had to get my own personal wand (every wizard must have a proper wand). Luke is obviously the Muggle here, so he didn’t see the importance. I got a wand made from an Ash tree which was super cool because that’s what my name is derived from meaning bearer of creativity and knowledge.
So after I waved that around at a few of the interactive spots throughout the alley, we checked out all of the other shops like the adorable Sugar Plum’s Sweet Shop. If I ever have a little bakery one day, I want it to be this cute.
By this time I was extremely ready for ButterBeer, so we decided on splitting a frozen one. And by splitting, I mean I let him have like 2 sips lol. SO GOOD! My new favorite drink for sure; can’t wait to learn how to make it at home…you will definitely see that up on the blog in the next few weeks.
Then we rode Escape from Gringott’s which was so much fun! Just walking through the bank and seeing all of the neat things from the book and the movie was awesome in itself.
After this we hopped on the Hogwart’s Express and headed to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. Like platform 9 3/4 guys…I was geeking out.
Then we get to Hogsmeade and I am completely in awe, AGAIN! The beautiful snow covered buildings and the Hogwarts castle looming overhead…kind of magical. We explored the town (I could have lived in Honeydukes) and then we had lunch at The Three Broomsticks.
Our food was not the best in the world, but decent for theme park food. The atmosphere was really great though…and then I got my Pumpkin Juice. That’s right…OBSESSED! Another new favorite that I can’t wait to healthify 🙂
Our last stop that day was the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This ride was amazing….just waiting in line beside the talking pictures and getting to see a virtual Dumbledore and Ron, Harry, and Hermione was super cool. I loved the part of the ride where you are a part of the Quidditch game…I would be a BOSS Seeker btw…:)
Harry Potter World was definitely the best part of the Universal Studios trip…and even better that I got to experience it with my amazing boyfriend who didn’t care that I went all fan-girl. I would totally go back to Universal just for the Harry Potter experience. The rest of Universal Studios wasn’t that great, but that’s because it was built by Muggles and what do they know right?
I solemnly swear I’m up to no good,
Ashlyn Tori <3