I don’t have kids yet, but I certainly didn’t let that hold me back from visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last week. Originally, Boyfriend and I were set to fly home right after the cruise, but after I saw that Diagon Alley opened this past summer, I knew some things had to change. Thankfully, Delta changed one of our flights and so we called hoping that because they changed it first, we could change it to another day. It worked!
I’m going to be honest–I was worried Universal wasn’t going to be up to the task of creating Harry’s world. Boy, was I wrong! Diagon Alley was amazing. I applaud the architects and designers because the detail was spot on. Plus, as a writer, I can’t imagine how cool it would be to see a world I created in my mind, built around me.
- Stay at the Hard Rock
If you can swing the Hard Rock, I’d definitely recommend staying there. It’s the closest hotel to the parks and it was a perfect retreat at the end–or in the middle–of a long day. Plus, when we splurged on room service, the delivery guy was hilarious and brought us our order along with every condiment I could have wanted–even a tiny jar of honey for our tea! It’s the little things that impress me apparently 😉
- Get there early.
One of the best parts about staying at of the the Universal park hotels is that you get early access to Diagon Alley. As tempting as it is to sleep in, don’t do it! Drag your butts out of bed and go see it. It’s pretty empty at that time so you’ll have the shortest wait times for the rides. Besides, you can always walk back to your hotel for an afternoon nap if you need to.
- Buy an interactive wand
Sure, all the kids have them, but this way you won’t be jealous when they’re making feathers fly, pots trickle over, and frogs spew water. After all, you and I both know the power “wingardium leviosa” has.
- Take the Hogwarts Express. Both ways.
Don’t miss out on taking the Hogwarts Express. Not only does it look cool, but the view and story changes depending on whether you’re going to Hogsmeade or back to Diagon Alley.
- Go back and see it at night.
The benefit of staying so close to the hotel is that you can return to the park later. One night we went back to the park to see the Universal water show and check out Diagon Alley and it looks great. The dragon looks even better breathing fire at night!
- Buy a chocolate frog for a fellow fan back home.
I wasn’t impressed with the packaging design of a lot of their products (sorry, I’m in advertising so I might be more critical), but the Chocolate Frogs looked great. It’s pretty much identical to the movie so even my brother (a big, burly guy) was excited to get one.