First off: I’m so sorry for suddenly disappearing and neglecting this blog! I actually have a burn-out, which I talk more about on my other blog if you want to know more. I really do love this blog and want to post regularly again, so hopefully I’ll be able to find some energy to keep blogging on this one as well ❤️
Back in 2015 my mom and I went to Orlando for my 18th birthday. Not long after the trip I blogged about it on my other blog, The Writing Hufflepuff, but 1) that’s no longer my travel blog and I like to share it on here instead and 2) my writing style has changed a lot since then (seriously cringed at some stuff rereading those posts) so I decided to use those old post as a base for new posts for Aesthetically Dreaming!
I won’t go in any details about our first day, as that day was mostly spend on an airplane and it isn’t very interesting haha. So I’m starting this series with our first day at Universal Studios! Since Diagon Alley was still being built the first time we were there, we decided to start there and then catch the Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure. This would A Very (Harry) Potter Day*
* See what I did there?
When we arrived at the park we had to turn in our voucher for our actual tickets, but there was a problem. We needed an ID and my mom hadn’t brought any. That same morning I had asked my mom if she didn’t need to bring any (not even for the tickets, just in general) and she was like ‘nah’. So when the woman behind the desk asked for an ID, naturally we were like ‘OH SHIT’. Thankfully the woman was really sweet and patient, and in the end we showed her an email from Arkefly where we had booked our trip and tickets for Universal and she allowed that (we were so lucky as I doubt there are many people who would have done that. She actually needed something with my mom’s name and picture on it). So after that nerve-wracking ordeal we entered the park and made our way to London (which sounds really weird haha). We did stop at the Revenge of the Mummy ride as that was one of our favourites last time we were there and there was only a 10 minute wait.
This ride is definitely not for everyone, as it’s a bit more extreme, but not THAT extreme or I wouldn’t go on it haha. I’m not the kind of person who goes on rides that have loops or go very high, but Revenge of the Mummy? So. Much. Fun. Although I have to admit I never watched the movie haha
After that we really made our way to London, or at least where we thought it would be. A map would’ve been useful*, but I could remember where they had been building two years ago, and you can’t really get lost in Universal! (Though it would’ve been a lot like us to get lost). We knew we were headed in the right direction when we spotted King’s Cross, but of course we had to explore Diagon Alley first. Before going into Diagon Alley though, we had to take a picture with the Knight Bus.
* I don’t know why we didn’t have one??
The guy who played Stan was spot on, not to mention hilarious: ‘You a Hufflepuff? I think he might be a Hufflepuff’ *nods at Ernie* ”Cause he was BADGERING me this morning’ I know, terrible pun, but I laughed so hard. I love bad puns.
Don’t mind me, just checking up on the Order. Do you see Kreacher in the top left picture? That one was actually taken the next day. Some people were pointing and that’s when I noticed him. To be fair, he appears and disappears. So if you’re going, now you know to pay attention for our house elf friend! (I love Kreacher. Not as much as Dobby, but I really love him)
I swear the people who build everything at Universal are so talented. I was constantly awed by everything.
After taking a few photos we immediately made our way to Gringotts, the ride in Diagon Alley, as it would only get busier and busier. We were really lucky, as the wait was only 45 minutes! (I mean, I expected it to be at least an hour!). So after putting our stuff in a locker (it’s required, so immediately head there! And make sure you remember which finger you use for the fingerprint to open your locker) we quickly went inside. Part of the line is outside with some amusing posters:
The line outside was pretty quick as we made our way back inside, where you enter the bank. Which is really, really gorgeous with goblins everywhere (who move and one of them even talks).
As you walk further into the bank you pass the goblins’ offices where you also sort of meet up with the Golden Trio and Griphook (you see them in the doors of the offices. We missed this the first time because the line went too quick, so keep an eye out!) as they talk about their break-in.
Then you end up at Bill Weasley’s office where he and another goblin talk about our tour at the bank and Bill decides to join our tour. The holograms they used for Bill and the goblin are amazing – it looks so real!
Heads up: do not get too excited at this part. You’re not there yet! (I made that mistake). You end up in another line where you also get your ‘safety goggles’, a.k.a. 3D glasses, but this line is quite short and before you know it you’re already sitting in a cart!
The ride itself was a lot of fun and so well made! The second day we were sitting in front of the cart and I actually got scared a bit (Voldemort got a little bit too close). The actors appearing in it all did a great job and Bill Weasley finally got the screen time he deserved. That was the first thing I thought as we neared the end of the ride haha. I just really love Bill guys and he was robbed in the movies (don’t even get me started on Charlie my poor dragon son)
After we got off and did a bit of shopping we made our way to the Leaky Cauldron as we were starving, especially me. And when I get really hungry I’m not fun to be around haha.
When you get inside you get in a line, but don’t worry! It’s a quick one (though maybe not so quick if you’re hungry) and once you’re through you’re directed to a register where you order your food and pay, where you get this really cool candle with a number on it to take to your table with you, where you have to wait for your food. Again, don’t worry: you get your food really fast, but sadly they take the candle away. I just loved holding that candle guys. I felt like Scrooge hahaha
I ordered fish and chips, but from the kiddie menu as I knew that I would never be able to finish the adult sized one and I found that a waste of money. Of course I also got a Butterbeer! How could I not?!
That’s it for now! The entire day was a bit too much for one post, so look forward to part two.
Have you been to Diagon Alley? Did you have as much fun as I did? Did you write a post about it? Tell me in the comments!