Oh my gosh – where to begin? We went this week on our trip
from Santa to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. First things
first, it’s warm in Florida this time of year!
We complained a bit about the heat the first day, and had to
take every opportunity to cool off
But we quickly adjusted.
It turns out there is more than just Harry Potter at
Universal. We decided to try our hand at roller coasters on some of the more basic
Before moving on to the real deal at Hogwarts and Gringotts. But wait – I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s
start from the beginning.
We arrived in Orlando in the middle of the day Tuesday.
After changing into shorts and t-shirts and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed
to London and Diagon Alley to take a look around. Here’s #12 Grimmauld Place!
We didn’t get a picture, but Kreacher occasionally peaks out
of the 2nd floor window.
Nearby was the Knight Bus. You couldn’t go inside, but we
did get a good look.
Then it was time to enter Diagon Alley!
There was so much to look at – it’s really hard to describe.
There is a dragon guarding the top of Gringott’s
And every so often he breathes real fire!!
First stop – the money exchange to convert some of our
dollars into the appropriate currency.
Next up – butterbeer! (And Wizard’s Brew for Dad.)
We explored all the shops and got our bearings so that we
could plan out our next 2 days. We also quickly identified the items we wanted
to purchase, though Mom did make us hold off until the next day!
Back at the hotel, we cooled off in the awesome pool. A very
busy first day!
On Wednesday, we got an early start at Hogwarts, dressed
appropriately, of course!
The castle was very cool.
Lilli wasn’t quite tall enough to ride the Forbidden Journey
ride, so Dad and I went alone. It was awesome, but I didn’t need to do it
After touring the castle, we ate breakfast at the Three
Broomsticks, and then visited Ollivander’s to pick out our wands. To our
surprise, they actually work within the park! There are markers on the cement
that indicate what wand motion to use and what spell to say. We did all sorts
Next up – the Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley!
We rode the train as many times as possible during our visit
– it was very cool.
We made our purchases at Diagon Alley (a phoenix for me and
an owl for Lilli) and then we retreated back to the hotel pool to cool off.
That afternoon, we went back to ride some more of the non-Harry Potter attractions,
including a fun E.T inspired one. We also rode the water taxi back to our
Once there, we took good care of our new (and old) friends!
On Thursday we got another early start so that we could
avoid the wait for the one ride we hadn’t yet tried – Escape from
Gringott’s. It was worth the wait! Lilli
liked it so much that she and Mom went back again later in the day. But first,
we ate lunch at the Leaky Cauldron
Got face paint and tattoos
And enjoyed some ice cream!
Oh, and had a final ride on the Hogwarts Express.
Whew. I don’t know if you can tell, but we had a great trip.
So many wonderful experiences and memories!
While we were enjoying ourselves in FL, Torrie and Robyn
took great care of our house, and most importantly, Scout.
We were very happy to get home Friday to see her! Yesterday
was a pretty quiet day, though Mom and Lilli did make a pie for Pi Day
And Lilli practiced her reading on Scout.
Tomorrow, it’s back to the real world!