Planning your Trip to Universal Studios!
Wow, July already?! Where has the year gone??
I have been wanting to write this post forever, but life has just been crazy with the new house. Before all the chaos began, my best friend and I had the opportunity to take a girls trip together to Universal Studios in Orlando. We unfortunately live in different states, and while we text and call daily, we do not get to see each other as often as I would like. We went from living down the street to being hundreds of miles apart. Because of the military, we knew it was going to happen, but that didn’t make things easier.
One day after my husband was deployed we were talking on the phone about how we needed to get together and from this conversation, a girls trip to Universal Studios was born! We are both HUGE Harry Potter fans. I have been wanting to visit the Harry Potter at Universal Studios since it opened. And, it just so happened that our trip fell over my birthday! How perfect?!
These are my tips/recommendations if you are thinking of taking a trip to Universal Studios:
- If you ever have the chance to go on your birthday, it is a blast. Make sure you go to guest services and get a birthday pin. I did and everyone that works there was telling me Happy Birthday all day. I know it is their job, but they still made me feel really important and special.
- Because of my birthday pin, I got some special treatment at Ollivanders Wand Shop. From what I have read, just because you have a birthday pin, doesn’t mean they will select you for the “random” wand choosing ceremony. I just got lucky that day, but let me tell you, it made all my Harry Potter dreams come true. When he put the wand in my hand, the music started playing, and the wind started blowing in my hair…my inner child was screaming. I will remember that forever.
- The interactive wand was fun, but expensive. It was a birthday gift to me and I totally enjoyed doing spells all around the park. So thats up to you if you want to spend the extra amount on it. I can say there was something about watching a bunch of grown adults waving wands around in capes that was magical in itself. No judgement, just pure fun.
- Make sure you try the Butterbeer! I recommend getting it cold, not frozen. The frozen Butterbeer just wasn’t as tasty as the cold Butterbeer. On a hot day, the regular Butterbeer was far more satisfying than the frozen.
- Speaking of Butterbeer, make sure to try the Potted Cream at the Three Broomsticks! The perfect sweet treat!
- If you want to save some money on food, share your meals at the Three Broomsticks! We ate there at some point everyday. For breakfast we ordered the Pancake Breakfast which includes 3 pancakes, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 pieces of sausage, and a croissant. My friend took the sausage, I took the bacon and we split the pancakes and croissant. For lunch we ordered the Chicken and Ribs Platter that includes a good size position of ribs and chicken, corn on the cob, and roasted potatoes. Again, we split this, she took the ribs and potatoes, and I took the chicken and corn. Plus, you do not want to fill yourself up then get on roller coasters! Not a good combo…
- Speaking of roller coasters…make sure you go on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey! And if the line is long, don’t worry, the line is half the fun! As you stand in line, you walk through the Hogwarts castle, and if you are as big of a fan as me, you will totally nerd out. The pictures on the walls actually move and talk like in the movies! When we went, the lines were actually pretty short and I was rushed walking through the castle and I couldn’t fully appreciate all the detail that was put into it!
- Another must ride is Escape to Gringotts! So. much. fun. And again, the line is totally worth the wait. The coolest, and probably one of my favorite things I saw, was The Daily Prophet Newspapers. The pictures actually moved like in the books and movies and was so realistic. Again, my inner child was dying.
- The park hopper is a must to go to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Harry Potter is spilt into the two parks and you get to take the Hogwarts Express back and forth to the parks. Grab a Butterbeer to go and take it on the train and enjoy the ride!
Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are not all Harry Potter, there are plenty of other fun things to do too!
- The new King Kong ride is ah-mazing!! It was not what I was expecting at all, but one of the best rides I have ever been on. Be warned…while you waiting in the line, it can get kind of creepy. Lets just say my friend and I screamed once or twice…
- Don’t forget about the oldies, but goodies. The Jurassic Park ride is still one of my favorites. It just brings me back to my childhood and being terrified of the T-Rex. The Mummy ride was also a stand out for me. I don’t know what it was about it, but I couldn’t ride it without making some terrified face every time they took the photo. Literally, every time…here is your proof…
- Bring your own poncho or rain jacket from home! It is Florida, and chances are you may encounter rain at some point, even just for a little bit. Don’t be like us and have to pay $20 for a poncho that rips in 5 minutes…
To say I cannot wait to go back is an understatement. My best friend and I are already planning our next trip! I know this will not apply to everyone, but just FYI, Universal Studios and Disney offer great military prices for tickets, so make sure to check those out! Also we got a great deal at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort with my friends Universal Season Pass, so definitely recommend this hotel!
I would love to hear about your experiences at Universal Studios! Is there something I missed or do you have any recommendations for me?? I always need help planning my next trip!