Universal Studios – FINALLY!

I have been waiting for years to go to Universal. Emmerson is finally brave enough to ride the rides, at least most of them. Mom and Dad surprised us with a trip for the weekend with special ride passes so we don’t have to wait in long lines, except for Harry Potter stuff.

We arrived Friday afternoon and went to Universal to get the lay of the land. It was amazing walking into Diagon Alley and seeing the books and films come to life. They did an amazing job.


We took a wrong turn and ended up waiting in a short line for what, we didn’t know! It ended up being the wand choosing at Olivander’s Wand Shop. E and I were selected and the ceremony was nothing less than amazing! I had to practice spells to find the correct wand. Finally the wands were chosen. Mine is a reed wand with dragon heartstring. E ended up with a birth wand with dragon heart string from the same dragon. It was a cool story!


We had our share of butter beer. I liked the frozen the best.


The rides were spectacular! The que lines even more so! I loved walking through Gringott’s Bank!


Saturday we were up before the sunshine and had pancake room service. IMG_7334

We arrived really early at the gates for 8am admission. We were chosen to the be “Opening Family” and got to open the park! We got in a few minutes early, received a free photo pass and had people asking us all day if we were having a family reunion. They gave us badges that said “Opening Family”. It was a running joke by the end of the day… Hello Mr. and Mrs. Opening!

We LOVED Hogwarts express. I was amazed how it really looked like the movies.

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After a morning of Harry Potter we checked out Islands Of Adventure. I loved the Jurassic Park area and can’t wait to come back to ride the ride.

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We were exhausted after the park but still found the entry to be in the pool for nearly 2 hours.


There was a family of mallard ducks enjoying the pool with us. Mom, Dad and 8 ducklings swam all over.


Sunday we spent the morning casting spells with our new interactive wands.


Grandma and Grandpa wandered around with us, drank more butter beer and had a great time.


I thought the Hogwarts Express line was awesome. From one spot you can see people disappear to platform 9 3/4. IMG_7368 IMG_7376

I got scolded for casting spells on the train.


The knight bus driver was hilarious! We also made a MAGIC phone call from the telephone booth! There are so many little details and hidden treats!

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We checked out Jaws and headed for home.


Thanks for a great vacation!


Below are some of the photos from the free photo pass we had for being the “Opening Family”.

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