Are you a Potterhead? - Guest post! :)

So I'm here again, but one year older, with another blog. As Lucy wrote so sweetly about in her last blog, Wednesday was indeed our 27th Birthday. While, a little strange being in different states, we made the most of it via Skype and still opened all our cards together, at the same time, in the same order...old habits never die! :p Then as Lucy proceeded to hang out with her lovely husband and get ready for work, my husband and I got ready for a day out at the only place that seemed fit for my "special" day...."The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" (We live in Florida after all!!!)
This was my fourth visit to the magical worlds of Harry Potter, inside of Universal Orlando, and i'll be honest with you, they are pretty much the only reasons that I am an annual pass holder. Don't get me wrong, I think both the theme parks as a whole are great, I love seeing the superheros and walking through The Simpsons area, but I'm a Potterhead through and through so my main aims are to spend as long as I can inside the Harry Potter sections before my husband slowly and ever so sweetly guides me away! 

The first time I went to Islands of Adventure was on my honeymoon, when they only had Hogsmeade, I got so excited walking in and couldn't wipe the smile off my face, the houses, the shops, the castle, it all looked so cute and I felt right at home. It did seem a little small to me at first, but then as me and my husband have discussed, they do have a huge amount of space allotted for Hogwarts and the ride line for that, so I understand. My two favorite places there are HoneyDukes, with all its color and yummy sweets and the Owl Post shop, which I discovered on my most recent trip, it's filled with writing supplies and I couldn't resist the adorable letters with "Owl Post" written on them, perfect for sending to both my sisters! I have only been on each of the rides there once and my favorite would definitely be the ride in Hogwarts. The different special effects they use are very cool and that's coming from someone who isn't a fan off 3D rides. I did enjoy the other two but after queuing for the flight of the hippogriff for ages, it didn't last very long. 
Moving onto Universal and Diagon Alley. Now one of the coolest features of this I think, is the fact that they have actually built it behind a wall, it therefore gives you the proper feeling, like Harry, when you walk into it for the first time. This area took my breath away because you really do feel totally immersed into the world of Harry Potter, more so I think than in Hogsmeade. There is a lot more to look at in Diagon Alley and a few more shops to go in, that you don't know where to start! Diagon Alley is also home to The Leaky Cauldron and after having eaten in both here and The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, my husband and I both agreed that we like the variety of food a lot more in The Leaky Cauldron, so that's another win for Diagon Alley for us. But I will say the food is equally delicious in both, it just depends on what you're looking for. You can take a look at the menus here:

 My favorite places to go when in Diagon Alley are The Weasleys Wizard Wheezes and Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, I just love all the notebooks and writing supplies. I also like Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, although I haven't tried any ice cream's on the list though. Another plus here is that as well as The Leaky Cauldron and The ice cream parlor, you have two other places to get Butterbeer and other varieties of Wizard drinks, like Fishy Green Ale and Wizards brew, as well as snacks.
I personally feel like Diagon Alley kind of overshadows little Hogsmeade now. Diagon Alley may only have two rides, being The Escape from Gringotts and The Hogwarts Express, but the feel of it is grander and I think there is more to see. My only small gripe, if you will, about the Escape from Gringotts and the actual Hogwarts Express, in the new area, and forgive me as you may read this and roll your eyes at me, is the fact that the voice of Hermione isn't Emma Watson. The problem to me is that while such a small thing to some, it really made a difference to me. It was the first thing I thought when I heard Hermione speak, it just didn't feel right. I can't say it's a huge negative and get mad, as I don't know the reasons behind it, but still it was a little thing I thought I would mention, as if you are like me and love Emma Watson, then you might feel a bit thrown off. Apart from that though, I loved the Hogwarts Express and the Escape from Gringotts and the whole feel of Diagon Alley. I tend to go to Hogsmeade first to nip into Honeydukes and then head over by foot or by train to spend the majority of my time explorng Diagon Alley. Does anyone else feel the same way? What are your thoughts on both these parks? I would love to hear them! :)
All in all having Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley 30 minutes from my apartment is definitely a Harry Potter lovers dream! I love all things Harry Potter related and think Universal have done a great job. I guess I will find out how good of a job next week as I get to take my little sister there, she has been waiting for so long to go so I'm looking forward to seeing what she thinks.
Last but not least, I've seen this topic come up before and thought I would put in my two cents. For those of you wondering if you can compare the two, or even ask which one is better out of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal and The Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London, my answer to you is no you can't compare them. From someone who has been to both more than once, I will tell you that they are both completely different experiences, with tons to offer. As far as which one is better, my personal favourite would be the tour in London, I highly recommend it to everyone, but especially Harry Potter fanatics like me. Though Universal is still a must too, the tour in London will make you cry. Simply because everything you see is original, everything that was actually used in the films. You can walk the same paths where actual scenes were played out, stand where the actors stood, you can stand inches away from the props, clothes, creatures that made the world so real and see how the books you adore truly came to life. :) It is pure magic!
Hope you enjoyed my little insight into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley! I'd love to hear all about your experiences!

Until next time, keep smiling!

1 comment :

  1. Happy Birthday, Kelly!

    I have been wanting to go to the Wizarding World for the longest time, but have never had the chance. Haven't even headed to the one here in London yet :( But it all looks so fun and amazing!

    Angie x | Chocolate & Lipstick || UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog