Today, I’m sharing Part 1 of our recent trip to Florida! We rented a house in Cocoa Beach for a week and went to Universal- Orlando for a day. This post is just about the Universal part of the trip. Judd and I love Harry Potter and have been dying to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for years. My father-in-law bought us tickets for my 30th birthday and my parents spent the day with the kids at the beach so that Judd and I could get away for a day. We went to both parks and didn’t feel rushed at all, thanks to preplanning and FAST PASSES for both parks- these are a MUST!
Here is how we did this all in one day… There were a few rides we didn’t ride, we looked up every ride beforehand so we knew what we wanted to ride and what we didn’t. I should also note that the main reason we went was for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we’ve both been to Universal several times but this is the first time we’ve been to the Harry Potter areas! If you’re not interested in the HP areas, I wouldn’t recommend following my schedule. Here is how we spent our day (in order) …
We went to Universal Studios first and headed straight back to Diagon Alley. The reason for this is the Harry Potter sections of the parks get the most crowded and we wanted to take pictures without a million people.
We were in awe as soon as we entered the area. Everything is so detailed here and absolutely amazing.
The first ride was the Escape from Gringotts. We felt like we were Harry going to get things out of his safe!
After that, we walked around Diagon Alley more and took a million pictures! Some fun shops to check out are: Weasley’s Wizzard Wheezes, Olivanders (wands), Gringott’s –this is a smaller bank (not the ride) where you can actually exchange cash for Gringotts bank notes, the Leaky Couldron, Florean Fortescue’s (ice cream), the Fountain of Fair Fortune for Butter Beer, and make sure you walk down Knockturn Alley (ask an employee if you can’t find it).
Then we headed towards King’s Cross Station to ride Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure). We wanted to do this section early too because it gets so crowded! Take a ton of pictures at the station!
The Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade was incredible, the ride makes you feel like you’re a student on your way to Hogwarts! I highly recommend doing this part of the journey first because it gets you excited to see Hogwarts!
I thought we were in awe when we saw Diagon Alley but Hogwarts was even better! They couldn’t have done a better job designing and building this!
Once there, we headed straight towards Hogwarts to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This was by far our FAVORITE ride at the park, actually this was our favorite ride in the history of ever!! We are still talking about it, we loved it that much!
After walking around this area more- we went to Honeydukes to get chocolate frogs and pumpkin pasties and then frozen butter beer!
After finishing up this section of the park, we headed towards Jurassic Park. We now worked our way counter clockwise around the park.
We rode Jurassic Park– this ride was really fun. Note: do not get in the first row without ponchos, you will get soaked! We brought ponchos beforehand and then threw them out right after this ride.
Next, we walked to Skull Island and rode Reign of Kong.
Then, we headed through Toon Lagoon and Marvel Super Hero Island to ride The Amazing Adventure of Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk Coaster.
I don’t have a ton of pictures of the rest of the park… You can tell I was obsessed with the Harry Potter areas. 😉 The next area was Seuss Landing (super cute) and rode The Cat in the Hat.
After that, we were done with Islands of Adventure so we headed back to Hogsmeade Station and took the Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley to finish up Universal.
Once back in Diagon Alley (Universal), we headed clockwise towards the Men in Black and then to the Simpsons area. We weren’t fans of the Men in Black ride in the past so we skipped it this time.
We rode The Simpsons Ride.
We then went to Woody Woodpecker’s Zone and rode the E.T. Adventure. This was so adorable and so fun.
We then walked through Hollywood and saw the Horror Makeup Show. We were really excited about this because it used to be really cool but they’ve changed it, it was terrible. I don’t recommend going.
Then, we entered Production Central and rode Rip Ride Rockit.
Next up, was one of my favorite areas… New York! We rode Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. We loved this ride, it’s a must!
Close by was the Revenge of the Mummy.
We finished New York and headed towards San Francisco and rode Fast and Furious. We were disappointed in this ride too, I’d recommend skipping unless you love these movies. I’m pretty sure I started to fall asleep during the ride.
Our last ride was the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – it was super cute!
We headed towards Diagon Alley again, because we obviously couldn’t get enough of Harry Potter! We went to the wand show in Diagon Alley and I got selected to get “fitted” for a wand! It was SO cool!! I made books fly off the shelves with my wand!
Then we were finished with Universal!
We finished the evening by walking around City Walk. We ate a delicious Italian dinner at Vivo and then got doughnuts at Voodoo Doughnuts!
It was the best way to spend the last day of my twenties. Next post will be of the rest of our trip!!
By the way, I’ve received a ton of questions about our shirts. You can find these here. Special thanks to my hubs who wore matching shirts with zero complaints! You’re definitely a keeper! 😉