The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Ally

29 Feb

Here’s part two of my vacation wrap-up/guide to visiting the Universal Orlando parks. I spent two days at Universal Studios two weeks ago and I want to share my experience as it pertains to Harry and give you all some advice about how to make the most of your experience.

2016-02-15 09.14.38We rushed back to Escape from Gringotts on our first day at Studios. As predicted, the line was better than later in the day, but many people had the same thought. I had to stop on the way to take a picture with 12 Grimmauld Place. There were people lining up to number 14 (come on, people!) so I jumped right up to 12. The ride line wove through a bunch of switchbacks and then into Gringotts, very similar to the set from Deathly Hallows Part II. The goblins even looked the same! We went through some vault rooms and into the offices. Again, we could have kept our phones with us but I didn’t know! A nice fellow Potterhead took my picture and emailed it to me so I’d have at least one memento. The ride itself was fun. It featured Bill Weasley rather prominently and I believe he had more lines in the ride than he did in all the movies combined. It was a 3D ride which isn’t my favorite because glasses don’t layer. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot.

2016-02-15 10.58.53We walked through a lot of the shops for a while. I fell in love with a pair of knee socks that said ‘Hogwarts’ on them that I ended up buying but I kept my spending to that. I did have fun walking through Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Borgin and Burkes. We stopped at the purple Night Bus parked outside the entry wall and I had a great conversation with Simon (not Stan) the conductor and his talking head. We had lunch at the Leaky Cauldron which was again delicious. I had the Toad in the Hole and really enjoyed it with some Pumpkin Juice. The rest of our day we spent seeing most of the rest of the park and indulging my husband’s big fandom, the Simpsons.

2016-02-16 11.42.09And then the second day. We went back to Escape from Gringotts in the afternoon and I brought my camera this time! It was great to snap some pictures and know what was coming up in the line as we went through. I had such a good time and I’m glad we went twice though of course the thrill was a bit reduced the second time through.

2016-02-16 12.35.29We walked through the stores again for a bit and explored Knockturn Ally. There was nothing like that at Islands and I liked getting to see the darker objects that were available. We were able to catch a puppet show of the Tale of the Three Brothers which I thought was wonderfully done. The puppets were gorgeous and the actors superb. I was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t think the Islands entertainment was of this caliber and I was really impressed. If you’re at Studios, I highly recommend stopping by this one. Another fun side note, the dragon on top of Gringotts breaths fire every ten minutes! Stick around and watch. You’ll know it’s coming because there’s a lot of rumbling and growling before hand.

2016-02-16 12.59.41We had lunch at the Leaky Cauldron again on the second day and, this time, I got the Banger Sandwich which was, again, really good. I can’t reiterate enough how impressed I was with the food and dining in WWHP. Even if you’re going as a non-Harry fan, it’s a great place to eat.

That about wraps it up! We had a great trip and the memories and pictures will last me for years to come. I do hope to make a pilgrimage to the forthcoming WWHP park near Los Angeles, CA at some point soon. My brother-in-law and his wife live close by and it’s always fun to make a Muggle pilgrimage.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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