Day Six: Happy 14th Birthday and Harry Potter Theme Park

This day found us celebrating our daughter’s 14th birthday by getting up at 5:30 in the morning so that we could catch a 6:50 am shuttle to the car rental place. We drove to Universal Studios and arrived by 7:30 am. They let us in the park and had us walk to the area where Harry Potter was. From there we stood in line until 8:30 when they decided to let us into that area about 30 minutes before the park opened to the public. Our daughter and I immediately went to the Forbidden Journey ride inside Hogwarts Castle while my husband got in line for Ollivander’s for us. She got a bit motion sickness from the ride, but I LOVED it! It was a combination of the Spiderman ride at Universal and Soarin’ over at Disney. After walking through the castle, they seat you 4 to a row where you’re strapped in fairly tight and you immediately take off as if you’re flying on a broom. You relive a few moments from different scenes in the movies/books such as the dragon and dropping spiders.  You’re moved from room to room where in some rooms it has visual effects on the screen as they move you, and then in another room you have giant spiders spit venom in your face. It was fabulous. Afterwards we got in line while my husband went into Honeydukes and got us some chocolate frogs. I couldn’t remember what else was in the shop, so I didn’t know what to tell him to get for us, so he guessed and got a screaming yo-yo and some Bertie Botts Any Flavor Beans. Had I known that by the time we would get to the store it would be a 2 hour long wait, I would have told him to get a few other items. Oh well. After purchasing a Professor McGonagall wand for our daughter and a Professor Lupin wand for myself, we rode the Hippogriff ride at least twice before finding my husband again in line for Three Broomsticks. If you decide to go to the park, get the fish and chips. Yummiest entree for a theme park like Universal. L had the frozen butterbeer while I had the poured. Frozen was definitely better (don’t listen to the reviews telling you otherwise). The froth on top is basically cool whip flavored with butterscotch. But it was pretty delish. I managed to get 2 postcards stamped with Hogwarts on it, but the line to actually purchase stamps and have them mailed was at least 2 hours long. As was the line to get your photo taken in front of the train. I had to settle to just bring the postcards home and frame them instead. By the time we left Three Broomsticks the place was an utter MADHOUSE. You could barely move. So happy we got there as early as we did to experience the rides and the wand shop without the long wait. Once we left the Harry Potter area we rode the River Adventure (longest free fall drop I’ve experienced and will NOT do that again!) and Popeye’s Bilge Rat Raft Ride (or something like that) where we ended up taking a shower because we were soaked head to toe in that water ride. We were still soaked by the time we got back to our hotel room!

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