Entering Orlando was so simple, quick and easy, we couldn’t believe we were at one of the biggest theme packs in the world. UnderTheChristmasTree takes you through exactly what Christmas was like at Universal Studios.
After getting our way through the queue to pick up our tickets which really didn’t take to long we were off for a day filled with fun, laughter and A LOT of screams!
Walking through the park we felt very safe and everywhere we turned there was a member of staff waiting to help with any information needed. Making our way through Universal there were lots of different things going on from the Blue’s Brother’s playing Christmas music to the Beat Builders drawing the crowd in to hear their drumming skills. Making our way through the park after a few stops for a drink or two – it was very hot! only to be greeted with the beginning of what would be a magical Harry Potter experience. Taking in the the Knight bus and Grinwald Place, which was so brilliantly done that it even had Krecher peeking through the curtains at the crowds, we felt as though we’d just stepped into the movie.
We then made our way through to Diagon Alley which was just jaw dropping, it is exactly like Diagon Alley in the film, from Gringotts, Wealseys Wizarding Wheezes, Leaky Cauldon to Knockturn Alley, it had it all.
We came across Gringotts Bank at the middle of Diagon Alley below the fire-breathing dragon where Bogrod answered our questions with quick whip remarks. The dragon on top of Gringotts who roared and even breathed real flames in the air had to be one of our highlights of the day. For those who love thrill rides we would recommend Escape from Gringotts – the most amazing simulator thrill ride you’ll ever be on. Meeting Harry, Ron and Hermione on the way but take care when Voldemort, Bellatrix and other creatures try to stop you reaching the safety of Diagon Alley.
At the far end of Diagon Alley we found all the wizarding shops we’ve only ever read about in books and dreamed of visiting. We felt as though we’d just walked into a film set. Everything was exactly as it appeared in the Harry Potter films and we couldn’t wait to pay a visit to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and pick up some Nose-biting Teacups.
We’d all been so busy having fun and wandering around with an ‘can’t quite believe we’re actually here’ look on our faces’ and as our stomach’s rumbled we popped into the Leaky Cauldron for a delicious lunch and a well deserved butter beer which was quite sweet to drink but we couldn’t possible go to the Leaky Cauldron and not have a butter beer.
Perhaps we were just lucky but we were fortunate not to have to join long queues for the rides or for the Leaky Cauldron and everything quickly and seamlessly moved on. It looked exactly as it did in the film, with the big cauldron at the bottom of the restaurant and lots of fun quirky tables, we felt like we were joining Harry and Hagrid for lunch.
Next up we headed down the deep, dark alley that is Knockturn Alley. It was as dark and eerie as you would expect it would be. There was very dim lighting and Borgin and Burkes shop was there which we visited and there was all sorts of scary items and there was even a ‘most wanted’ picture of Bellatrix Lestrange!
After that, we headed through the wall at King Cross Station to be taken on to the Hogwarts Express to make our way to Hogsmeade and then onto the castle. Read part two of about The Hogwarts Express, Hogsmeade and of course Hogwarts Castle. Read part two of our experience including Hogsmeade, Hogwarts Castle and the Light Up Show here.