You may have seen it sneak into my “Upcoming Trips” section on the left sidebar, but I visited Universal Studios again with some very fun people!
One of the things I’ve loved about returning back to LA after college/my Israel trip is that so many of my friends still live here or have moved here after college as well. My friend Mel and I have known each other since we were six-years-old, and after college, she moved back to LA and brought with her a bunch of her amazing college friends, whom I now feel fortunate to call my friends as well. One of those friends is my new roommate Maria, and another is KP, who like me, shares a great love for Harry Potter. Because of this, she invited her friends to celebrate her birthday with her at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, and of course I joined in. I donned my Hufflepuff headband, packed my wand and was ready to go!
Mel, Maria and I arrived at the park exactly at 10:30am. We were joined by KP and her friend Claudia, and the five of us headed down to the lower level of the park while we waited for KP’s boyfriend Blake to join us. We knew HP World would be more crowded in the morning, and decided to save it for later in the day. We rode Jurassic Park, the Mummy, and Transformers before grabbing lunch and the Jurassic Cove restaurant. Then, we grabbed beers (well, I got a cider) from Moe’s Tavern in the Simpson’s Land, and hopped on the tram tour (we had received a front-of-the-line pass earlier in the day).
If you are of legal age, I highly recommend having a drink prior to getting on the tram ride, as it was absolutely great and made it more enjoyable for someone who had ridden it just three weeks prior. However, we had not received our 3D glasses before the tram started to move, and those 3D elements were a bit lost on us on the ride (which wasn’t a big deal for me, as again, I’d just been on it, but sucked for my friends). After the ride, we complained to one of the ride operators and received another front-of-the-line pass.
But now, it was time to head back to my new favorite place! Our first stop was Honeyduke’s Sweet Shop, where I treated myself and KP to some pumpkin pasties! I’d been eager to try one of the sweets last time I was here, and chose the pasties as I love pumpkin! They were basically pumpkin hand pies, aka amazing, but would definitely have been made better were they warmed up. Next on my list to try is a chocolate cauldron, which I will definitely get next time I visit (take a look at my “Upcoming Trips” for that, as I’m sure it will update frequently!). I’m also going to attempt to get all of the Chocolate Frog cards…
After our sweet treats, I showed KP one of the interactive stations with my wand! She knew she wanted to get one too, so we definitely had to hit up Ollivander’s. Then it was time for the rides! I had warned the group that “Flight of the Hippogriff” was fun, but not worth the 25-minute wait time, so we used our newly-acquired front-of-the-line pass. Everyone agreed with me that it was way too short and should definitely go around the track twice.
Next we hopped across to “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.” The wait time listed was an hour, although I had my doubts about its accuracy, since there weren’t people waiting outside like the last time it took my family an hour. Nonetheless, my friends did not want to wait, and we all opted for the “single riders line,” which got us on the ride in about five minutes! It was cool to literally just walk onto the ride, although we didn’t get to see the inside of the castle. Everyone I was with bought a season pass, though, so they weren’t worried that they would one day get to see it.
With my stomach a bit more full than the last time I rode the ride, I got a bit nauseous on it, but it was still an incredibly fun journey (yes, that was intentional). We knew our next stop was going to be Ollivander’s, so I went with KP to get a birthday button, to enhance her chances of getting chosen for a wand fitting! (Sadly I was unaware birthday buttons existed until I was leaving the park last time). The rest of our friends got butterbeers and were waiting in the line for the wand shop when we returned. 10 minutes later, it was our turn to witness a wand fitting! We pushed KP to the front so that the wandmaker would see her, but she ended up picking Blake who was standing at the back (holding a beer, hilariously!). At the end of the fitting, KP bought her wand and then we wandered around Hogsmeade doing magic!
We were all pretty exhausted and decided to get some snacks before going to watch “Water World,” a show I had never seen but that Maria really enjoyed and insisted we see. Apparently it is based off of a bad 80’s movie where the entire world gets covered in water and everyone still alive is looking for dry land. Well, Maria was definitely not wrong! The show was a lot of fun, with great action scenes and special effects. We were very glad that we did not sit in the “splash zone” seats, as before the show began, the actors were soaking those areas with literal buckets of water. When it was over, we decided to leave the park, as it had been a very full day.
So in conclusion, Universal Studios is really fun and has been greatly improved by the addition of Harry Potter! And I’m not sure if I mentioned this in my last post, but I have no idea why the park is OBSESSED with water. Seriously, I can’t think of a ride or attraction that DOESN’T get you wet or at least sprinkled with water (which makes it great for a hot day, but for a slightly chilly one like the last two times I visited, it was unnecessary). But I will definitely be returning to the park soon, so stay tuned!
-Girl in Los Angeles 🙂