The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood
I have been obsessed with Harry Potter since I was little. I loved reading as a kid so of course once I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone I couldn't stop. I was hooked! The books gave me an easy way to escape reality when I was younger. However, there were a few setbacks in my journey with the Harry Potter series. I've never been a fan of scary movies. I just can't do it. So when little me watched the very first Harry Potter movie, Voldemort's face on the back of Professor Quirrell's head scared the crap out of me. And so I refused to watch the second movie in theaters. But soon after I got over my fear of Voldemort's not so likeable aesthetics and ended up watching the third movie 3 times in theaters.
Yes, I am a Harry Potter nerd and I am proud of it. This is why I was willing to wake up at the crack of dawn to make it to the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Sadly, my bestie Christina and I missed the actual opening by a couple minutes. Regardless, everything else was just magical!
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located inside the Universal Studios Hollywood park. So to get admission into it you just need a ticket to the park. Although, as I was leaving there were signs that said you needed a timed entry ticket for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of the park. I bought my tickets online far in advance so I didn't run into this problem. I definitely suggest you do the same! You also get 1 hour early admission into the park when you buy your tickets online in advance.
You'll leave the muggle world behind and enter into the Wizarding World through the Hogsmeade gate. Immediately you'll see the Hogwarts Express, Zonko's, Honeyduke's, Butter Beer stands, and of course the Hogwarts castle in the distance. If you're a Harry Potter nerd like me, there's lots to do. You can get your own chocolate frog at Honeydukes, extendable ears at Zonko's, a wand at Ollivander's (although let me warn you this wait is LONG), Quidditch gear at Dervish and Banges, and of course a mug filled to the brim with delicious Butter Beer. The line to Ollivander's is so long because you get the chance to buy your very own interactive wand. The wands come with a map of the Hogsmeade and Hogwarts that tells you where you can use your wand. Once you're at the interactive spots you'll be able to use your wand to move and light up objects! The interactiveness is not what attracts me though. What I really love is that the wands come in an Ollivander's branded bag! Next, if you find yourself filling with hunger just head on over to the Three Broomsticks! The restaurant is created to look like the one shown in the movies, which is extremely cool. After chowing down, don't forget to get on the 2 rides, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff. In Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey you'll get to fly with Harry, Ron, and Hermione through Hogwarts. During your flight you'll encountering spiders, dementors (this was scary, no joke), and dragons! The Flight of the Hippogriff is a way less intense ride. It's definitely meant for little kids but I suggest getting on it anyways because you'll get to see Hagrid's motorcycle and hut, and Buckbeak! Lastly, as you say goodbye to the Wizarding World, make sure to send postcard to your family. So this is really cool. You can send a real postcard with a Hosgmeade postmark and postage stamp from inside the park! I would've definitely just sent it to myself...haha!
So yes, I had an amazing time at Universal Studios and I'm already itching to go back and experience it all over again!
Oh! Don't forget to watch my travel vlog from my trip to the Hogwarts and Hogsmeade!