Friday, May 1, 2015

Diagon Alley at Universal Studios

Yum
 As a child I remember reading the Harry Potter series and then went to the theaters to see the films. I grew up with this series and when my five year old showed interest into the magical world of Harry I was ecstatic! It seemed only right to head to Diagon Alley with him. Once you made it to the Harry Potter exhibit you are graced with London and the Night bus out front. I was happy that the shrunken head interacted with you which was just an awesome touch!
Then you head through the brick walls and enter Diagon Alley. This moment was so anticipated and we were all SUPER excited! The detail in this place was so spot on you felt like you were in the movie recreating the moments from the pages of J K. Rowling's books.
We immediately spotted Olvanders wands shop and just had to pay a visit.
It is stacked with wands floor to ceiling. I will say this shop is rather small and since Harry Potter is a very populated area it fills up quickly. It is hard to shop and keep track of a little one because people are looking up and not really paying attention to small children. My son did get stepped on a few times so we just picked a wand and ushered the kids out while one of us paid. It just was not safe for us all the squeeze in there.
I will state right NEXT to Olvanders Shop is a place you can visit where the "Wand chooses you". If you are patient and wait you can walk out of the shop with a FREE wand. Wish we had known this before shelling out the HEFTY $50 price for a interactive wand.
A good chunk of the experience is using the interactive wands throughout the parks. Since little kids cannot ride the rides or really do much else this part is a good thing for them to do.
I did shoot a video of our experiences with the wands.
Check them out HERE.
We choose some lunch at the Leaky Cauldron. 
I HIGHLY recommend this place for lunch.
It is EXTREMELY fast service, inexpensive pricing and the food was flavorful!
The decor was right out of the movie and they even had moving posters of Sirius Black.
At the end of the Alley is Gringotts Bank. The dragon is breathtaking.
The detail from all sides was remarkable. I will say that the days we visited it did not breathe fire.
I will say the ride was a 75 minute wait. It does not allow children because of the height requirements.  I was overall disappointed we could not go on the ride but they do offer FREE lockers for those who would attempt this wait and ride.
What we liked: Authenticity of the replication of Diagon Alley itself, Stores to purchase items, secret pathways to explore, moving posters, attention to details, Leaky Cauldron was great food!
What could be Improved: Too crowded, Price of tickets are NOT competitive for what you actually get, More things for smaller audiences to do and More seating!

2 comments:

  1. My boyfriend and I are so excited to come here in July!!!!! He loves Harry Potter and He actually got me interested in the series a few years ago (I know, it took me long enough, right?). What do you think are some affordable hotel options close to the park?

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    1. We stayed at the Palms Hotel and Villas. Although it has a pool and is large scaled like a condo it is not very up to date. We had several broken down problems staying there. It is cheap, close proximity but that is about it. I haven't really stayed many places because this was our first trip down there.

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