For Rilyn’s 10th birthday, we gave her a special Mom, Dad, daughter trip to Universal Studios Orlando to see the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Her party was Harry Potter themed, she has read all 7 books, watched all 8 movies, and we knew this would be the perfect surprise gift for her!
Here she is on the morning of our trip…I made a special Gryffindor entrance to start her day!
We got a 3 day pass to Universal, and when we arrived at 6:45 a.m., there was a 2 hour wait to get on the Escape from Gringott’s ride! The ride and Diagon Alley just opened a week ago on July 8th, so the crowds were to be expected. But what was not expected was at 9 a.m., when we got off the ride, the line was 5 hours long!!
The ride was fun, but I liked Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey better, (which is the older ride in Hogsmeade.) After the ride, we got Butter beer. It tasted like butterscotch-super sweet and yummy, but I couldn’t handle the sweetness. James had butter beer, frozen butter beer, and 2 servings of Butter Beer ice cream, so I guess you could say he liked it. :) (Pumpkin Juice tastes like apricot juice to us, fresh and yummy!)
At King’s Cross station, they had a really neat illusion that you are walking through the brick wall to Platform 9 3/4. You will miss it if you’re not careful, so ask an attendant to show you where it is!
We arrived at Hogsmeade!
We also went on the Dragon Challenge, which is a crazy roller coaster! When you go through the line, it has all sorts of cool things about the Tri-Wizard tournament! But the ride is 52″ height requirement, so no small kiddos on this scary ride! Seriously, James and I had vertigo and headaches after the ride and we LOVE roller coasters! We attribute it to our age! LOL Here is Rilyn before the ride…
And here is her after the ride! LOL She cried, but she got over it and wanted to go again (which we did the next day). Rilyn went on all the crazy roller coasters, we were so proud of her! (We might of bribed her with a trip to Honeydukes if she went on them.)
(The other ride at Hogsmeade is called Flight of the Hippogriffs, and it is a very short kiddie coaster.)
The next day we started out at Diagon Alley again.
We went to Ollivander’s first to buy Rilyn her wand! In Ollivanders, they do a little “show” and then you can buy your wand. They have these wands that will “do spells” throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Beware, they are $50-gulp. They come with a cool map to find all the places to do the spells (mostly in storefront windows) and the experience was worth it for us to buy her one!
We then traveled back to Hogsmeade to do more spells with her wand!
On day 2 and 3 we ate breakfast at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade and The Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. I will say inside it looks like it did in the movies, however, I was disappointed there was not a show or some kind of entertainment while we were eating. The food was good, but like all amuesement parks-expensive!
Rilyn picked the Tri-Wizard Tournament cup for her souvenir! It can go in the dishwasher! LOL
We are truly grateful that we could take just Rilyn and have these special memories with her! I’m already looking forward to our special trip with Ella in 2016! :)