What would a trip to Los Angeles be if it didn’t involve a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios? Growing up I always had my nose in a book. When the Harry Potter books were first published you can only imagine how I dived into them. I fell in love with the heroic tales of Harry and his friends. The Boy Who Lived had such courage and bravery that could only be admired. Hogwarts seemed to be the most fantastic form of boarding schools and the classes were ever so interesting. The moving staircases, the Floo Powder, the Fat Lady, Hedwig and wizard’s chess captivated me. I loved reading about the Quidditch games and the Triwizard Tournament. The attention to detail to ancient mythology kept me turning each page. I couldn’t have asked for a better series of books at that age. I read and reread every book every year in anticipation of the launch of the next book and then I did the same for each movie. I never tired of the story. I still haven’t. Needless to say, this trip down Hogsmeade was inevitable.
Luckily for me, I’m dating someone who was just as much a Potter nerd as I was growing up. Ryan had been asking me what I thought the butterbeer would taste like for weeks leading up to our trip. The moment we arrived, he headed off to the stand to buy us two glasses which we sipped outside the Three Broomsticks pub, lapping up every moment as we indulged in our childhood. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios has been
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios has been done phenomenally well. It’s actually incredible. The moment you walk through the gates of Hogsmeade and find the Hogwarts Express it is as though you have teleported into the story itself. The soundtrack to the movies plays everywhere you walk. The stores are unbelievable. No detail has been spared. You can walk into the sweet shop which has everything you can imagine from Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans to Chocolate Frogs (which will hop away) and has all sorts of creatures flying out from here and there. The school supply shop stocks robes, Quidditch equipment, the scarves of each house of Hogwarts, quills and notebooks and even the Care of Magical Creatures textbook, the Monster Book of Monsters, locked away in a cage so as to protect you from its bite. A real treat is found in Ollivander’s wand shop. Take a walk through and let them assist you in finding the perfect wand (ours had a phoenix feather). You can use your wand throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to charm all sorts of things and it’s so much fun to do. Need to draw money? You will need to visit Gringotts for that. The detail to the story is not even spared in the bathrooms in which you can hear movement through the pipes and Moaning Myrtle’s sobs too.
Hogwarts itself is nothing short of spectacular. In order to get to the ride, you need to walk through the school. The walk takes you up the staircase where the portraits are cackling amongst themselves and moving through the picture frames to visit other characters. You are taken through Professor Dumbledor’s office and are able to see Fawkes himself. The Herbology lab and the Defence Against the Dark Arts classrooms are next, each as perfect as you could only imagine. The ride takes you to the to a Quidditch game, the Whomping Willow, through the Forbidden Forest, to meet Aragog and experience the grim atmosphere of the Dementors. With Harry’s strong Patronus charm and the call for his Firebolt, however, the day is saved and good is restored in the world.
We had the most incredible experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My sister was never a massive fan of the stories and yet her eyes were popping out of her head and she was squealing with enjoyment too. It’s unbelievable that Universal Studios has managed to recreate the world of Harry Potter for us to visit and it was wonderful to be able to do so. If you’re ever in Los Angeles, I wouldn’t recommend leaving until you have had the opportunity to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you’d like to see more of our experience, be sure to watch our Los Angeles Travel Diary.