Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | June 22, 2011

A Muggle’s Magical Journey to Orlando


I’ve been a bit MIA the last several days, but for good reason. I was off in Orlando getting my Magical-World-of-Harry Potter fix at Universal Studios!

Have you ever been? I went last September with a group of friends and while I loved the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, I love, love, LOVED the Harry Potter park because I was finally completely immersed in the world of witches and wizards I’d been reading about since high school. And their attention to detail is incredible!

(The fact that Universal was able to create this snow-capped village of Hogsmeade in steamy Orlando, FL is just adds to the thrill of it all.)


So when my mom and stepdad decided to reward my stepbrother for graduating high school with a trip to Universal, I was all in. I even dragged Nick along as his first introduction to the magical world (I did require that he see at least the first movie in its entirety before going though).

I of course tried Butter Beer on my first trip last year and it was… delicious. Like a butterscotch infused cream soda with a creamy foam. The frozen version was my favorite and is the reason I waited 20 minutes in line this visit for a plastic cup filled with the ice-cold yumminess.


I also fulfilled my dream of owning my very own wand (I ended up getting the Professor McGonagall one) which I purchased from the Owlery (yes, that is where you squeeze in and search shelves stacked with wands, quills, parchment, wax sealers, etc). The stepbro and I even stopped to do a little Harry-Potter’s-Angels pose.


Then of course, I had to stop by Honeydukes candy shop and battle my way to the registers where they have the cauldron cakes (I insisted that my mom and stepdad try one – they liked it). I’ve already paid the $11 for a chocolate frog on my last trip, so I tried the peppermint toads (only $8) this time around and they were fantastic.



We hit up every Harry Potter ride including the Forbidden Journey (only an hour wait!), which was voted the hands-down-best-ride-of-the-day by all. Then we were off to explore the rest of the parks – Incredible Hulk, The Mummy and Spiderman were the other favorite rides. It was probably in the 90s by 11am so we only lasted until about 4:30pm (last time I was bouncing back and forth between the parks until about 7pm), but we were pretty happy all the same.


We went back to our hotel and wrapped up a great day by chilling by the pool, which came complete with a pirate ship, and I played with my newly downloaded Hipstamatic app which captured some cool photos straight from my iPhone.


I stayed with my family for a couple days in Orlando before heading back to Naples, FL. With my trip home to Boston, MA coming up in less than two weeks, however, I’m glad it won’t be too long before I can see all my northeast family and friends (Evolving Curiosities, this means you too)!

What was the last theme park you visited? What was your favorite part?


  1. I love this recap!! It totally brings me back to our September trip when we went. And you also forgot to note those Poo green jelly beans you also tried! After reading this I’m totally craving Butter Beer or the need to go cuddle up with a Harry Potter book on this rainy day. I’m so glad you had a great trip and I can’t wait to see you soon!!

  2. […] been here twice before, but this was the first opportunity I had to really spend the whole day there. The last two times, […]

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