Sunday, June 18, 2017

Universal Studios

Day three in the parks we went to Universal Studios.  They really know how to hook you!  The only reason we added a day at this theme park to the trip was for Harry Potter world.  This one day was especially for our sweet Lexi, the world's biggest Harry Potter fan.  Going to this park was her birthday present.  Universal has two parks.  Half of the Harry Potter attractions are in one park.  The other half are in the other park.  They are connected by the Hogwarts express.  So if you want to ride the Express and see both sections of Harry Potter world, you have to purchase a (much more expensive) park hopper ticket.  Which we did.  But the park was truly amazing.  We really felt like we were in Diagon Alley and at Howarts/Hogsmeade.  The buildings were fantastic.  The rides were completely immersive.  And the butter beer was...well, it was ok.  To be honest, the butter beer that Christi brewed for Sophi and Lexi's Harry Potter party blew it away:)  Overall, it was a fantastic day that was truly magical for this Harry Potter loving family!

So excited!
Patiently waiting for the long line at disability assistance :)

One particularly special experience was the incredible wizard at Ollivander's.  He was completely convincing as he helped the kids select the correct wand for them.  You felt like Harry Potter was real!  It was particularly touching when Lexi had her turn.  (Sadly we didn't get any video).  She was SOOOO excited and got a bit emotional.  Several of the workers also shed some tears.  What a magical, wonderful experience!

While Conner's wand was choosing him, most of the time it was too dark for video, but you can get a feel for how fantastic it was from the audio in this clip:

Two cuties loving their wands!
Gringotts in the background.
A nice witch trains Lexi on the use of her wand:

Enjoying our frozen butter beer:

Excited to be at platform 9 3/4:

All aboard!

We made it to Hogwarts!

Ready for the tri-wizard tournament!

Universal also had some less themed, more thrilling rides outside of Harry Potter.  Xander really learned to enjoy roller coasters here.  All in all, another fantastic day!!!