Category: Travel Tips and Tricks

Five Tips for Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Orlando)

Travel Tips and Tricks

Five Tips for Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Orlando)

Halloween is nearly upon us and there is nothing I love more than carving pumpkins and watching scary Hitchcock films. Although Halloween comes at the end of this month, corn mazes and haunted houses like Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) have already begun.

Living near Orlando for many years meant that going to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando has become a sort of tradition. The first year I went was in 2014, I was petrified of what I would find, but I had a surprisingly amazing time with my friends and I found that it was fun to loosen up and get scared.

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Around The World: TV Shows Edition

Travel Tips and Tricks

Around The World: TV Shows Edition

As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post about movies that feature traveling, the things that you watch or read have the magical ability to transport us to other time periods, listen to people’s stories and best of all travel to different places.

I feel like tv shows don’t get enough of a shout out when it comes to traveling; by that I mean, actually shooting a tv show or tv movie where its says its actually suppose to be. For example, as much as I love Friends, I know that all of the scenes shot in the caffe, on the streets, or in the apartments were all shot in a studio in Los Angeles, which can sometimes take away from the show.

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My Five Tips for Packing | Long Term Edition

Travel Tips and Tricks

My Five Tips for Packing | Long Term Edition

Packing and unpacking can be one of the worst parts of traveling but it’s something that has be done. I have tried all sorts of methods for packing in small suitcases to large suitcases to duffle bags. Packing for long term trips can be tough, especially if you don’t know where exactly you’ll be or what the weather will be like.

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The Five Benefits of No Data Abroad

Travel Tips and Tricks

The Five Benefits of No Data Abroad

In today’s world, the thought of not having your cell phone on you at all times as become a form of taboo. Having your phone with no service or data sounds even more outrages. What do you mean you’t call scroll through Instagram or Facebook at any given time?!

Living in the age of technology with gadgets always available at our figure tips, it can be hard to imagine what people did before having smart phones that allow you to communicate with anyone at anytime.

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Travel Tips and Tricks

Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Orlando

To be completely honest, I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like Harry Potter. What’s not to love about that incredible magical world?! I was fifteen when I read and watched the films for the first time, which was a bit late in the game, but I fell in love. The storylines, the characters, and the entire world in Harry Potter is capable of warming anyone’s heart.

Since the end of the phenomenal series, Universal Studios in Orlando, and now in California, have made a whole wizarding world that you can see and experience. For die-hard fans like myself, you may ask, is the world a good representation of what the books and the films have captured?

I’m here, as someone who lived in Orlando for more than five years, to say 100 percent yes! I’ve spent many afternoons in this spectacular mini theme park discovering all the incredible things to see and do! I’m here to tell you guys how to get the best out of this amazing place and more specifically in the Diagon Alley half located in Universal. (I will be posting a separate post for the Hogwarts and Hogsmeade area.)

Shopping

“Harry wished he had about eight more eyes. He turned his head in every direction as they walked up the street, trying to look at everything at once; the shops, the things outside them, the people shopping doing their shopping…There were shops selling robes, shops selling telescopes and strange silver instruments Harry had never seen before, windows stacked with barrels of bat spleens and eels’ eyes, tottering piles of spell books, quills and rolls of parchment, potion bottles, globes of the moon…”

The passageway into Diagon Alley hold true to the descritption the reader is given in the book. At your first glance of the hidden London pathways, it will truly feel like you’ve entered a whole new world.

Diagon Alley is filled with shops of all kinds. Some are for display, but many of them are filled with trinkets and clothes to buy. So, get yourself a joke toy from Weasley Wizard Wheezes, a robe from Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, a Nimbus 2000 from Quality Quidditch Supplies and don’t forget to stop by and choose your wand from shops like Gregorovitch or my favorite Ollivanders. There are so many shops to check out, and by doing so, you will be immersed in what feels like a never-ending world.

Right around the corner of the bright and colorful side of Diagon Alley is also the dark and mysterious Knockturn Alley where Borgin and Burkes is located, even though I’m a proud Gryffindor, it’s my favorite part of Diagon Alley.

 

Food

Once you get tired out by all the shopping, you can head into some of these places to grab a meal, snack or even better a delicious Butterbeer.

The biggest place to set your bags down and enjoy a warm comforting meal is in the Leaky Cauldron. Nothing makes me feel more like I’m in Harry Potter’s world than entering into this quick meal restaurant and seeing all the different decorations.

Want to try a cool quick snack? Try Florean Frotescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for some delicious and unique options of ice cream.

Rides

Unlike the other part of this two-area adventure, Diagon Alley only features one special ride that is non-other than Gringotts. This ride is absolutely amazing and everything you could hope for in a ride because it truly immerses you into Harry Potter’s world. I don’t want to spoil too much but this one is definitely a must!

Depending on what time of the year it is, the wait times can be extremely long or they can be quite short. The best time I have found to go during the year is January, February, September, and early October. The time of week is probably Tuesday – Thursday with there being less people out and about because of school and work. The best time of day to head over is either incredibly early in the morning or as the park is nearly closing.

If you happen to hit a waiting time, try Single Rider! Even though you will be separated from your group, the line is usually much shorter.

Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure also offers an Express Pass, which allows you to basically skip the line, but I’ve never bought it and in my honest opinion I think it’s a waste of money especially since lines are never too long if you’re there at a good time.

There is also the Hogwarts Express, which allows pass holders of both theme parks to ride of the train all the way to Hogwarts. Also, don’t want to spoil too much, but if you’ve bought the tickets for both parks you should check this one out for sure!

My Verdict: Worth the money and time? 

Nothing makes me happier than spending a few hours here in this gorgeous and unique world. Honestly I would buy a ticket to the parks just to spend all my time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. So, make sure you make time to experience the adventurous place!

Like J.K. Rowling once said “Whether you come by page, (theme park) or big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”