Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vacation // Orlando, FL

George and I just returned from a great mini-vacation to Orlando, FL to check out the newly expanded Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guys, this place is AMAZING! I'm a massive HP fan/nerd but I am pretty sure that even non-fans would be impressed by this place. The rides are some of the best I have ever been on but what really got me is the attention to detail, they do such a good job of making you feel like you are really there!

Last time we went (for our Honeymoon), I took TONS of pictures but this time I was more into taking in all the cool stuff and didn't want to miss anything hiding behind a camera. There are so many neat little details and I'm sure there are still some that I missed! Here's a little recap with the few photos I did take:)

Hogsmeade Station for the new Hogwarts Express. So worth getting park-to-park tickets to ride this! Make sure to go both ways as they are totally unique!

Beautiful Hogsmeade.

I celebrated my birthday while we were there and George writes me a Hogwarts admissions letter every year:) This year I actually got to ride the Hogwarts Express on the 1st (my birthday)!!

Diagon Alley - so amazing. The dragon on top of Gringotts breathes fire every half hour.
Entrance to the Gringotts ride, probably my favorite of them all! The lines were pretty long for this one (30-90 minutes depending) but it was so worth it. Plus, there are a lot of cool things to see while you are in line so it doesn't end up feeling that long.

You can't tell from the photo but the photos under the headlines were actually moving!

Heading to Hogwarts on September 1st!

View of the outside of the expansion - they've got the Knight Bus, King's Cross Station, the shops on either side of the entrance to Diagon Alley and Grimmauld Place.

Love this view of the castle!

I obviously highly recommend visiting the park. However, make sure to take into account that it is a theme park and very busy and tiring. We went for two and a half days which was probably pushing my limits a bit. Also, definitely try to stay close to the park, either at an onsite hotel or one nearby. We stayed at the Doubletree which is across the street from the Universal entrance and it worked out great, we saved a bunch on cab fares and it was close enough to walk to the park for the day and then back at night to go to dinner at CityWalk.

Have you been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Any theme park tips for future visits?