On Friday, January 29th, my good friend Valentina and I decided to take a little roadtrip over to Universal Studios Orlando for Harry Potter Celebration. We had been so excited on the weeks leading up to our trip. We prepped our bags with multiple outfits that matched our respective house colors and even got the cutest “Lumos” temporary tattoos from an Etsy vendor.
We headed to Orlando after work on Friday and got there around 11PM— after a 3.5 hour drive from Miami. Finally, we arrived to my favorite resort inside Universal— Cabana Bay Beach Resort! Upon checking in, we (basically) took a tour of the property in our car because there was construction everywhere and we couldn’t park in front of “Americana”, where our room was located. Pretty much, we had to drive all the way around the resort towards the back, park and walk across the pool-area to the other side with all of our bags and things. Valentina found a bell-cart, which we took hostage all the way up to the 6th floor. Thank God she found it because my shoulders and hands were aching from caring all my stuff. While getting everything ready for the next day, I set up some of the HP accessories on the table along with some Harry Potter confetti and our custom name-tags, all of which were themed for the occasion.
Finally, morning came and we were both ready to head to the park. Of course, we stopped by the Bayliner Café at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort for some much-needed breakfast before catching the bus to the park. It was super delicious, as always!
First stop: Islands of Adventures | Hogsmeade
Sporting our matching ‘Lumos’ temporary tattoos, we danced around the park like true fanatics, proudly wearing our Gryffindor & Ravenclaw scarves. We both tried frozen butter beer for the very first time and while it tasted pretty good, I have to say, I can only consume so much of anything that tastes like butterscotch before I max out my sweetness intake. Valentina, on the other hand, drank it to the very last drop. I will tell you this— I can live off that deliciously sweet white froth they put on top of it. Holy Godric, it’s good! After leaving Hogwarts, we took a stroll back to Jurassic Park, where we got acquainted with Ro the raptor. I think that was probably one of the best moments of our day— only because Valentina fell back in fear and into the arms of the raptor trainer. Good thing he was there to catch her. Hysterical! We also found out the bitter-sweet news that The Hulk ride was no longer there because it’s getting renovated. Literally, the ride is completely gone (except for the long tube that shoots you out). It was a sad realization when we were looking forward to riding it after the Dragon Challenge ride (previously known as Dueling Dragons). After spending most of our day at Islands, we hopped on the Hogwarts Express train and traveled to London.
Next Stop: Universal Studios | Diagon Alley
Sadly, both of our cell phones ran out of battery shortly after arriving to Diagon Alley, so we were unable to take any further pictures at the park. NOTE TO SELF: Bring carry-on charger! All in all, we had the most amazing time! We got back to our room at 10PM and by that time, we were too tired to even move, so we simply decided to just stay in for the night. Luckily, we did eat some delicious Chili cheese fries and a chocolate shake at Mel’s Drive-in before wrapping up our night at Universal. Best chili cheese fries I have ever EVER EVER EVER eaten in my life. Those fries were so absolutely delicious, I can’t get enough. I will never be the same again. Whenever I visit the park, I’ll be sure to drop by for some chili cheese goodness.
All in all, we had the time of our lives! In true Universal fashion, they really slayedddd this weekend. The parks were filled with fans from all over the world. It was truly a magical weekend and one neither of us will ever forget. Thanks Universal!