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Universal Orlando and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Here’s the deal. I don’t particularly like theme parks. My in-laws think I’m kind of a scrooge on vacation. I have little patience for the energy it takes to navigate the whole process. And to my kids constant dismay, I never buy souvenirs and theme park goodies. In general, my idea of the perfect vacation involves a lot of spa time and peace and quiet.

However – I’m going to lay this out there up front that when I saw the launch coverage and commercials for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter . . . I added it to my life list.

(stumbled upon this via Pinterest from

(stumbled upon this via Pinterest from

This place looks like magic. I wouldn’t call myself a Harry Potter fanatic but I’d say that those books have been on our summer reading list the past 2 summers and that I adore them. And if you don’t adore the movies, then maybe Voldemort has thrown an Avada Kedavra curse at you. So as you can guess, I jumped on my broom faster than a Gryffindor can say Quidditch at the chance to travel with my family (and a bunch of bloggers) to Universal Orlando last month.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Map

Why don’t I start by telling you what my view was of Universal Studios “pre-trip”.

A few things:

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I thought I had been to Universal Orlando before. For reals. I kept thinking to myself how much things had changed and how it wasn’t like I remembered it. I asked my tour guide where the Tower of Terror was because things sure did look different. Wrong park.

I thought Universal Studios was something you knocked out in a day or less. So if I were planning a family vacation to Orlando I’d probably earmark half a day and knock it out. Boom. Done. So not true. This place is HUGE (and amazing).

Universal doesn’t have the same kind of character appeal or nostalgia for me and my kids as other theme parks. Again, what was I thinking? I literally shed a tear (or several) on the E.T. ride when we started flying over the neighborhoods on our bicycles.

Basically, I returned from my trip having of course learned a lot but I also come baring gifts of magic and wizarding delight. I’ve got 8, 2-day park passes for Universal Orlando - you can enter HERE.

Universal Studios

Would I recommend packing up and heading to Florida. Can you say Oculous Repairo? I can. You should go.

The highlights? Check out my Top 10 in Pictures


Family Globe Shot 01 XSM

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Universal’s Volcano Bay is one of the new at Universal Orlando attractions to look forward to in 2017. (Courtesy Universal Orlando)

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Here’s a complete guide to what’s new at Universal Orlando in 2017, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so your family doesn’t miss out on anything.