Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A Day at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

Posted by Olivia Jayne at 00:00
After our night at the Hard Rock Hotel, we got an early admission to the parks. Although this meant getting up at 6am, it was worth it for the lack of queues for the rides.






We went to Universal Studios first and went to the Harry Potter section which is Diagon Alley because this would be the place that got busiest the fastest. My Dad and Sister went on the Gringotts ride but my Mum and I waited because I don't like rides. We walked around, went in the Menagerie, the Weasley's Toy Shop, got a Butterbeer and took various photos.


Then when they were back from the ride, we went into Olivanders and chose a wand, this was really fun I have to admit because we had an assistant help us to choose one. They asked us various questions about ourselves, our likes and dislikes and even taught us a few spells. They then suggested which wand would be perfect for us and we chose one from the hundreds in the shop. The wand came with an interactive map which meant as you walked around the parks, there were points with bronze medallions on the floor where you could cast a spell and make the object move or water come out. My sister really enjoyed this aspect.

Then we went to Gringotts bank and exchanged our money for some Gringotts Money. Everything was so authentic, even as you pay. In all of the shops, the servers would ask you to sign the receipt for the 'ministry of magic' and if you paid by card they would say 'paying by muggle plastic?'. It was a really fun day. We also ate at the Leaky Cauldron although the food wasn't great.


We stepped back through the hole in the wall where you access Diagon Alley by the 'London Underground' and red telephone booth. There was also the Knight Bus where you were able to take a photo. Having been to London lots of times, I could understand just how realistic everything was, even down to the pavement having rain on it.




We then went to Kings Cross Station, again very realistic with Buskers and posters on the walls as well as train times. We went up to Platform 9 3/4 where we had to step through the wall. Then there was a small station shop where you could purchase English food and drink for the journey. We waited for the Hogwarts Express to take us to the other park 'Islands of Adventure' where we could go to Hogsmeade.

When we got on the train, we sat in the small train booth identical to the film, even with the same material used for the chairs. The windows were screens so we could see the real journey the train would take as we went through London and approached Hogwarts. At several points throughout the Journey, we saw Ron, Hermoine and Harry's shadows from outside the booth and could hear them talking.




When we got off of the train we were at 'Hogsmeade' where you could see the school in the background. We didn't stay long at Islands of Adventure because there wasn't as much to do for non-ride lovers. However we did go to the toilets where you could hear Moaning Murtle.



We caught our train back which was different to the way there. The only other thing we did at Universal was see Shrek 4-D which was really fun.

xoxo

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