Universal Studios Florida, Early Admission, and Diagon Alley
[The trip] Universal Studios Florida (USF) was the park that was open as early as 8Am during our stay.
Thanks to the jet-lag we were up reather early so it wasn’t difficult to wake up and walk to USF.
Early Admission at Universal Studios Florida
Being a guest of an onsite hotel meant that we could benefit from the Early Admission perk.
Early Admission: park opening 1 hour before the official opening.
From the Royal Pacific Resort (RPR) to USF, there was a 10-min walk only along a canal. A very pleasant walk.
There’s a security screening post just before entering City Walk and due to the early hour, we always proceeded quickly.
We showed our tickets/pass and off we go! Anybody can enter early BUT only those with the EArly Admission perk will be able to go to Diagon Alley and some other rides.
The whole park is not fully open. All the rides will be open at 9AM.
We followed the other guests to Diagon Alley. We could have missed it since it’s rather inauspicuous. We go through the wall and…
(Well, here’s a picture taken from Diagon Alley. My son managed to have no one it…Well done, Joshua!)
…Swooosh! We really felt there. You know how I can be emotional during a trip and that was the time! I was in Diagon Alley.
Shops and shop windows
The shop windows are amazing. Some are even jinxed 😉
The buildings seem to enclose you, to enhance the feeling of truely being in Diagon Alley.
The dragon blows frequently:
The shop signs are very detailed and so pretty.
You can buy wizards’ wands and some of them are interactive. My daughter bought one, but she rapidly got fed up with carrying it all day long.
There are places where you can practice your magical spells. Both adults and children were having fun!
You can even visit Knockturn Alley.
Borgin and Burke’s is awesome! I would have bought eveyrthing, but I just bought a very nice and soft scarf.
Only one ride: Gringott’s. A very nice ride in the goblins’ bank. A picture right at the start:
Lockers: contrary to Disney, you have to put your bags in lockers during your riding time. Lockers are free for the riding time, but they are really tiny! Our camera bag didn’t fit for example. Even fanny packs and small messenger bags had to be stored. I stored my glasses and our caps as well. Since the rides are more intense than in Disney, it makes sense to store things for safety reasons. LArger lockers are avaliable, but are not free.
Tasting Butterbeer was on our list. They didn’t really enjoy it because it’s very sweet. I had the frozen one and it was much better. If you’re really hungry yuocan have eat at The Three Broomsticks.
Joshua was sorted as a Hufflepuff through the Pottermore website so when I saw this t-shirt on Qwertee, I bought it right away!
Harry Potter outside Diagon Alley
I fell under the spell of Diagon Alley. But just outside it, you can find the Knight Bus and the talking head:
Or Kreacher, who peeps from 12 Grimmauld Place.
Cherry on the cake, you can go to Islands of Adventure-IoA with the Hogwart Express (you MUST have a park-to-park ticket/pass). You will then reach Hogsmeade.
The Hogwart Express is a true attraction. And who never wished to go through the wall to Platform 9 3/4? You will be able to do it as well:
USF is not only a HP park. It also offers lots of other rides and experiences I’ll detail in later articles.
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