“Yer a wizard Harry.”

Over the summer I found myself deep into a Harry Potter marathon and wanderlusting a trip to the Hogswarts. The closest I can get to a letter to Hogwarts is visiting Hogsmeade at Universal in Orlando. Sadly, we won’t get to take the train from 9 3/4 platform to get there. We’ll be flying Allegiant non-stop from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Sanford, Florida. 😀

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” - Albus Dumbledore

We went to Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure for the first time over Christmas 2012 but haven’t been back since they built the Hogwarts Express Train with the track between parks. I’m hoping that visiting in mid-october won’t be overly crowded and we can give all of the new rides a try and revisit the older ones in 2 days. Since it’s fall, i’m also hoping that it’s chilly enough to have a warm Butterbeer instead of a frozen one this time.

Hogwarts Castle

Bryn & Hogsmeade

Suess carousel

When I was preparing for our last visit, I didn’t put in much research. We were just planning on having fun for a few days at an amusement park - I did’t think much of it. This time, I took to the internet to find all of the ‘secrets and tricks’ for making the most out of a trip to Universal.

Things i’m excited to try in WWoHP

  • Call The Ministry of Magic - go to the phone booth outside King’s Cross Station and dial 62442 (MAGIC)
  • Visit Owl Post - send your loved ones a postcard featuring a special Hogsmeade postmark with a Harry Potter-themed stamp
  • Take a Trip Down Knockturn Alley - dark magic thoroughfare is accessible from two spots on Diagon Alley
  • Take home some Wizarding Money. The ATM will dispense wizarding money or you can visit the money exchange near Gringotts

New rides/experiences since 2012!

  • Hogwarts Express (only available when you buy park to park tickets!)
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Dark Arts Show on Hogwarts Castle
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Another great reason to visit in October is to attend the Universal Halloween Horror Nights. It requires a separate ticket, but if you’re into a good fun scare and interesting food tie-ins like I am, then it looks to be worth a visit!

I’m excited for the 80’s theme this year. With Stranger Things, Jordan Peele’s Us, Universal Monsters, Ghostbusters, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, House of 1000 Corpses, Depths of fear, Graveyard Games, Nightingales: Blood Pit, Yeti: Terror of the Yukon Haunted Houses!

Foods to try at Halloween Horror Nights!

  • Ghost Trap Ghostbuster Popcorn
  • Stranger Things & Starcourt Mall has mexican street corn and bento boxes with bao, potstickers and wonton chips
  • S’mores Fries (sweet potato fries, marshmallow, chocolate chips, and cracker crumbs)
  • Merrill’s Mini Pumpkin Doughnuts
  • Candy Corn sweet slushie
  • Vampire’s Curse (spiced rum, fruit punch, and sour mix) signature drink in 80’s classic collectors beverage cup

I solemnly swear that I am up to eating them all! - Me.

Anything I should add to my list that i’m missing? Tweet me @NicoleAbuhakmeh and let me know!