harry potter world at universal studios hollywood.


my gurlfriend ashleigh and i have been fixin' to go here since they announced the new one would open in los angeles. i'm glad we made it happen! sometimes you just gotta plan something and doooo it!

all photos taken on my iphone 6.

it all started at the airport when these people behind us at security were bothering us, and ashleigh whispers to me, "avada kedavraaaaa." oh man we were chortling chortling to ourselves. good one, ash.

you have to go to harry potter world with someone who just gets it.

hmmm...i fear there might be lots of nerdy lingo in this post understandable only by in-the-know harry potter fans. i'll just pretend like everybody totally understands all the terminology and leave my thoughts here...

before we get to all the harry potter visual treats, i must show the lovely airbnb that we stayed at in burbank. it was soooo fab!

i wish i were fancy enough to put an audio track to jt's "can't stop the feeling!" here... that was our theme song for our pool time at the airbnb. not ashamed at allllll to thoroughly enjoy this song made for a children's movie... this post is about two 28 year old women traveling to harry potter world, after all. and i will likely see that trolls movie.

1 track of 'can't stop the feeling' that transitions into like a triumphant harry potter symphony, please.

i would go back here for sure. we had the upstairs of the guest house to ourselves and the whole back yard/patio and pool area as well. the woman had beeeeeautiful HUGE succulents growing everywhere, lemon, orange, and pomegranate trees, a super nice dining area and an outdoor pizza ovennnn! we sadly did not get a chance to use the pizza oven because the guy wasn't home much that weekend to help us operate it...but its there!

ash and i brought our pool floaties and took about 45 minutes to blow them up...but it was well worth a full day lazing in the pool! sidenote...don't trust sunscreen spray. at least rub it in. ha.

^^^we went to this mexican spot near our airbnb for happy hour. the food was just whatever, so-so, but it was amahzing because as long as you're having drinks during happy hour, there are FREE unlimited enchiladas and nachos. sayyyyy whaaaaat! so those free nachos & enchis tasted durn good to us. you go, don cuco!

^^^we kept cracking up at this ceramic muggle boot decor on their back wall, talking about whether or not it might be a portkey to universal studios. it looks just like the one from the book/movie, no?!

and then we walked by this house and just stared with our jaws on the ground/paparazzi'd the shiz outta their incredible giant succulent perimeter:

heart eyes emojis times 100.

and then

harry potter day was upon us.

it was super cloudy/smoggy(?) every single morning we were in LA. it made hogsmeade look pretty legit when we got there, though. early admission, i might add. lololol. we somehow spent 12+ hours here that day. how?! i dunno. WE LOVE IT!!

i had actually already been to the wizarding world of 'arry pottah in orlando with peter 5 years ago.. haha! 3 photos below.

i don't really feeeeel like a super hp fan (comparing myself to the middle-aged folks we saw there in full robes and wands and whatnot)...but i guess i totally am. its weird to think that harry potter stuff has been a part of my life since i was like 10? 12? that's a long time! sorcerer's stone came out in 1997!!!!!! almost 20 years of harry! wowzer.

what i appreciated about the orlando harry potter world is that at least they had SOME characters walking around (even though i was not a fan of the chick they cast as hermione). i think both parks could step up their game in a huge way if they had characters. i thought perhaps since i hadn't been in 5 years they might have added a dumbledore here and a voldemort there...but nah. 

sidenote, bless peter's heart for going all the way to florida with me to go there. haha. he did not read or watch harry potter ever, but he had a good time. so he says. the good thing about universal is that you can just skip on over to another little world.

back to the future:

"what's that you say about watney's brown ale?!?!?"

ashleigh and i spent a lot of time hanging out in the other lands, too. seemed to have spent a lot of time in simpson's world because the hogwarts ride was down all morning and springfield is right next to hogsmeade. we had lunch at moe's tavern. its so fun to people watch at these places....folks are still verrrry into the simpsons.

we realized we love minions. i met my hero, lucy.

we had much too much fun in minions world. we went on that ride two times, haha. they're so cute!

i wish they'd had a suggestion box here. because i have got pleeenty of ideas to reparo the heck outta this joint:

they need a proper diagon alley complete with a leaky cauldron (as their second restaurant zone) and some shady characters looming in the corners mayhaps. we had to have lunch at moe's tavern in springfield because the three broomsticks line was outta control. 

there could alsooo be another opportunity for food/restaurant zone in the base of hogwarts...like a legit great hall with big long tables for the oodles of people to sit at.

need a proper platform 9 3/4 zone next to the hogwarts express.

hagrid's hut is really cool and realistic looking, i just wish you could go inside! i do like all the sound effects they have going on throughout.

muggle bathrooms halfway through the hogwarts line? that'd be greeeeeat. 

they need more of the store fronts to be real and able to walk through them. the ones they have are SO detailed and cool, but a lot of the stores are fake and you can't go in. 

characters! wat de heeeeck i can't believe they don't have any. i want to see hagrid, dumby, filch, hagrid's tall lady friend, mad eye, trelawney, mcgonagall, snape, voldy even! they could be mainstream or obscure, no matter. they just need some dang character action. harry, ron, & hermione could be like the mickey mouse equivalent and its extra special and rare when you run into them. there have got to be some radcliffe, watson, and grint lookalikes living in that town!

equal amounts of rides. the orlando park has 3 HP rides, probably because the dragon ride there was recycled from the medieval world that used to exist there. i was bummed that the LA park only had the hogwarts ride and hippogriff kiddie ride. don't get me wrong, i loVVvvVE the hogwarts ride to high heaven, and rode the hippogriff ride several times, too. heheeh.

alcoholic butterbeer? i could have sworn that was supposed to be an option, but i really don't think it is a thing. we didn't end up getting a butterbeer this time because the lines were ridic. i had one in orlando..it was delicious and cold and frothy and butterscotchy. 

i DO appreciate their whimsical harry potter tunes they have playing throughout. but i think if they had a diagon alley and different areas as suggested above ^^^ they could switch up the soundtrack in the different zones. i felt bad for the poor wizards who work there and have to listen to that same little diddy on blast all day everyday.

invisibility cloaks? yes. please make that possible.

broomstick ride?

the clouds finally burned off. evanesco!

soo the ride inside hogwarts (which is amaaayayayayyyyzing) was broken all morning. so by afternoon when it was fixed, all the lines were INSANE! we just about died of sunstroke waiting in the line one time but we figured out later that if you just ride single you can skip a HUGE part of the line. do that!

we ended up being able to sit by each other a couple times on the enchanted bench anyway, so it was the best magic we'd discovered that day. we felt so bad when we saw a super old man who had waited through the entire general line (2 HOURS!) to get to the front and tell them he was alone. i was like ohh nooooooooo misterrrrrrrr you coulda been in our magical line of single muggles! anyway, don't let that happen to you! the singles line (march right up to hogwarts and walk in and tell them you're by yourself) is the way to go. lumos! <that's me shedding some light on that situation.

we passed up the wand line and sorting hat and took the liberty of sorting ourselves: ashleigh is a self-proclaimed slytherin and i believe i'm a ravenclaw on paper, but it's complicated.

something wicked this way comes!

^^^another idear for the universal head honchos: RENT wizard robes out for the day. i mean, we had a gay old time trying them on and taking photos, and surely would have worn one for the day if we didn't have to pay $105. i could not believe all the masses of little kids roaming around in $105 pieces of fabric. i'd be covering my children in black sheets with iron-on patches for next to nuthin! $$$ lolol. just kidding, future children.

^^^there's our snack trolley where we bought all our bigass muggle beers. we'd take our mug lites and tromp all over the place. we posted up next to the shrek ride and had to finish them before going in. everything is funny in a place like this. "welcome to shrek!" "welcome to shrek!" we'd say.

the photos at sun set were taken on my moment wide lens for iphone. i mentioned these lenses in my post from our utah trip. i even brought the selfie stick to the park, but i just can't take myself seriously with that thing. its still never made it out in the real world. best white elephant gift ever, though :)

^^^the sun sets on this magical land. we're looking a bit hagrid and tired from the day...HA (i'm not sure if that pun reads very well. lolz.)

got ourselves some hogwarts garb and rode our little broomstick uber back to the airbnb. 

^^^also i wanted all of these food magnets but my fridge isn't magnetic. wah. universal has so many trinkets to buy. all the emojis in all forms! pillows, slippers, shirts, you name it.

had a brilliant time in harry potterville and in california!

people of universal studios - i'll be back in 5 more years time to check up on all the suggestions i've provided here;)