Back in February we visited Diagon Alley at Universal Studios for Savanna's birthday. Adam and I had so much fun with the girls that we decided to start saving for a surprise trip to Hogwarts & Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure which is Universal Studios' second park. Now for $105 you can visit one park, either or. For about $155 you can visit both in one day and take the Hogwarts Express between the two parks. One day we hope to do that but for now, swinging one park for a family of four is insanity as it is. Fun insanity, but insanity none the less. The Hogwarts & Hogsmeade section of the park is much smaller with less to do than Diagon Alley. Well, there are three rides, one in the castle, and two rollercoasters, but smaller as far as stores and shops and things to see.
Zonko's really was part of Honeyduke's. There were no jokes or cool things inside like there is at Weasleys' Wizard Weezes at Diagon Alley. But the storefronts were still really well done. So naturally I took hundreds of photos.
The snow topped roofs almost made my mind believe it was less than 90 degrees out.
The girls know we let them get one reasonable souvenir when we do a theme park. Savanna had her heart set on a treat from Honeyduke's. It was either an acid pop or a chocolate frog.
Scarlette picked out a candy quill that writes in blue if you dip the end of the stick in water.
Savanna ended up choosing the chocolate frog (she got Salazaar Slytherin as her card) and I picked cotton candy. Sometimes I just crave cotton candy. Maybe it's the wax.
We ate lunch at The Three Broomsticks. Adam ordered the smoked chicken, I chose the Cornish pasties, Savanna picked the fish and chips while Scarlette went the mac 'n cheese route. I also splurged on a pumpkin fizz, which tastes like Pumpkin Juice but with added ginger ale or Sprite or something. Very refreshing.
But beware, the pasties were like the size of a silver dollar and only three of them. I pretty much finished off everyone else's food like a dern buzzard.
The Three Broomsticks filled our bellies in the end and we all enjoyed the flavor of the foods. I particularly enjoyed the decor.
Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald,
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling,
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.
Universal knocked it out of the park with Hogwarts. The castle inspires awe and the ride within thrills and delights and brought hiccuping tears to my eyes. Yeah, I'm a nerd freak. I boo hoo'd all through the castle: from the moving and talking art to the floating candles and entrance to Dumbledore's office. Tears of ecstasy.
I cried while I watched this too.
Not sure if you can see the bawling little Mandrake in there behind the glare of the window. He didn't make me cry. He made me laugh. Then cry. Just kidding. His squeals were pretty funny.
The Owl Post.
And our wands worked in this park too! Unfortunately a lot of the spell hot spots were non-functioning (you can see the white and red sign in the window propped on the cake- it basically says the area is jinxed and the spell won't work). I didn't have the heart to tell Scarlette so she tried anyway.
All in all, the day brimmed over with magic and wonder. And we will be looking forward to our next Wizarding World experience.