Last holidays I had the amazing chance to spend some days in Los Angeles. As I was going to be there during Christmas, I wanted to think ahead what to do on Christmas day taking into consideration that most places are closed. I was glad to find out that Universal Studios would be open on the 25th and so without second thoughts I booked tickets online for that date. I couldn’t believe that I was going to spend Christmas Harry Potter style. It couldn’t get more perfect.
Here I share with you some recommendations:
The earlier you arrive the better:
As Universal Studios opens its doors at 9 am, I highly recommend you to get there as soon as it opens so that you can make the most of your time there. And also take into account that it gets busier every hour and if you don’t have a VIP ticket you’ll have to endure long wait lines for the rides.
Download the universal studio’s app:
It will give you all the information you need regarding wait times and special shows plus interactive maps.
Hogwarts, your first stop:
Once you step into Universal you’ll find attractive stores and other sections of the park such as the Simpson’s or The World-Famous Studio Tour. You’ll have time for all that, so I encourage you to head first to Hogwarts where you’ll find Harry Potter’s most popular ride: The Forbidden Journey.
It’s a motion simulation ride that will give you the thrills. The ride itself is not very long, what is long is the waiting time (for me it was more than an hour). The good thing is that as you get closer to the ride, you get to step into the castle’s corridors and classrooms making your wait more bearable.
After the castle, meet the hippogriff:
Once you step out of the castle you have another ride: The Flight of the Hippogriff.
This one is a low-intensity (child-friendly) roller coaster. The waiting time is shorter and you get to see Hagrid’s hut exterior.
Lunch at the Three Broomsticks:
So, if you arrived at Universal at 9 and you did the two main rides, that means that it’s way past noon and you are starving.
Fortunately, Hogsmeade has the place for you. Inside the Three Broomsticks, you’ll find an English style menu: fish and chips, Shepherd’s Pie and of course, the famous butterbeer (only for people who can bear highly sweet beverages). I must go ahead and say that this is not a very cheap tavern (obviously), the food isn’t exactly delicious either, but the place inside is spectacularly set. It really makes you feel inside Harry Potter’s world.
After a hearty lunch, just have fun walking around Hogsmeade.
There are several attractions happening every hour. You can get to see Beauxbatons Academy’s girls making their elegant presentation, Hogwarts student’s choir singing with their huge frogs or even, during some evenings, enjoy a magical snowfall.
There are several stores with original merchandising (you can even buy Hermione’s famous gown).
Don’t forget to visit Ollivanders and see how a wand chooses its wizard and even cast your own spells.
the grand finale:
At nighttime (during selected dates) there is a light and music show outside the castle that takes your breath away. It’s certainly a glorious ending to a perfect day.
Goodbye Hogwarts, see you next time in Orlando…