Sunday, 21 February 2016

Saturday 20th February 2016

Tips for avoiding the crowds at Universal:


Seriously, I checked the tips, we tried the tips, they don't work. Universal is always teeming with people, and no amount of turning right when you enter the park, starting at the back and working forwards, or heading for rides during parades makes the slightest bit of difference. My best advice is to learn to love crowds and pack Paracetamol.

Today's theory was to go for our Harry Potter day on a Saturday, when it's changeover day for most tourists. Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley and Hogwarts were still absolutely heaving with people, so that tip doesn't work either.

We've been to Harry Potter studios in Watford, so it was an interesting compare and contrast exercise. This Diagon Alley was far bigger (it would have to be to fit all the people in) and beautifully done. As with Watford, prices in the gift shops (of which there were many) were unfeasibly high. Hari and Roderic did the Gringotts ride which they loved; Hari and Ceri did the Flight of the Hippogriff ride, which they were less impressed with. We all caught the "train" from a very good replica of Kings Cross Station to Hogsmeade and that was very nicely done. It rather caught me out that the "British countryside" you go through is actually projected onto a screen, but it's fun all the same.

Ceridwen spent over half-an-hour staring at the giant dragon on top of Gringotts. Apparently it occasionally breathes fire. It did so several times when we were there, but none of them while Ceri was watching. Still, finding a shop called "Ceridwen's Cauldrons" might have helped quell her disappointment.

We had lunch at Roderic's favourite restaurant in the world - the Hard Rock café - and then returned to the parks in the hope of doing some rides we'd missed because of the queues. No luck, so we went to Doctor Seuss land where the queues were shorter - between five and ten minutes for the ones we did.

At this point we were all a bit shattered so we headed back to our apartment. We may do another day at Universal, but I shall probably choose a day when it's raining.

Hari got chatted up by the Knight Bus conductor.
Seriously, he was chatting to his shrunken head about how
pretty she was, and he asked her to send him an owl.

Roderic and the first Root Beer in three years.

Ceri makes mincemeat of a burger.

Thing 1 and Thing 2

My Thing 1 and Thing 2


  1. My daughter, Chloe, has been teaching school in South Korea and went to the Japan Hogwart's Experience last month. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in America! :o)

  2. It's fun to see your girls growing up and hearing about your adventures!