Trip Report: Orlando, FL & Universal Studios – 2014

Orlando, no doubt the tourist capital of the Sunshine State, home to Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. Also a favorite travel destination of mine, mostly due to the distance and travel time, around 2.5 hours. While I’m not a fan of Sea World (not for popular reasons, I merely prefer a proper aquarium), I love Universal Studios and enjoy Disney World, in small doses. Orlando’s Mall at Millenia and I also go way back, having been a frequent flyer in the Apple Store before Jacksonville’s location opened.hogwarts-hogsmeade

We usually make a pilgrimage to Orlando a few times a year, usually to visit the world class spa at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando, but this time around I was keen on visiting the new Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We’ve been to Hogsmeade, and aside from the Butterbeer, it’s kinda meh. As you may know, they took an area of The Lost Continent, Merlinwood, and converted it into phase 1 of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, aka Hogsmeade. I say “meh” because it’s the same Islands of Adventure area with a Harry Potter facelift. Same rides: Dueling Dragons became Dragon Challenge; Flying Unicorn became Flight of the Hippogriff. Color me excited!

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