Many moons ago my parents took me on holiday to Florida. We flew from Manchester and spent one week at the Disney and Universal theme parks before spending a week in Tampa recuperating from the extensive queuing we had done the previous week. As soon as the Harry Potter portion of Universal Studios was announced, I was desperate to go. Myself and Chris love HP and knew that we wanted to incorporate it into our next American adventure.

I’m going to throw it out there – it is both a magical place, and also a right rip off. I can only imagine the big bucks my parents paid for us to go as a family as it cost myself and Chris $314 each for three days worth of tickets. Throw in your hotel fees, and food for those three days and we had spent over $1,000.

If you want to go to Harry Potter and ride the Hogwarts express you MUST have a ‘park to park’ ticket. Without this, you cannot ride the Hogwarts Express which I think is crazy; you can’t even get into Kings Cross to have a look! The parks are NEXT to each other and its just another hook to make more money from you.

You cannot doubt that the attention to detail is second to none. It really is incredible, every last thing has been thought about. The theming of the staff costumes change between each ride, the Hogwarts express chugging along blew my mind. I was genuinely transported to Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Kings Cross was also really well done, and probably quite mesmerising for those who have never been to England or to our train stations. The rides in the HP section are great too, they’ve been really well done and very well executed.

The rides are good, the queue times weren’t awful and they have a free locker system which prevents you have having to lug your bags through the queues which I thought was genius.

I guess the burning question is, would I go again? It genuinely pains me to say it, but yes. I cannot wait until we have a family and can experience it all over again. If we were vacationing in the area, I’d also happily go again, but maybe for the day – I’ve done a blogpost about our experiences of the new Volcano Bay park too!

I can genuinely see why people happily spend thousands and thousands of pounds to take their families to Disneyland and universal. I thought it was magical, and can’t imagine how that is magnified tenfold when you experience it with a child.

I loved that we took time during our honeymoon to enjoy the Universal Parks and what they had to offer. Have you been to Universal? Did you like it there?


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  1. I’ve been desperate to go since it was announced, like you I went when I was little (11, between finishing Primary and starting secondary), and it’s one of the few memories that have stayed in my sieve brain from that age! Although we just did disney, not any Universal.
    We want to go, but Ben doesn’t like rides (but does like HP enough to just go and endure it), but I’ve said we’ll wait until I have a child who will like rollercoasters haha


  2. I absolutely loved it and I cant wait to go back! universal was 10x better than Disney though which is something I never thought I would say!! you are right though it costs a hell of a lot! xxx


  3. Universal Studios is probably my favourite place in the world! We are going Florida next May, me for the 6th time and my fiancé for the 1st and we’re not even bothering with Disney as he’s not that fussed and I’ve been to them all but going to fit in as many universal days as possible! It’s so expensive but some of my most favourite childhood memories are there! xx


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