Universal Orlando Travel Diary- Entry 2

If you aren’t caught up on Entry 1, you can read it here.

DAY 2- May 24, 2021

Day 2 was probably the day I was most excited for. When planning the trip, my friends and I dedicated each day for a section of the parks (and of course a coordinating outfit). Day 2 was our designated Harry Potter day, and we were beyond ready for it.

We got up early and of course made use of the Starbucks in the hotel lobby.

I lost count of how many iced caramel macchiatos and bacon Gouda sandwiches I had that week…

After breakfast, we got all dressed up in our separate Hogwarts house outfits for the day. Riley repping Hufflepuff, Haley repping Slythern, Brooke repping Gryffindor, and me repping Ravenclaw (objectively the best house).

Another mirror pic of course 🙂

After we were all dressed up, it was time to hop on the shuttle to head to the parks.

ready for our first full day!
morning commute!

As soon as we entered Universal Studios, we noticed Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster had a low wait time of 15 minutes, so of course we had to jump in line. Now, I’m a fan of roller coasters and normally they don’t scare me at all, but I have to admit I was just a littleeee nervous about the 167 foot tall vertical launch on this one…

However, I ended up absolutely LOVING the ride, and there’s just nothing like Glamorous by Fergie blasting in your ears while your life flashes before your eyes.

it looks a lot scarier than it really is, I promise!
making it through that ride was a cause for celebration!

After Rip Ride Rockit we headed into Diagon Alley to get a start on our Harry Potter plans for the day. First up was the Escape from Gringott’s ride before the wait got too long. The queue of that ride was really cool, and so detailed! It really felt like taking a walk through Gringott’s bank, complete with goblin employees.

so impressive!

Gringott’s was a super fun 3D motion ride with amazing effects, but I have to admit my friends and I spent the majority of the time looking at Bill Weasley… whoops.

The dragon was my favorite part of Diagon Alley!

Next on the agenda after Gringott’s was the thing I was most excited for… getting to buy my first interactive wand!! I was so stoked to be able to do the spells in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade 🙂

Ollivander’s was incredibly busy, so I bought my wand from Gregorovitch
Only the finest!

Maybe next time I visit I’ll do the whole wand experience, but this time I was perfectly content getting a character wand rather than a custom one. I ended up purchasing Fleur Delacour’s wand this time, and loved it! (Sadly, they didn’t have Fred’s wand in the shop, but I’ll have to keep an eye out for it in the future)

pics while waiting in line for my wand!
Bag secured!

We wandered around for a little while trying out spells, and I have to admit they were a little harder than we thought. Maybe we’re just not very good wizarding students. We also explored the hidden Knockturn Alley area, and stopped in the Borgin and Burkes shop.

Exploring Borgin and Burkes.

We also stopped by a few other shops just to check out the area, including Madam Malkin’s robe shop and Magical Menagerie to see the magical creatures. We also saw a really neat wizard travel agency.

Madam Malkin’s
Magical Menagerie
A Kneazle watching over the shop

Of course we spent plenty of quality time taking pictures in Diagon Alley. There’s no way we’d be passing up on any photo op while on this trip.

my Ravenclaw pride outfit, featuring a mask my mom made, a thrifted skirt (thanks goodwill!), and shoes I painted!
this storefront matched my house colors perfectly
Group pics were a little harder to get with no one to take them for us, but we managed a few with self-timer mode 🙂
Brooke and I
Haley and I
Riley and I (with matching pigtails)

After Diagon Alley photos, we walked back up the the front of the parks. Riley wanted to stop for a Slushie, so while she waited in line, Haley, Brooke, and I took a break on the lawn in front of the Rip Ride Rockit Coaster. And took a few more pictures, obviously 🙂

you can see the very top of the coaster in the back!
had to hit the “basic white girl” pose
we soaked up the sun! (and burned our legs on the 100°F plastic grass)

we took a short break from the parks (and the hot sun) to eat lunch and cool off at our hotel. Haley and Brooke and I opted to check out the resort’s pool while we had a little time.

not a bad view 🙂
virgin Piña Coladas from the best bartender!

After soaking up some of the hotel room air conditioning (and changing into outfits more conducive to the Florida afternoon heat) we headed back to the parks for the afternoon.

on the bus again!

Our plan for the evening was to tackle some rides in the Islands of Adventure side of the park. First up we hopped in the short line for the Amazing Adventures of Spider man. This was another fun 3D (or 4D I guess, you do get sprayed with water) ride with a queue where you can watch clips from the Spider-Man cartoon and walk through the Daily Bugle offices.

After getting off Spider-man, we noticed that the brand-new, still-in-technical-rehearsal Jurassic World Velocicoaster was down to a 45 minute wait! All four of us had made it our goal to get on that ride while we were down there, so we couldn’t pass up the chance. We practically ran over to the entrance and got in line.

Although the four of us are big roller coaster girls and aren’t usually scared, we very nearly psyched ourselves out in the queue. We had heard so much hype surrounding the coaster and knew it was going to be pretty intense, but we just couldn’t let ourselves chicken out. The wait wasn’t bad at all, and there were plenty of really fun things to look at while in line.

the four famed raptors of Jurassic World

Once we got up to the front of the line, about to load on the car, our nerves were in full force. Haley and I even held hands before we launched!😂

you can see just a little bit of fear in our eyes…

I seriously can’t rave enough about that ride. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and it was definitely the most insane thing I’ve ever done. You wouldn’t believe how fast it goes, and the views while you’re on it are fantastic. At one point at the highest tophat on the coaster, you’re looking straight down as you speed towards the ground. My favorite part was the barrel roll over the lake where you feel like you might just get thrown into the water, but in the best way possible.

As I write this (on June 10th) Velocicoaster is in full force Grand Opening mode. If you ever have the opportunity to ride it, I would strongly recommend you do it. If you can only take a virtual ride right now, or just aren’t a coaster person, here’s the link for the official POV video so you can get an idea of the insanity 🙂 Universal has completely outdone themselves with this one!

Just me and my friend hangin out

After Velocicoaster, we celebrated our survival with a dinner at the Three Broomsticks Inn in Hogsmeade.

you can see the havoc Velocicoaster wreaked on our hair…

I had the fish and chips and a frozen butterbeer, and it was fantastic!! I’m missing that frozen Butterbeer right about now…

my next goal is to visit Hogsmeade at Christmastime.. how cute is that snow?

we stopped on the Hogsmeade bridge to check out the spectacular views of Hogwarts…

really feeling like official Hogwarts students…
Isn’t she pretty??

After dinner we didn’t want to do any crazy rides that might toss our stomachs around too much, so we opted for the Jurassic Park River Adventure (a ride I had been really looking forward to). That ride had to be one of my favorites purely for the giant, super-realistic dinosaur animatronics. We did get soaked, but it was worth it!

a pretty scary set of teeth behind us…

After the River Adventure and hopping on Spider-man one more time, we were totally worn out and ready to make the trek back to the bus station to get to our hotel.

Day 2 was a huge success, and we enjoyed every single minute. Honestly, I’d take a trip back down to Orlando just for the Harry Potter part of the parks.

As always, thank you for reading! If you enjoyed Entry #1 and #2, make sure to stay tuned for Entry #3 coming soon!

Stay sweet, Sophia ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s