Hogwarts, Hogwarts and more Hogwarts!
Part of the reason why we crossed from the east coast to the west was... as you guessed it, for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Sorry in advance for the avalanche of pics! I was so excited!
Mandatory tourist shot but this is practically the only photo from the park that is NOT Harry Potter-related.
First stop, lunch at the Three Broomsticks!
Then it's off for shopping and more shopping at Hogsmeade.
Got my own Hedwig too!
Probably the most magical moment of my life wtf. I was genuinely surprised at how the wand worked at certain parts of the park.
The entire place is actually essentially divided into two sections - the Hogsmeade village where you can see shops like Zonko's Joke Shop, Honeydukes, Ollivanders and the Owl Post come to life, and of course, the Hogwarts castle.
There are two rides here, a family-friendly (i.e. meant for kids, we skipped this) Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride housed inside Hogwarts - tbh, this centerpiece attraction didn't impress me. I feel that it didn't capture much of the magic (so to speak) from the books or movies and was too focused on being an impressive theme park ride. Well, I suppose it's a theme park after all and not everybody who heads there is a Harry Potter fan.
I am, however, very impressed by how the park brilliantly monetised things by centring the attraction around Hogsmeade - you'll inevitably end up spending a lot of money buying things you don't exactly need...
Like chocolate frogs
And every flavour beans!!!
(Ok, this, you need.)
Oh ya. Moaning Myrtle was in the ladies'!
Some random cute kid lol.
Picking my own wand at Ollivanders!
The rest of the theme park... was unmemorable. As evident from my lack of pics. Except for this giant ball of diabetes...
Because everything for the 'gram.
This was at Springfield aka Simpsons land.
Is the park worth visiting? Yes, if you're a Harry Potter fan. The queues were minimal, as compared to USJ Osaka. I had bought a 2-day pass to play safe but ended up spending less than half a day there. But maybe that's only me? Because a lot of stuff like The Walking Dead weren't relatable to me... I don't even watch Simpsons! Lol. I thoroughly enjoyed the Studio Tour though but that's cause of the informative aspects as it took us through a working movie studio and various film sets on the lot.
And for Butterbeer!!!
They have by far the best rendition of the beverage. Sweet (the LHL won't approve kinda sweet lol) but good.
Ending this post with my favourite picture from that day. I wanted to take a "chio pic" with my Butterbeer but this couple decided to get all amorous at that very second too wtf. What are the odds?
Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, USA
(Though I'm pretty sure this info is easily available via Google lol.)