This February the girls had their very first international meet in Orlando Florida! 


And since the meet happened to be only 10 minutes from Universal Studios, we decided to add a day of Family Fun at Universal Studios before heading home from Florida.


Our oldest son has read the entire Harry Potter series more than once as well as some of the “bonus books”  like Fantastical Beasts and Quidditch Through the Ages… child number two got into the Harry Potter phase this fall and is currently reading book 5.  Child number three read books 1-4 a a year or so ago… she stopped on book 5 b/c it got too scary for her liking.  I have read through 5 but it was many years ago and I am fuzzy on details.  So, we decided the whole family needed to listen to the audiobook for book 1 on our 13 hour ride down to Florida, since we were going to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Jim Dale does a FABULOUS job of narrating it. It got us all in the mood for a day of Harry Potter magic.  (We were captivated and ended up listening to all of book 2 and a large portion of book 3 on our ride home). 

We started in Diagon Alley and went straight to Gringotts Bank.


Then we went to King Cross Station and found Platform 9 3/4.


and we rode the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade!

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It was so fun for us to see so many details from the book in real life! 



Even waiting in lines and exploring in shops was so fun!

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We had lunch at Three Broomsticks!


Then we set off to explore some of the other areas of Universal. 


The Superheroes were great fun!


They really took the time to talk to the kids.  Captain America was not happy to have our son tell him his favorite super hero was Falcon, but then he explained that it was b/c he loves animals and then he listened to him tell all about our pet animals. 


Rogue and Storm asked the girls if they were gymnasts.


Seuss Landing was a lot of fun… brought out my inner child and my inner elementary school teacher.



As evening approached we headed back to Hogsmeade for one more ride on Flight of the Hippogriff….

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When we got off we were in the perfect spot to wait for the evening light show at Hogwarts. 


What better way to pass the time waiting, then to enjoy a glass of the infamous butter beer!

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Then we headed back to Diagon Alley… stopping to visit with the Knight Bus driver, and make a call to the Ministry of Magic.

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And since they alley was much less crowded in the evening, we all had a chance to use the wand for some magic of our own.



Before we left, we made time for a quick pic with their teammates and friends!


It was a super fun filled day!  The next day we set off for North Carolina and a quick visit with friends.  They define SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY.  And while we didn’t have a lot of time to spend with them, we made good use of the time we had…

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The rest of the journey home flew by thanks to Jim Dale’s narration of Harry Potter Book 3.