• Emma Harris

My Senior Trip to Universal

Updated: Jan 12

I am going to ask in advance that you do not judge me. This was the most fun I have ever had on a trip and I am still thankful for the opportunity to go. 


For most people, a senior trip means going to the beach with your friends.

I am not most people.


My senior trip was to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


I am one of the biggest Harry Potter fans you will ever meet, from having a wand to too much house pride (Go Hufflepuff!). So when my mom surprised me with this trip, to say I was excited is an understatement. This trip was a dream come true.


The trip down is no joke. Tip from someone who hates long car rides: Take the plane. It’s a 10-hour drive. We did get lucky with sunny skies for most of the trip down. 

The Archway of Universal Studios

Our first day in the park was something I will never forget. We actually couldn’t find our way into Diagon Alley. We noticed a lot of people going behind this wall beside the train station and decided to investigate. 


What did we find? Nothing short of amazing and magical.


In reality, we should have known that something was up. Outside of that wall was the Knight Bus and Number 12 Grimmauld Place. 

Grimmauld Place.
The triple-decked Knight Bus.
Yes. A fire-breathing dragon.

This dragon sits on top of Gringotts bank and breathes fire every 15 minutes. People would stand below and wait for it. You could feel the heat from the ground.


The bank is actually a ride. I will not spoil anything about the ride itself, but I will say that it was a ton of fun and one of my favorites at the park.


There is actually another part of The

Wizarding World at the other park. But how does one get there you may ask? By riding the Hogwarts Expres of course! 


The Hogwarts Express

The train is straight out of the books and movies. It was surreal. It takes you to Hogsmeade, where you are transported into a winter wonderland. The Hogwarts castle is also there. 


Just being there felt like a dream. Then I got to be a part of it all. I actually got to do the Wand Ceremony at Ollivander’s. I am not allowed to tell you what goes on during the ceremony, but it is incredible. I did have a wand choose me, which is super cool. 

In Diagon Alley, you can cast spells in shop windows!

They actually have places around both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley where you can cast spells. This was honestly just a lot of fun. 


They have so many things from the books and movies, including an animal shop full of stuffed versions of your favorite mythical creatures. 


I honestly couldn't help myself. This is what happens when you have no impulse control. I got a Niffler and named it Newt. :)


One does not simply go to Harry Potter world and not get Butterbeer. I mean this when I say I wish I had some while writing this. Personal opinion: the frozen Butterbeer is better. If you get a chance to go, try both and see for yourself. 


I like to think of Universal as the Hot Topic of amusement parks in the sense that it has so many different fandoms in one place. They have the Simpsons, Spongebob, Marvel attractions and Jurassic Park. All of the highlights are below.

Enjoying Butterbeer and the Scenery
Catching Baby Dinos
Then Catching a Big Pink Doughnut

All in all, this was easily the most fun I have ever had. I am so grateful for my mom who took me and rode every ride. Our favorites were definitely Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Escape from Gringotts.


If you get a chance to go, make sure you take the time to do everything. There is a lot of things that are in both parks that I didn’t mention here. You’ll have to go, explore and experience it for yourself.


I promise that you won’t regret it.


Safe travels! 

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