As I stated in a previous post for my birthday I decided to do two things I really wanted.
- to go to the usa
- go to the wizarding world of harry potter.
I was able to combine these two together and have a great break away and a nice birthday. In order to make this possible I did do quiet a bit of researching, comparing prices and what packages included, things like hotel transfers and such. In the end I booked the hotel, flights and hotel transfers with British airways. I booked the park tickets separately from another website as they were not only cheaper this way but thanks to them being 2 park bonus tickets it allowed us to travel between the two parks without having to pay anything extra. these included entry to the parks, access to all the rides and travel between the parks. I will say the first part of this trip was slightly stressful as I nearly thought we wouldn’t make our flight despite leaving the house super early. Checking in our bags was pretty quick and so was going through security allowing us time to relax before our flight. this is the first time I’ve flown from Gatwick, and overall its pretty good airport, quite a few shops, plenty of places to eat or grab a drink. my only niggling point is that it could do with areas where you could charge your phone. the flight itself was an eight hour flight, so knowing it was a long haul flight I prepared, my kindle was loaded with books I had not had a chance to read, there was a music playlist on my phone, I had my cosy socks and I had already looked up what flight entertainment there would be available. I would defiantly recommend cosy socks, there much more comfortable then a pair of shoes, and they keep your feet warm on a cold plane. I don’t know what its like flying with other companies or in other classes as we were in economy ( not much leg room), but we were provided with a thin blanket, a small pillow, a pair of headphones a cheap toothbrush, all sealed up of course. during the flight we were provided with snacks and a hot meal, overall the flight wasn’t that bad but I was glad to land and stretch my legs. the security at the airport took forever, it was nearly an hour queuing just to be seen by security so we could collect our bags only to have to go through a second security check. after that it didn’t take us long to locate our hotel transfer and we were on our way to the hotel. as we wouldn’t be staying in our room much we had opted for a cheap hotel and room. our first night we thought we look around to see what was near by and grab some food which ended up being McDonalds as both of us wanted to eat and get some sleep. as planned we spend most of our time at the parks, which were huge and something I think uk parks can learn from. they sell the big reusable cups with give you unlimited refills through out the day and with over 100 drink choices, I would say that’s great value, if you wanted an additional days refills it was about 6 dollars but still that’s cheap when you consider one drink alone can cost you over 3 dollars. anyway the main reason for visiting the parks was of course harry potter. they had put so much work in to the little details, a few things were wrong but that’s me being a picky harry potter fan. as well as all the rides, ( we went on nearly all of them ), the shops and food outlets there was also areas where performances would take place through out the day. the staff were dressed like they were from the wizarding world and most even got in to character. the transport between both parks is the Hogwarts express and something magical happens on board, I wont spoil it and say what but it added to the whole experience. we did eat at the leaky cauldron and the menu was suppose to be classic British I think but as a brit I felt slightly offended by it. the drinks all have a magical name and this is where I got to taste butter beer for the first time. it was very sweet almost on the borderline of sickly sweet. I did buy a wand while I was there, it was not a character one, but one I felt drawn to and it was interactive so it allowed me to perform some spells in both hogs mead and diagon alley. I also did treat myself to a few other trinkets and what not, like a t-shirt, marauders lanyard for my pass, interactive marauders map, a chocolate wand and bertie botts every flavour beans. it would have been so easy to buy everything there even though things are quite expensive but I decided I would hold off on buying to much as I plan to not only go to the studios later this year but I am already planning another trip back to universal. I was sad to leave as I would totally live in the harry potter world if you let me, the flight back unfortunately was not pleasant as we had turbulence for practically the whole flight back which is not ideal for an eight hour flight but overall I loved it and would high recommend it to anyone, the parks cater for everyone of all ages, there are parent swap points at the rides, and so many different areas like, Jurassic, Arabian, doctor suess, super heroes, Simpsons, minions, Shrek and loads more. there are hotels on sight an shuttle buses from hotels to the park.