I just got back from a fun filled *magical* trip to Universal Studios Florida with Owner/Agent Jenn. Both Jenn and I are huge Harry Potter fans, and we hadn’t been there since the addition of Diagon Alley! If you are a Harry Potter fan you need to get yourself to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ASAP! We began our trip by checking into the Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel at The Universal Studios Resort. What a gorgeous resort! When you stay at the Loew’s Portofino Bay Resort, The Loew’s Hard Rock Hotel and The Loew’s Royal Pacific Hotel, you get the Universal Express pass for free. This is a huge deal - you don’t want to be at the park without it!
Portofino Bay is modeled after an Italian Resort that Stephen Spielberg stayed at during his honeymoon. It’s just beautiful you feel like you are walking into a villa in Italy, not central Florida. Our room was on the 2nd floor of the East Wing, and we had a view of the courtyard and bay. We were very excited to see that our room had a well-stocked Keurig coffee maker with to-go cups to take right into the parks!
The resort also has a beautiful pool/recreation area with a separate kids pool that is gated. You can also rent private pool cabanas. The cost for the cabanas varies based on the season.
There are several ways to get to the park from the hotel. A water taxi runs throughout the day and well into the night. The water taxi takes about 5-8 minutes to get you to the park. There is also a lovely pathway that you can take to walk to the parks. The path takes about 10 minutes.
Diagon Alley is located in the Universal Studios side of the resort. When you stay at an onsite resort you can get into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter 1 hour before the park opens! Before you get into Diagon Alley you enter into “London”.
Do yourself a favor and get a picture with the driver at the Night Bus! The shrunken head is interactive and actually will talk with you and ask you questions! Right across from the night bus you will see a familiar row of townhouses. Head to 12 Grimmauld place and knock on the door. Imagine our surprise when the house elf Kreatcher pulls back the curtain on the 2nd floor window and peeks out to see who is knocking!
I hate to admit it but we actually had a hard time finding Diagon Alley! Just like in the movie it is well hidden. I’m going to keep it a secret so you can stumble upon it yourself! Once we walked in saying we were blown away is an understatement! The attention to detail is so amazing! It truly does feel magical! Everything from the movies and books is represented here. The Daily Prophet, The Leaky Cauldron, Owl Post, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes and so much more!
This is where we will leave you today…. Next up our adventures continue in The Escape from Gringotts!
Have a Magical Day!
Lori & Jenn
For help planning your next vacation contact us today!