Good morning friends and Happy Monday! I’m writing to you from 30,000 ft as we are on our way home from Orlando back to Chicago. We had the BEST weekend visiting the Harry Potter parks in Orlando – so much to share! I fully indulged in all things theme park and had my fair share of butter beer! If you ever have the chance to visit the park in Orland, I HIGHLY recommend it – it was so thoughtful and every detail was accounted for!
As we head back to Chicago, it’s back to cold weather gear – I’m protecting myself from the Chicago wind chill with this perfect T and J Designs tweed cape. Layering doesn’t need to translate to bulky – in Chicago it’s all about mastering the art of chic layering.
- Make sure to buy the Park to Park pass since the Harry Potter areas are split between two parks. We chose to see if over two days, but it can be done in one if you hustle.
- We stayed at a Universal property which had shuttles to and from the park and early admission to the Harry Potter sections – this is so worth it if you are impatient like me.
- Start with Universal Studios were they created a London facade. You can then enter the experience through London and travel to Diagon Alley like Harry would have (geeking out over this).
- There are so many fun little things to look out for – I used these sites as a reference (here and here).
- Dragon Alley was amazing, we took a few hours to walk around the entire space and walk in to every store – I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss a thing!
- Try the Butter beer!! It comes three different ways – hot, cold and frozen. I recommend trying it hot and requesting a shot of Fireball Whisky on the side. Sure makes the day of screaming kids much easier.
- Make sure to buy some candy from the Weezley shop and YOU MUST get the ice cream – I got the Earl Grey and Lavender flavor. MMMmmmmm! We also stocked up on Every Flavour Beans, Peppermint Flies and other unusual candies.
- If you are like me and hate waiting in lines, ride all the rides first and then do the “sightseeing”. The lines are much shorter in the morning and makes for a better waiting experience. We also used the Universal App to monitor wait times – yes, we hate waiting that much 🙂
- After Diagon Alley, we hopped on the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmede! Don’t edit any of your Insta photos while on the train – there is so much to see outside the window on the way to Hogwarts 🙂
- Once we arrived in Hogsmede, I was floored! It looked exactly like the actual Hogsmede!!
- We of course, had another butter beer. Duh.
- Olivanders is a must – even if you don’t plan to buy a wand. The wands do work in certain areas of the park – how cool!!
- We ended the Harry Potter excursion with a tour and ride in the Hogwarts castle.
Yes, this is the brief version, but you get the idea. It’s worth the trip, and cost, and I highly recommend it!
These Ivanka Trump beauties were the perfect navy accessory to this black and white look – the navy and black color block on the shoe is my favorite and truly ties in all the colors. This ASOS hat is a great Fall / Winter go to. The regal color makes it easy to pair with just about anything, even black.