Universal Studios

I haven't been to Universal Studios since I was a kid myself. But with the Harry Potter area, I have been itching to go. With the kids getting a three week winter break, we decided to go to Universal Studios during the third week. On their website, it said it was a middle level of busy (there are three levels) and I was pleasantly surprised with how mild the crowds were. 

We started out in the Harry Potter area and it did not disappoint. Though, I must say that the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride was quite scary for kids. But, I would say that was the case with most of the rides at Universal. It's definitely a place for older children, rather than younger. However, we went into Ollivanders Wand Shop and that experience was just amazing! Connor and Isla were chosen to be fitted for wands. It took about five minutes and was so fun. After they let the crowd out of the room, they called us forward and offered for Callum to be fitted as well, but he was hesitant, so we said no. I thought it was cool that they offered to do it to him too, so he wouldn't feel left out. We ended up buying the interactive wands and that was a cool experience. Making fire come from a chimney, a door unlock, tea pour, etc. Definitely a highlight. Makes me want to go to Florida where there is an entire park dedicated to Harry Potter. 

Some of the other highlights were the "real" dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park area. You could interact with them and they would respond to you. The kids really liked that. There was also a play area down there that was a big hit with the kids. We did the studio tour. It is longer than I expected, just over an hour. But it was highly entertaining. There are some scary parts and Isla definitely wasn't a fan. There is also a play area and a couple smaller kid rides in the Despicable Me section, so we spent a fair bit of time over there. Callum really just likes playing anywhere there are kids! 

Given the ages of our children and that Universal and Disneyland are basically the same price, I would do Disneyland over Universal. Though, that hurts my heart a little because the (small) Harry Potter area was so cool! Also, the parking situation at Universal was better, there was Starbucks IN the park...along with other chains like Panda Express. And, their characters did an amazing job at interacting with the kids. Frankenstein playing peek-a-boo with Willa was a highlight. But Disneyland is significantly bigger, so yeah.

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