Universal Studios was directly on our way to Key West. Since Nic is a huge Harry Potter fan, we thought that we would stop there so that she could see the new Harry Potter World that they put up there.
They divided the Harry Potter World across two different theme parks, Universal Florida and Islands of Adventure, so that you would have to pay for both worlds to get the full Harry Potter experience. It didn’t much matter to us, since the Islands of Adventure part of Harry Potter World is a roller coaster. Nic hates roller coasters, so we opted for just the Universal Studios theme park. That side has Diagon Alley.
Diagon Alley is a (I think) full size reproduction from the movies. It has shops where you can buy wands and use the wands to interact with various bits of scenery throughout the park. It also has the usual gift and food shops. You can even get Butter Beer! To help adults keep their sanity, they also had Wizards Brew, a fairly strong stout and other adult beverages. Butter Beer tastes like a buttery cream soda. It is really good and if they don’t bottle it to sell it, they should. Nic really loved the stuff.
Gringotts Bank has a cinematic ride inside of it that puts you in the middle of a 3D movie scene with the original Harry Potter actors as holograms. Escape from Gringotts was impressive and a lot of fun.
For lunch we ate at a Harry Potter favorite, The Leaky Cauldron. It served traditional British fare. I had fish and chips and Nic had a shepard’s pie. The food was good, but as you might have already guessed, it wasn’t cheap.
There was a lot more to universal than just Harry Potter world. I solo rode a couple of roller coasters. The Fast and Furious made me wish I had my nephews with me. It was full of fast cars, girls, and explosions. All the best stuff.
At about 2 in the afternoon, we had seen all of the park that there was to see and so we hopped back in the van and got back on the road toward the Keys.