A Family Forward Recap Part 2

One of the perks of going to Universal Orlando with Family Forward is that we got all sorts of perks. Some were just a perk of staying on site at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort (more on that tomorrow) such as early park admission to Harry Potter Wizarding World and Universal Express passes allowing you to bypass lines in almost every ride (a serious must. SERIOUSLY).

But others, like all sorts of fun photo opps with Universal characters (*another time I REALLY wish I put pics of my kids on the blog because cuteness abounds)




There were Minions and Transformers and Scooby Do and Curious George and also VERY. EXCITED. KIDDOS.

But the excitement over minions (which was pretty darn excited did not even come close to the excitement over our opening kick off party.

Because after they closed the entire park down, we got to enter Harry Potter Wizarding World all by ourselves. Well with all the other Family Forward attendees. But still. All the rides, all the stores, all the butterbeer. All to ourselves.

I took a million pictures and then looked and they all stunk because it was so dark. But it was one of the most amazing experiences and one that we will never forget. I mean look at Hogwarts Castle!!


It was magical. Universal got so many little touches right. There was Hogsmeade with Honeydukes and Three Broomsticks. Even the bathroom had Moaning Myrtle complaining while you went about your business.

From the entrance to Hogsmeade, with the Hogwarts Express billowing steam and whistling its arrival, through each shop and attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort is a one-of-a-kind, fully immersive theme park experience and the only place in the world that brings the magic of Harry Potter to life.

One step into Honeydukes and guests are transported into a world of Candyfloss, Pepper Imps and Sugar Quills. The scent of sugar wafts through the shop filled with brilliant confections. Children are captivated by the "Eyeball Bonanza" animated skeleton sweet machine and "Clippy's Clip Joint" liquorice hair-cutting machine. Guests can fill up a bag with the unique-tasting Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans - from the pleasant Pear, Marshmallow and Watermelon flavours, to the unexpected Fish, Pepper and Sausage. Guests can also collect the exclusive wizard cards (all four of the Hogwarts founders), with the purchase of delectable Chocolate Frogs.

In the Three Broomsticks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an enticing menu including shepherd’s pie, Cornish pasties and roasted potatoes awaits hungry guests. Families can share in the Great Feast – with an assortment of food for all to enjoy.


Ollivander’s Wand Shop technically belongs in Diagon Alley but I am so glad it is part of Wizarding World. Lily was chosen to experience Ollivander’s and I don’t want to ruin the experience but it is so amazing for any Harry Potter fan.

Visitors to the Ollivanders wand shop at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort will step into one of the most iconic scenes from the bestselling Harry Potter books and blockbuster feature films. With the assistance of a live actor along with amazing special effects, Ollivanders shop guests will witness an awe-inspiring moment from Harry Potter’s life – a wand will choose one of them. Visitors are also able to purchase Hero Wands (replica wands of those owned by Harry and his friends), collectible wand sets and “practice” wands for younger wizards.

not Lily, I was too mesmerized to take a picture

And don’t forget the butterbeer. My recommendation is to go for the frozen.

The magnificence of Hogwarts castle takes shape above Hogsmeade at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hogwarts is the home of the thrilling, new, state-of-the-art attraction - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - that uses ground-breaking technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced.

Everything is just done exactly like I would want it to be. And (FREAKING OUT) in 2014 they are adding on and building London and Diagon Alley. Diagon Alley and ‘London’ will be located within the Universal Studios Florida theme park. Then, just like in the books and films guests will be able to travel between ‘London’ and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express.

I cannot wait to go back and experience Harry Potter 2.0 with my Harry Potter loving family.

(Part 3 tomorrow where I cover the awesome Loews Royal Pacific Resort)


  1. I really hope they do this again next year. I would love to attend.

    I really enjoyed your recap and your photos!

  2. LOVE .. and so enjoyed hanging with you and your beautiful family.
    I have a gazillion pics all in my camera and a computer that does not want to download them.
    sisters from another mister recently posted…SeasonsMy Profile

  3. Can’t wait to see Diagon Alley in 2014 too! Loved every minute of Family Forward this year and it was great getting to know you and your family better! xoxo
    jyl from @momitforward recently posted…To the Ocean: A Family Trip to MexicoMy Profile

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