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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Orlando, FL


Since Brandon + I’s honeymoon to Cancun, Mexico in 2013, we started a bucket list of travels we wanted to take. The very first thing on our list was to visit Universal Studios (more specifically Harry Potter World) as soon as we could afford it. We even turned our spare change jar into our “Orlando Fund” – complete with letter stickers that read “Orlando” on the side of it. Yep, we’re those people. But the change jar wasn’t cutting it – Universal Studios tickets aren’t cheap! So we opened a “vacation” account at the bank and began putting away what we could, when we could. When Meredith + Jordan asked us to travel with them for their St. Pete’s destination wedding, we knew it was fate and decided to make it work while we would already be in the state! We left four days before the wedding to stay at the super fun Cabana Bay Resort, but as an HP fan, the highlight was visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

You guys. I cried. 

Yep. You read that right. Staying at a Universal Studios resort we had early admission to the park and you bet your bottom dollar I was up at sunrise to be there! We headed straight for Harry Potter World (well after a Starbucks run) just as the sun was rising, and the first entrance into Diagon Alley is EVERYTHING. The sounds, smells, and thoughts of “finally!” were overwhelming and as Brandon laughed at me, I teared up! Anyways. I wanted to soak it all up and be totally in the moment, so we took the camera on day two for photos not on the iPhones! I am excited to share with you, and even more excited to go back someday!

Here We Go!

We stayed at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort while in Orlando, which has a REALLY cool retro vibe, even in the Starbucks Coffee Lounge! The diner food was delicious and old black and white commercials played on projectors. Brandon loved looking at the vintage cars they have sitting in the parking lot too!

From the big camera:cabana bay beach resort retro orlando

Off to the pool!pool time husband wife personal orlando vacation torrid swimsuit

After a few hours at the pool, we headed off to visit the Universal Catwalk at sunset! So pretty!
orlando bus ride entrance universal studios at night panorama lake outside universal catwalk

Time for an early morning with early admission into the park! Thank god there was a Starbucks on site! early morning selfies starbucks orlando florida

I wanted to simply soak it all in on day one, so all of these shots are from my iPhone. Day 2 we took the camera for higher quality stuff. early admission tickets into universal harry potter olivanders wand shop elder wand entrance orlando vacation

The puppet show telling the Tale of the Three Brothers! puppet shoe three brothers three broomsticks breakfast fl universal marvel simpsons donut delcious

Is it a vacation without sushi?
sushi lovers selfie palm trees

Day TWO – with the big camera!
universal studios world entrance globe jimmy falon ride 3-d roller coaster britan's entrace knight bus hp fan the knight bus harry potter head hogsmead snowcap roof hogsmead train station rooftops building owlery owls harry potter hogwarts castle orlando universal studios florida kings cross station 9 3/4 entrance hedwig the owl suitcases hogwarts express train ride florida USA diagon alley brick wall move butterbeer harry potter dragon fire gringotts bank lit olivanders wand shop

Since we were there in October, the park shut down an hour early and reopened for their “Fright Fest” at night. Being the scaredy cat that I am, we didn’t visit at night as it was “The Purge” themed. universal decorated at halloween

Friday we rented a car to make the two hour trip to St. Petersburg, where the wedding was. We could see the “castle” as we went over the bridge! Of course classic food photos must happen, but I will say this place was AMAZING. drive to st. pete's beach

Location scouting for the big day! Isn’t he a hunk?! cute husband locations destination wedding photographers

Phew! We flew out earlyyyyy the day after the wedding. We can’t wait to go back! 

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