Muggles: the original basic bitches

Muggles: the original basic bitches


This past weekend, Mike and I celebrated 5 years of being a thing. Naturally, my contribution to the festivities was a surprise excursion to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Needless to say, it was the best Sunday Funday I’ve ever had — srsly tho. For anyone planning to attend in the near future, I’ve collected together some bits of possibly useful headfluff below. For anyone who can’t physically attend, I’m so very sorry. I can’t even begin to imagine the depths of your inner turmoil, and hope my amateur photojournaling below can ease the pains in your soul.

Practical things I learned at TWW:

  • Front of Line Passes were 1000% worth it. This was especially apparent for The Forbidden Journey ride (which was positively insane). With FoL access, you get to enter Hogwarts through a separate, private entrance, and have your own access lane which brings you closest to all of the attractions in the castle (including Dumbledore’s office and the Fat Lady portrait). Also, nothing makes you feel more 1%-pureblood than sweeping past the HOARDS of general ticket holders waiting to ride. Like, multiple rooms composed of queues. And btw, this was before 9AM on Sunday.
    *Edit: FYI, there are only two rides in TWW, but you can use FoL everywhere else in Universal. I decided the FoL passes were worthwhile because I was counting on us being quite hungover, and I think we would’ve burned out pretty quickly waiting 2 hours to ride TFJ…also, I’m the most impatient person you’ll ever meet. So FoL might not be worthwhile if you’re fine waiting in lines/not going at a peak time/not planning to do other things in the park 🙂
  • Get there as early as you can. This might change as the months pass post-official-opening, but I’d still recommend it depending on which day of the week you decide to go. We arrived around 8:45AM on Sunday, which is 45 minutes after early entry begins (for ticket holders) and 15 minutes before the park officially opens at 9AM. When we got to Hogsmeade, the crowds had already begun assembling — and, as I mentioned, the Forbidden Journey general entry line was LONG (and it’s by far the most popular attraction).
  • Go on The Forbidden Journeyand maybe don’t wear flip flops or glasses. Or if you do, you should kind of clench your sandals with your toes on the ride, cuz your feet will be hanging and it would be sad to lose a shoe to the dragon. If you’re not familiar with this ride, it’s pretty much a bad-ass fusion of virtual and IRL flying. You wear a pair of 3D quidditch goggles for the virtual bits, so I would opt for contact lenses over glasses (unless you’re the kind of person who’s fine wearing glasses to 3D movies).
  • Eat at the Three Broomsticks. It was fucking good! We weren’t really interested in breakfast because it seemed pretty standard, although I’m sure it would’ve tasted good. They start serving lunch at 11AM, so if you’re a perptually hungry, bottomless-pit like me, you should wait in the little queue area outside the restaurant. The fare is all charmingly Brit-themed (bangers & mash, shepherd’s pie, etc.) and there should be something for everyone.
  • There are trace amounts of whey in the Butterbeer — but only in the topping. Because it’s a licensed signature drink, they can’t actually serve it to you without the topping (LOL), but if you get the frozen version you can still taste it because it’s so thick the foam just sits on top. YAY, IT’S SORT OF DAIRY-FREE.
  • If you say “Voldemort” out loud, the Hogsmeade workers will chastise you. The people who work in The Wizarding World commit to the bit to varying degrees, but this one was upheld pretty much across the board. I started throwing Voldy’s name around a lot just so I could respond with FEAR OF A NAME INCREASES FEAR OF THE THING ITSELF (CUNT).
  • If you want to do the Ollivanders Experience, maybe get it out of the way on the early side (but only after you’ve done The Forbidden Journey). So here’s the thing. There’s the Ollivanders shop where you can buy your wand (because why the fuck would you go to Harry Potter World and not buy a wand?)…and then there’s a separate location next door for what they call the “Ollivanders Experience.” For this, you wait in a queue and are ushered into the space in small groups. Be warned: this line can get long (at times over an hour wait), and FoL inexplicably doesn’t apply here. Also, if it’s a hot and sunny day, be prepared to get baked as the queue is largely in the open. When you finally get inside, you get to watch a demonstration of the “wand choosing the wizard,” which in our case was kind of a sad and disheartening experience. The Wandmaker chose a member of our group who was very exuberant but knew less than nothing about HP. When asked to wave his wand, he yelled “ABRA CADABRA!” and I died a little bit inside.
  • Get an interactive wand. When you select a wand, you can get either a plain replica (silver label) or an interactive version (gold label). This was a no-brainer for us. We both got interactive wands and then giddily ran around Hogsmeade casting spells. The wands come with a map to show where you can cast them, but all you really need to do is look near shop windows for a small plaque on the ground, which shows you which spell to cast and how to swish-and-flick your wand to make shit happen. It’s not as easy as it sounds though, and I had some trouble in the beginning…but I got there in the end.
  • Don’t antagonize the Monster Book. It doesn’t actually react to stimuli, just has outbursts at regularly timed intervals 😀

2 Comments

Add yours
  1. Alice

    Errmahgerrd! It all looks amazing, you lucky duck! Also, watch that elder wand :/ one day I’ll get to walk those same paths.
    One day. In the meantime I have to settle for friends doing merch runs for me \o/

+ Leave a Comment