The boys and I had never been to Universal Studios, so when I saw that AAA had a good deal on season passes, I decided it was time to check it out. We ended up going for today and staying the night to go again tomorrow.

We hit most the rides during a long and exhausting day. We also went on the studio tour, where you took a tram around various movie sets.

Hogsmeade, which is the Harry Potter portion of the park, was our favorite area. I started reading to books to the boys a few months ago, so it was awesome seeing the books come to life around us.


We spent most the day catching shows we didn’t see yesterday: The Waterworld, Movie Effects, and Animal Actors shows. We also ate our lunch in Hogsmeade, which is where I took all the photos for the day.


A little over a week ago, my Grandma passed away, at the age of 96. It was hard on all of us, but especially the boys, who had grown very close to her and are too young to really understand death. So, Aliciana and I decided to give the boys a happy memory to help offset the sadness.

We traveled up to Universal Studios, and made sure to see Ollivander’s wand matching ceremony, where a wand is picked out for an audience member. Afterwards, they let you out in the wand shop, where they have about 50 different types of (very expensive) wands, which allow you to perform spells at interactive spots in Hogsmeade.

While walking around the shop, I told the boys to each pick out their favorite wand, and I would buy it for them. The looked at me with blank stares… they didn’t believe me. Only after several moments did they realize I was serious and they got excited. The boys spent the rest of the afternoon practicing our magic spells.

Connor’s favorite ride is Transformers, so we had to go save the Allspark, before heading back to Hogsmeade for dinner at the Three Broomsticks. Then we did some more spell casting, rode on the Harry Potter rides a bunch, and saw the light show they project on Hogwarts castle. It was a very magical day.


We got in one last trip to Universal before our annual passes expired. The boys got to try “butterbeer” (a drink from the Harry Potter books), which tasted like extremely sweet butterscotch soda.