“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” A First timers Pre-trip report July 2020

mdsouth

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
This quote of Dumbledore fits this trip and my feelings about it perfectly! This trip will be my daughter and I's first trip to Universal. It will be a fun, exciting adventure for us as we journey from the world of muggles to walk the streets of Hogsmeade.

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This is my daughter whom I am surprising with this trip! I have yet to figure out when and how I will reveal the trip to her. Her birthday is in late March so I think I will surprise her then. Our trip is July 3rd and 4th, 2020.
 

macraven

Proud Redhead
Moderator
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Woot!
I’m in for the read

I’m sure it will be a great surprise telling her about the trip on her bday
 


mdsouth

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Backstory -

My daughter has been a big Potter fan for years and has been saying she would love to go someday. Last April, her marching band director said that the band would be going to the Outback Bowl Dec 2019 and would get to go to Universal while there were there. She was super excited. We had her signed up and ready to go but then the band director cancelled the trip back in September of this year when there was not enough students signed up to go on the trip. It was a huge disappointment for both of us because I had decided to go to Disney at the time they would be in Florida and watch the Outback parade on New Year's Eve.

So, I decided I just needed to make her dream happen and mine too. We were last at WDW six years ago in February 2014 when my son's marching band marched in the Magic Kingdom. I have booked this trip as a split one between WDW and Universal.

I just booked us in the Royal Pacific so we can have two days at Universal with park to park tickets and unlimited express pass. I figure we are really going to need the express pass with the fourth of July crowds.
 
  • mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    Woot!
    I’m in for the read

    I’m sure it will be a great surprise telling her about the trip on her bday
    Thanks for joining me! I started this pre-trip report so I can bounce ideas off of you all here on the Dis as to how we should structure our two days to get the most out of our trip. It is nice to know someone is following along!
     

    mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    Looking for suggestions on which of the two parks at Universal we should start our trip with. I am thinking that we need to start with the one with the Hogsmeade shops since that is where Harry first went when Hagrid was with him. I have a feeling that she might enjoy picking out a wand of her own.
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Many will agree with you on that

    Start at that park

    Do the wand show and hopefully she will be chosen and have the wand pick her
    (naturally you’ll have to pay for the wand but it would be delightful if she is the chosen person in that short Potter event)
     

    schumigirl

    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    Joined
    May 15, 2007
    Looking forward to reading along.

    Yes, a pre trip will give you some extra excitement too......we can all understand that!! And good idea to reveal the trip on her birthday......that’ll be extra special!!
     
  • christophfam

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2002
    First trip for a Harry Potter fan! SO exciting!! I’m glad you decided to take her on this trip, she’ll love it! You’ll actually need to start in Diagon Alley to do it as Harry did. There is a great post - Wizarding World Touring Plans and Details that I just bumped up for you to look at. A lot of good ideas in there!
     

    mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    First trip for a Harry Potter fan! SO exciting!! I’m glad you decided to take her on this trip, she’ll love it! You’ll actually need to start in Diagon Alley to do it as Harry did. There is a great post - Wizarding World Touring Plans and Details that I just bumped up for you to look at. A lot of good ideas in there!
    Thank you so much for finding and bumping this thread for me. It is exactly the ideas I was looking for. I am looking forward to this trip. I will have to go through it all and make notes to what I should try to prioritize for our trip.
     

    mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    Looking forward to reading along.

    Yes, a pre trip will give you some extra excitement too......we can all understand that!! And good idea to reveal the trip on her birthday......that’ll be extra special!!
    I am going to try to think of a creative way to surprise her with the trip. For Christmas, I bought her sweats and a t-shirt - Hufflepuff since that is the house she associates with. For her birthday surprise, I am thinking of trying to make some type of letter similar to the one Harry received in the first book and have it reveal the trip. I might have to get some chocolate frogs too. I remember seeing some at Barnes and Noble before. They also carry a bunch of HP stuff so I plan to check them out for ideas.
     
    Last edited:

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Your daughter has the bestest mom...

    Take a look at the trip reports sticky

    There have been a few that talk about their time in the Potter sections
    Maybe you can find some tips there that have not been discussed in our general threads
     
  • Polyonmymind

    UOAP#1
    Joined
    May 16, 2012
    I am going to try to think of a creative way to surprise her with the trip. For Christmas, I bought her sweats and a t-shirt - Hufflepuff since that is the house she associates with. For her birthday surprise, I am thinking of trying to make some type of letter similar to the one Harry received in the first book and have it reveal the trip. I might have to get some chocolate frogs too. I remember seeing some at Barnes and Noble before. They also carry a bunch of HP stuff so I plan to check them out for ideas.
    All sounds pretty awesome... the hardest part to all of this is keeping the surprise a surprise. I look forward to reading along, and I hope the two of you have the bestest trip ever!
     

    nouvellefleur

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2017
    I am going to try to think of a creative way to surprise her with the trip. For Christmas, I bought her sweats and a t-shirt - Hufflepuff since that is the house she associates with. For her birthday surprise, I am thinking of trying to make some type of letter similar to the one Harry received in the first book and have it reveal the trip. I might have to get some chocolate frogs too. I remember seeing some at Barnes and Noble before. They also carry a bunch of HP stuff so I plan to check them out for ideas.
    On Amazon, there's a really cute officially licensed luggage tag that looks like the Hogwarts Express Platform 9 3/4 ticket. You can also buy a replica ticket itself from places like Etsy, but the luggage tag is a bit more permanent and reusable. It might be a cute little extra, and a souvenir, to tuck into her birthday surprise!
     

    mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    On Amazon, there's a really cute officially licensed luggage tag that looks like the Hogwarts Express Platform 9 3/4 ticket. You can also buy a replica ticket itself from places like Etsy, but the luggage tag is a bit more permanent and reusable. It might be a cute little extra, and a souvenir, to tuck into her birthday surprise!
    What a great idea! I will have to get it. Then she will have it for this trip and other trips as a souvenir.
     

    Deb1993

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2019
    I'm so excited for you both!!! Such a wonderful trip. We love Universal (DH53, DD16, DS14, DS13) and while we're there there are always times that just me and DD16 will wonder into the parks without the boys and those times are the best! I purchased personalized letters from Etsy to give to my children on their 11th birthdays along with a plush. You fill out a questionnaire online and the letter comes with the seal and is addressed with their room name / color, etc. It comes with the book list and train ticket.
     

    mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    I'm so excited for you both!!! Such a wonderful trip. We love Universal (DH53, DD16, DS14, DS13) and while we're there there are always times that just me and DD16 will wonder into the parks without the boys and those times are the best! I purchased personalized letters from Etsy to give to my children on their 11th birthdays along with a plush. You fill out a questionnaire online and the letter comes with the seal and is addressed with their room name / color, etc. It comes with the book list and train ticket.
    Great idea! I was looking at making or getting the acceptance letter and platform ticket and thinking about getting Hedwig along with some HP candy I saw on amazon for her birthday reveal surprise. Love all the ideas everyone is sharing!
     

    mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    Okay, I need some advise from you all. Should we try to go to Three Broomsticks for a meal while there and if so which one do you prefer and what do you like to order?

    Or what about the Leaky Cauldron?

    Anywhere else?

    We will be staying at the Royal Pacific, any good food options there? Since we will only be at Universal two days, I doubt we will have time or want to use time away from the park or our resort to to to CityWalk. I figure we can always check out City Walk some other time.
     

    Deb1993

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2019
    In all our visits we have never eaten at Three Broomsticks or Leaky Cauldron so I can't help you there. As far as CityWalk goes, it is SO close to your hotel (walking) and there are many restaurants (Antojitos, Vivo, CowFish, etc.,) that you will be spoiled for choice. RPH also has nice dining options. You will be at CityWalk every time you go to either park. Hope that helps a little.
     

    nouvellefleur

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2017
    I preferred the options at the Leaky Cauldron - their menu is just a little different than TTB. The bangers sandwich, the shepherd's pie, and the Guinness beef stew were all big hits with my group. SchumiGirl's reports have really good things to say about the dining options at RP and Sapphire Falls - you should definitely check them out! The Wok Experience might be a good option for you guys?
     

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