The Bourne Stuntacular at Universal Studios Florida is Now Open

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

The Bourne Stuntacular at Universal Studios Florida
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The Bourne Stuntacular in Universal Studios Florida delivers a hybrid form of entertainment that has never been seen before. Here are all the details about the all-new live-action stunt show.

You’ll Be Surrounded By Your Favorite Scenes AND Actual Props From The Bourne Films

As you walk into the queue of the attraction, one of the first things you will see are images of your favorite scenes from “The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.” You will also see Jason’s go-to form of transportation in “The Bourne Ultimatum” — his motorcycle.

Experience An Original Storyline That Takes Place Within The Bourne Universe

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You’ll pass through security scanners into mission headquarters where you’ll be welcomed and briefed by Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), Jason Bourne’s main confidant who helps him remember his past. Nicky, who can’t be in the field, will ask for your help tracking Bourne to ensure he does not get fooled by rogue double agents.

Then, as you enter the theater, you’ll join Jason Bourne as he travels across three continents and the cities of Tangier, Washington D.C. and Dubai, to uncover classified information all while trying to evade capture at every turn.

Extreme Stunts = Extreme Action

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The stunts in The Bourne Stuntacular are next-level and here are a few reasons why:

  • The principal stunt trainers have doubled for A-list celebrities in some of the most popular action films and TV shows of all time. They have been working closely with the cast to deliver stunts that rival what can be seen in blockbuster films.
  • By the time the show opens, the performers and technicians will have trained and rehearsed for more than eight months to prepare and learn the intricate technical systems and maneuvers.
  • Two high free-falls – one reaching 22 feet from atop a Dubai apartment building.
  • There is as much action behind-the-curtain as there is on stage, with performers interacting with high-tech props beneath the stage on lifts, from the sides on automated traveling scenery like an apartment high-rise, and from overhead on a helicopter, a wrecking ball, ladders, and much more. It got to the point where I realized I kept turning my head in every direction just to keep up with the movements.

Without giving away too many spoilers, there is a scene where the character of Jason Bourne is being chased on a motorcycle when suddenly both the screen and Bourne go from normal speed to slow motion.

Cutting-Edge Technology You Have to See to Believe

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The Bourne Stuntacular features some of the most advanced technology of its kind, like automated vehicle-tracking-systems, pinpoint-accurate projection mapping, and more. Fun-facts about the tech:

  • There is an immense LED screen measuring 3,640-square feet at 130-feet wide and 28-feet tall. This is code for one really, really, really BIG screen.
  • Advanced projection mapping works seamlessly alongside the cinema of the show, projecting pin-point accurate images on top of moving scenes.
  • One of the largest action show structures ever created for a Universal show – the car lift – sits beneath the stage and measures nearly 20 feet tall. The lift is capable of lifting and rotating two vehicles 280-degrees and raising and lowering each car independently from seven feet beneath the stage to above stage level. Putting this into perspective, when I watched the show the first time I had no idea there was anything beneath the stage, let alone two cars and a 20-foot wide structure that they operate on. All I saw were two cars suddenly racing, which left me wondering, “how did those get on stage?!”

You Won’t Just Watch The Action Unfold – You Will Feel It

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Rounding out the experience are captivating practical effects that will make you feel like you’re right by Jason Bourne’s side through the use of fire, smoke, wind and more, including:

  • Eight moving set-pieces ranging from a three-wheeled motorcycle, a tower in a Tangier marketplace, and the front entrance of a grand mansion.
  • Gusts of wind as a helicopter travels overhead, the blast of a steam boiler, and several other explosions, including flames reaching a height of 20 feet.

Plus, Universal’s Entertainment and Creative Teams have been working hand-in-hand with the filmmakers and producers that worked on the Bourne film franchise to create an authentic and action-packed experience that will fully immerse you in the world of Bourne.

Let us know in the comments below what you’re most pumped to see at The Bourne Stuntacular at Universal Orlando Resort. The chase is on!

Orlando water parks

Beat the Heat and Cool Off at These 5 Orlando Water Parks

Orlando water parks

Central Florida is warm almost year round so it’s the perfect place to plan a water park visit! Whether you call central Florida home or are vacationing at one of their world class theme parks, you can always cool off at these Orlando water parks.

Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Volcano Bay is Universal Orlando Resort’s water theme park. Volcano Bay is probably unlike any water park that you’ve ever visited. At the center of the park you’ll find Krakatau volcano, which also houses the Krakatau Aqua Coaster. You can enjoy body slides, drop slides, tube slides, raft rides, lazy river, and so much more. Your kids will love the Puka Uli Lagoon, featuring playful, interactive elements like bongo drums and spraying jets of water.

Volcano Bay uses TapuTapu wearable technology for guests to take advantage of virtual lines, make cashless payment,s, and more. When you arrive at Volcano Bay™, you’ll receive a complimentary TapuTapu™ to wear on your wrist throughout your visit. It’s your key to having an amazing day—you’ll use it to ride most of the attractions, activate interactive surprises, open rental lockers, make cash-free payments and more.

You can visit Volcano Bay or add it to your Universal Orlando Resort vacation with a three park ticket. Plus, now through August 13, 2020, you will receive two days FREE at Universal with the purchase of a two day ticket. These tickets must be used by December 18, 2020 and do not have any blockout dates.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Typhoon Lagoon is home to the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool, North America’s largest wave pool. The kids will love Bay Slides, twin body slides designed just for them and explore the Ketchakiddee Creek water play area. Thrill seekers can plunge down one of 3 Storm Slides; brave Mayday Falls, the highest and longest waterslide at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon; shoot the chute on Crush ‘n’ Gusher, the coaster-like raft ride; or race down Mount Mayday at a 60-degree angle on Humunga Kowabunga body slides. The whole family can float around the park in the Castaway Creek lazy river; enjoy a thrilling, whitewater voyage aboard a 4-person raft on Miss Adventure Falls; or enjoy a swift, scenic ride down Mount Mayday on Keelhaul Falls or the winding course of Gangplank Falls.

You can enjoy surfing at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park! They offer two options for surfing in the park. You can ride the wild surf in a private surf session (for up to 25 guests) or catch the stoke with a lesson for $199 per person, right in their safe, state-of-the-art wave pool.

You can purchase a one day water park ticket or add the Water Park and Sports option or Park Hopper Plus option to theme park tickets, if you are visiting the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.

Beach Towels from ShopDisney

Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World Resort

Can you imagine a ski resort in central Florida? Blizzard Beach will make you feel like you’re ready to hit the slopes! From a chairlift to the ski patrol training camp and summit plummet, you’ll find the ski and “snow” theme all around.

You can float around the park in the 3,000 foot Cross Country Creek lazy river. Or, get the best view of the park from atop Summit Plummet before you plunge 12 stories, almost straight down. The kids will love Ski Patrol Training Camp play area, Snow Stormers water slides, and Tike’s Peak water play area. The whole family can tackle a whitewater journey down the “mountain” on Teamboat Springs. You can always splash around Melt-Away Bay, a one acre wave pool. There’s also the Downhill Double Dipper high-speed slides, 90-foot Slush Gusher water slide, Runoff Rapids tube slides, and Toboggan Racers, an 8-lane downhill slalom-style waterslide.

You can purchase a one day water park ticket or add the Water Park and Sports option or Park Hopper Plus option to theme park tickets, if you are visiting the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.

Orlando water parks

Island H2O Live! Water Park at Margaritaville Resort Orlando

Located at Margaritaville Resort Orlando, Island H2O Live! Water Park is Orlando’s newest water park. There is something for everyone to enjoy here. Island H2O Live! has racing slides, tube slides, body slides, water playground for kids, wave pool, adults only pool, lazy river, and so much more.

Island H2O Live! Water Park offers an interactive experience with the H2O Live app. You will find games and experiences that let you earn points to use toward food and merchandise discounts, plus the ability to control a streaming playlist to play on select slides and attractions! Don’t forget to stop by the selfie shacks scattered throughout the park to capture some of your memories.

Tip: You can download the H2O Live app from your mobile App Store before your visit. This free app will help you plan your day, display wait times, find family and friends, and earn points.

Aquatica Orlando at Sea World Orlando

Aquatica Orlando was recently rated the Nation’s Best Outdoor Waterpark by USA Today. You can relax and unwind, race down a water slide, and let the kids splash and play at Aquatica Orlando. They offer a lazy river, wave pools, raft rides, tube slides, water play areas for kids, the the steepest multi-drop slide in Orlando, and more.

Aquatica Orlando is the first water park in the world to be designated as a Certified Autism Center through The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Aquatica Orlando Ambassadors have received specialized training to ensure they have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children, including those with special needs.

You can just visit Aquatica or add time at Sea World Orlando and/or Discovery Cove Orlando with a multi-park ticket. You can even receive unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica with select Discovery Cove admissions.

What are your favorite Orlando water parks?

Book Your 2021 Disney World Vacation Beginning June 24, 2020

2021 Disney World

Have you been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to book a 2021 Disney World vacation? If so, I have some exciting news to share with you! You can book your 2021 Disney World vacation package beginning Wednesday, June 24, 2020 with just a $200 deposit!

That’s right! You can book a Walt Disney World Resort vacation package including your resort stay and theme park tickets with only $200. Then, the remaining balance isn’t due until 30 days prior to arrival. You can even arrange to make weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payments in between to lessen your remaining balance. Plus, you can always cancel or reschedule without penalty up to 30 days prior to arrival if your plans change.

2021 Disney World vacation packages are now available to book for the following Walt Disney World Resort hotels:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
2021 Disney World

2021 will be an exciting year at the Walt Disney World Resort. Magic Kingdom Park will celebrate its 50th anniversary on October 1, 2021. There will be new attractions, newly refurbished hotel rooms, and anniversary celebrations awaiting you. We are also looking forward to the return of the park hopper options, Disney dining plans, and so many other magical experiences that we know and love.

Exclusive Services When you Book Your 2021 Disney World Vacation with Siera

All guests who book their 2021 Disney world vacation package with us always receive our world famous services including:

MousePerks
  • Discount Watching (to make sure you get the best deal possible, even after you are booked)
  • MousePerks (weekly tips and tricks to help you get excited about and prepare for your vacation)
  • VIP Dining Services (recommendations based on your preferences)
  • FastPass+ assistance, when available (recommendations based on your family’s unique interests and plans)
  • Autographed Picture of Mickey Mouse
  • Autographed Letter from Mickey Mouse
  • Disney Parks Growth Chart

You can also view a Disney World brochure here to learn more about the parks and resorts. 

Disney will be retiring their complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning January 1, 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount (with access to even more colors and designs featuring favorite Disney characters). However, guests who prefer not to purchase a discounted MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app or a Key to the World card during their visit.

book your Disney vacation

Need a little extra pixie dust in your life until you can get back to the parks? We have some fun ways you can bring a little Disney magic into your home. You can take a virtual Disney vacationmake some Disney Parks recipes, or the Ultimate Disney Fan Challenge

Request your 2021 Disney World vacation quote today!

Please note that booking a 2021 Disney World vacation package does not guarantee theme park availability. You will still need to make park reservations in your My Disney Experience account for arrivals starting in 2021 as Disney’s phased reopening continues.

10 Official Disney Parks Recipes You Can Make at Home

Disney Parks recipes

Do you love eating at Disney? I do! Half of the fun of a Disney vacation is all of the delicious meals and snacks that I can enjoy in the parks and resorts! We can’t be in the parks every day though to enjoy all of those delicious treats. So, instead we can can taste a bit of the magic at home with these ten official Disney Parks recipes.

Disney Parks Churro Bites

Disney Parks Churro Bites
Photo: Disney

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine water, butter, salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in 1 ½-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring pot to rolling boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Add flour and stir vigorously until mix forms a ball. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-7 min.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and stir until combined. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in medium skillet or 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat or until temperature reaches 350˚.
  6. Spoon dough into piping bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe 1-inch strip of dough over saucepan, cut with knife, and drop into hot oil. Repeat until churro bites fill saucepan with room to fry. 
  7. Fry churro bites until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or mesh spider strainer.
  8. Drain churro bites on paper towel.
  9. Mix sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl. Toss in churro bites until coated. Place on serving plate and serve with favorite dipping sauce.

Mickey Mouse-shaped Beignets

Mickey Mouse-shaped Beignets
Photo: Disney

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105°)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine sugar, shortening, salt, heavy cream, egg, flour and boiling water in a large bowl; stir in yeast mixture. With the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the dough just until combined and smooth. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness and cut individual beignets with a Mickey Mouse-shaped cutter or cut into 2 1/2 to 3-inch squares. Cover with a towel and let dough rise until doubled in size in a warm, draft-free area, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 
  4. Using caution, heat 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F in a deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Fry beignets until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning as soon as they brown on one side. Remove with tongs and place on paper towels to drain.  Dust warm beignets with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Lunch Box Tarts Recipe (from Woody’s Lunch Box at Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Chocolate-Hazelnut Lunch Box Tarts Recipe
Photo: Disney

Ingredients

Chocolate Hazelnut Tarts

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 10 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

Icing

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Garnish

  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

For Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

  1. Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, butter, coconut oil, and 2 of the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined.
  2. Add water and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed and blend until dough is smooth. Do not overmix.
  3. Divide dough into two even balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in refrigerator for 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  5. Mix remaining egg and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Lightly flour a large cutting board and roll first ball of dough into 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Cut into eight 2- by 6-inch rectangles.
  7. Place rectangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with reserved egg wash. Spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate-hazelnut spread on the rectangle.
  8. Roll remaining ball of dough into 1/4-inch thick rectangle and cut into eight 2- by 6-inch rectangles. Place on top of chocolate hazelnut covered tarts and seal edges with a fork. Brush top of tarts with egg wash.
  9. Bake for 17 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.

For Icing

  1. Mix sugar, 1 tablespoon of the milk, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly add remaining milk until icing is smooth and spreads easily, but is not runny.
  2. Spread icing on each cooled tart and top with bacon pieces.

Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich Recipe (from Woody’s Lunch Box at Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich Recipe
Photo: Disney

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Spread

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Double Gloucester or cheddar 
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Garlic Spread

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich

  • 8 slices of artisan bread
  • 8 cheddar cheese slices
  • 8 provolone slices

Instructions:

For Cream Cheese Spread:

  1. Combine cream cheese, Double Gloucester or cheddar, heavy cream, and salt in food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

For Garlic Spread:

  1. Combine mayonnaise, garlic, and salt in small bowl and stir until blended. Set aside.

For Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich:

  1. Lay out artisan bread slices on parchment paper or large cutting board.
  2. Place 2 slices of cheddar on 4 of the bread slices. Place 2 slices of provolone on remaining bread slices. 
  3. Equally spoon cream cheese spread on slices with provolone. Gently smooth cream cheese spread over each slice.
  4. Press cheddar side and provolone side together.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, until hot. 
  6. Brush both sides of the sandwiches with garlic spread. 
  7. Grill sandwiches for 2 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. 

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe (from Le Cellier Steakhouse at EPCOT)

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe
Photo: Disney

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
1 pound white cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup warm Canadian golden lager or any pale lager-style beer
Chopped scallions or chives, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a 4- or 5-quart Dutch oven, cook bacon, stirring, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. 
  2. Add red onion, celery, and butter and sauté until onion has softened, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes over medium heat.  Whisk in chicken stock and bring to boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add milk and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil after milk is added.
  5. Remove from heat and add cheese, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Blend with immersion blender until cheese is melted and soup is smooth. Stir in warm beer.  If the soup is too thick, thin with some warm milk.
  6. Serve the soup hot, garnished with chopped scallions or chives.

The Grey Stuff Recipe

The Grey Stuff recipe
Photo: Disney

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups cold whole milk 
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix 
  • 15 chocolate sandwich cookies 
  • 1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping, thawed 
  • 3 tablespoons instant chocolate pudding mix  
  • 12 scalloped sugar cookies 
  • Edible sugar pearls  

Directions: 

  1. Pour milk into large mixing bowl. Add instant vanilla pudding mix and whisk for 2 minutes until smooth and slightly thickened. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until firm. 
  2. Place chocolate sandwich cookies in food processor and pulse until puréed.  
  3. Fold puréed cookies into pudding mix. Stir until fully mixed. 
  4. Add whipped topping and instant chocolate pudding.  Stir until fully mixed. 
  5. Place in refrigerator and chill for one hour. 
  6. Spoon grey stuff into piping bag fitted with desired tip. Pipe grey stuff onto cookies. Top with sugar pearls. 

Tonga Toast Recipe (from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort)

Tonga Toast recipe
Photo: Disney

Ingredients: 

Sugar-Cinnamon 

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 

Batter 

  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 

Tonga Toast 

  • 1 quart canola oil, for frying 
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread (uncut, 12 inches long) 
  • 2 large bananas, peeled 

Directions: 

For Sugar-Cinnamon: 

Mix sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl (large enough to roll toast) with a fork until thoroughly blended.  Set aside. 

For Batter: 

Whip eggs in medium bowl (large enough to dip toast) until well beaten. Add milk, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix well and set aside.   

For Tonga Toast: 

  1. Using caution, preheat oil to 350°F in a large pot or a deep fryer. (If using a large pot, use a candy thermometer to make certain the oil does not get any hotter or it will burn.) 
  2. Slice the bread into four three-inch-thick slices. 
  3. Cut each banana in half crosswise, then each piece lengthwise. 
  4. Place a bread slice flat on the counter and tear out just enough from the middle (do not tear all the way through) to stuff half a banana into; repeat with each bread slice. 
  5. Dip stuffed bread into batter, covering both sides, allowing excess batter to drip off bread and place carefully into hot oil. 
  6. Cook 4-5 minutes until golden brown. If needed, turn toast over after 2 minutes and cook for another 2 minutes on other side. Remove and drain excess oil. 
  7. Roll toast in cinnamon-sugar. Repeat for each piece of toast. 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Milk Shake Recipe (from 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Peanut Butter & Jelly Milk Shake Recipe
Photo: Disney

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons jelly (strawberry or grape)
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add additional peanut butter or jelly to taste.

Cook’s Notes: Two cups sliced strawberries can be substituted for jelly.

Totchos Recipe (from Woody’s Lunch Box at Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Totchos Recipe
Photo: Disney

Chili with Beans

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Ground cayenne, to taste

Queso Sauce

  • 2 cups jar cheese sauce
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with chilies

Totchos

  • 1 (2 pound) bag frozen potato barrels
  • 1 1/2 cups corn chips
  • Chili with Beans
  • Queso Sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

For Chili with Beans:

  1. Brown ground beef in a 5-6 quart Dutch oven over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until onion is translucent.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, chili powder, and cumin. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt.
  4. Add black pepper and cayenne, as needed.
  5. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For Queso Sauce:

  1. Place cheese sauce and diced tomatoes with chilies in small saucepan. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, until warm.
  2. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For Totchos:

  1. Cook potato barrels according to package instructions.
  2. Divide potato barrels into 6 bowls. Place 1/4 cup each of corn chips, chili with beans, and queso sauce on top of each bowl of potato barrels.
  3. Top each bowl with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 teaspoon green onions.

Kitchen Sink Recipe (from Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort)

Kitchen Sink recipe
Photo: Disney

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup warm fudge topping 
  • 1/2 cup warm butterscotch topping
  • 1/2 cup warm peanut butter topping
  • 1 medium banana, sliced in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 cinnamon spice cupcake (2 ½ x 1 1/4-inch), quartered
  • 1 angel food cupcake (3 x 1 1/2-inch), quartered
  • 2 generous scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 generous scoops chocolate ice cream
  • 2 generous scoops strawberry ice cream
  • 1 generous scoop mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1 generous scoop coffee ice cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup 
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1/4 cup strawberry topping
  • 1/4 cup pineapple topping 
  • 14-ounce can dairy whipped topping 
  • 1 large brownie (6-inch x 6-inch), quartered  
  • 1 regular-sized candy bar, quartered
  • 4 chocolate cookies with cream filling
  • 1 tablespoon sliced toasted almonds 
  • 1 tablespoon dark and white chocolate shavings
  • 1 tablespoon crushed chocolate cookies with cream filling 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jellied orange slices, about 2 large slices
  • 1 tablespoon milk chocolate chip morsels
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter chip morsels
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles 
  • 1/2 cup drained maraschino cherries 

To Serve:

  1. Pour hot fudge, butterscotch, and peanut butter toppings into bottom of large bowl.  
  2. Layer banana slices and cupcake pieces over toppings. Top with all ice creams.  
  3. As quickly as possible, spoon chocolate syrup, marshmallow cream, strawberry, and pineapple toppings over ice cream.
  4. Cover completely with dairy whipped topping. Tuck brownie pieces, candy bar pieces, and cookies in whipped topping.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted almonds, dark and white chocolate shavings, crushed cookies, jellied orange slices, milk chocolate chip morsels, peanut butter morsels, chocolate sprinkles, and rainbow sprinkles. Top with cherries.

What are some of your favorite Disney Parks recipes?

6 Iconic Treats at Universal Orlando Resort You Can’t Miss

6 Iconic Treats at Universal Orlando Resort You Can’t Miss

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

iconic treats at Universal
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

You know that feeling when you’re watching a movie and you start to crave the food the characters are eating…but then you realize it doesn’t actually exist? We’ve all been there. Luckily, at Universal Orlando Resort, some of those foods and drinks DO exist. From snacks and meals to drinks and desserts, here are six iconic treats at Universal Orlando Resort that you just can’t miss!

Spoiler alert: they taste just as good as they look.

Iconic Treats at Universal Studios Florida

Springfield Dining – Universal Studios Florida

iconic treats at Universal
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Springfield U.S.A.’s dining area brings to life all of the Simpsons eateries you’ve always wanted to try! Personally, my two favorites to visit are Lard Lad Donuts and Moe’s Tavern. A Big Pink donut is a must-have, with a size so large it’s perfect for sharing with a few friends. When it comes to quenching your thirst, I recommend the Flaming Moe. It bubbles and smokes — plus, it’s nonalcoholic so it can be enjoyed by everyone! Also, don’t miss out on the fully-themed Krusty Burger or Duff Brewery.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Studios Florida & Islands of Adventure

butterbeer from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

One word: Butterbeer. Arguably the most iconic treat from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Butterbeer will make you feel like you’re actually a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can enjoy this iconic flavor in several different types of treats and the only way to find out your favorite is to try them all…so get to tasting!

There are also plenty of other sweets from the Harry Potter film series to try, including Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Peppermint Toads, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs (complete with a famous Witch or Wizard Card, of course).

Iconic Treats at Islands of Adventure

Blondie’s – Islands of Adventure

iconic treats at Universal
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

If your appetite is as insatiable as Dagwood’s, you’ll love the iconic sandwich named after him! You can find the Dagwood at Blondie’s in Toon Lagoon — and trust me, it’s as mouthwatering in person as it looks in the comics. Made with fresh-baked onion and poppy seed bread, piled high with baked ham, turkey, roast beef, American and Swiss cheese, and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and mustard, one bite is all it takes to see why Dagwood makes so many of these sandwiches. 

Green Eggs and Ham Cafe – Islands of Adventure

iconic treats at Universal
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Have you been haunted by the question of how green eggs and ham actually taste ever since reading the book? Well, you can finally find out at Green Eggs and Ham Cafe…but with a tot-tastic twist! This Seuss Landing eatery offers green eggs and ham tots, along with a number of other delicious tot varieties. You can even try a can of Who Hash! Just look for the building shaped like a big green ham with a giant fork on top — it’s pretty hard to miss.

Iconic Treats at Universal CityWalk

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. – Universal CityWalk

iconic treats at Universal
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Any Forrest Gump fan will want to run to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. right when they enter Universal CityWalk. As Bubba himself puts it, “shrimp is the fruit of the sea,” and there’s plenty of “fruit” to be found here. You can try Cajun shrimp, coconut shrimp, fried shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp salad, shrimp scampi, shrimp gumbo… and that’s not all. True fans of the film can even test their knowledge of Forrest Gump factoids right at the table!

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville – Universal CityWalk

iconic treats at Universal
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Jimmy Buffett’s island vibes are in full force at Margaritaville. Even better, the menu is filled with food and drinks referenced in his songs! Instead of singing “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” why not actually eat one? Or you could grab a Who’s To Blame Margarita to really get in the mood for some tropical relaxation. After all, it’s not “wasting away” if you’re actively consuming calories. That’s just science.

Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.

Is your mouth watering just looking at these photos, too? That means there’s only one thing to do now…book a trip to Universal Orlando Resort right now to satisfy the cravings! Did we leave any iconic treats at Universal out? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. You can even tag us in your best Universal foodie pics!

What are your favorite iconic treats at Universal Orlando Resort?

Free Shipping at Shop Disney on June 12, 2020 with NO Minimum

Free Shipping at Shop Disney on June 12, 2020 with NO Minimum

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. We may make a small commission from any purchases made through these links. Thank you for supporting our small business!

Free Shipping at Shop Disney on June 12, 2020 with NO Minimum
Image: ShopDisney

We are still missing the Disney Parks while both the Walt Disney World in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California remain closed for a few more weeks. However, we can still get a little Disney fix through ShopDisney today AND receive free shipping with no minimum! Enjoy Free Shipping at ShopDisney on June 12, 2020 with code FREESHIP.

One Day Only – Free Shipping No Minimum! Use code FREESHIP at checkout.

Here are some of our favorite finds:

Check out Magical New Arrivals at shopDisney.com! Shop Now!

Shop Sale Items at shopDisney.com!

Image: ShopDisney

We found great deals in the sale section including $4 sunglasses, $5 swim goggles, $6 kids flip flops, $9 kids slides, $10 beach towels, $12 kids t-shirts when you buy two or more, $18 adult t-shirts when you buy two or more, and so much more!

Bonus with Purchase

Image: ShopDisney

Plus, you can purchase the Mickey Mouse Summer Fun picnic blanket for $15 with any purchase, the Mickey Mouse Summer Fun Cooler Tote Bag for $16 with any purchase, and/or the Mickey Mouse Steamboat Willie Tote for $16 with any purchase!

Disney Cloth Face Masks!

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Image: ShopDisney

You can pre-order a Disney face mask. These masks are expected to be available by July 30, 2020. Disney currently has six different designs available for cloth face masks- Mickey and Minnie Mouse, PIXAR, Star Wars, Disney Princess and Frozen, “Disney,” and Marvel. These come in packages of four masks and are available in three different sizes.

Disney Castle Collection

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Image: ShopDisney

The high-end-figurine of Cinderella Castle will be the first of 10 releases celebrating the storied spaces of Disney’s beloved heroines. This series features a Cinderella Castle Ornament, Journal, Pin and Puzzles.

Funko Baby Yoda “The Child” now at shopDisney.com! Pre-order yours today!

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Image: ShopDisney

You can own your very own Baby Yoda (AKA ”the Child”) Celebrate the most stellar fandom of them all with a Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head figure inspired by Star Wars: The Mandalorian now streaming on Disney+.

Check out Magical New Arrivals at shopDisney.com! Shop Now!

What would you like to order from ShopDisney?

10 Fun Facts About Grim Grinning Ghosts from The Haunted Mansion

10 Fun Facts About Grim Grinning Ghosts from The Haunted Mansion

From the Disney Parks Blog:

“Grim Grinning Ghosts,” the theme of The Haunted Mansion, is both merry and spooky at the same time, and is perfectly fitting for one of our guest-favorite attractions. Of all the Disney Parks attractions with catchy theme songs, we can probably agree that we don’t mind when this one gets stuck in our heads.

Grim Grinning Ghosts

In honor of The Haunted Mansion’s 50th anniversary at Disneyland which was celebrated last August, here are 10 fun facts about Grim Grinning Ghosts the Haunted Mansion:

Grim Grinning Ghosts
  • The arrangement of the tune progresses throughout the attraction, starting off on an eerie piano in the library and funeral scenes, then bolder as organ music in the dining room and a whooping party in the graveyard scene.
  • “Grim Grinning Ghosts” hits a high note in the graveyard scene, where a set of singing busts await “to shriek and harmonize.” Did you know that each of these busts has a name? They are: Rollo Rumkin, Uncle Theodore, Cousin Algernon, Ned Nub and Phineas P. Pock.
  • The face of singer Thurl Ravenscroft appears on one of the singing busts – Uncle Theodore, which you can identify at Magic Kingdom Park attraction as the “broken” bust.
  • Buddy Baker, X. Atencio and Thurl Ravenscroft have all been named Disney Legends in years past for their contributions to Disney Parks and films.
  • The pop band Barenaked Ladies did a cover of “Grim-Grinning Ghosts” in 2003 for the film “The Haunted Mansion” which starred Eddie Murphy.
  • A reference to a “Grim Grinning Ghost” (note “ghost” is singular, not plural) appears in the William Shakespeare poem “Venus and Adonis” which was completed in 1593.

Do you prefer The Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland or Disney World?

Enjoy Free Shipping at ShopDisney on June 2, 2020

Enjoy Free Shipping at ShopDisney on June 2, 2020

Enjoy Free Shipping at ShopDisney on June 2, 2020
Image: ShopDisney

We are still missing the Disney Parks while both the Walt Disney World in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California remain closed. We can still get a little Disney fix through ShopDisney today AND receive free shipping with no minimum! Enjoy Free Shipping at ShopDisney on June 2, 2020.

One Day Only – Free Shipping No Minimum! Use code FREESHIP at checkout.

Here are some of our favorite finds:

Ready, Set Summer Sale!

Image: ShopDisney

Enjoy the Summer Sale at ShopDisney now through June 7, 2020! You will find new markdowns on toys, clothing, accessories, and more.

Disney Cloth Face Masks!

Image: ShopDisney

You can pre-order a Disney face mask. These masks are expected to be available by July 29, 2020. Disney currently has six different designs available for cloth face masks- Mickey and Minnie Mouse, PIXAR, Star Wars, Disney Princess and Frozen, “Disney,” and Marvel. These come in packages of four masks and are available in three different sizes.

Disney Castle Collection

Image: ShopDisney

The high-end-figurine of Cinderella Castle will be the first of 10 releases celebrating the storied spaces of Disney’s beloved heroines. This series features a Cinderella Castle Ornament, Journal, Pin and Puzzles.

Funko Baby Yoda “The Child” now at shopDisney.com! Pre-order yours today!

Image: ShopDisney

You can own your very own Baby Yoda (AKA ”the Child”) Celebrate the most stellar fandom of them all with a Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head figure inspired by Star Wars: The Mandalorian now streaming on Disney+.

What would you like to order from ShopDisney?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. We may make a small commission from any purchases made through these links. Thank you for supporting our small business!

Top 10 Reasons to Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Disneyland Resort Hotel

Disneyland Resort vacation goes way beyond the theme parks. A stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel is as much a part of the experience as a ride on Space Mountain! Between Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, theDisneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, there are many options for staying in the magic. But why choose a Disneyland Resort hotel for your vacation? Here are the top ten reasons to stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel!

1. More time to play: All Disneyland Resort hotel guests enjoy admission to select attractions, stores, entertainment and dining locations in Disneyland or Disney California Adventure parks for one full hour before the parks open to the general public on select days!

2. A warm welcome: Everyone knows that a stay in a Disneyland Resort hotel begins with a warm “Welcome!” from the cast members at the front desk. At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, more than 50 of these cast members have learned to say “welcome” in 10 different languages to make all guests feel at home.

3. Surf’s Up!

Disneyland Resort Hotel

Did you know that the PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is the only dining location at the Disneyland Resort where you can enjoy a meal with Mickey Mouse? The Surf’s Up! Mickey and Friends Breakfast is an all-you-care-to-eat breakfast experience, and seeing Mickey Mouse himself dressed in his beachy best is a perfect way to start surfing your way through a fantastic day at the Disneyland Resort.

4. Closer to the magic

Disneyland Resort Hotel

Staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel puts you just steps away from all there is to do at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks and the Downtown Disney District. Plus, you’re surrounded by all the special Disney details that make the Disneyland Resort such a magical place to be – you never have to leave the Happiest Place on Earth until it’s time to go home!

5. Get shipwrecked at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

Disneyland Resort Hotel


Thirsty travelers over 21 years of age can order a Shipwreck on the Rocks or Krakatoa Punch at this tropical oasis at the Disneyland Hotel. But be careful, because the tiki gods might just create a fearsome lightning storm (complete with thunder and a sinking ship in a bottle) or cause a volcano eruption.

6. Kids have a getaway of their own

Disneyland Resort Hotel

Pinocchio’s Workshop offers supervised play and themed activities each evening for children (ages 5 – 12) of hotel guests, providing parents an opportunity to have their own adventures. This fun-filled child activity center is located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa but is open to guests staying at any of the three hotels of the Disneyland Resort.

7. A ‘Signature’ experience

Disneyland Resort Hotel

While every guest room at a Disneyland Resort hotel includes special Disney touches, the six themed Signature Suites at the Disneyland Hotel fully immerse guests in the magic of Disneyland. From the replica of Davy Jones’ Dead Man’s Chest in the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite to a twinkling Tinker Bell turning on the lights of theSleeping Beauty Castle model in the Fairy Tale Suite, it would take much longer than one night to see all the details in these extraordinary suites.

8. Something special for fitness fanatics

While a walk in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks is a great way to stay in shape during a vacation, a power walk before a park opens to the public is a special treat. The early-morning Get Up and Go Power Walk through Disney California Adventure Park and Fitness Fusion class at the outdoor fireplace at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa are open to guests at all three hotels.

9. See more with a tour: The Happiest Hotel on Earth tour at the Disneyland Hotel teaches guests about the history and heritage of the hotel, while the Art of the Craft tour at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa shows the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement on the hotel. These tours are complimentary and available on select days to all guests, including those not staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel, though reservations are encouraged.

10. Time for a bedtime story: Everyone loves a good story — and there’s nothing quite like having your own personal storyteller at bedtime. Guests cuddle up with blankets and gather in the rocking chairs around the stone fireplace in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa to hear Tales from the Hearth. It’s a great way for the whole family to wind down after a day at the parks. But if you miss it, no fear: just turn to the designated channel on your TV at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels to hear Disney’s Princess Story Time. What better way to have sweet dreams?

Which one is your favorite Disneyland Resort Hotel?

How to Spend a Day in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

How to Spend a Day in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

How to Spend a Day in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Let’s just start by saying, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is downright magical. Whether it’s your first time visiting or your 100th, the experience of being dropped into the story of Harry Potter will give you chills (and quite a few thrills, for any of you roller coaster fanatics). 

We don’t all get gifted Time-Turners from Professor McGonagall, though, so if you find yourself short on time and wanting to get the most out of your trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here are some tips to make sure you’re set for an incredible day in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

WHERE TO BEGIN

Just like how the wand chooses the wizard, you must choose where your adventure begins. It’s important to know there are two unique wizarding world lands that offer completely different experiences at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Diagon Alley

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Nestled in the heart of ‘London’ within Universal Studios Florida, Diagon Alley is home to must-see experiences like Gringotts bank, Carkitt Market, and Knockturn Alley.

Hogsmeade

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

This picturesque snow-capped village is located within Universal’s Islands of Adventure at the foot of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  

Starting in either park guarantees you a great day — obviously, you’re at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you really can’t go wrong — but we recommend starting at Hogsmeade, catching the train over to Diagon Alley mid-day, and then coming back to Hogsmeade to finish the night. 

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The best part about starting your day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Shorter wait times because, as you’ll see on your map, it’s near the back of the park. It should only take you half the time it would have been to ride during peak park hours to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. And, bonus, since the whole ride queue is an immersive experience, the line feels shorter and the time passes itself as you try to spot all the fun, hidden gems throughout the attraction. 

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Shortly after you choose the sidecar or motorbike, you’ll be twisting and turning deep into the Forbidden Forest. It’s an incredible experience joining Hagrid on this all-new thrilling roller coaster ride! 

Letter or not, you have been formally accepted to bask in the incredible sight of the Hogwarts castle. Seeing it in real life is incredible.

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Once we’re inside the castle, let’s ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden JourneyYes, you really can walk inside Hogwarts. See the magic come to life as you enter through the towering castle gates, experience countless relics from the story and walk past iconic classrooms, all in preparation to soar above the castle grounds on a life-changing adventure and incredible multidimensional thrill-ride. 

Now we’re heading to ride Flight of the Hippogriff. As you move up on this coaster track, you’ll see Buckbeak, the Hippogriff, as he bows down. When you get to the top, make sure to look around and take in the view as this ride offers unique sights of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. Before you know it, you’ll spiral past Hagrid’s hut and over the pumpkin patch. What an adventure!

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo; Universal Orlando Resort

If you’re anything like Ron Weasley, all this excitement has probably helped you work up quite an appetite. Time to grab a bite at the Three Broomsticks. Once you walk in, your nose will enjoy scents of delicious delicacies. This spot offers the chance to enjoy authentic food that your favorite characters also enjoyed. This rustic tavern serves breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s full of delicious, hearty, British food and world-famous can-not-miss Butterbeer.

“OK now that we’ve eaten, it’s time to catch the Hogwarts Express,” is just one of those casual sentences you can say when you’re at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Walk over to Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station and we can head to King’s Cross Station in London, at Universal Studios Florida. This isn’t just any regular old train ride, so be prepped for an incredible experience as we ride with our friends (real and fictional) over to Diagon Alley. (Just make sure you have the park-to-park ticket!) 

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

After you deboard the scarlet engine, you’ll find yourself on Platform 9 ¾ in the bustling Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station

Time to enter Diagon Alley. Make a left from King’s Cross Station and you’ll pass through the brick archway to enter into the bustling streets of Diagon Alley. Now you’ll really want to take a second to soak it all in. The magic of the hustle and bustle is all around you. You are standing where aspiring witches and wizards begin their journey to another semester at Hogwarts.

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Every witch or wizard knows you can’t start a shopping spree in Diagon Alley without a trip to Gringotts bank. Let’s stop by Gringotts Money Exchange, because, honestly, how often do you get the chance to ask a Goblin a question? Come on in and ask away! You can even exchange U.S currency for Gringotts bank notes that can be used for purchases throughout both lands.

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Now we can headdeep into the vaults at Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Walk through the bank’s grand marble lobby, then journey through underground passageways as we experience a multi-dimensional thrill ride. If you’re like me and love The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but maybe your Gryffindor bravery stops at roller coasters, you can still walk the queue with your thrill-seeking friends. I definitely recommend doing this, as walking these lines feels like you’ve jumped straight into the story.

Next, head to Ollivanders and experience how a wand chooses its wizard… you may even be selected to be paired with a wand of your own to purchase and take home! As you walk through the shop you can also browse an array of wands stacked floor-to-ceiling by the thousands. We recommend getting the interactive wand for next-level wizarding fun….

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

While I know it’s hard to stop yourself from looking up at all the details around you, try not to miss the details at your own feet. You may notice gold medallions placed throughout the streets. These help indicate where you can practice your hand at casting spells with your interactive wand.Every interactive wand comes with a map that marks these spell-locations throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. All you’ll need is a gentle flick of the wrist, the right incantation, and your interactive wand to create your own magical experiences. 

Visit the shops and build your wizarding wardrobe at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All OccasionsWhether you’re Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, or Ravenclaw, this is a great spot to find the gear to proudly represent your House colors.

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Hungry again? Let’s grab a bite in the Leaky Cauldron. This is an iconic eatery of the wizarding world, so let’s take a break from all that wandwork and enjoy some authentic British cuisine! Might I suggest the Ploughman’s Platter?

Is there a better way to pass the time while our food settles than watching some wizarding world entertainment? There are two incredible shows at Diagon Alley’s Carkitt Market, so we recommend sticking around for both. 

The Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees show is a bewitching live performance with sweet, smooth melodies by this wizarding world sensation (she’s also Molly Weasley’s favorite singer). 

The Tales of Beedle and the Bard is a show presented by the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts, retelling two famous 15th-century stories from wizarding fairytales, including The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers. Be sure to stick around for the end of this show in particular!

OK, who’s ready for dessert? Let’s make a stop at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. If you thought you liked Butterbeer, wait until you try it in ice-cream form. Here you can taste a variety of unique flavored soft-serve ice-cream including Chocolate Chili, Salted Caramel Blondie, and Earl Grey and Lavender.

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

If you’re a Gryffindor, you may be more suspicious of the Dark Arts. But let’s explore the Darker side magic in Knockturn Alley and visit Borgin and Burkes, known for inviting shady patrons, including Draco Malfoy. Here, you can explore malevolent relics, items of Dark Arts, and other oddities. Don’t be surprised if your Slytherin friends drag you to this side of Diagon Alley. Not only will you be able to shop unique merchandise only found in this dark alley, but you’ll also be able to cast special incantations and find hidden gems here. 

Outside of Diagon Alley in London, we can talk with the Knight Bus Conductor. Passers-by can look inside the purple, three-storied Knight Bus and hear chatter from the talkative shrunken head hanging over the steering wheel. 

One of the lesser-known must-dos in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a stop at the Magical Telephone Booth. At first glance, it might seem like an ordinary booth, but you just might find a little “M-A-G-I-C”. 

All right, time to catch the train again. Let’s walk to the station where you can walk through a solid brick wall onto Platform 9¾ — Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station. On this train ride, we can enjoy the urban outskirts of London into the British countryside while we catch up on all the fun we’ve already had and deliciousness we’ve already eaten. 

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Back in Hogsmeade, let’s take a break at the Hog’s Head. After back-to-back thrilling rides, shopping, and casting spells, relaxing inside this pub located behind Three Broomsticks sounds perfect. We can even enjoy traditional drinks, as well as Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, and Gillywater. 

Time to stock up on delicious delectables at Honeydukes. This delightful shop has legendary wizarding world sweets including Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, and Exploding Bonbons.

day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Even though the sun may be setting, your day in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is definitely not over. At night, Hogwarts castle transforms into a beautifully themed experience that changes depending on the season: 

  •  The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle: Enjoy this dazzling spectacle where you see projections against the majestic Hogwarts castle, celebrating the four houses.
    • Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle: This powerful story of light vs. dark shows Hogwarts castle being taken over by dark magic and then — well, why spoil it? Catch it for yourself during the fall season. 
    • The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle: The holidays in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter spring to life through this incredible display when Hogwarts castle is transformed for the Christmas season.

These shows are the perfect way to end your epic day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

WHAT a day! Of course just one day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort is not nearly enough to experience all the magic it has to offer! We’ll see you at the Three Broomsticks tomorrow morning.