Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Get the Ultimate Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Does your family love Harry Potter? Are you confused about visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Are you spending thousands of dollars on a vacation and afraid you will miss something? Are you worried that you are going to be waiting in long lines during your vacation? Looking for time saver tips, money saving tips, and all of the secrets and fun inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?  You have come to the right place!

If your answer is YES to any of these questions, then you need the Ultimate Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. For less than the cost of a mug of Butterbeer, you can get this comprehensive guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which covers both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort!

This incredible Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter includes:

  • Descriptions of the rides and must do’s
  • Insiders tips to help save time during your adventure at Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Descriptions of the stores and hidden gems
  • Travel tips to help save money during your Harry Potter vacation
  • Harry Potter secrets inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter 
  • Dining at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including popular restaurants like Three Broomsticks & Leaky Cauldron
  • Must Do’s that you could miss, if you do not read this guide!
  • Tips on how to save money at Wizarding World of Harry Potter – one tip will save you the cost of the guide (and then some)!
  • So much more…
Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Is this YOU?  Meet the typical family visiting Wizarding World of Harry Potter….

This excited family arrives to Universal Studios around 10 AM and makes their way to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley.  Their daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan, wearing her robe and excited for the adventure.  They miss the hidden gems in King’s Cross and head right into Diagon Alley.  They wait in a 90 minute line to ride Harry Potter & the Escape from Gringotts. They forget to purchase a 2-Park Pass, so they have to spend time upgrading their ticket, so they can ride the Hogwarts Express. They wait in line for 30 minutes at Ollivanders in Hogsmeade.  They miss out on Knockturn Alley and the hidden surprise from Moaning Myrtle.  They find out during their vacation that they could have dined for breakfast at Three Broomsticks for free.  So many frustrations!

This is truly the typical family visiting Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Don’t let this be YOU!

Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

If you are planning a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this is a must read guide. Once you confirm your purchase, you will receive an email with a link to instantly download your guides. You can then read in your leisure or print for future use. It’s in .pdf format, so you can read it on your smartphone, iPAD, computer, or your Kindle. There are over 33 pages and pictures of insider information from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort. Ready to purchase the Ultimate Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Planning your Universal Orlando Resort vacation? Don’t miss these helpful articles, too!

You may also want to pick up the Harry Potter Paperback Box Set or Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection to brush up on your Harry Potter knowledge!

Capture Harry Potter Memories at Shutterbutton’s Studio at Universal

shutterbuttons-photography-studio-in-diagon-alley-1170x731

There is so much to take in when you walk through the brick wall into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. My little witches and wizards were ready to start making magic as soon as we got there. Why? Because Universal Orlando Resort had invited us down to experience one of the hidden gems—Shutterbutton’s Photography Studio.

This special experience is located next to Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasionsacross from Ollivanders.

The staff welcomed us and explained how we could jump into some of the most iconic scenes from the Harry Potter movies and create our own moving photographs. We were sold and got right down to making magic!

We were fitted with house robes of our choice and even used our own wands as props. (Any item you’d like to bring and use is welcome as the robes are the only props available to borrow.)

We all stood behind a private green screen and were given easy directions to shoot our big screen debut. These moving photographs included 12 iconic scenes from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

We screamed in terror from the fire-breathing dragon on Gringotts Bank, and my son’s favorite scene was having his little sister appear on the “Have You Seen This Wizard?” poster. After we got to see a short preview of our scenes, they provided us with a DVD to take home, along with a digital copy.

The whole experience took about 20 minutes and we left with what I’m calling “the coolest souvenir ever”. It’s earned its place next to our wedding video, and I’m sure we will watch, laugh and remember our trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for years to come.

The kids also love showing it to every friend that has come over, laughing each time they see themselves. Their friends think it’s pretty cool, too!

I would definitely make sure to stop into Shutterbutton’s before you leave Diagon Alley. These are the memories that become etched in time, as experiences like these are ones we will never forget.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Catch Warwick Davis at Universal Orlando’s Celebration of Harry Potter in 2017

a-celebration-of-harry-potter-talent-announcement-2017-1170x731

I am thrilled to announce that – for the first time in A Celebration of Harry Potter history – Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick and Griphook) will be attending the event alongside returning film talent Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom). And, this is just the first Harry Potter film talent to be announced – more will be announced soon!

You’ll be able to hear from all the Harry Potter talent during their Q&A panel. Plus, for the Premium Vacation Package guests, the film talent will be doing a private autograph signing. (Packages are selling out so get your package now by clicking here.)

If you’ve been to A Celebration of Harry Potter in the past, then you know you can’t miss the Harry Potter Expo. This year, the expo has more than doubled in size. Check out who’s coming to this year’s event:

  • MinaLima: Graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima recently finished production on the new feature film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter: Fans will relive the magic through the eyes of the filmmakers who brought the Harry Potter film series to life.
  • Harry Potter: The Exhibition: Are you a Gryffindor or a Slytherin? A Hufflepuff or perhaps a Ravenclaw? Find out at this experience.
  • Scholastic: Celebrate Harry Potter at Scholastic’s booth by signing the “Muggle Wall” and testing your knowledge of the Harry Potter books at the Trivia Challenge. Fans will also be treated to a meet & greet and signing with Mary GrandPré, famed illustrator for the Harry Potter books.
  • Pottermore: If you’re eager to discover more about J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Pottermore has a surprise in store for fans attending this year’s celebration.
  • Audible: Bringing fans Audible Recall – the ultimate audio challenge that decides who knows the wizarding world inside-out and who has a bad case of the wrackspurts.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Get a glimpse into the world of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and see images from the award-winning West End production.
  • Google Daydream VR Experience – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:With Daydream View, Google’s newly launched virtual reality headset, you can experience the magic of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in VR. Wave a wand (via a Daydream controller) to solve puzzles and meet a few of the beasts in Newt’s case.
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment: A magical adventure awaits in the LEGO Dimensions experience, where you’ll be able to explore the Wizarding World and be the first to play as Hermione Granger! Guests will also be given the opportunity to participate in special giveaways and contests.

In addition, we have some exciting new panels and demonstrations that will give fans a look into how the magic was brought to life on screen:

  • Behind the Scenes: Harry Potter Film Talent Discussion: Want to know what it was like on the set of the Harry Potter films? Now is your chance to find out.
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – Creating Creatures for the Harry Potter Films with Nick Dudman and Warwick Davis: This panel is a discussion with award-winning special make-up effects artist Nick Dudman and Harry Potter film talent Warwick Davis about the incredible skill that went into producing iconic creatures such as Aragog, Buckbeak and the Gringotts Goblins, plus see some authentic models from the Harry Potter film series.
  • Learn Wand Combat Skills with Paul Harris: Expelliarmus! Learn how to duel in this interactive panel with the world’s only Wand Combat Chorographer, Paul Harris.
    *Kids panel will also be offered for guests ages 12 and under
  • Stories from Harry Potter: The Exhibition: The Exhibition has the unique privilege of bringing a selection of some of the best known authentic props used to create the entire film series to fans in cities close to home. Each and every real element on display within the exhibition has a story. Eddie Newquist, creator of the exhibition, will be joined by Pierre Bohanna, head prop-maker from the films to tell stories of how these props and costumes were selected for the exhibition and about their histories.
  • MinaLima: Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima of MinaLima will share how their paths crossed at the WB film studios in London while working for 10 years on the Harry Potter movies, and more recently on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. They will show some of the iconic props they created, such as The Marauder’s Map, the Daily Prophet , The New York Ghost, MACUSA Wand Permit and more. Additionally, they will talk about their involvement in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

Also coming to this year’s event is Harry Potter trivia and a Fan Art Walk where you can contribute your artist skills to a chalk art gallery that will be on display throughout the entire event.

Grab your tickets now and join us at the fourth annual A Celebration of Harry Potter from January 27 to 29, 2017.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

A Celebration of Harry Potter Returns to Universal January 27 – 29, 2017

CoHP_2017_Featured-1170x731

One of the most magical events at Universal Orlando Resort is returning for a fourth year. Gather around wizards and witches because A Celebration of Harry Potter is happening January 27 – 29, 2017.

This weekend-long experience is full of fantastic events including a film talent Q&A, demonstrations, exhibits and more. And it’s all included in your regular theme park admission or with an Annual Pass.

But, if you want to attend even more activities throughout A Celebration of Harry Potter, make sure to purchase one of the event vacation packages. You’ll enjoy certain special benefits and reserved sections for the panels and demonstrations.

Premium Vacation Package: If you know every line of the Harry Potter books and films, this is for you.

  • 3-night hotel accommodations at one of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels
  • 3-Day Park-to-Park ticket to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Friday)
  • Evening reception at the Harry Potter Expo (Saturday)
  • Exclusive autograph and photo session with select film talent
  • Exclusive talent Q&A session with select film talent
  • Shutterbutton’s Photography Studio session at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
  • Special access to the Harry Potter Expo, panels and demonstrations
  • Reserved section for select panels and demonstrations
  • Breakfast at Three Broomsticks in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Breakfast at Leaky Cauldron in Universal Studios Florida
  • Commemorative A Celebration of Harry Potter merchandise item, pin and lanyard
  • Access to select venues at Universal CityWalk

Celebration Vacation Package: Celebrate like a VIP with this package.

  • 3-night hotel accommodations at one of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels
  • 3-Day Park-to-Park ticket to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Exclusive talent Q&A session with select film talent
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
  • Special access to the Harry Potter Expo, panels and demonstrations
  • Breakfast at Three Broomsticks in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Commemorative A Celebration of Harry Potter merchandise item, pin and lanyard
  • Access to select venues at Universal CityWalk

Annual Passholder Vacation Package: If you hold the gold ticket that is an Annual Pass to Universal Orlando then this is the package for you.

  • 3-night hotel accommodations at one of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels
  • Access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Exclusive talent Q&A session with select film talent
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
  • Special access to the Harry Potter Expo, panels and demonstrations
  • Breakfast at Three Broomsticks in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Commemorative A Celebration of Harry Potter merchandise item, pin and lanyard
  • Access to select venues at Universal CityWalk

Wands at the ready because it will be here before you know it!

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando: Jan 30- Feb 1, 2015

The_Wizarding_World_of_Harry_Potter_-_Diagon_Alley_Rendering (1)

The Universal Orlando Resort is hosting the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” from January 30- February 1, 2015 featuring incredible experiences at both Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. A Celebration of Harry Potter vacation packages will be available including exclusive benefits such as Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent. All three days will be full of incredible experiences – including the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo, Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and more.

The Celebration of Harry Potter vacation package includes:

  • 3-Night hotel accommodations
  • 3-Day Park-to-Park admission ticket to Universal Studios Florida® & Universal’s Islands of Adventure®
  • Exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ & Diagon Alley™, including light desserts and one complimentary Butterbeer™
  • Exclusive film talent Q&A session and reserved section for discussions and demonstrations
  • Special Guest access to A Celebration of Harry Potter™ Expo
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ one hour before the theme parks open.
  • Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks™ in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ (one per person)
  • Specially themed Welcome Parcel and complimentary commemorative merchandise item
  • Access to live entertainment at Universal CityWalk®

These vacation packages will be available beginning August 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm EST. Packages will be limited and sell out quickly so start planning your trip today!

Would you like to attend A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort? We can help! Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email siera@destinationsinflorida.com for more information. Plus, if you book with us, you’ll receive a free butter beer!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley Expansion Update at Universal Orlando

hp6

The Universal Orlando Resort opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure back in 2010. This area allowed you to visit Hogsmeade and step into Harry Potter’s adventure for the first time. Now with the opening of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios this summer, you will be able to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter like never before. You can travel between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade via Hogwarts Express with a park to park ticket.

Here is an overview of the exciting additions to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that can only be found in Diagon Alley!

Attractions:

hp 3

  • Diagon Alley- Visit Ollivanders to see a wand choose a wizard or Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes to choose an assortment of magical jokes. You can dine at Leaky Cauldron or try a treat from Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour. You will also find the goblin-run Gringotts bank at the far end, home to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
  • Knockturn Alley- A gloomy back street just off Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley offers everything practitioners of the Dark Arts could need. If you are brave enough to venture here, you will find shops and storefronts for Dark Magic, including Borgin and Burkes.

hp9

  • King’s Cross- You can climb aboard the Hogwarts Express here and travel between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade with a park to park ticket. You can enjoy views of London as well as characters and creatures from the Harry Potter films.

hp7

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts- This multi-dimensional thrill ride will be an experience unlike any other. Your journey will take you deep underground and put you right in the middle of the action. Plus, you just might see Harry, Ron, and Hermoine along the way.

Shopping:

hp10

  • Borgin and Burkes- This is Knockturn Alley’s most infamous shop, with a variety of Dark Objects available.
  • Madam Malkin’s- You will find every piece of wizardwear you can imagine here along with other apparel and jewelry inspired by the four school houses.

hp5

  • Ollivanders- As makers of fine wands since 382 B.C., this is the premier wand shop. You will be able to watch how a wand chooses a wizard and even purchase your own wand.
  • Quality Quidditch Supplies- Here you will find everything you could need to play the most popular sport in the wizarding world. There will be both apparel and equipment so you can show your support for your favorite team.

hp11

  • Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes- This colorful three-story shop will be home to an array of novelty items, magical jokes, and toys that are sure to please and amaze the mischievous child in all of us.

hp12

  • Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment- You can pick up your wizarding essentials here with a variety of wizarding wares and supplies such as telescopes, binoculars, magnifying glasses, and hour glasses as well as unique apparel and accessories from your favorite Hogwarts house.

Food and Beverage:

hp8

  • Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour- You can indulge your sweet side with unique frozen treats like strawberry and peanut butter ice cream.
  • Leaky Cauldron- You can satisfy your appetite at this popular gathering place for witches and wizards. You will enjoy delicious pub fare such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, cottage pie as well as classic drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice.

Who wants to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley when it opens?

Plan a Universal Orlando vacation with us and enjoy a FREE butterbeer on us!

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, the Universal Orlando Travel Agency Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012! Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email siera@destinationsinflorida.com for more information. 

News and Events Happening This Week at Disney World, Disneyland, and Universal Orlando

“What’s New” for Week of Dec 11, 2013 – Walt Disney
World, Disneyland & Universal Orlando News

There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. Join us every week to read about “What’s New” in Disney news and at Universal Orlando!

Castle Fireworks Edited

What’s New This Week?

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

New! Limited Time Magic ­ Delight in Duffy’s Secret Santa Celebration, Dec 9 -­ 15: Celebrate Secret Santa Week at Magic Kingdom park, where Duffy the Disney Bear and a few of your favorite Disney friends are getting into the holiday spirit! As part of Limited Time Magic, stop by the Town Square Christmas Tree on Main Street, U.S.A. where you can receive a warm winter hug from Duffy, dressed up in his Christmas finest. Plus, when you visit other Disney friends throughout the park, they’ll each have a specially decorated keepsake card just for you—visit each Disney pal to collect them all! It’s yet another magical holiday offering, only from Limited Time Magic.

New! Limited Time Magic ­ Tour Magic Kingdom Park with Vice President Phil Holmes: See Magic
Kingdom park from an all­new point of view as you hear stories from an opening day Cast Member who also
happens to be the park’s vice president! As part of Limited Time Magic, you’re invited to register for an
opportunity to join Phil Holmes, vice president of Magic Kingdom park, on a walkthrough of the original Walt
Disney World theme park. Space was extremely limited. Registrations completed via Disney Parks Blog on
Friday, Dec 6. Tours to take place December 9 ­ 11, 18 and 20, 2013.

New! Magic Kingdom to Offer Park to Park Buses: Phase I of the Magic Kingdom Park third bus loop opened Nov. 24. The new bus loop allowed larger buses to offer transportation between certain resorts and the Magic Kingdom. The next phase opens December 15 and offers park­to­park buses to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

New! Imagineers Add a Piece of Snow White’s Scary Adventures to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park: Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering recently reached another milestone in the construction of the attraction with the overnight addition of a few scenic elements guests will encounter at the top of the mine train’s first lift. When mine cars pull out of the load area, they’ll travel up the track to the top of the mountain, where a jib crane sits topped by two ominous vultures, the latter of which originally appeared in the park’s original Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction. This is the last stop before the mine train’s cars plunge into a mine shaft.

New! La Nouba” by Cirque du Soleil Celebrates 15th Year: Walt Disney World’s own Cirque du Soleil show is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary this month. The official 15th anniversary date for “La Nouba” is December 23, but we’ll celebrate the milestone with a special pre­show moment during the 6 p.m. performance on Wednesday, December 18, 2013. Tickets are still available.

New! Mobile Magic App to Discontinue Service Beginning 12/23/13: Not to be confused with the newer My Disney Experience App, The Disney Mobile Magic app is no longer available for download in the iTunes App Store or Android Market and will discontinue service on December 23 to mobile devices that already have it installed. The app was developed under a contract with Verizon, which ended earlier this year. Until service is discontinued, this app may display incorrect information for Guests.

New! Merchandise Events:

  • Dec. 9 – ­15: Larry Dotson, Disney Artist signing at the Art of Disney from 1 -­ 10 p.m.
  • Now – December 29: The holiday collection from Precious Moments doll maker Linda Rick is now available at Once Upon A Toy in the Downtown Disney Marketplace and Heritage Manor at the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot. Representatives will be on hand daily at both locations, so be sure to stop by and find new ones to add to your collection, or pick one up for someone on your holiday list.
  • Dec 13 -­ 14: Dale of Norway event at the Puffins Roost in Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Receive a complimentary Dale of Norway hat with your purchase of any Dale of Norway sweater.
  • December 16 – 23: Artist David E. Doss is back! David will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, and will return later in the month from December 27 – 30.
  • December 17: Calling all Traders! Disney Trading Night will take place December 17 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. atESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. So if you are looking to meet avid and novice traders, make friends, or share stories about your collections, then this is the place for you. Reminders: The specific location of Trading Night will be in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill Restaurant area, adjacent to the lobby. Space is extremely limited. Please limit the number of items that you choose to bring.

Closures and Refurbishments
Magic Kingdom

  • ▪ Casey’s Corner 01/06/14 -­ 02/15/14
  • ▪ Tomorrowland Speedway 01/06/14 ­- 01/12/14
  • ▪ Splash Mountain 01/06/14 -­ 03/21/14
  • ▪ The Magic Carpets of Aladdin 01/13/14 -­ 01/16/14
  • ▪ Liberty Square Riverboat 01/21/14 -­ 01/30/14

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Kali River Rapids 12/02/13 -­ 12/13/2013
  • Note: Due to the refurbishment, there are some food and beverage changes in the area as well. Maharajah Jungle Trek kiosk is closed through Dec. 13 and the Kali River Ice Cream cart will offer nuts during this time.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

  • Closed for annual refurbishment 10/27/13 -­ 12/21/13

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

  • Closed for annual refurbishment 01/06/14 -­ 03/17/14

Disney’s All Star Sports Resort

  • End Zone Food Court  Closed 08/05/13 ­ 12/20/13
  • Arcade  closed during this time frame as it will be used as a temporary Food Court with “Grab & Go” items 07/29/13 ­- 12/20/13
  • Surf’s Up Pool 01/06/14 ­ 01/24/14

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Pool slides ­ pools remain open 01/27/14 ­- 02/07/14

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

  • Beach & Sunset Point  Access to the east portion of the beach, near the Transportation and Ticket Center, and Sunset Point will be unavailable due to a scheduled refurbishment. However, all other amenities will not be affected. Some rooms in certain room categories in impacted buildings have been taken off the market during the renovation period.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort ­ French Quarter

  • Doubloon Lagoon Pool ­ transportation will be provided for Guests to swim at Ol’ Man Island Pool at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort ­ Riverside 01/13/14 -­ 02/28/14

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

  • Congress Park Pool 01/22/14 ­- 01/23/14

Downtown Disney® Area

  • Cap’n Jack’s Marina ­ Closed
  • Parking Lots H,I,J,K Closed
  • Fuego ­ closed
  • Wetzels Pretzels ­ closed 10/20/13
  • House of Blues ­ Starting on November 14, The House of Blues at Downtown Disney West Side is expanding its patio, building a new stage and adding a barbecue smokehouse. The House of Blues ticket sales window has moved inside the House of Blues retail shop. The expansion is expected to be complete in mid­January 2014.  During this time, there will be no live entertainment on the Front Porch stage.

Disney Golf Courses

  • Disney’s Palm Golf Course  Closed 06/12/13 ­ 12/14/13

 

Disneyland Resort in California

disneyland fireworks
New! Limited Time Magic ­ Embark on an Adventure for Elf Days, Dec 9 -­ 15: Train to become one of Santa’s secret helpers during Elf Days—a yuletide Limited Time Magic event happening at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Disney California Adventure Park. Santa’s elves are looking for a few good Guests to join their ranks… but only if these recruits can tackle a series of master challenges! From the Jingle Bell Bridge to Stocking Stuffers and Present Tracking, test your bravery by taking on each task. Not only will you receive your own official Elf name and learn the secret Elf Handshake, but you can even take a photo flying in Santa’s sleigh! So slip on those curly­toed shoes—before you know it, you’ll be jingling all the way!

New! Limited Time Magic ­ Walk Buena Vista Street with an Imagineer, Dec 9 -­ 13: Revel in the spirit of the 1920s on a tour of Buena Vista Street, one led by a Disney Imagineer! As part of Limited Time Magic, you’re invited to register for an opportunity to explore the re­imagined entrance at Disney California Adventure Park. Much like how Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park evokes the nostalgia of Walt Disney’s childhood, Buena Vista Street recalls the vibrancy Walt encountered when he first arrived in Los Angeles. It’s a perfect occasion to learn details directly from an Imagineer— with a focus on architecture, design, music and even the replica of an authentic Red Car Trolley.  Space was extremely limited. Registrations completed via Disney Parks Blog on Friday, Dec 6.

New! Award­Winning Producer Jerry Bruckheimer Set to Appear at Disneyland Park:  Multi­award winning producer Jerry Bruckheimer will be appearing on December 14 at Disneyana Shop on Main Street, U.S.A., for a special signing from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. of “Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes | Four Decades of Filmmaking,” authored by Michael Singer.

Merchandise Events:

  • December 14­-15: Check out the latest works from artist Jackie Huang at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Meet Jackie from 1 – 4 p.m. each day.
  • December 14­-15: If you have been waiting for the perfect time to order one of artist Dave Avanzino’sCustom Letter Plaques or purchase other pieces in his collection, then you’re in luck! There’s no time like the present. Dave will be appearing Dec. 14 from 2 – 8p.m. and December 15 from 11a.m. ­7p.m. at Disneyana on Main Street, U.S.A. inside Disneyland park.
  • Finally, rounding out the month is artist Noah, who will be appearing from Dec. 6, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, from 7 – 10p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District as this months’ artist in residence. Be sure to stop by and check out his newest work, The Kid in Me.

New Events this Week! Downtown Disney Winter Village at the Disneyland Resort: An entire Downtown Disney Winter Village sprung up around ESPN Zone and AMC Theatres on Thursday, November14, adding extra cheer to the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. Various activities were described in a previous blog post, but new activities are starting up this week, including Carolers
on December 5 and December 16­25, Anaheim Ballet performing scenes from “The Nutcracker” on December 5 and 19, and Downtown Disney Unwrapped, a presentation of fun gift ideas beginning Friday, November 29 (Black Friday).

Closures and Refurbishments
Visit http://destinationsinflorida.com/disneylandrehab.pdf to download the latest renovations and closures at Disneyland.

Universal Orlando Resort

cabana bay
New! BIG Discount on New Cabana Bay Beach Resort Family Suites: Be among the first to stay at Universal Orlando Resort’s NEW Cabana Bay Beach Resort and SAVE BIG with a preview offer! Experience Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s new family suites (sleeps up to six) with rates starting at $104 per night for a seven­night stay to $134 per night for a three­night stay. Book now for stays from March 31 to June 14,2014. Don’t miss out on this HUGE discount!

Universal Holidays Began Dec 7: Universal Holidays run December 7 ­ Jan 4, 2014! Many of the holiday favorites are returning this year.

Universal Island of Adventure:

  • Jump into the festive fun with The Grinch™ & Friends Character Breakfast, and take photos with many of your favorite Dr. Seuss friends.
  • Celebrate Grinchmas™ in Seuss Landing™, where you and your family can see The Grinch™ in a live holiday show, meet the old green meanie in person, and have your picture taken with him.

Universal Studios Florida:

  • Fill your heart with cheer during the Macy’s Holiday Parade™, featuring balloons and floats direct from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City!
  • Keep the holiday fun coming with two more live shows: A Barney Holiday, and The Blues Brothers Holiday Show.
  • Top it all off with the award­winning sounds of Mannheim Steamroller, performing live in concert on select Saturday and Sunday nights in December. Catch them performing live on the Music Plaza stage December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, 2013.

Details Revealed About Harry Potter Celebration Event: Join Harry Potter™ fans from around the world for interactive experiences, exciting demonstrations, and more during A Celebration of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando® Resort, January 24 – 26, 2014. Come and celebrate all of Harry Potter’s adventures with interactive experiences, exciting demonstrations, and more. The celebration kicks off with a Harry Potter™ Tribute on Friday – a special evening event featuring select cast members and award­winning artist, Kazu Kibuishi, who recently reimagined the Harry Potter book covers.
Other special activities over the weekend include:

  • A wand masterclass hosted by Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, featuring Wand Combat choreographer Paul Harris and a special guest
  • Q&A sessions with members of the Harry Potter cast
  • Panel discussions that cannot be missed with MinaLima ­ creators of the graphics seen in the movies
  • Pottermore – an exclusive behind­the­scenes look at Pottermore.com ­ the free interactive website from J.K. Rowling (Saturday & Sunday)
  • Plus, guests can explore the one­of­a­kind Harry Potter Expo with interactive activities for fans including a vignette of movie props from Harry Potter: The Exhibition and The Sorting Hat™ experience
  • And More

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email siera@destinationsinflorida.com for more information. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley: Coming to Universal Orlando in 2014

wizarding world of harry potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley is coming to the Universal Orlando® Resort next summer. In 2014, there will be two unique theme park experiences to bring even more of Harry Potter’s journey to life like never before! You will be able to enjoy Hogwarts castle and the streets of Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and the brand new London’s Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. Plus, you can ride the HogwartsExpress between Hogsmeade and King’s Cross stations when you have a Park-to-Park Ticket.

The brand-new Diagon Alley will be hidden behind a facade of London landmarks. You will be able to explore some of the most famous shops and establishments in the magical world of Harry Potter. Then, you can discover an innovative new ride inside of the goblin-run Gringotts bank.

Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando is already home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Hogsmeade. Here, you can stroll through Hogsmeade™ village and visit Honeydukes™ and other wizarding shops. You can grab a bite to eat at the Three Broomsticks™ or try a frothy Butterbeer™ at the Hog’s Head™ pub. If you’re feeling brave, you can try to take on the Hungarian Horntail or Chinese Fireball on the exciting Dragon Challenge™ roller coasters, or enjoy a more leisurely ride on Flight of the Hippogriff™. Then, you can explore the corridors of Hogwarts™ castle and even fly with Harry on the groundbreaking ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, 2010, 2011 & 2012 Universal Studios Travel Agency Partner of the Year. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you! Request a free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email spreadingmagic@gmail.com for more information. 

THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER – DIAGON ALLEY Is Coming to Unviersal Orlando in 2014

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER – DIAGON ALLEY IS COMING TO UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

Building on the global phenomenon that is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment announced an expansion of historic proportion with the entirely new themed environment, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is scheduled to open in 2014. It will be the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both Universal Orlando theme parks and allow Universal’s creative team to bring an unparalleled vision to this unique project. The new area will bring to life some of the experiences and places found in and around London in the Harry Potter books and films. This area will offer brand-new adventures for fans and theme park guests from around the world.

Diagon Alley and ‘London’ will be located within the Universal Studios Florida theme park, which is adjacent to Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, where guests now experience Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. The new area within Universal Studios will be just as expansive, immersive and authentic as the existing themed environment.

And – just like in the books and films – you will be able to travel between ‘London’ and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express. Construction on the new area is already underway. When it is complete, there will be shops, a restaurant and an innovative, marquee attraction based on Gringotts bank – all directly inspired by the fiction and films.

More details on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be released over time. To bring Diagon Alley and ‘London’ to life, Universal’s creative team is working closely with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films – just as it did for Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.

“I’m so pleased that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proved so popular to date, and I’m sure that the attention to detail in creating the new Diagon Alley area will make this an even better experience,” said J.K. Rowling.

“We are continuing the journey and adding an entirely new level of adventure,” said Tom Williams, Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts. “And we are bringing the same drive, commitment, enthusiasm and innovation to this project as we did to the first.”

“We are thrilled to offer the legions of fans the opportunity to embark on this new journey and experience Diagon Alley as it was brought to life in the books and films,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

“Our vision is to create two amazing theme park experiences that combine into one, complete, magical journey,” said Alice Norsworthy, executive vice president, marketing and sales for Universal Orlando Resort.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in June 2010. This area is a fully immersive Harry Potter themed environment, which brings to life the bestselling books by J.K. Rowling and the blockbuster feature films from Warner Bros. Studios. Since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter made its debut, it has become a global phenomenon and entertained millions of people from around the world. Visitors to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are swept into the adventures of Harry Potter. They can tour Hogwarts castle, shop in Hogsmeade and dine at the Three Broomsticks. At the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can soar above Hogwarts with Harry, be chosen by a wand at Ollivanders, sample Butterbeer, and much more.

Would you like to plan a Universal Orlando vacation to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter first-hand? Email spreadingmagic@gmail.com for more information!