Sunday, January 26, 2020
Universal's Islands of Adventure: Hogsmeade
Date of Visit: January 10, 2020
Hogsmeade was part of the main reason we went to Universal Orlando. We had planned to visit years ago on a WDW trip, but decided we weren't sure it was worthwhile since we aren't into thrill rides and there's little else to do. As this year's annual family trip included Dad for the first time and we again had the ability to go to other area attractions, we decided to finally just go and stop wondering if it was really worth it or not for us. Ultimately, not so sure it was, but it certainly was better we waited to go and did not go in 2012 when there was only Hogsmeade as this area was the worst part of our visit to Universal Orlando and it was the Harry Potter stuff that opened since then that we enjoyed, especially Hogwarts Express.
The one thing that was a good experience in Hogsmeade was the butterbeer cart, which was an easy way to get some to enjoy.
Mailing ourselves postcards from Hogsmeade was a fun souvenir, but not an easy process. Getting the stamps wasn't too difficult, but only because Mik decided to not go in the shop, which was hard to get into with people selecting wands and as often happens with stores didn't have much room for maneuvering. However, it wasn't as bad as Honeydukes, which really was barely navigable with no people and Mik got mad at me for not wanting to put up with the line myself to buy what he wanted for him (luckily we later found what he wanted over in Diagon Alley where the selection was limited, but had more open space and at the time also had no one else shopping).
Mik and I watched the Frog Choir while Dad was trying to figure out how to mail our postcards, which took awhile as they just said you mail it around the corner from the shop and we assumed that meant you drop it in a post box and not that you hand them to the cashier at what seems more like a souvenir stand than a place to mail something. I thought the Frog Choir was interesting, but Mik didn't.
Overall found Hogsmeade to be a rather unenjoyable due to everything being too compact. Of course, the main reason we had never gone before was that we knew all the rides required a transfer and weren't worth it for us as they're thrill rides. However, I really expected that we could at least enjoy Honeydukes. We did at least easily enjoy some butterbeer and it was a light crowd day, so it could've have been so much worse in terms of navigating through parts.
Universal's Islands of Adventure
6000 Universal Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819