Halloween Horror Nights & Diagon Alley adventure

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Every sensible haunted house lover knows Halloween Horror Nights is the best thing to do to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve. After you’ve gone once, every other haunted house or party is just inadequate. Last year it was Alien VS Predator; this year I saw Jason VS Freddy! I must say that An American Werewolf in London was my cup of tea. Tickets cost about $100 per person but will not do you any good unless you purchase the express pass as well (another $75 each), or you’ll be stuck in one line all night long. The RIP Tour ($300 per person) is even better than the fast pass. I think the extra $100 (or so) is totally worth it. The RIP Tour allows guests to skip literally everyone with a personal tour guide. It also includes some and dranks before the adventure begins around 6:45pm. Stay at a nearby Airbnb then catch an Uber to Universal to save yourself that parking dough and immense traffic headache. I know it’s a lot of money, and a long way to drive if you’re from south Florida like me, but it’s worth it because you will truly be thrilled! The park doesn’t allow guests to dress up during the event, but in the long run this will save you from the stress of picking out a costume and keep your wallet fatter. I recommend wearing comfortable clothes and good walking shoes (sneakers) so that you can focus on enjoying the thrill of the experience.

At the last minute, I decided to extend our visit for another day. My heart were set on returning to the magic at Universal Studios for Diagon Alley ($100 per adult). I’m not exaggerating when I say that: I literally live for this. I donned my Gryffindor robe ($27.99 x 2 ~ that I got on Amazon and is much better, lighter, and cheaper than the official ones they sell at Universal) and headed to the park. I must have had at least three delicious Butterbeers ($5 each so yummy and creamy) within the first fifteen minutes! I loved walking around in my Gryffindor robe and seeing the dragon breathe fire (every ten minutes). You’ll know when to get those phones ready to snap a pic (or video) because you’ll hear the dragon snarling right before it blows. This effect is truly impressive at night. You can feel heat on your face! I loved the Escape from Gringott’s ride, and even the Deathly Hallows puppet-show played in one of the courtyards in Diagon Alley. At the wand shop, you can purchase special wands ($50 each) which will interact with the environment around you to produce intriguing and bewildering effects. Upon entering Knockturn Alley, you will feel a chill down run your spine. It is air conditioned and dark – a nice, cool relief from the heat of the day. Going to Diagon Alley is a fully immersive experience, even down to the right charming background music, to make you feel like you’re really there. I love it; it’s magical and makes me so happy!

For lunch, I ate at my new favorite place, The Leaky Cauldron, for some food of yore. The Ploughman’s platter (serves 2) comes with 2 Scotch eggs, 3 kinds of cheese, fresh bread, miniature pickles, chutney, grilled tomato, green salad, and creamy horseradish-mustard dipping sauce ($19.99). I tried a Toad in the Hole ($8.99) and loved it, and was later inspired to recreate it at home. Is is a traditional English dish consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, served with vegetables and onion gravy. The Cottage Pie ($11.99) is basically a Shepherd’s Pie with beef and vegetables and a layer of mash potatoes to serve as the top crust. I could not leave without trying a Harry Potter dessert, the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($6.99). Later, I tried the Butterbeer ice cream ($4.99 per cup), and I still dream of it to this day!

All in all, I give this Halloween weekend experience five stars! ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆


If you want to learn about more places, check out The Five Treasures of Florida, Volume I, on the iTunes Store.

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