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We recently went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and we were given an amazing insider tour, where we learned the best Insider Tips about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.   Thanks to Universal Studios for the visit and the awesome tour!

A large stone castle with text above it.

1- If you are staying on site, you will get into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter a full hour before anyone else!
We stayed at Cabana Bay and the kids LOVED it (so did we).   They have a sand-area for the kids to play in (near the pool).  They have a huge waterslide, a lazy river, a bowling alley and so much more.   It was great!

A resort with an outdoor pool.

2- If you stay on site, you get express tickets for free.   I would do this every time, just for this reason!  It was wonderful to not have to wait in lines!

3- Use the child swap if you have a young child.   There is a small room, located near the top of every ride, where one adult can sit with the child and wait for the rest of the family to complete the ride – then you just swap!   The older boys loved this, because they were able to do the ride with mom and then again with dad!

4- Be sure to stop by the bathroom at Hogmeade, because Myrtle’s voice can be heard inside: complaining, crying and whining.

5- You can ride in the same motorcycle as Hagrid and Harry Potter rode in (see picture below):

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 9.26.09 AM

6- If you stop at the red telephone booth, near King’s Cross, and dial MAGIC (62442), you will talk to the Ministry of Magic.
(Be prepared- your kids will have no idea what a telephone booth is!)

phone booth

7- If you see the Knight Bus, you can talk to the Shrunken Head, and he will talk back to you (extremely interactive- I think he might just be real!)

harry potter 2

8- The dragon breathes REAL fire every 15 minutes.  You will know its coming because he will make very loud noises as a warning.  Get your camera ready…  he will move, roar and then breaths fire.  Its really fun to see (and you can feel the heat, even all the way below on the street). 

harry potter

9- If you get thirsty, try the Butterbeer.   Our kids (and the adults) loved it!

10- Teach the kids to make a #4, in the air, with their wands, when pointing them in their designated spots.  Your wands will make certain things happen, but our kids were having trouble.  When they just pointed them, we had no luck, until a Hogwarts worker gave us the trick of making “a mini #4 in the air” with our wands.  Ta-da!
Oh!  And don’t drop them!  If the screen-part has a scratch, it no longer works.

11 – Be sure to stop by VIVO for dinner.   It was our favorite (Italian) meal of the week!  (And check out the light fixtures made of wire whisks and cheese graters!)   Honestly– it was so much easier than eating at every little stop, grabbing snacks along the way.   Just go in, grab a full meal and then head back out for more fun.  Your family will be full (and happy).

Ps- if the kids get hot, there is a fun water fountain play area right out front (near VIVO)- they can splash around and cool off a bit.

All in all- the trip was amazing and every family will love it!

5 ways to save money for vacation
Our trip to Hilton Head: 
HHI canoe trip

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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