A Trip for the Kiddos

Every year we buy more (pardon my French) CRAP for Christmas than we ever need.  I just get so caught up in the whole feeling of giving and I just want to do stuff for my kids cuz I love those little punks.  So this year, we decided to give them memories instead.  At the moment, they are all way into Harry Potter.  We just finished reading the last book as a family a few months ago.  And since we’re only 6 hours from LA, we decided we would take them to Universal Studios Hollywood as their Christmas gift this year.  That was literally all they got….well that and some socks and underwear and a little spending money.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened less than a year ago, and we really wanted to see it. It didn’t disappoint!

Oh, it was so awesome watching their happy little faces when they opened their tickets.  Our 14 year old literally started to cry because she was so excited.  I love when we manage to find that right gift like that!  We actually wound up buying season’s passes.  They were cheaper than even just going for two days, so it made sense.  And now we can go back a few more times this year.  Where they really get you is in the things you buy there: parking, food, souvenirs, etc.  So with just a little preparation, you can save a some money on some of those things….eat breakfast before you go and pack a lunch and snacks, maybe leave the park for dinner and a little break.  If you know you’re going to want to have a cloak and a wand (or whatever your favorite thing might be…) but you don’t want to shell out $200, buy them on Amazon or make them before you go.  BUT maybe you want to just enjoy every single minute of that place and buy all the awesome souvenir’s and eat all the good food they have.  In that case, I recommend an interactive wand that you can use at a lot of different store fronts (so fun) and definitely eat at the Three Broomsticks. YUM!  That food did not taste like “park food”.  They also had super delicious (and HUGE) donuts in Simpson land.

Universal Studios definitely isn’t for little kids, or people who get super sick on rides (aka, it’s not Disneyland).   It’s crowded and crazy with lots of long lines (unless you want to shell out a bunch of extra moolah for the front of the line passes… we found the single rider lines to work well for us with out the extra cash) but even with those drawbacks, we sure had a blast.  We loved the magic of Harry Potter land (and my son LOVED riding Jurassic Park over and over and over) and we can’t wait to go back….and hopefully make it to Universal Studios Orlando one of these years!

What’s your favorite amusement park?

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