Ten Tips for Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and some extras for the rest of Islands of Adventure)

Update: This post only covers the area of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, NOT the new Diagon Alley or Hogwarts Express. Obviously some tips in this post are now outdated. However, many still apply. If you have purchased the 2-park ticket so you can access the entire Harry Potter experience, then I would suggest the following:
1. Enter Universal Studios first. With Diagon Alley being new, it will fill up very quickly.
2. Hit Ollivander’s (now located in Diagon Alley, it appears) and the new ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, first. Again, it’s new, so it will attract riders quickly. Don’t forget that Ollivander’s also quickly gets a long line.
3. When you are finished in Diagon Alley, take the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade and enjoy your time there. I’m guessing that the new area will be more crowded than the old, but remember – if it gets more crowded than you like, return late in the day.

I’ll be honest: I don’t for a second think that I have the most wisdom to offer when it comes to visiting theme parks. I have only been to Islands of Adventure and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one time. However, here’s the caveat: I did my research. I read numerous blogs featuring dozens of tips, and I still had issues and obstacles when I got there. So, I am posting purely for the benefit of those people who plan vacations like I do, who will read every blog post on Pinterest hoping to find the best way to seamlessly enjoy their vacation.

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Pumpkin Sensory Play

This year, I tried my first attempt at carving a pumpkin. I know, I know… you’re thinking how I haven’t lived if I haven’t ever carved a pumpkin. Well, my family didn’t celebrate Halloween. And while I do NOT want this to get into a debate on whether or not Christians should participate in Halloween (I could point you to many other blogs for that argument), my husband and I feel that there is an element of innocent fun that we enjoy participating in with our son.
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Sensory Blanket Tutorial

I’ve learned a lot of tricks the hard way when it comes to making sensory blankets (commonly known as taggie blankets) as baby gifts, and I want to pass on those tips to you! This will be a very detailed tutorial. Most tutes I looked out apparently assumed I was an incredible seamstress… and I’m not.
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Let Them Get Dirty, Momma.

I’ve realized something recently: I have a hard time letting my munchkin get dirty.

I don’t understand why, but I’ve always hated the idea of letting Munchkin play in the dirt. I’ve always been a little unhappy when he gets food on his clothes or in his hair. I just want him clean.

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Pinterest-Inspired Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday Party on a Budget

Our little miracle boy turned one this summer! And yes, I’m very late in posting his birthday party… but that’s about how things go around here! I want to share with you everything I did for his party, because we were certainly planning on a budget!
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We’ve won the battle, but we’re still losing the war: 5 things to remember as you fight infertility.

I’ve realized something this week: infertility is not a single battle to be won, but a war we constantly fight. Succeeding in becoming pregnant one time does not mean that a person is no longer infertile.
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Don’t Act Like a Christian

Why is it so hard sometimes to act like a Christian? Basically, why is it so hard to act like Christ? I think there’s a problematic word in that sentence – “act.” “Acting” denotes a sense of falsehood, a character. We shouldn’t act like Christians. We shouldn’t act like Christ. We are Christians, and therefore we have the Holy Spirit inside of us. That means our behavior should be real, a result of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, not a result of our attempts to follow the rules.

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