We, (my mom, her friend Paula, and I) went to Universal studios on January 3rd, a nice rainy, slightly chilly day, by Floridian standards. The drive was nice and short, since it was a Sunday, and no one was really driving on I-4. The parking was so empty we could park on the first floor! (Paula goes around twice a year and she's never parked on the bottom.) We passed through security with on problem, and walked along some sort of moving walkway into the main park area. As you enter the main park area, there are several places to eat, in addition to lots of stores. Most of the rides are housed in these very large buildings, with only the very largest outdoors. We, being Potter-heads, headed straight for Diagon Alley. All I can say is that it's large, loud, bright, and very vividly colored. Nearly everything was the same as it is in the movies, unless it follows the book instead.
At the end of Diagon Alley is the signature three story, crooked, white marble bank, topped with a dragon. After putting our stuff in lockers, we got in line for the ride. The line was short, and fast moving for the ten minutes we stood in line for. They take your picture for Gringotts security, and send you down seven miles in a life. You then climb two flights of stairs to get to the ride. The carts are to say the least, very intricate. I'm not going to say anymore about this one, for anyone who might be planning to go.
After "recovering" we went back on the ride, with a bit more of a wait. Then we got off, got our stuff, and "recovered" some more. After a few minutes of waiting for the dragon, (it doesn't like the rain) we decided to go watch the puppet show in Carkitt Market. Here's a link to a video of it.
We tried butter beer, which was very sweet, and a little odd. I was under the impression it was creamy... After Diagon Alley, we chose another ride, and another, and another. Over all we rode Gringotts twice, The Mummy twice, E.T. once, Men in Black once, and Paula and I rode the "Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket". That last one consists of a 90 degree uphill to start, and 87 down, a loop, a shot through a building, lots of turning upside down, a several more hills. After that, we were just about done, and headed back to the car without too much getting lost. The ride home was uneventful, and we slept very well that night...