NerdTours Tuesday: Hogwarts Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a NerdTours Tuesday! But the wait was worth it, since it meant I was able to go to Hogwarts!

For every Harry Potter fan Universal in Florida is the place to go for all things Harry Potter related. Both Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventures have Harry Potter lands within the parks. In my humble opinion you should start at Universal Studios where Diagon Alley is, make sure to buy a pass to both parks so that you can board the Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure where Hogsmeade and Hogwarts are located. (You can go whichever way you choose, I just think it would be cool to take the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts over to Diagon Alley would be awesome!)

From Universal Studios as you head towards Diagon Alley the first glimpse you are entering into the world of Harry Potter is 13 Grimmauld Place. (If you are with non-readers who only watched the movies you may have to explain the relevance of what this place is)

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Next Stop Diagon Alley! Where you are instantly transported into the world of Harry Potter! There is so much happening it is hard to take in all at once! Swing by Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for some ice cream! Don’t forget to check out Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Quality Quidditch Supplies!

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Don’t forget to get some Butterbeer! I really enjoyed the frozen Butterbeer! Delicious! We also were brave enough to try the Fishy Green Ale, which was interesting but I would still stick to the Butterbeer!

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Next stop Gringots! Where you will go on a wild ride trying to escape from the vaults! At every turn there is something new to see! Even standing in the line for the ride is an adventure.

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After grabbing some food, and wandering through more shops you can head over to Platform 9 3/4 and board the Hogwarts Express!

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Next stop Hogsmeade!

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From Hogsmeade you can see the village along with more shops, street vendors but most importantly you can see Hogwarts! As you head into the castle you can will see the mirror of erised, where they keep track of points and many more items as you head towards the ride. This ride is amazing and has managed to incorporate things from every book!

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After the ride we stopped at the Three Broomsticks for lunch (and more Butterbeer!)

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Than we spent a good chunk of time wandering around Honeydukes! So much candy!

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We also found Hagrid’s hut while in line for Flight of the Hippogriff! If you pay attention you will even see Buckbeak!

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All in all the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a total blast and I wish I had been able to spend more time there! Can’t wait to go back!

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-Elle

NerdTours: Doctor Who and Torchwood Edition

 

 

Cardiff. Most have probably never heard of this small capital city of Wales. However, if you are a fan of certain television shows, when you hear Cardiff the first things you think of are Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Time Rifts.

For all Doctor Who and Torchwood fans searching for a trip, the first place to choose to travel to would be Cardiff. Not only is Cardiff filled with many things fandom related, but it is also a beautiful city full of castles, parliament building, shopping, and tons of friendly people to meet up with.

One of the best things about Cardiff is that the city is very walkable, you don’t have to worry about figuring out public transportation, I stayed in the downtown area at The Angel Hotel and walked everywhere. All of Cardiff felt very safe, no matter what time of day/night and there are a few pedestrian streets where you don’t need to worry about traffic and are full of shops and restaurants.

 

For the Doctor Who fan, one of the first places to stop is the Doctor Who Experience on Cardiff Bay. Check out props and costumes and replicas from fifty years of Doctor Who, the exhibit also recently went through refurbishing for the latest Doctor.

 

 

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Unfortunately, I booked this trip last May, and it was announced mid-August that they would be closing for the remodel, and my trip wasn’t able to be moved, I missed being able to actually visit. (However, that just means I will have to go back!)

While in Cardiff be sure to keep your eyes open as you will come across the TARDIS or even a Dalek.

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Just down the way from the Doctor Who Experience you will find Roath Lock, home of BBC Wales.

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The building is beautiful and has really amazing architecture so be sure to walk around and check it out.

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While you are wandering around join one of the walking tours to explore locations where Doctor Who and Torchwood were filmed, as you wander the city you will recognize many of the locations. As you continue around the bay you will recognize the area where Torchwood is located.

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You will even find the headquarters of Torchwood.

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Be aware though that no matter how much you try, your sonic screwdriver will not break you into Torchwood.

 

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You will also run into Iantos Shrine near the docks, be sure to stop by and leave something behind in rememberance of Ianto.

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Every Doctor Who fan will enjoy their trip to Cardiff, and if there is time you can take the train into London to see more sights, see the Shard, Canary Wharf or run into the TARDIS.


-Elle