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Thanks to Universal Studios Hollywood for sponsoring this post and providing us with Express Pass tickets and Parking. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. To read more about sponsorships, please visit our FAQ page.

I have to be honest - even though I grew up in Southern California, I had never visited Universal Studios Hollywood. I know. I know. It's crazy, but it's true. I had been wanting to visit for years, though. You see, while I was pregnant with Evie, G got me into Harry Potter (again, I know! How was I not on that bandwagon years ago?!), and since falling in love with the world J.K. Rowling created, I've wanted to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter so badly. Then, this year, for my 34th birthday, I finally got to go.

I spent the week before prepping - I DIY'ed a Harry Potter inspired shirt, and spent time taking so many quizzes to discover my house (Gryffindor!!), my Patronus (a Rattlesnake???) and which wand was best suited for me (10" Cypress wood with a unicorn hair core). By the evening of the 22nd, I was ready to go (not to mention so excited I could barely sleep).

The morning of arrived, and we excitedly handed Evie off to my folks before making the short drive to the park. As a billboard for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter created us at the entrance, I couldn't help but feel even more excited.

Parking was a breeze, and we greatly enjoyed the trip through Universal CityWalk as we approached the park. After a few obligatory selfies by the silver globe out front, we got started. While each section of the park was incredible, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was everything I'd hoped for. When you walk into Hogsmead, you feel like you're in the movies. We had so much fun exploring the shops and eating in The Three Broomsticks. Finally, take your time as you walk over to Hogwarts. It's beautiful, and approaching slowly allows you to really experience the sensation that you are there, and about to meet Albus Dumbledore for the first time.

There were so many fun surprises while we were there, from a performance by Beauxbatons and Durmstrang to small spots you can stand and perform actual magic with your wand from Ollivander's. I thouroughly enjoyed my time in the park, and would definitely encourage you to go wander around if you're a Potter fan too!

If I were to give you one piece of advice for visiting the park, it would be to splurge on the Express Passes. We waited less than 15 minutes for every single ride, regardless of how long the regular lines were. It was amazing, and made the whole day feel more relaxed.

Have you been to Universal Studios Hollywood? What was your favorite part?

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