The new Harry Potter: Diagon Alley park at Universal Studios opened on July 8. We went on July 13. It was a madhouse. Only part of our group went - my dad stayed home with Keiara & Miya. We arrived over an hour early & were first in line to be let in at the regular admission gate (guests staying at Universal Hotels get into the Harry Potter parks an hour early). So we waited. Finally, we were told that the park was open & we were being let in. They said that we would be led by Universal officials, & there was a rope that we all had to stay behind to avoid a mad dash & keep our spots in line.
Everything went crazy. Everyone was running, grown men were trying to run around the rope, parents were leaving their children (as in SMALL children), my family got separated, Taryn lost both of her shoes from people stepping on them & had to pick them up & keep running. We finally got to the gate & it narrowed to single file. My sisters & I managed to stay together at the front, but we had lost everyone else (Let's just say we were a bit more aggressive - we'll all admit to shoving to hold our spot, & I might have pushed a preteen who tried to cut me). Laker caught up right as we got through the gate.
& then - pure magic. We walked into the park & saw the London section - Kings Cross station, 12 Grimmauld Place, the Knight Bus - & then went through the brick wall into Diagon Alley. I got teary eyed, but we had no time for emotion. We ran straight to the Escape from Gringotts ride, where we were greeted with a 2 & 1/2 hour wait. My mom, Kiefer, & Ben ended up in line about 20 minutes behind us.
& it was well worth the wait! After a lengthy line, we got to tour Gringotts Bank, see the goblins, walk through vaults, & get onto the ride. The vaults even had Daily Prophet papers with moving pictures! We saw Bill Weasley & Griphook, rode the most magical attraction ever, faced a dragon, Bellatrix, & Voldemort, & left feeling like we'd had a real adventure!