Osaka, Japan: A Day at Universal Studios

[November 24, 2017] From Kyoto, we continued our little adventure to Osaka, and stayed there for 3 days. Aside from food, one of the main reasons why we decided to go was to see and experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan. We even dedicated one full day to re-watch Harry Potter movies to prepare for our trip.

We bought our e-tickets from Klook at approx. PHP 3,500/person. An express pass would be more expensive but a good idea if you will travel on peak seasons, unless you are willing to wait for 3-5 hours..Yikes!

TRAVEL HACK #9: IN AUTUMN, GO THERE EARLY. I am putting this in all caps to emphasize how important it is to go as early as possible (skip the sleep or regret?). Rap and I arrived at 7:00AM but the line was already far too long that we thought we won’t be able to get inside Wizarding World of Harry Potter. From blogs, it was advised to get timed tickets as soon as the USJ gates open to ensure that you’ll be able to go inside the park. It was Rap and I’s battle plan to run, whoever comes first, and get the tickets.

Yes, we ran, but during the opening, they didn’t issue timed tickets because the park hasn’t reached the maximum number of people yet. Instead, we rushed towards the main attraction “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and queued at most 30 minutes (yes, that’s already short given the other attractions). 

After the ride, we went around the park just to adore all the little details. We went inside Ollivander’s where they played a short skit, similar to the scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. All kinds of souvenirs are there – wands, scarves, themed desserts, HP-themed keychains, wizard robes! But, the only thing we bought was the Butterbeer (which we both loved), and some sweets like the Chocolate Frog and Bertie Bott’s Jelly Beans as a take-home. I resisted myself from buying too much because honestly, what will I do with all those after? **Good job, adult self**

After our ride, the line tripled with 2 hrs waiting time
After our ride, the line tripled with 2 hrs waiting time
We also tried Ollivander's!
We also tried Ollivander’s!
Which wand, which wand...
Which wand, which wand…
All aboard the Hogwarts Express
All aboard the Hogwarts Express
Browsing through Diagon Alley
Oh, it’s Gilderoy Lockhart
Run deep into the forest
Run deep into the forest
The Hogwarts Castle
The Hogwarts Castle
Where to go next
Where to go next
Oh, Hogsmeade
Oh, Hogsmeade
I got my Butterbeer!
I got my Butterbeer!
Feels like Christmas
Feels like Christmas
Hogwarts at night - The Christmas Special
Hogwarts at night – The Christmas Special

Aside from the Wizarding World, we also visited the Minion Park and tried the “Minion Mayhem” (which we queued for almost 3 hours to ride) and New York to try the “Amazing Adventure of Spiderman” (queued for almost 2 hours). We also tried the theater show “Universal Monsters Live Rock and Roll”.

The rest of the attractions were similar to those in Singapore (and USA -which Rap already experienced) and we’re not inclined to repeating. These includes Jaws, Jurassic Park and Waterworld.

Didn't know minions could be this tall LOL
Didn’t know minions could be this tall LOL
3 hours for this ride. Oops.
3 hours for this ride. Oops.
Finding Spidey
Finding Spidey
Strolling around the village
Strolling around the village
There you are!
There you are!
Til next time, USJ!
Til next time, USJ!

Though attractions were far less than Tokyo DisneySea, we surely enjoyed ourselves as the main goal – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – fulfilled our Harry Potter fantasies. I just wished there were less time wasted on queuing (will keep Express Pass in mind).

Is Universal Studios Japan part of your Osaka list? Tell me more about it!

That’s it for now. <3 always, Irene

P.S. Next post will be about our Dotonbori food adventure. Stay tuned!

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