Universal Studios has a location in Osaka, and I figured that since I quite enjoyed my visit to Disneyland and DisneySea in Tokyo, I’d give it a shot.
The only wrinkle was that the big draw here is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and I hadn’t seen a single Harry Potter movie. So I watched them all over the last couple of weeks — that’s just the way I roll.
The Harry Potter area was pretty amazing, including an impressively detailed recreation of Hogwarts.
And, of course, there’s the famous Butterbeer, which I obviously had to try.
It’s basically a cream soda float, only with melted ice cream. It was fine, I guess? It cost a whopping 600 yen (almost seven bucks Canadian) for a tiny cup, so it’s not cheap.
The centrepiece here is the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which was easily one of the best rides I’ve ever experienced. It also made me feel like I was moments away from vomiting everywhere, so that was unfortunate.
It was also insanely crowded, as you can see from this board with a listing of all of the various wait times across the park.
Yes, that’s a 170 minute wait (!) for the Harry Potter and Despicable Me rides.
As for the food, it was mostly nothing special, though there was one thing called a croissant brulee that was shockingly amazing.
It’s creme brulee with a croissant base; the custard soaks into the croissant, and it basically becomes the best bread pudding that you’ve ever had (only with a crispy, sugary top to make things all the more delightful). It was so much better than I was expecting it to be.