The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Elodie asked for a trip to Harry Potterland at Universal Studios for her 8th birthday instead of a party. I read the whole series when it first came out and it has been so fun seeing her get into the books more and more. We have only just finished the second one as they are still a bit scary for her age level but Harry Potterland proved just as good for the novice as the die hard fan who has read them all and knows about Horcrux and Luna Lovegood.
I am so, so glad that I left Francesca at home. The lines on the day we went were crazy and we ended up being in line for 2 1/2 hours for one ride (which they loved and said was worth it!) Still, if I had waited in that line with my four year old I would have poked my eyes out.
The food at Hog's Head Pub was actually good. I had the veggie option and it inspired me to roast vegetables and make mashed potatoes for dinner the next evening. Elodie wanted to like butter beer but didn't. She still talks about how maybe it was because she got the frozen instead of the regular. I thought it was interesting!
Her favorite stores were the Owl Post where she picked out parchment, a pretty quill and ink set for her birthday present and Honeyduke's Candy Shop which sells Chocolate Frogs and Bernie Bott's Every Flavoured Beans (that kept us occupied in that crazy long line!)
The magic wands they sell are also neat and you can cast spells at several spots along the way. Wingardium Leviosa!