After 22, the magic of your birthday loses a little bit of its sparkle. Shit, this year on my birthday I realized I was 26, without health insurance and pretty much considered an “adult”. I’m progressively making my way towards that age where teenage boys at the grocery store start calling you Ma’am.

Ugh, when did that happen?!?!

But as much as I hate turning another year older, there is one thing I love about my birthday. That being IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. It’s my day, my one special day to do whatever makes me happy unapologetically. You know you feel the same way when your birthday rolls around.

That is why I wanted to go to Universal Studios on my birthday. I rallied together my favorite people, we piled into a car and got ready to have a extraordinary day together. Surrounded by some of my closest friends I braced myself to have a good day but what I got from Universal Studios was so much more.

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The staff make you feel like you are the most important park guest on your special day and this is why. If you go over to guest services they will give you this adorable pin that says it is your birthday. Pop that baby on and get ready to have every person walk by you wish you a happy birthday and no, it never gets old.

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Each time someone wished me a happy birthday I excitedly screamed a thank you their way and was left with a beaming smile. I felt like a kid. For once, I was excited that it was my birthday and appreciated every single warm wish. It seems like the tiniest gesture but for me it really helped make my day a significant one.

As if the hundreds of birthday wishes aren’t enough to warm your soul. It does get better. Every time someone sold me something they would take one look at my badge and find a way to give me a little tiny present. From endless discounts on butterbeer, free cookies, free food, free sweets and bunch of other discounts. It was really refreshing to have these people who I barely knew beyond a short, friendly conversation go out of their way to give me some kind of small present. Being the cheap Portuguee I am I was on cloud nine. I happily walked around indulging in all my little “presents” from the park staff.

Between the luxurious treatment from the staff and the endless fun I was having with some of my best friends. One of the really great reasons to go to Universal on your birthday and frankly, for this point, any day, is THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!

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For those of you that don’t know I nerd out HARRRRDDD to some Harry Potter, I’m a proud Hufflepuff who idolizing Dobby, wants to be Hermione and am still desperately waiting for my letter to Hogwarts.

Going to the Wizarding World felt like all my nerd dreams coming true. All of my visions while reading the book were right before my eyes. From Knockturn Alley, Hogsmeade, to meeting Stan & Ernie in front of the Knight bus, to dialing the Ministry of Magic, battling Voldemort, playing with a pigmy puff at Weasly Wizard Wheezes and even spotting Kreacher at 12 Grimmauld Place. I was lucky enough to grab a drink at the Leaky Cauldron, have lunch at the Three Broomsticks and finish it off with a butterbeer while riding the Hogwarts Express. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then damn, hate to break it to you, but you are missing out my friend.

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Going to Universal on my birthday brought back a child-like wonder that sometimes gets lost in this whole bullshit of “adulthood”. The day was magical and memorable, and for a day, I forgot how old I was. I feel like people lose that with each birthday and it was a real treat to be enveloped in that feeling all day. Birthdays are supposed to be exciting, they’re supposed to be a celebration and if you go to Universal it will be all that with a dose of magic thrown your way. You can’t go wrong.

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