Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Well, I feel like this very special day/place deserves its own blog post. Last Friday my cousin Phylicia and I arrived to Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios in Orlando. We were so unbelievably excited. A half an hour before the park opened we were waiting in line, tickets in hand and almost bursting with anticipation. They opened the gates and we followed EVERYONE to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter aka the coolest place in the whole entire world. It took about twenty minutes to walk quickly around the park to our destination. We could see Hogwarts!! It was beautiful. I almost swooned. This was my dream land, the place I was meant to go to school. Stupid muggle mail losing my acceptance letter.

Anyways, take a left into the castle and you've reached Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. You will never believe it but there was already a twenty minute line!! It didn't matter though, it was the coolest queue I had ever been in. You lock your belongings away in the dugeons and take off to Herbology! Professor Sprout has lots of plants everywhere in the green house. Then you actually enter the castle to the entrance to Professor Dumbledore's office (password "lemon drop"). P.s. I tried the password and it didn't work. You move through rooms and rooms of moving paintings, beautiful staircases and Harry, Ron and Hermione! Dumbledore even gives you advice on your journey. Finally, you've made it to your destination. A friendly witch or wizard groups you into four people per ride vehicle. It is so difficult to even begin to describe how this ride works. You sort of lift up into a hang glider and pass through various screens and real life objects throughout the ride. You feel like you're flying through Harry's world. The vehicle tilts you back and forth in front of screens to make it seem like you're moving with him. But then you pass through spiders and FREAKIN DEMENTORS who get like two inches from your face and spray stuff at you. It was terrifying, exhilirating and the coolest ride I have ever been on in my life.

Next, I needed to pee. Badly. Guess who was in the bathroom? MOANING MYRTLE. I was dying of happiness.

At this point the park wasn't too busy so we made our way over to Zonko's joke shop. They had pygmy puffs and I almost died. So cute and fluffy. Only $17. Ummm. Lots of money. I grabbed a pumpkin juice and a chocolate frog and got out of the tiny/packed shop. P.S. Pumpkin juice is nasty. At least I got a cute picture.

Hogsmeade is adorable. Snow lays on all the buildings and witches and wizards meander through the town. At this point we started to notice lines building up all around us. FOR STORES. I have never seen lines like these before. The line to get into Ollivander's snaked all the way around Hogsmeade and looked to be about an hour long. To even get into Borgin and Burkes you had to wait at least a half an hour. And the line for Forbidden Journey climbed to 75 minutes so easily. Butterbeer? Fifteen minute wait for a cart. But, oh well, we were at the coolest place on earth. So I decided to be brave and go on the crazy HP roller coaster. The queue and premise for the ride all revolved around book 4: Goblet of Fire and the Triwizard Tournament. An enjoyable 20 minute wait actually. You board one of the four dragons featured in the book and speed off through tons of loops and drops. I was so dizzy but really enjoyed it!!

At this point the waits were insane. We decided to do some other Universal rides and come back later. Alas, it was still crazy upon our return. We waited 30 minutes to get into the store but it was worth it. I got a Gryffindor scarf!! Only $35. Cough. Then I made Phylicia go on the mini-coaster with me. About 30 minute wait. It's based on book 3 and Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class. You board a Hypogriff and take off for a fun flight. Look out for Hagrid's hut!

Finally, I waited in line for a frozen Butterbeer. Seriously, sooo yummy. Best invention ever!

Harry Potter is awesome. In conclusion, you should go. But be prepared to run there first thing at park opening and wait in lots of lines with everyone and their mom. I was surprised at how SMALL the section of the park was. Only three rides and a few shops. But worth the trip for a Harry Potter enthusiast!!

Can I include pictures later? K thanks.

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