Friday, July 13, 2012

Homage to Harry Potter-Land

Okay, so I admit it. I have loved and always will love Harry Potter. Ever since my little adolescent hands got a hold of the first book, I've been enchanted by the Boy Who Lived. You can imagine my thrill when my sister and I planned a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. If you're a fan of Harry Potter, either the books or the movies (or both), I very much suggest you go! I daresay you will not be disappointed. 

The excitement began as we walked through Universal to the entrance of Hogsmeade. I looked up and saw this sign and geeked out a bit:

Respect the spell limits!
Once inside, you can take a walk through Zonko's and Honeydukes. Both looked like what I imagined they would, and sold all the candies and merchandise that were mentioned in the books. My sister was tempted to buy an extendable ear. We decided against it. 

We soon spotted the Butterbeer truck and went running to it. We'd only been waiting 10 years to try it! As expected it was quite pricey, I think about $10 bucks for a mug. But, you got to keep the mug, so obviously it was worth it. Even though I use the mug as a junk collector now. Oh, well. The point is it was absolutely delicious and I will genuinely miss the taste. 

It was around lunchtime when we decided to head to The Three Broomsticks for some food. They had a few options to choose from, and I think both of us opted for turkey legs and some sort of potato side. It was a little cafeteria style, but the decor was awesome. 

The Three Broomsticks

We then moved further into Hogsmeade and came across the Owl Post and Ollivanders. The Owl Post was pretty cute, and I think you could even drop off mail there and it would be stamped with some Harry Potter-esque mark. At Ollivanders you could get matched with your own wand, and purchase ones seen in the movie. We didn't have the time to wait in line to get "chosen" by a wand, but I imagine I would have a nice cherry wood with Veela hair in the middle. I'm just guessing, of course...

After all that browsing, we were ready to finally get to Hogwarts! It was a short trek down the path and all of a sudden, there it was in all its glory:

Hogwarts Castle

We proceeded to get in line for the main event, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Thankfully the line wasn't too long and we were inside the castle in no time. We got to see Dumbledore's office, the Dark Arts classroom, and a lot of other fun rooms before getting to the ride. The ride was sort of like an interactive roller coaster, not anything extremely fast, but it had so many twists and turns and things popping out at you that I actually got a bit scared! It was so much fun that we went on it again, and if we had the time I probably would have just kept going. We also went on the actual roller coaster in the park, called Dragon Challenge. You could pick one of two Dragons to ride, and it was definitely a rush! After the ride we decided we'd had enough thrill for one day, and got our Harry Potter fix, so we headed back to the hotel. 

And so concludes my review of Harry Potter-Land, aka The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I give it two-wands up! Okay, I'm done with the puns. 

Have you been to to Universal and/or WW of HP? What did you think?

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