Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 357 (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter)

Today was a day I had been anticipating since the beginning of the road trip: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando Florida!!!!!

It was kind of strange though because I wasn't as excited as I thought I would be. I guess after seeing all of the things I've seen so far on this trip, it was hard to imagine how this day could top all of that. I suppose that is the wrong expectation though. Every place that we've been to has been special. True some weren't as "exciting" as the others, but when I look through my blog and remember each of those days, I know each of those days was definitely a day worth having.

Today, my mom and I were prepared for a hot day. What else could you expect of a Florida summer day? We left the hotel at 8:30 and it was already hot. We got to the park and rushed with the crowd to the entrance. We were not the only ones there who wanted to see this brand new Harry Potter themed extravaganza. I stopped to take these pictures of the entrance because it really is a beautiful park, but after that, it was straight to Harry Potter!

Our first glimpse of Hogsmead!

The entrance to Harry Potter land!

The Hogwarts Express and a conductor:

Finally! We were in Hogsmead! (Hogsmead is the little town where the Harry Potter characters spend so much time.)

While waiting in line for Ollivander's we were caught in a deluge of rain. We were soaked! (I'm talking wet underwear, people!) A lot of the pictures from here on out feature the cute little ponchos that the folks at Universal were making a killing on that day. ($8.00 a pop!) My mom and I ironically spent the rest of our summer day in Florida trying to keep warm O_o. (Wet clothes + air conditioning = very cold!)

Doesn't she look happy? (Note the icicles above her head in the second picture.)

Hogwarts in the distance...

One of the best rides there was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a ride that's kind of a cross between Disney's Haunted Mansion and Soarin' over California. Part of it uses animatronics and actual set pieces, other parts are on a large curved video screen, all the while the enchanted "bench" you're riding on is twisting and turning and diving and going from side to side. I felt a little sick afterwards, but it was exhilarating! Even the line was fun because it goes through Hogwarts. Many of you will recognize some of the things in these photographs from the Harry Potter books and movies.

Part of the line was outdoors and was made to look like Herbology class.

Look at the beady little eyes on this mandrake...

We saw Hagrid's hut...

I went on the Dragon Challenge and my mom took some pictures, not sure if I was actually on these particular cars though, LOL.

After we had our fill of Harry Potter, we went on to explore the rest of the park. We went on a couple of rides, saw a few shows. It's a great park, but we kind of ran out of things to do around the 5 o'clock mark.

My mom with a thought bubble over her head...

For those of you that don't know, Storm is my favorite super-hero, and the park had not one, but 2, giant Storm figures in the Marvel section of the park! XD

Not wanting to leave right away, and we went back to Harry Potter world for another walkthrough and a butterbeer at the Hog's Head.

On our way out, we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some Beuxbatons & Durmstrang students. The picture is kind of weird because my camera had crapped out at this point and I had to take a picture without an image in the view finder. (Afterwards, my mom took me to K-Mart and bought me a new one for my birthday. Thanks mom!)

It really was a great day, and I hope I can come back some day, perhaps when the weather is a little better. The amount of detail they put into this place is amazing and there are little surprises everywhere you turn. You really can go here and pretend for a little while that magic is real.



  1. Omg. I love the picture of the day! It's like my driving. :) I'm jealous you got to go to the HP park.

  2. Sooooooooo...sooooooo jealous. I irrationally keep wanting to tell you to "go look over there", and "did you get one of those?" Awesomeness!!!