Harry Potter Theme Park!

Hey guys!  I just got back from a FABULOUS week in Florida!  In case you were wondering, the weather there is absolutely PERFECT, and it was really hard to come back to highs in the 40s/50s (if we’re lucky!).  *sigh*

Anyway, while my sisters and I were visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousin, one of the things we made sure to do was visit Universal Studios in Orlando.  Of course, we went to the park that has the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  🙂

I honestly didn’t know too much about the theme park before going…the rides, what you could do, etc.  I was so busy before I left that I didn’t really investigate what I would be doing.  So everything was a new experience.  When we got into the Islands of Adventure, we immediately headed through the Dr. Seuss area to get to Harry Potter.

Seuss Landing

Unfortunately, the Harry Potter area was so crowded when we got back there, they weren’t letting anyone in.  So we took a ticket and had to wait a few hours.  We ate lunch and walked through Jurassic Park and headed back.

Hogwarts!

The castle looks just as you’d imagine.  I guess I’d been expecting to be able to explore the castle and see rooms and stuff, but actually, inside the castle is a ride:  HP and the Forbidden Journey.  It was pretty awesome.  You basically go on a journey via a moving car and a screen with projections.  To be honest it was jaw-dropping and I have NO IDEA how the ride works and was so mesmerized, I can’t even remember what actually happened.  I do remember that it takes you flying during a quidditch game…and really felt like flying!  It also really shows how dark Harry Potter is – with dementors and giant spiders (I squeezed my eyes shut during this park) and everything else popping up suddenly in your face.  I highly recommend this one.  (Tip if you’re going:  Pick the single rider line.  You can’t talk to the person next to you anyway and the line is SO MUCH shorter!)

The other two rides – Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge – are pretty good too.  The Hippogriff one is much tamer, so if you’re not a fan of loops and corkscrews, opt for that one.

Hogsmeade was a lot like I’d envisioned.  There are a lot of shops that I guess you can go into, but we didn’t because the lines were SOOO long.

Owl Post in Hogsmeade

They sell Butterbeer out in the street(?), and the lines for that are also long…but totally worth it!  Amber, I told everyone about how I had had Butterbeer before and they all thought it was awesome.  This time I had frozen Butterbeer, and it was DELICIOUS too.  Not to mention incredibly refreshing.  (That Florida sun is hot even in March!)

Butterbeer!

So if you guys are wanting to go, I highly recommend it, and would definitely go back.  🙂  (Especially if we make it a 2-day, 2-park adventure.  I really want to go to Universal Studios Florida too, but we didn’t have time.)

– Jill

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6 Responses to “Harry Potter Theme Park!”


  1. 1 ngtjennifer March 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I’m so jealous!!!! It sucks that the lines are really long, but I guess that is always going to be the case. To quote Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there!!!”

  2. 2 Amber March 20, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    To quote Jen as she quotes Liz Lemon “I want to go to there!!!” also 🙂

    That is so weird about the having-to-get-a-ticket-to-get-into-the-whole-park thing! Do they actually have the Harry Potter land sort of closed off then? How do they prevent people from walking through??? ooooh is a tap-on-a-brick situation??? I just can’t wrap my head around it…

    Also, I freaking love the Jurassic Park land–I think I walked back and forth through those giant gates a gazillion times…And I bragged to everyone about how I was in the Joe Mazzello online fan club… which now of course I brag about how I am a facebook friend with Joe Mazzello, star of the movie Social Network 🙂

    I wish I had gotten pics of people drinking butterbeer at my wedding! It will just have to live on in our memories (and I almost didn’t get any–I think I got the VERY LAST mug)

  3. 3 ngtlindsay March 21, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I third the Liz Lemon quote!
    I can’t believe I still haven’t been there! AH!!

  4. 4 ngtjill March 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Amber the ticket thing is a little confusing. So Universal Studios has 2 (at least?) parks in Orlando – Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Flordia. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the themed areas within Islands of Adventure. So to go to it, you buy a ticket for Islands of Adventure. The Harry Potter area isn’t normally closed off; it’s usually open like all of the other themed areas (Jurassic Park, etc.) BUT when it’s so crowded, they kind of barricade it off, and to get in, you first stop and get a pass for a specific time. We got one at around 11:45 and the pass said we were allowed to enter the park between 1:30 and 2:30. The pass is free; it’s just to try to help control the huge amount of people in that area.

    p.s. I totally did not realize that Joe Mazzello was in Social Network and I think you are awesome for being friends with him. 🙂

  5. 5 ngtjennifer March 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Jill, you are lucky that you got in so early….my sister’s friend went to the park and couldn’t get in till 7:30 at night.

  6. 6 Kimberly Davis July 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    You should enter HISTORY channel magazine’s Harry Potter contest. You could win a Hogwarts Express Lionel Train Set! http://on.fb.me/jAE5GA


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