Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Harry Potter Vacation - Day Two

This is the day I have been waiting for since July of 2010. Today I stepped foot into The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. WWofHP is located at Universal Studios Islands of Adventures and is at the very back of the park. With my vacation package I had early admittance, which means I can get in at 8am before the public gets in at 9am. But my shuttle didn't leave my hotel until 8:20 and by the time I got to the park it was about 8:45, but when I got in the park wasn't that busy. Of course as I got in I followed the crowds to the back corner where WWofHP is located. I was walking so fast that my calves started to burn. But I made it.. I made it to Hogsmead.

As I entered there was just so much to see I felt a bit overwhelmed. I started taking pictures and was making my way through the park. When I realized that the park was fairly empty and I should try and go on the rides while the lines are short. So I headed to their "big" ride Forbidden Journey, only took 5 mintues to get through the line, which was good and bad. See while your in line for this ride there is so much to see as you walk through Hogwarts castle. But when there is no line you kind of walk by everything very quickly. But for me I knew I would be here for three days and have plenty of time to see everything and I really wanted to get on the ride.

Forbidden Journey is one of the most unique rides I have ever been on. It's part practical ride and part simulator and it goes back and forth. They blow air, water and heat in your face to give you that 4D experience. It's such a crazy cool ride.

Next I did Flight of the Hippogrift, this is a fun but very short roller coaster. I don't want to call it a kiddies roller coaster but that is really what it is.

After the two rides I had to try my very first ButterBeer. Now there are two opitions cold or frozen, so I chose frozen, which means it's like a slushy. Took my first slip and it was incredible. It tasted a bit like cream soda (which I very much dislike) with a touch of butterscotch (which I very much love). I finished it in no time and was ready for another one :)but really needed to wait. While drinking my ButterBeer I walked around Hogsmead and took a bunch of pictures.

After a half hour I needed a rest so I went to the Owlery, which is really cool. There are benches and ceiling fans among the owls in the rafters.

Next up was The Dragon Challange. It's a dueling roller coaster that hangs from the tracks. Again no waiting in line. While your making your way to the coaster everything is set up like the Tri-Wizard Tournament. You also get to see Hagrids Hut and the Wesley's car. You then walk through these dark winding tunnels until you reach the loading area... It's pretty crazy. The ride itself is pretty wild. Lots of twists and turns. I spent most of the time trying to keep my glasses on so I didn't really enjoy it. Had planned to ride again, but a few minutes after my first ride I started feeling some pain in my back.. Not sure what I did but it's not good.

So it's now 11am and I didn't eat breakfast so I opted to grab some lunch before the crowds showed up. I went to The Three Broomsticks and got there special of Fish and Chips. I also tried Pumpkin Juice for the first time. Food was great and the pumpkin juice tasted like pumpkin pie and was super sweet. The best part of lunch was eating in The Three Broomstick... That was pretty amazing.

After lunch I went over to Ollavander Wand Shop. By this time this section of the park was packed and there was a half hour wait (which isn't bad). Once in there the wand maker picks someone from the audience (he picked a woman right next to me). He then proceeds to pick wands until the third one when, just like in the movie, there's a light and wind and he announces the wand chooses the Wizard. It's pretty cool.

After Ollavander's I broke down and got another ButterBeer, I had planned to get a "cold" one but it was hot and the "frozen" one sounded so much better. Once again I drank it way to fast that I got ButterBeer brain freeze. Oh forgot to mention that when you go to the bathroom you hear Moaning Myrtle talking, crying and laughing. It's kind of cool yet makes it difficult to complete your business.

Anyways after I finished my second ButterBeer I opted to walk around the rest of the park looking for an outlet to charge my iPhone (didn't have any luck), but I did get to see the rest of the park.

When I got back to WWofHP I rode Forbidden Journey again and Flight of the Hippogrift. Took more pictures and watch the Hogwarts choir with singing frogs. Did Ollavander's again, walked through Honeydukes sweet shop and Zonkos joke shop. Then did Forbidden Journey for a third time... Such an awesome ride. It was now 6pm and the park closes at 7 and I had planned to eat dinner at Citywalk but The Three Broomsticks was calling to me so I went and had this yummy roasted chicken and potatoes dinner. I also had my third ButterBeer, and this time I went with "cold" and honestly I couldn't tell you which one I liked more... They are both incredible and I can't wait to drink more the next few days. I also found out that both ButterBeers are cheaper in The Three Broomsticks then at the ButterBeer kiosks... Good to know.

One last thing.. There is so much AWESOME merchandise that I want and was about to spend hundreds of dollars when I decided to wait and make sure I really "want" these things. Still doesn't mean I won't spend hundreds :) and I plan on buying my stuff tomorrow.

It was an EPIC day full of awesome and I can't wait to do it all again tomorrow. And for tomorrow it will be my video day.. Took hundreds of pictures today but I plan to take hours of video tomorrow.

Also will be uploading both pictures and video when I get back home on Friday. Until then you'll have to just enjoy my blog.

Pictures Below:

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Happiest Place on Earth!! http://ow.ly/6RChs

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Various Other Hogsmeade Stores http://ow.ly/6RBW7

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Owlery & Owl Post http://ow.ly/6RBIQ

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Performers http://ow.ly/6RBvD

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Flight of the Hippogrift http://ow.ly/6RA5E

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Dervish and Banges http://ow.ly/6RzYB

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Dragon Challenge http://ow.ly/6RzKL

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Three Broomsticks & Hogs Head http://ow.ly/6RztE

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Zonkos Joke Shop http://ow.ly/6Rzfn

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Honeydukes http://ow.ly/6RzbY

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Ollivanders http://ow.ly/6RyU5

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Express http://ow.ly/6RyKJ

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Castle http://ow.ly/6RyFm

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade http://ow.ly/6RyDc


  1. Glad to hear your having such a great time Kenny!

  2. hi there sounds fun i look forward to pictures and any video glade you had a great day at the park