Thursday, August 19, 2010

Harry Potter


We are big fans of Harry Potter in our house! We have read all the books, listened to the audiobooks and have seen all the movies of course we would plan a day to Universal Studios to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I live in Central Florida, so it didn't require serious planning, just a synchronizing of schedules.  We decided to wait until mid afternoon to go, in hopes that visitors who had been there all the day would be heading home. We tried to pick a cooler day, but there is no such thing in a Florida summer!

Before going, we knew exactly what we wanted to do in the park.  Riding the Forbidden Journey was top on the list.  When we got to the castle to get in line, we were informed the ride was broken and they could not predict when it would re-open. Not a promising start.
Enjoying a glass of butterbeer
Taking it in stride, we decided to see the sites of Hogsmeade.We shared a glass of butterbeer. You could get it regular or frozen.  We went with frozen.  It is similar to a slushy served with a topping of foamy cream.  It has an unusual taste, almost like butterscotch and it was refreshing, but not really delicious.  We visited HoneyDukes sweet shop and Zonkos.  They were selling cauldron cupcakes - cute idea, but I didn't taste one.
Cauldron Cakes

Being here felt like we had walked into the movie. They did a great job replicating all the details of  Hogwarts and Hogsmeade:  snow covered roofs,  large stone buildings, cobblestone streets, familiar shops, Hogwarts Express...

Standing in front of the Hogwart's Express
We did not make it into Olivander's, the Owlery or Ride of the Hippogriff due to long lines.  We did venture into Hogsmeade Pub so I could try the HogsHead Brew made especially for the World of Harry Potter. It was very similar to Killians Red.

Determined not to leave until I rode the Forbidden Journey, we visited the rest of the park with hope that the ride would be repaired before the park closed.  We weren't the only ones with this idea.  Once the ride was operating again, we waited in line for 2 hours.  It was an awesome ride and we had a lot of time for family bonding as we snaked through the endless roped paths.

Despite the heat and crowds I am glad I got to experience a place I had only visited in books or movies.  Even if it is make believe.

Trying on silly hats in Zonkos

Are you a fan of Harry Potter?  Do you have any favorite characters?


  1. Question! In just 70 days 17 hours 15 minutes and 28 seconds (not that I'm counting) I'll be officially on my annual Fall trip to WDW and Halloween Horror Nights. This year we are going to spend a full day at IoA before HHN - mostly because my travel companions are big Harry Potter fans. I have only seen bits and pieces of some of the movies. Would I find it more enjoyable if I make a point of seeing some of the movies first? Any particular movies out of the 50 or so available??

    Not being a fan, I must say the pictures look really cool and I'm excited about my day there!

  2. I can tell you're not counting ;) The more background you have about Harry Potter and his adventures the more meaning all the details will have, but it is cool regardless. I'm sure your friends would be happy to fill you in. If you were going to see a movie, I would start with the first one-Sorcerer's Stone. It introduces you to a lot of the places and traditions of Hogwarts.
    Be careful - you might just get hooked too.

  3. Okay! Cool - I'll ask my friend if she has the movies. I'm sure she'll be happy to lend them to me so I can finally learn what butter beer is! ;-)

  4. I can't wait to go there, but I don't see it happening anytime soon...gotta tackle Disney first!


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