Monday, March 21, 2011

Harry Potter Wizarding World at Universal Orlando

Last week I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios park in Orlando, Florida. Being that I am an enormous fan of the Harry Potter books and films, there was a significant level of excitement on my part in anticipation of visiting the park.
As I entered the park, I first saw the famous 'Hogwarts Express' steam train that dutifully brings students from London's King's Cross station, platform 9 & 3/4 to Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was a nice way to start the experience, just as the kids do in each film. Of course, I couldn't miss the opportunity for a photo op with the train conductor...

The park is very well designed, with wonderfully authentic architecture, right down to street signs such as these, calling out the way to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. Look to the right of the sign post- you can just see the snow-capped roof. The entire park has snow covered roofs, an interesting sensation, considering it was in the mid 80's in Orlando.
This view of Hogwart's castle is quite awe-inspiring. Scores of kids gasp, and shriek with delight as this comes into view as they 'round a corner walking in the park. Unlike other structures at theme parks, this park looks very "old England", complete with old, worn roofs and chimneys. Interspersed throughout are the five rides, such as this one above, to the right of the castle.
Hagrid's House

A nice stone arch, covered in snow...

It truly has a village atmosphere to it.

Lockers provide safe storage during the rides.

See what I mean about the slanted chimneys?

...and these banners throughout make it feel like a school area

The Dragon Challenge has two rides, both are pretty scary.

Inside the castle- complete with "talking" paintings

The Sorting Hat- it speaks when you walk past
The Book of Monsters is safely locked up.

The Three Broomsticks serves English Pub Grub

Nothing quite like a cold Butter Beer to take the edge off.

Honeydukes sweet shop!

Zonkos jokes shop had cool stuff too

Wizard's chess

The Owl Post

Inside Olivander's Wand Shop

Flight of the Hippogriff is a family ride

This is the Weasley's flying car

Before I left, I had the opportunity to scrawl out a few postcards, conveniently available at the many gift shops throughout the park. The cool part is they had their own post box, so if you mail them from inside the park, they will be post-marked as mailed from Hogwarts (or so I was told). So I borrowed a quill pen and hastily wrote out a few post cards. I had an absolute blast at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Like most theme parks, it can be expensive for a family, but any Potter fan worth their salt will gladly fork out the dough for the experience. EXPECTO PATRONUM!


kenju said...

How was the BUtterbeer?

Cheryl said...

The theme park is fantastic! I haven't been but your pictures make me feel like I have. What an experience for fans. So glad you had a great time!

KathyA said...

What does the butter beer taste like?

It looks crowded! I guess a lot of kids are on spring break. Your pictures really make me want to visit.

Desert Songbird said...

I'm guessing your Patronus takes on the shape of a poodle. Am I right? ;)

A friend of mine who lives in England (on the Isle of Wight) was at this park a few weeks before you were. She said it was fantastic, and she enjoyed it every bit as much as her young niece and nephew; maybe even more! I hope to visit there very soon.

I'd better be sure to brush up on my hexes, though...

Cora said...

Your photos are fabulous! We are saving up money to go (hopefully) soon. Your post just poured more fuel into the money-saving fire in me. :-)


This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.

This blog is independent and free of any type of financial affiliations. Some images used are from the internet and sometimes hard to credit them, so if you own any and want them removed just send me a message.

No copyright infringement intended. I am not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious, or other laws from the reader’s country of origin or residence. The intention of this blog is to do no harm, defame, libel or offend anyone.