Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mrs. Oh and the World of Harry Potter

On Saturday we went to Universal's Islands of Adventure and we had a blast!

Tobey and I trying on some hats in the Lost Continent.

Inside Dervish's.

Chewie enjoying some Pumkin Juice while at Hogsmeade.

There were just a few other folks there....

The candy selection at Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.

The Hogwarts Express!

Packages at the Owl Post.

The main drag once inside Hogsmeade.

Flying boomsticks for sale.

Wands for sale at Ollivander's.

Oh....the butterbeer was SO good!

Nappy and Chewie at Seuss Landing.

Chewie and Nap

The backside of Hogwart's.

Tobey and Me at Seuss Landing.

Hogwart's was beautiful at night.

and it looked pretty great in the daylight too!

We had such a wonderful day and I especially loved the new area of the park: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Be warned though: there are lines for everything. Lines for the Butterbeer. Lines to shop at Honeydukes and Ollivander's. Lines for the bathrooms. But it is so worth the wait! We waited in line 75 minutes for the Forbidden Journey which is the ride located in Hogwart's and I think it was one of the best rides ever. To be able to walk the halls of Hogwarts was so fantastical - to see talking paintings and the sorting hat - I have just beside myself with geeky glee.

We purchased the Express Passes so we could go to the head of the line and the extra price ($50 per person) was well worth the time savings it afforded us. But note that you can't use the Express Pass on the Forbidden Journey and you can't Express the shops in Hogsmeade either.

One thing also to make note of is when you buy your Florida resident tickets. Their web site advises you to go to any kiosk to pick your tickets up. But nope. You have to stand in the extra long line with everyone else who didn't buy their tickets in advance - which twerked us to no end and made no sense to me at all. We were told it was because there was no way for the park to be able to check our licenses to establish our residency ergo the long wait in the long line. The thing is though that they never asked to even see our licenses. But who really cares: we were in Hogsmeade!

My tips for you are simple:

Wait until after 6 p.m. to go to Ollivander's shop. The afternoon line was over an hour wait and in the evening we only waited about 20 minutes. And don't skip this either. You can get into the shops by waiting in another line but you don't get the little show inside Ollivander's and I thought it was so perfect that it shouldn't be skipped. Also, some of the wands are not priced and I saw people putting them back on the shelf because none of us knew how much they cost. $29.95 in case you were wondering and they are available online for purchase as well.

The Butterbeer. When you enter Hogsmeade from Seuss Landing bypass the first Butterbeer cart and go closer to the castle and there is another cart with a much shorter line. You will be offered either frozen or cold Butterbeer and the collector's cup is around $10 with a regular cup costing only $3.25. The frozen one is like an Icee and we bought some of each. The frozen Butterbeer wasn't as flavorful as the cold version so I wouldn't recommend it as much. Both are topped with a buttery/rummy flavored whip creme-like topping which was beyond yummy and I only wish they offered a way for us to take some home.

Pumpkin Juice. You can buy the juice in the Honeydukes candy store or in carts throughout Hogsmeade and they sell for $5.99 each which I thought was pretty steep. But of course we all had to try it because it is after all Pumpkin Juice and it reminded me a lot of my Russian Tea recipe but with a hint of pumpkin flavor added in. I overheard comments from other guests and they weren't very complimentary towards either the juice or the beer. But I thought the beer was better than the juice.

The Chocolate Frogs. Honeydukes sells the frogs in the cutest little packages:

But don't plan on picking one up for everyone you know as they were $9.95 each. Adorable? Yes! Affordable? No so much - but then again there wasn't really anything in the park that was, so keep that in mind when you go. But go - if you are a Harry Potter fan you are not going to be disappointed and I simply can not wait to go back, again and again and again!



I love that picture of you and dad with the hats!

I am so jealous! It looks absolutely wonderful!

Is it always this crowded? Looks like you had a great time.

Tee - it used to be we would always go to the parks in February and March because they were always empty. Not any more it seems. Reviews say to go Monday - Thursdays and it didn't help it was spring break. But as crowded as it was in Harryville, it wasn't all that bad in the other areas of the park.

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