My family absolutely loves visiting Universal Studios Florida! “Riding the Movies” at this amazing theme park brings out the imagination in all of us, young and old. However, the last time we were there they were just building the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and we haven’t been able to see it yet.
So, we turn to guest blogger Tim Jones to tell us all about it:
The new Harry Potter theme park in Universal Orlando provides myriad opportunities for excitement and adventure. It can also be a little overwhelming.
Universal has provided a totally immersive environment where you feel transported to the world of Harry Potter. You may find yourself standing in Hogsmeade Village wondering, “What now?”
Well, let’s start with the shops, since that will likely be the first thing that grabs your attention.
Zonko’s Joke Shop
Zonko’s offers many gags and gadgets for the aspiring prankster. Slime, goo, slinkys, robots, and more. Go here to find every thing your little one needs for their sibling jokes and pranks.
Honeydukes has nothing but candy! Jelly beans, gummy bears, rock candy, and more line the walls and shelves of this colorful shop. Stuff your inner child with sugary treats for the day.
Mail your magical letters with an official Hogsmeade postmark from the Owl Post. You can also purchase your wand from the Owl Post, after watching the wand selection presentation in Ollivanders Wand Shop. Just a little hint, you can buy the wand directly from the Owl Post without having to wait in the long line to watch the wand selection show.
Dervish & Banges
You will purchase all your wizarding school supplies from Dervish & Banges, including your broomstick, robe, shirts, Rememberalls, and more. This shop can be very busy and cramped, so be sure to get your supplies, early. Also, watch out for the biting book!
Now that you’ve done all your shopping, you may have worked up an appetite. Let’s check out the local eateries.
This is the restaurant in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also sample the JK Rowling approved Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice! The restaurant is one of the best themed building in the whole Harry Potter theme park, but you have to buy some food to take in the beauty and wonder of the interior.
With full bellies, let’s go check out some rides!
The Dragon Challenge takes the place of the old Duelling Dragons coaster. Still the same roller coaster with some radical changes to the queue line, so you feel part of the world of Harry Potter. Two “dragons” fight each other and take you along for the ride. Just as with the old Dueling Dragons
Flight of the Hippogriff
A coaster for the younger visitors, the Flight of the Hippogriff uses the “Flying Unicorn” coaster from the old Lost Continent. The theming and story line for this ride follows right in line with the Harry Potter series and the coaster has been remodeled to look like a Hippogriff. Although it’s meant for kids, it provides some amazing views of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as well as some thrills, even for adults.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
The most anticipated ride in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter utilizes new ride-technology to take guests on a broomstick ride for a quidditch match! The queue line allows visitors to explore Hogwart’s Castle. The line is almost as much fun as the ride! The show never stops from the time you enter the castle until you’re “released” from the ride. The ride itself provides thrills and scenes that may be a bit much for the younger wizards-to-be and you do have to be 48″ tall to mount your “broomstick” for the match.
If you haven’t been burned to a crisp by a dragon or eaten by a Hippogriff by this point, you can enjoy some of the shows that crop up around Hogsmeade Village or “board” the train at platform 9-3/4 for the ride home.
About the Author
An experienced Central Florida traveler and local, Tim Jones has been an Orlando travel writer and specialist for over 10 years. Learn more about Disney World, Universal Orlando, and Harry Potter theme park travel at DestinationsInFlorida.com and WizardingWorldPark.com
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/destinations-articles/harry-potter-theme-park-guide-2616765.html
Did You Know?
The “really big” fans of Harry Potter used to be turned away from the Forbidden Journey attraction at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter because the seats were too small. The overhead restraint wouldn’t allow riders with a wide mid-section, wide shoulders or those who were too “busty” be secured properly. Hollywood Dame reports that this has been corrected. Now, thanks to blogger Banks Lee who went on a diet because he was unable to ride the Forbidden Journey, they have added a few larger seats.
A few years ago when we were at Universal Studios I was unable to get the requisite “3 clicks” on the seat locking mechanism on the Mummy Ride. Everyone who was able to be securely locked in had to wait until they moved me to one of the designated larger seats. It was a little embarrassing and a lot frustrating because I was then separated from my children – but who’s going to ask them to move a whole family of 5 while everyone waits? My question is this: didn’t they know larger people would want to ride the Forbidden Journey too? Don’t they know that now an estimated 60% of Americans are obese? I’m happy for Banks Lee that he was able to use the embarrassing episode to lose weight and push for “seating reform”, but why did it have to happen in the first place?
Visit the official Universal Studios Orlando website.
If you’re interested in the pricing, visit EW.com for their review of the park’s opening.
Here is an 8 minute walking tour of the shops in Hogmeade
Here is an 8 minute walk-thru of Hogwarts Castle