Monday, April 2, 2012

Universal's Islands of Adventure

Day two in the parks, I switched over to Universal so that I could check "Visit Harry Potter World" off of my bucket list. Oh my goodness was it awesome.

Today I rode the rides and walked the park with my friends Kaitlyn and Megan, two Tecumseh girls. We see each other often in Indy but it was so fun to be together in Florida on Spring Break. We saw the Hogwart's Express at Platform 9 3/4 and met  the conductor.

Harry Potter World was packed--even though it was first thing in the morning and even though there were seven other sections of the park that people could have been filling. Everyone gravitated right to J.K. Rowling's creative, brilliant, imaginary world. After waiting for two hours to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and then waiting for the Dragon Challenge roller coaster we decided to check out our other favorite rides on the other side of the park and come back later.

One of my favorite "islands" to walk through is Seuss Landing. I love the bright colors and seeing Suess's characters and crazy worlds come to life.

These scenes made me miss camp's Sneeches and the Lorax chapels.

Here's the thing, we came to Universal to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which was definitely worth the trip, but other than that Kaitlyn, Megan and I all agree that Disney is the ultimate King of amusement parks. Without fast passes we spent most of our day waiting in line. We came to the park knowing we would have to do a lot of waiting but after awhile you really just want to go on a ride. A wait advertised as forty minutes for the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man turned into two hours. It was still sweet. After riding the Hulk roller-coaster we returned to HP land where the crowd had become more manageable.

We all got a Butterbeer from a cart in Hogsmeade, an icy butterscotch treat with salty froth on top. Seriously so cool to think we were drinking the Butterbeer we'd read about and had imagined what it would taste like.

I loved just walking around and feeling like we were right in the middle of one of the books. It's incredible to meet that Rowling's idea not only became an acclaimed book series and created blockbuster films but has also evolved into a theme park attraction that pulls thousand of adoring fans daily. It's incredible.

We saw the Three Broomstick's restaraunt,

the candy store that featured item's like Every Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs,

Zonko's joke shop,

Olivander's wand store (we saw kids walking around with their own wands most of the day),

the Quidditch supply store and Tomes and Scrolls Bookstore.

We went on the HP and the Forbidden Journey one more time because soaring on a broomstick through a Quidditch game, past spiders in the Forbidden Forest, inside the halls of Hogwarts, under and around dementors and back to safety was too much fun to only do once. While you wait in line you also get to walk through the castle and see Dumbledore's office and talk to Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Harry Potter World is definitely worth the trip if you are a fan. I loved getting to see on of my favorite book series come to life and to get to hang out with Kaitlyn and Megan all day.

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