Enter my Florida work trip which conveniently gave me a spare day to traipse around Orlando.
I have to say, for someone whose parents didn’t love her enough for a Disney/Universal vacation as a child, I was pretty impressed.
Just kidding Mom and Dad! Considering I forked over $90 for a single ticket all I have no idea how families afford to go. That stuff is ludicrous.
But awesome. Let the tour continue!
There were two parts of the HP part of the theme park, Hogsmeade, where all of the shops (Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley) and restaurants were.
Holy crowds. I forgot how rarely I am surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people and screaming kids. I thought it might be weird to be there alone (hello, creepy adult alert). Except I don’t know how you could do it with a group, there are just so many people. At the very least it got me to the front of rides quickly. Sweet!
The Butterbeer was out of this world. It tasted like butterscotch root beer (I don’t even like root beer!) with some sort of butterscotch cream foam on top. Pure carbonated sugary delicousness. Two enthusiastic thumbs up Orlando. It was 100 degrees and it was pretty sweet so I didn’t end up finishing it. I admit, this would have been nice to split with somebody.
|I hope I don't get the mucus flavor|
|Do you think it's white chocolate? What IS a treacle?|
You could get your photo taken with some of the Tri-Wizard tournament schools, like this excited person.
|he can't wait to post this on facebook|
|This guy is next to normal|
Finally there were the rides. Now there were three rides here and I hadn’t necessarily intended to go on any of them but the shops were too crowded and otherwise that’s the whole HP part of the park, so in I went. Two of the three rides are pretty standard theme park fare. One is slower and fully themed hippogriff style and has tons of Hagrid’s house/hallmarks around it. The other was the Tri-Wizard Challenge that was a buckle in flip upside down go sixty miles an hour ride. Good ride, not so much to do with Harry. Mostly I was just utterly charmed by the last ride, the Forbidden Journey which happened once you entered Hogwarts. It was part regular rollercoaster and part virtual ride. It seriously knocked my socks off. One minute you were being spun around to close enough to touch a giant snake skeleton in the chamber of secrets and another you were face to face with a dragon head that spewed red hot air in your face, the next you were surrounded on all sides by a screen that had you following Harry through the Hogwarts towers via broom. I felt completely and totally immersed in the ride. I’m sure I had my mouth gaping open in wonderment the entire time. Hands down the best part of the whole park. Tip of the hat to you Universal.
|seal of approval|
So I spent three solid hours there and felt I got to see a little bit of everything. I am not necessarily one for souvenirs (hello studio apartment), so I resisted getting a wand, or commemorative do-dads. Also because the candy (yay) would have melted en route out of the park (boo).
Speaking of leaving the park, on my way out I meandered through the comic section and couldn’t help but take a photo of this appetizing picture.