WARNING: This blog entry is lengthy, so prepare yourself.
I would like to inform you that I have uploaded all of my pictures. You may now click "View All" above under the image scroll to see them. I must tell you though: the pictures do not do justice to how it all is in reality.
Having now been to the Harry Potter theme park makes it hard for me to watch any of the movies or listen to the soundtracks; I miss being there so dearly. If I could hop on the next plane to Orlando I would do it! Anything to be reunited with that magical place. I highly recommend a visit to anyone and everyone! This a MUST on your bucket list. I suppose now I shall go into detail about the wonders of Harry's world I have been denying you...
Stepping through the archway and entering Hogsmeade is like stepping into JK Rowling's imagination. Universal was somehow able to bring her fictional world to life, and it is absolutely fantastic. The detail and hard work put into this place is just phenomenal. The Hogwarts Express blows steam as if its about to head off. The faux owls perched inside the Owlery flap their wings and hoot. The Monster Book of Monsters growls! It is all so wonderful, I don't understand how I was able to force my legs to walk away from it.
If you had to use the bathroom during your visit, you were gifted with the presence of Moaning Myrtle. You never see her, but her constant flow of moaning is impossible to drown out. The poor girl just whines and complains all day (in both bathrooms).
Some of the amazing shop displays include:
- a magical writing quill
- a boy "puking" into a bucket advertising for Puking Pastilles
- instruments that perform Hedwig's Theme
- a Howler that yells at you, bursts into pieces and then starts over again
- and the Marauder's Map showing many characters' current locations inside the castle
On your tour of the castle while in line for the Forbidden Journey ride, the pictures move and talk to you! Including the four Hogwarts founders, who bicker about the Muggles in the castle. Its mostly Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw ganging up on Slytherin who thinks the dragon on the loose should kill all the Muggles. Oh, and also the Fat Lady is on the tour. She's a silly woman. The Sorting Hat even shares its wisdom and riddles with you.
In front of the Three Broomsticks is a moving Wanted poster of a struggling and deranged Sirius Black.
I enjoyed the Ministry of Magic signs in the shops and in front the rides, warning you against serious injury and consequences.
Even though I complained about Ollivander's Wand shop, it was great being able to experience it. To witness a child have their wand choose them, the process of the wrong wands and being united with the right one. I'm just jealous it wasn't me being chosen by my wand.
When you pass the bewitched and crashed Ford Anglia it honks at you. And when you pass Hagrid's Hut you hear Fang inside barking at all the passing visitors, as well as Hagrid teaching you how to approach a Hippogriff. One of the most wonderful things though, would be the Harry Potter movie scores playing throughout the park all day long. Everywhere you go, the magical tinkling of Harry Potter music.
My absolute favorite part of the whole park is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. It takes you on an adventurous journey with Harry, Ron and Hermione. You get to experience dragons, dementors and spiders, oh my! I shan't divulge the entire ride though, it is something that must be experienced for yourself. It is just an absolutely magical time. The hour-long line wait is definitely worth it. As I said before, after the very first time I rode it I nearly cried. My eyes got teary, but they were the almost-tears of extreme happiness. It was one of those moments when you realize that if you were to die right then, it would be perfectly fine. You would die quite happy. Thank goodness I didn't though, then I wouldn't have been able to ride it three more glorious times!
I plan on returning to Harry Potter's World in the near future. Winter perhaps? I sure hope so! I do not know how I am going to go on with my drab Muggle life when I could be out there having the most wonderful time at Hogwarts! But for now, I shall dream of the taste of Butterbeer and the wonderful feeling I got from walking through Hogsmeade, until I can return to where I truly belong.