This weekend I was lucky enough to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. I ended up going with three women who either didn’t read the books or weren’t nearly as obsessed as I was with the series. As we cabbed it over to Universal, I kept warning them that I was going to be… well… embarrassing.
They all laughed and promised to not make too much fun of me. They thought I was kidding. I knew I was NOT. Harry Potter was THE series that sparked my interest in reading again. Prior to the first book, I rarely read for leisure. And when I say rarely… I mean NEVER.
There was something about Harry that made me feel young again. Made me feel all things were possible again. It shook me to my core and made me root for him like no other character. The movies did the same – I am hooked and always will be a true Potter fan.
So, finally getting to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was a HUGE moment for me.
You enter through the gates and there it is – the Hogwarts Express. Right there. I mean… RIGHT THERE!! The conductor was standing around (speaking with a British accent – yeah!) and I ran up to him like he was my long lost brother. Might have frightened him a bit, but he didn’t make it too obvious.
You walk past the Hogwarts Express and right into the world of Harry Potter. These pictures do NOT do this any justice. Guests can buy candy at Zonko’s, experience the magic of Ollivanders, taste the scrumptious delights of the Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head pub or buy their very own Marauder’s Map at Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods. CAN YOU STAND IT??????????????
They can even mail letters from Hogsmeade at the Owl Post, buy Hogwarts school robes at Dervish and Banges or rest under the rafters of the Owlery. I seriously wanted to cry. It was all here – right in front of me. Every piece of the Harry Potter movies that I wished to be a part of was actually tangible.
Our guide took us straight to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – the best ride I have ever been on in my life. IN MY LIFE. I kept thinking about how lucky young kids are because they know no different. I have a little vertigo (as some of you know) so I had to close my eyes at times because you actually feel like you are playing quidditch! WOW it was insane!!
Each exciting part of the series was consolidated into the “best of the best”. That’s what the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is like. I grinned from start to finish. I relived the excitement of Harry’s journey one spin at a time.
But the ride begins with a walk through Hogwart’s castle. I almost want to say it’s an exact replica – because my mouth dropped when I saw it from a distance… and I lost my breath when I went inside.
Do you understand what I am saying here? Even if the line is long – who cares???? You are walking through Hogswarts!!!!
Now, let’s talk butterbeer. It’s a frozen concoction of butterscotch goodness. At first, I thought it was too sweet. Then I took another sip just to be sure and couldn’t stop inhaling it! It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good.
The last place we visited was the wand shop. There were wands everywhere! I was shaking in my boots… err…. sneakers. My children are not allowed to play with this bad boy. I was like… this is mommy’s toy. LOL
In the end, my friends and I had an amazing time. AN AMAZING TIME! As you can see – there are roller coasters to enjoy as well. On Dragon Challenge, guests may choose between the Hungarian Horntail and the Chinese Fireball dragons as they embark on one of two dueling roller coasters. The “dragons” twist, loop and narrowly miss each other in this epic adventure. So, if you are looking for excitement, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will serve you up that and THEN SOME.
Have you been yet? Are you planning on going?!! I had THE BEST TIME!!!