The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Ok my lovelies. As some of you may already know, the hubs gave me the sweetest birfday gift. I have been wanting to go to Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL (a 4 hour drive for us) but have refrained from going due to scorching heat and the tons of people that are visiting the park since Harry was opened in early June. Luckily for me, my hubs secured us a babysitter and took me out of my jobless funk and swept me away on Friday to Orlando. Since we've been to the park tons of times before, we decided to just focus on the new Harry island - especially since we are talking 1+ hour lines for all the rides and shops.

Here is a visual for you guys. I'll explain along the way.

This is the gateway to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here you can see the hubs posing and your first glimpse of the magic inside. Once you go under said gate, you are now walking through the streets of Hogsmeade. You see all the curvy chimneys, the snowy rooftops and all the shops, pubs and restaurants that you remember from the books.

But before you take your first couple of steps you find the Hogwarts Express. It's not a ride or anything but it is a great picture spot.

Once you walk through... of course, you can't help the wonder you feel at watching one of my favorite books come to life you can't help but glance down yonder and see this.

Oh yes, it's a ginormous replica of Hogwarts. Eek!! And it's a ride. A very good ride. It was dark and creepy and you fly through behind Harry and his friends ... I won't tell you more about the ride, but I will show you pictures inside the castle.

While we were in line for an hour, we were quite frankly entertained. For while you are in line you are also taking a tour of the castle. We weren't able to take our camera for the ride but they have walking tours of the castle, meaning after you ride you can ask to go back in (without making the line of course) and just take pictures and really enjoy some of the fun stuff you find in there.

You see the picture gallery. By the way, the pictures are all talking and moving. They're all rather upset that muggles have been let into Hogwarts. They are exactly the way you see them in the movies and read about them in the books. Some of the folks in one picture frame will be found in another and if you look back to the original picture frame they were in is now empty. It was hilarious.

You also walk through the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room and even Professor Dumbledore's office.

If you look close you can even see Dumbledore's hologram in the center (left). I can't help it, I'm in love with books - even if they are fake :) (right). You can also see Hagrid's hut (bottom) and travel through the Herbology classroom.

Once we rode "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" we decided to hang out in Hogsmeade. First things first... the

I was a little worried about the taste. But oh no, it was yummy. You had the option of draft or frozen - we, of course, went with the frozen versions. It tastes like butterscotch and gingerbread cookies all rolled into this delicious refreshment. We loved it. We actually had about 4 of these before the day was over. See our happy faces... oh yes, and Butterbeer is not the same without Butterbeer mustaches.

We had lunch in The Three Broomsticks - which served baked chicken, ribs, fish and chips. (see below)

Then we went into the shops. I was really excited to go into

And then there was Zonko's Joke Shop.

We also went to Dervish and Banges, Olivanders and the Owl Post

Yes, all those little boxes are wands. You can see them in this last picture. They have a variety of wands to choose from ($30 & change). They gave a very entertaining presentation before you actually went into the shop to buy one.

But not only did they have wands for sale, they also sold Firebolt broomsticks, Pumpkin Juice in all the refreshment stands, robes, scarves and t-shirts with your favorite house (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw)... they even had Remembralls.

For you Harry Potter fans, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one adventure I recommend you take. I can't tell you how much fun we had but hopefully through our pictures you'll catch a glimpse of just how wonderful it all was.


YA Book Queen said...

Oh my gosh, it looks so much FUN there!!

Thanks for sharing some pics :)

Tales of Whimsy said...

How cool!
I can't wait to go!

Cindy said...

Your day sounds just like being in the book and now I really want to go!

christina said...

Living in Orlando the HP opening was HUGE. I so wanna go but fear I will be miserable from the amount of people and heat. I hear the slowest season is February....So far away though!

Chrystal said...

I am so jealous! That looks like so much fun. Great pics BTW.

carla said...

Great pictures!
Looks like you had a blast!

Liz. R said...

It looks so awesome! I am insanely jealous. I will go one day if it's the last thing I do! :P. Glad you had a great time :).

Maree Jones said...

I'm officially jealous - looks like a lot of fun!

Stephanie said...

So cool!! I am currently re-reading the HP series to my 8 year old daughter (we are on book 4) and can't wait to visit there someday soon!

Jessie said...

Thank you for posting the pictures! :D I'm going in may! :D

Anonymous said...

That looks so fun

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour! Can't wait to take my kids!

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