Thursday, March 3, 2011

Disney Day Five

Universal Studios and HARRY POTTER WORLD

Day five we found ourselves going to a non-Disney park.  We normally wouldn't have done this, but I (I will not lie!) wanted to go to the new Harry Potter park at Universal Studios.  My mom was right there with me - another Harry Potter fan - and Arlington has been reading the books, so she was excited as well.  Arlington had gotten a Harry Potter Robe for Christmas, and was excited for a chance to wear it.  At least for a little while.

We had to take a cab to Universal Studios from our hotel, since it wasn't associated with Disney.  This was easy to do, but cost a fortune.  We got to Universal around 9:30, and the place was already packed.  We (and everyone else) headed right for the Harry Potter park of the park.  It was jammed, but we expected this.  It has been open less than a year, and with such a large following (and very cool place to visit) I wasn't surprised to see so many people there.
Mat's Aunt Betty was at this park this day as well.  She has been down in Orlando vacationing for several months and we had a chance to see her on this day for a little while.  It was great to see her - we haven't seen her since Christmas.  She was with other friends of ours - the Branthoovers - so we had a chance to say hello and catch up with them for a little while.

We were able to ride one ride all together as a family in this park - it was a roller coaster that the littles were big enough to ride.  It was called "Flight of the Hippogriff"  (for all of you Harry Potter fans).  Very fun.  We didn't have to wait exceptionally long for this ride because it wasn't the main attraction of the park.

(Hagrid's Hut)

Once that ride was finished, the littles, Mat and my dad headed out of Harry Potter world and left Arlington, my mom and I there to continue to look around.  We had some Butterbeer (For you non-Potter fans this is not beer, but butterscotch flavored yumminess).  And we had Pumpkin juice (this was also yummier than it sounds) another HP favorite.  We then eyed up the large line leading into the enormous Castle.  We decided we would wait the 90 minutes to go inside and look at the castle and ride this ride.

It was worth the 90 minutes.

If you ever go - you cannot miss the "Forbidden Journey" ride inside the castle.  I wish I would have been allowed to take my camera in (you couldn't' take anything that didn't fit in your pocket) because inside the castle was amazing.  For you HP fans - they had the pictures of the wizards that talk and move.  They had a classroom, a common room, Dumbledores office.  It was amazing to see and really well done.
And the ride was amazing.  It was fun, and fast, and very well done.  If it wasn't such a long wait, we would have ridden it again.  Arlington loved it!

After we rode that ride, we went to the candy shop (to get Chocolate Frogs and Every Flavor Beans).  We had to stand in line to get inside!  Again.  But it didn't take longer than 10 minutes.  We enjoyed looking around the candy shop and joke shop, and feeling - for a little while - like we were really there.

Nope - not embarrassed of my love for Harry Potter at all. :)
After our morning at Hogwarts, we went to join the rest of the family in the rest of the park.  The kids rode several rides and had a great time.  This park was not nearly as nice as the Disney parks, and much less organized.  But we are not sorry we went.
The kids got a chance to take pictures with some of their favorite super heroes.  This was huge for especially Cainan.  He talked about it for days.

The park was only open until 8pm, and we left before closing, since we had to take a taxi to get back to our hotel.  We left there with several Harry Potter goodies, and Cainan got a Spiderman, so everyone was happy.

Tomorrow:  Hollywood Studios.

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