Thursday, 19 December 2013

Travel Bug Thursday: A Look Inside Harry Potter World!

WARNING: This post portrays me as a total nerd....which I'm not....obviously. ;)

I'm sure if you've been following my blog for a little while now, you've noticed that I love Harry Potter. Such as here, here, here, or #29 here. This summer I worked my butt off, and saved some money to go to Orlando, FL with my cousin to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Mind = Blown. It was unreal! All the employees were in character as if they legit lived there! They pretty much all have British Accents. I went to go buy a wand at one point, and I gave them my Visa, and the cashier said, "Muggle plastic?" Yes, yes it is, sadly. I forgot to go to Gringotts on my way there. 

Just a head's up, I added a few photo's that I didn't actually take. Some of my photos didn't turn out well because of the lighting, but I still wanted to give you an excellent perception of the whole park. All the photos I kind of, maybe stole are marked with an asterisk and are from this website.

We planned on going to Universal for 3 days, so we split it up by going to Universal Studios one day, then Islands of Adventure the next, and doing our favourite rides from each the third day. Day 2 came, and we booked it to Hogsmeade. We got fast-passes, but you can't use them for The Forbidden Journey (the ride inside the castle). Tip! Go there first when you go! Anyway, this is what we walked in to. :)

The Conductor was awesome and so nice! He asked me what my name was, and then I asked his, and he said "The Conductor, but sometimes people call me 'that guy over there' or 'can I get a picture with you?'

Walking into Hosgmeade, Zonkos Joke Shop and Honeydukes is on your left. The train (which a little birdie told me they were in the process of making a train go from "London" to Hogwarts), and the Dragon Challenge ride is on your right. 

Zonkos and the right side of Hogsmeade.

 Zonkos had Extendable Ears!! I was so tempted to buy one, and then I remembered that I don't live in the wizarding world, and it's not actually practical to have one.

 Honeydukes. A.K.A. The place where all my money went. And I didn't even try Treacle Tarts!

They had Cauldron Cakes, Pumpkin Patsies, and Hagrid's Rock Cakes, among other things.
The lady at the counter said that they had to switch from Hagrid's recipe because there were too many reports of broken teeth. Makes sense.

The Weasley Car was on the way to the Dragon Challenge!

The Goblet of Fire!


This is the Hungarian Horntail on the Dragon Challenge. Pretty risky taking my phone up there, I know. But it's in the name of remembering it all, so obviously it was worth it. My phone was okay FYI.

The Three Broomsticks is just past Honeydukes.  And Hogshead is slightly farther up. 

There are two Butterbeer carts along the way. You can either get Frozen or Cold. I had no choice but to try both. Frozen is more like a slushie, while cold is more like pop or soda. Personally I prefer cold, but my cousin liked frozen. Either way, it is so dang tasty! It tastes cool, creamy, and sweet! The butterscotch flavour is perfect, and the cream on top made it extra sweet. 

Here is Olivander's Wand Shop!! SO legit. We were coming back from the Forbidden Journey and we saw this massive line up beside it. We asked the wizard outside what it was. He said that a group of about 10-15 people go inside (it's tiny btw!) and Olivander picks one of them to get "The Wand Experience". And YOU GUYS! He picked me!! I never get picked for things like freebies or online prizes, but that day was my lucky day! I was really surprised too, because there were a few kids in there too. My guess is it was probably because I walked in and my jaw dropped and I kept smiling like an idiot. Hater's gonna hate! My cousin was recording, luckily, so we got it on video. Serious shout out to Brittany!! I don't have it yet, but I'll update this post in hopefully less than a week to add it in!!

Fun Fact! The girls bathroom has Moaning Myrtle talking. I was also tempted to write "This way to the Ministry of Magic" behind the toilet, but I resisted.

Hagrid's Hut!

The Toad Choir was up ahead. I can't even imagine wearing robes in weather like that. It was about 40C with the humidity. Props to them. I hope they get paid good. 

Sadly I missed the choir the first time we went by them. But I got a video later!

This is the view of Hosgmeade from outside Hogwarts.

Later, we were lucky enough to get a picture with the Beauxbaton Academy and Durmstrang Students.
They had a competition on the stage. We missed the Durmstrang students, but we got the Beauxbaton Academy on video.

And then there's this:

Beautiful right!? The Forbidden Journey is inside of there, along with Filches Gift Shop. When I say it's inside though, that's slightly misleading. The ride and the line up goes around and inside the bottom rocks. But they make it look so realistic!

Welcome to Hogwarts!


You make your way inside, and there's a nice surprise of Ron, Hermione, and Harry talking to you in the balcony of the classroom!

You see the tall hall of talking and moving portraits by the moving stairs!!

You get to visit Dumbledore's Office and he talks to you. What he said, I don't remember sadly.


The Sorting Hat talked, the Fat Lady* did too, and the newspaper moved!
The Mirror of Erised!

Spoiler Alert!! The Forbidden Journey (at least what I remember of it)

The Forbidden Journey is a 4D ride. Soo you sit down in a room with floating candles above you, and the wind is blowing, as you move down the track. Then Hermione starts talking to you and you go through a green portal. You go follow Harry and Ron, flying through the sky to Hogwarts. Then you see Hagrid who tells you to watch out, as you fly underneath the bridge in Hogwarts. You then see Harry and a dragon and you both have to fly away from it! Then you go to a dark place where there are giant spiders who squirt venom at you, and you have to get away from them too. You then make your way onto the Quidditch field where there's a game in play. Malfoy is taunting Harry about trying to impress his Muggle friends. THEN, the dementors show up. They are legit scary, because they are HUGE! You have to fight a bunch of them off with Harry. Near the end, you almost get sucked in by one, but Harry comes to the rescue and uses his Patronous and saves you! Harry congratulates you on a job well done. You return to Hogwarts and get congratulated by Dumbledore and a bunch of other people in the main hall. They all thank you and tell you that you're welcome to come back anytime (I wish). You then go back out of the green portal and then sadly, the ride ends. But you can go right back in line and do it again. I did it twice, but I wish we had time to do it more!

And if you're a huge nerd like me, here's a video of the whole ride:

Now go buy some plane tickets to Florida and get your butt on over there. You won't be disappointed.



Also check this out!! They're expanding!! Guess I need to start saving again...


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