This was not originally the main reason we decided to go to Orlando for our trip, but it soon became the most anticipated day. We decided in early February that we were going to celebrate our 5 year anniversary with a magical Disney trip. I realized
that I probably ought to read the Harry Potter series so that I can actually get something out of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Stephen has read all of the books so I knew he’d love the park, I wanted to love it with him. There is nothing worse than having a wonderful time while the person you’re with is bored.
It honestly takes a lot of strength to figure out what else was at Islands of Adventure besides HP. We spent more than half of the day in Hogsmeade so to be honest, my muggle brain was so full of magic that I couldn’t handle any more.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Pure magic. Beautiful. Creative. It absolutely transports you into another world. You walk in and you’re partially embarrassed that you’re a muggle and don’t want anyone to find out, yet so delighted that you’re getting a glimpse into this magical land.
This is the thing about The Wizarding World… It’s fantastic. There is so much to see and do. BUT there is so much missing!! There was so much potential for this but they didn’t go all out. Yes, it would have been crazy expensive, but it definitely would have paid for itself. I would have loved to walk through Hogwarts, eat in the dining hall, see Hagrid’s cabin. They had Honeydukes, the joke shop (not the Weasley’s), Hog’s Head, a restaurant, butterbeer carts, and Olivanders. There were two rides. A dragon one that was themed around the Triwizard Tournamant (which was a preexisting ride called Dueling Dragons) and a simulation ride in Hogwarts that takes you around the grounds. Both are fantastic rides. Unfortunately the Hogwarts ride broke down while we were on it. It sort of ruined the magic a bit, but I was ABUNDANTLY thankful that we weren’t on the part of the ride where the dementors were trying to give us the kiss.
We browsed the shops, had a few butterbeers, and had lunch at the restaurant during the mid-day storm. They recommended that we split the chicken and ribs plate, so we did. It was delicious and a good portion of food. We both got a beer from Hog’s Head that was attached to the restaurant.
The only thing I don’t recommend is the Olivander’s experience. I’m not sure what it is called, but it’s dumb. Again… there was so much potential. We waiting in line for at least 30 minutes for this. You go in with a group of people and Olivander random chooses one person (a kid in the front) to test a few wands. Then you go. Why? Why not build a larger building and let people come in and hold wands until a wand chooses them? Let us feel the magic! Whatever. We still bought a wand. Don’t I look like Sirius??
The answer is yes. I look magical and awesome and you’re scared of my wand. (It’s actually Stephen’s wand. Well, it’s actually Sirius’ wand, but you know.)
More pictures are at the end of the post. I will never forget that day. Even if (when) we go back in the future, it will never be the same. You only get one first look at Hogsmeade. I think the only thing that will top it is seeing my Harry-obsessed kids see it for the first time.
Other Rides (because it not JUST Harry Potter)
-Spiderman – Not a bad ride, even though I’m not into comics and don’t know who all the villains are. I honestly don’t remember it too well because it was 3D. I mean, if you can see 3D, it’s probably a pretty fantastic ride. I thought it was fun and I didn’t even get to fully experience it.
-Jurassic Park – We did this randomly. We were walking by and saw that there was no line so we hopped on. It was on a small boat like thing. We just went on a little ride but SOMEHOW ended up in Jurassic Park, despite all the Keep Out signs. I don’t know how it happened! And then T-Rex was there and he almost ate us and then we went down a shoot and got a little wet. It was good times.
-The Hulk – We did this toward the end of the day. It was tons of fun but my throat was beginning to give me some grief. We waited in a fairly long line for this, but only because we waiting in the front row line. If we didn’t care what row we were in, it would have been about 5 minutes. It was a good ride! Super fast with lots of spins and upside downs.
-Poseidon’s Fury – Do not do this. Do not do not do not. We waited in like
FOREVER. Probably an hour. It was LAME and boring and probably made 20 years ago. It’s a “show” or something but it’s not even slightly entertaining. It’s even WORSE when you have to pee. But even if you have just peed and you have a full tummy and good attitude, still skip it. For reals.
Again, breakfast at the hotel. We had lunch in Hosgsmeade and I already told you about it. I recommend it and I would eat there again in a minute! We decided not to eat at the park that night. Instead we drove toward our hotel and stopped at a place on the way. It was a “Tex-Mex” place called Tijuana Burrito or something along those lines. It was not quite Tex-Mex and my flautas were mostly tortillas, but I ate so much!
Okay, time for pictures.