Monday, March 17, 2014

Orlando, part 4: Harry Potter World

(ugh - two months later and I'm still talking about Orlando? yikes.)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is really just a section of Universal's Islands of Adventure. What is this, a Tyler Perry movie: Universal's Islands of Adventure's Wizarding World of Harry Potter...? So we'll just call it Harry Potter World, with a side of some other stuff. And besides, let's face it, the Harry Potter section is the reason we went to IoA in the first place. Oh wait, I'm sorry, UIoAWWoHP.

The older two brought their Gryffindor scarves I knitted a couple years ago but, upon my recommendation, left their wands at home so as not to lose/break/havethemstolen since they are way better than anything we could have purchased there, thanks to my extremely talented Uncle Terry, no disrespect Mr. Ollivander.

Not to be a snob (which you know is like when someone says, "not to be rude," or "not to sound racist," and you know that what follows is going to be exactly that), but Universal just felt different than the Disney properties. It's just...different. Not quite as...well...Disney. But we quickly made our way to Harry Potter World and I didn't care any more.

We knew Gemma wouldn't be able to ride on the "Forbidden Journey" within the walls of Hogwarts, so we first stopped at the Flight of the Hippogriff. This was an excellent move because she loved it, and we got to see Hagrid's hut. 
I am not sure what is happening in this picture except that Ainsleigh
gets bonus points for looking normal while her siblings do what they do.

I'm going to call this our Hippogriff Selfie. Some teenage girl sat next to Joel
and I didn't know for whom to feel sorry.

The castle was so much fun just to walk through that we were kind of bummed that there wasn't a line. So we went on it again, just to walk slowly through the whole thing. The details are really great and you feel like this actually could be where the kids went to school. I can't imagine what it would be like to dream up some an amazing world and then see it realized. I can't tell you how many appreciative slow-claps I gave to that brilliant mastermind.

The ride itself, holy cow. It was unlike any ride I've ever been on. I can't really describe it except to say I was thrilled and a bit nauseous at the same time. We then zipped in to the Three Broomsticks for our first taste of Butterbeer and some delicious fish and chips.

It was even better than we had hoped.
And I'm talking about the butterbeer AND the fish.

Butterbeer mustache - so delicious.

There ARE other parts to Islands of Adventure, but this is just about the only other picture we took. I mean, after you leave Harry Potter World, what's the point?
We did see a stunt show that totally blew the kids' minds. We rode the Spider-Man ride and they loved that. Gemma was furious that she wasn't tall enough to go on any of the "upside down rollercoasters." She kept wanting to sneak onto "the Hulk." She promised she'd be back when she was 10 so she could ride. I hope the rest of us get to go.