Saturday, February 20, 2016

Day 51- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Yesterday, Trev and I decided we would take a day off of life and finally use our year pass to Universal Studios. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather and little crowds. We rode all of the rides and had a good lunch and were just generally happy and ready to go home when we walked by the new section of Universal dedicated to Harry Potter (that isn't supposed to open until April 7-- but is why we got a season pass) and it was OPEN!!! Apparently, unbeknownst to us, they have been opening for random blocks of hours for the last few weeks just to test how the park works. 
As soon as we walked in the gates, there was a stand selling butterbeer, so of course we got one-- in a commemorative Butterbeer mug. They had two types... The soda type (which I had when I was at the London tour) is kind of like a butterscotch-y cream soda. The frozen type was basically like a butterbeer slurpee. Both kinds had a foam on top that tastes like butterscotch marshmallow cream. The frozen variety is definitely my favorite. Tastes like a milkshake!! I also got a bottle of pumpkin juice, which tastes like really good pumpkin flavored apple cider. It would be really good hot!
 At this point we had no idea if the park was even functioning or if it was just sort of a looking preview, so we just kept walking and looking at things. When we got to Hogwarts, we saw there was an entrance to the ride open and no line, so we ran in! As you enter and move through the line, you see all of the sets from the movie. You start in the greenhouse, then you walk down the main hall (that has the phoenix entry to Dumbeldore's office at the end), you see the house score jars with the colored beads, you see the fat lady painting, you see Dumbledore's office and there is a hologram of Dumbeldore that talks to you, you also see the care for magical creatures classroom. Then you enter this room (lower right) with all of the portraits and you hear people talking and as you look up, you realize the portraits are moving and talking to each other. And they look so real!! The technology is amazing.
 The actual ride inside of Hogwarts blew my mind. I have never been on a ride like it. You sit in a seat with your legs dangling and a harness over your shoulders and you enter into the ride sideways instead of straight on. It is a mix of 3D broom flying through Hogwarts and actual sets built, like the whomping willow and the dementors. I get motion sick really easily and it made me kind of want to barf. I had to close my eyes through the last 1/3 of it. But it was still really cool!
After that ride we walked around a bit and saw Hagrid's cabin and walked through Hogsmead. They had the Hogs Head Tavern that actually served alcohol and a restaurant that served delicious smelling food. They also had a lot of the little shops from the movie and most of them you could go inside. They were selling SO much merch-- but a lot of it was really cool (if not crazy expensive).
The last activity we did was watching a wand sorting-- which sounded cooler than it was. It was cool seeing Olivander's wand shop (right)-- but the actual sorting felt more like they were trying to get us to buy wands than an actual activity. The wand shop after the sorting was absolutely packed. Panic attack city.
The last shop we went into was Honeydukes and it was so cool! So bright and colorful and they had ALL of the candies from the books! Bertie Bott's Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Jelly Slugs... They even had a whole case of fudge (including butterbeer fudge, which I got... of course) and cauldron cakes. The back end of Honeydukes was the joke shop that the Weasley twins opened. I didn't get a close look at what exactly they were selling... but I assume they were muggle versions of the magical gags!
The funny part was that all of the staff talks to you like they are wizards and witches. If you tell them you are a muggle, they ask you questions about muggle stuff. It was really cute.
 I have to say, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have been able to spend 3 hours in Potter World with basically no lines and hardly any crowd. Trevor and I were giggling and running around like little kids. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day. I would definitely recommend all Potter fans check this place out. It is like a dream come to life!!
And definitely try the frozen butterbeer.

1 comment:

  1. You lucky girl! Two of my favourite things in the whole world! Harry Potter and Cherry Dollface!!! I am so unbelievably jealous,I want to go there so bad! Please take more pictures of you go there again!!! Xoxo from Germany!!!


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