Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Harry Potter World - Universal's Island of Adventure!

Hello Lovelies,

Well as you probably guessed by now we went to Universal Studio's Island of Adventure specifically to visit Harry Potter World. Harry Potter World takes up a part of the Island of Adventure park and I think in the future they will end up expanding the grounds in which Harry Potter World covers because clearly everyone at the park was there to visit HP World.

First, we entered the wrong park. We entered Universal Studios, which is actually a separate park from Island of Adventure. I usually research everything excessively to make sure I know what is what before we go anywhere, but I have been trying to calm down. Well, this was a good example of why my extensive researching is necessary because we entered the wrong park and we did not buy 2-Park passes (they cost more than the one day, one park passes). We had no interest in seeing any other parts of the park or the regular Universal Studios park. I am sure the regular park is nice, just not what we were looking for.

Luckily, after realizing HP World was not on the map for the park we were in, we went to guest services and they gave us new passes to leave the park and enter Island of Adventure. This was after we frantically power walked to the exit/guest services area. Alas, we made it to the park and into Harry Potter World.

Entering Harry Potter World

Me and My Mom Getting Read to Enter HP World

Enjoying Butter Beer - this was quite tastey, like a very buttery cream soda

Ollivanders Wand Shop

Hogwarts Castle

Hagrid's Hut/House

We enjoyed visiting the places re-created from the movie. On the main ride inside the castle, the wait was 45 minutes long. However, you can go as a "single rider" which means you will be sat with people who need a 4th person for the "row" of seats. We didn't mind if we were separated from each other, so we went with the single rider line. We did not have to wait more than 2 minutes! The ride is a simulation ride so you are completely blocked off from the people next to you. The only reason you would want to be with your own party of 4 is if you were planning to buy the photo of the four of you on the ride. If you are not planning to buy the photo and do not want to wait for 45+ minutes to get on the ride, go in the single rider line and have 2 minutes. My mom went a row ahead of me and J was a row behind me (my dad opted to stay at the hotel pool instead of visiting the park).

The shops were neat to see but extremely small. I am not sure if Universal was just working with the space they had or if they really didn't think Harry Potter World would be so popular. This week is actually a "low" week for vacations compared to next week and the previous few weeks of spring break vacationers, but there were still lines to get into the gift shops such as the candy store the Weasley twins had and the wand shop Ollivanders. This part was disappointing, and really made me wonder why Universal made them so small. Harry Potter could easily take over half of the park. The HP World section of the park was packed with people, while the rest of the park was not crowded and had lines with about 5-10 minute waits, which usually was just the amount of time to walk through the area to get to the starting point of ride.

Well enough rambling on for today. I hope you have a fabulous day!
xoxo Susan

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