Hogwarts for Muggles: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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If you have ever waited for an owl to deliver your invitation to spend 7 years of education in Hogwarts, if you have always wanted to feel what it's like to take a subject called Potions, if you have always wanted to take a sip of that oh so famous Butterbeer, or if you are simply a Harry Potter fan, you have to go straight into the heart of Orlando. Inside the Islands of Adventure in Universal Studios, you will find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Lomo Location of your dreams.

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Orlando is a popular tourist destination in Florida, home to big theme parks such as Disneyworld and Universal Studios. Just last year, on the 18th of June 2010, they decided to make it even bigger by opening up the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for millions of Harry Potter fans across the globe. As a Harry Potter fan, I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to go there barely a month after opening. Once I heard about its construction on the news, I knew I had to add it to my bucket list. Now it’s crossed off!

I was there on the 29th of June and had to experience the scorching Florida sun. A tip: apply extra sunscreen if you’re going there during summer! Since it has just opened, my friend and I had to go through long hours of waiting, most of the time under the sun. We were so toasted and tired when we left, but it was so worth it. Here’s why…

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Although it was disappointing that the Hogwarts Express wasn’t really running and you couldn’t go inside it (probably due to space limitations), it still felt amazing to see a major piece of the Harry Potter books/movies recreated right in front of me.

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Walking along Hogsmeade was lovely. They have the shops you’ve come to know all throughout the 7 books – Gladrags Wizardwear (with Hermione’s Yule Ball dress on display), Scrivenshafts, Potages Cauldrons, etc. Unfortunately, those are just for aesthetic purposes. The only real shops are 1) Dervish and Banges, where you can find magical things like Golden Snitches, Omnioculars, Remembralls and the Monster Book of Monsters. 2) Zonko’s, where you can find Fred and George Weasley’s items for pranks and tricks such as the Boxing Telescope and Filibuster’s Fabulous No-Heat, Wet-Start Fireworks. 3) Honeydukes!, where they have Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs with wizards inside.

Credits: stuckintraffic
Credits: stuckintraffic

You will also find the Three Broomsticks where you can have a mug of Butterbeer! Finally tasting Butterbeer was an accomplishment for me. It was delicious and oozing with sweet foam, like a mix of rootbeer and butterball candy. As I read the books and watched the movies, I’ve always wondered how it would taste like. I couldn’t get enough and had 2 rounds! Sorry, I don’t have an analogue photo of Butterbeer to show.

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We stopped to watch the Triwizard Spirit Rally and the Frog Choir. The Durmstrang boys and the Beauxbaton girls were quite lovely, reminiscent of that scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. A choir of Hogwarts students also performed some songs with large croaking frogs.

The rides were awesome. There are just three rides: Flight of the Hippogriff, Dragon Challenge, and the amazing Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The first two are rollercoasters but the Dragon Challenge is for the extreme thrill-seekers. I wasn’t able to get on it, but I surely won’t miss it next time! Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is one of my favorite rides of all time! They made the queue in such a way that you’ll be journeying through the Hogwarts castle as you move along the line, walking past the classrooms, Mirror of Erised, the greenhouse and mandrakes, Dumbledore’s office, and talking paintings. The ride takes you on a forbidden journey that is simply beyond words! It’s like the ultimate Harry Potter experience. You’ll be facing dragons, huge spiders, and soul-sucking dementors!

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Seeing the Hogwarts Castle made my heart skip a bit. This is where the adventure started! The Wizarding World was enchanting. A bit smaller than what I expected but lovely nonetheless!

Credits: stuckintraffic

written by stuckintraffic on 2011-04-12 in #world #locations #travel-destination #orlando #harry-potter #wizarding-world #theme-parks #universal-studios

15 Comments

  1. zoezo
    zoezo ·

    i was here when it was being built :-(
    I bet is was amazing!!

  2. stuckintraffic
    stuckintraffic ·

    @zoezo It was really amazing! You have to go back! ;) I would love love love to go back!

  3. lighttomysoul
    lighttomysoul ·

    They should set this up in England! plus the fake snow on the buildings looks kinda silly with everyone walking around in shorts :) but cool review though! I love HP! both books AND movies!

  4. tjbeard8985
    tjbeard8985 ·

    I went over my spring break! But I couldn't take too many pictures because it rained the whole day I was there ):

  5. stuckintraffic
    stuckintraffic ·

    @lighttomysoul Heard it on the news that they're considering building one up in England? That would be cool! And thanks! :)

    @tjbeard8985 Awww, when I went there it was completely the opposite. It was scorching hot! Since the lines were terribly long, we had to put up with the unbearable heat. IBetter than rain though, but then it rained hard the next day when I went to Disneyworld. They had to cut the fireworks short. :(

  6. ipdegirl
    ipdegirl ·

    yay! i'm going in a few weeks. glad it was worth it!

  7. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    Ahhhh it looks amazing! I love the Harry Potter series :D

  8. kernow_and_cambria
    kernow_and_cambria ·

    I was going to say the same thing as @lighttomysoul. Looks cool but the fake snow looks a bit odd.

  9. myloveletter
    myloveletter ·

    I did a lomo location on this a little while ago, and it was ok, but I was in a wheelchair the whole time and so it was really shooting from the hip! And that's funny. I know the guy who plays Victor Krum and is in your picture of the Triwizard Pep Rally. Nice job!

  10. marinam
    marinam ·

    Love it!!!!

  11. stuckintraffic
    stuckintraffic ·

    @ipdegirl Have fun!

    @natalieerachel Amazing indeed! Smaller than I expected, but amazing nonetheless!

    @kernow_and_cambria Hahaha, that's true.

    @myloveletter Cool, his job is awesome! And thank you!

    @marinam Thanks for all the photo likes, appreciate it!

  12. ali55
    ali55 ·

    awesome. I really want to go :)

  13. ingwaybee
    ingwaybee ·

    Sounds (and looks) amazing! I've wanted to visit hogwarts since I saw the first movie.

  14. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    just went to Islands of Adventure this past weekend. after reading your article, I wanna go back!

  15. kolumbia
    kolumbia ·

    What was I thinking not bringing my Holga when I went??? Great shots of the castle. I love how blue the sky looks.

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