Sunday, 10 July 2011
Thursday was a mixture of Awesome Nerdy times and seriously insane rain. To my extreme joy we went to Universal's Island of Adventure which if you don't know is the home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!! Last time I'd been to Florida the park was still being built so I've been dying to visit it for *aaages*!
After retrieving our bags from the teeny-tiny-omg-why-are-they-so-small? lockers we wandered towards the castle, shuffled our way through the *extremely* packed shop by the exit to the ride, drooled enviously over purdy scarves, ties and $50 Marauder's maps (yipes that was crazy), before escaping to freedom in the baking sunshine. That's when we noticed the cart selling wands.
|Spot my Mommy in Hogsmeade!|
Ahem, moving on. Thus wandified we then had to decide what to do next and with a choice of humungous queue for Hippogriff ride or humungous queue for the Hogwarts Castle ride... Hogwarts won out. Once again we had to stuff our bags into lockers I swear someone had hexed to be that tiny and useless, and join the endless queue which snaked *outside* of the normal park area into hidden, special staff only areas because it was *SO FREAKING LONG*.
For an hour we shuffled round all the queue lanes, getting baked by the sun (which later became sunburn), and fanning ourselves frantically with maps so our entire faces didn't melt off. It was actually kinda cool being in the queue as you end up in the Herbology greenhouses just before you enter the actual castle, there were mandrakes behind a little cage thing and what I think might have been a Venomous Tentacula but alas there were no staff around to ask and I'd hate to reveal my extreme nerdiness by asking the general queue-folk.
|The House Points system|
|Entrance to Dumbledore's Office|
Then you get lifted off the ground and away you go! There's an awesome bar on the front of your harness which you hold like you're on a broom and it seriously feels like your flying round Hogwarts. Occasionally the scene changes and bam! You're in the Forbidden Forest and there's fecking SPIDERS EVERYWHERE! Then everything goes back to nice and normal for a while... wait no NOW THE DEMENTORS ARE COMING FOR YOU!!! *Freaks the frick out*
Overall the ride was absolutely amazing and dang if you didn't feel like you were really flying (I know I was leaning forward to go faster), it was a total rush and *so* worth the hour's queue time. If we could have I would have ran back round and rejoined the line as I wanted to live in that castle!
By the time we got finished in Hogwarts we were starved so we went and sat at the back of the Three Broomsticks and ate our sandwiches whilst cooing over our wands (Beth and me that is, our parents just thought we were mental :P). We still had a few more places we wanted to go in Hogsmeade, like Honeydukes so after lunch we joined the crush in the sweet shop. There were so many awesome looking sweets in there (although jeepers they were pricey) but we eventually got a chocolate frog and some Bertie Bott's beans for my sister and I to share. Later however when my sister butchered the poor frog we realised that the chocolate wasn't all that great so we still haven't finished it *oops*. On the bright side we got Rowena Ravenclaw as our Wizarding Card.
|Beth & Me outside the Post Office|
We were stuck inside a restaurant for probably getting on for an hour waiting for the downpour to ease off, in the end we just manned up and got out there in our super-cool yellow ponchos (I was lucky enough to have my special pink mac instead :P). With how shit the weather was the two rides that we'd wanted to go on (Hulk and Dr Doom's Fearfall) were now closed cos of the lightning risk so we decided to schlep our way to the exit and went for an early dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (the food was really nice btw).
So that was our Epic-turned-Epicly-Wet day at Universal's Island of Adventure where we managed an amazing TWO rides due to the horrific turn in the weather. But in my eyes it was totally worth it because we got to go to HOGWARTS for crying out loud! I kinda wish that the other shops in Hogsmeade were actually accessible instead of just being cool shopfronts with "just popped out" signs on the doors cos that would have been super-awesome. I also think that it would rock if they built a full-size Hogwarts Express that you could travel round the outside of the park on cos then you could sit with other Harry Potter nerds in the compartments and revel in the awesomeness! (Alas I realise that Universal has like no space for expansion unlike Disney who have practically a county to themselves).
But yea, it was a fab day and I gots to say thanks very muchly to my parentals for tolerating my nerdiness enough to take us to the park (not that they'll read this but at least the thought is there).
Has anyone else been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? If so what bit did you like best? Do you think that it could have been even more awesome? What HP goodies did you buy? Let me know!