Monday, February 14, 2011

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Part One

Day two of our vacation and we are off to spend the day at Universal Studios Island of Adventure, our first time to Universal ever!  Well, now that they added Harry Potter to the park I’m all in lol.  The day doesn’t start off too well, cold and rainy.

IMG_1301 At Universal you park in a ginormous parking garage.  And walk.  And walk.  And walk some more.   I have been spoiled by Disney’s trams.  :) You basically walk through Universal’s version of Downtown Disney to get to the theme park gates.  It’s called City Walk (appropriately named for sure) and is a bunch of restaurants and shops. 

IMG_1316 Our first purchase of the day?  Rain ponchos.  We got soaked just getting to the poncho kiosk.  After walking through City Walk and waiting for park opening we veer right to Island of Adventures.  We skip right through Seuss Landing and some other area with Poseidon and finally hit Hogsmead.

IMG_1343 The Hogwart’s Express!

IMG_1353 Olivander’s, where the wand chooses the wizard.

IMG_1358 All of Hogsmead was themed for winter with snow on all the rooftops and decor like this snowwitch.  It was certainly cold enough to add to the atmosphere, but the pouring rain pretty much blew the snow effect.

IMG_1350 This poor guy was wet, cold and tired of standing in line.  Even though the park was not crowded at all, there were lines for everything.  Why?  Poor planning and ride management, plain and simple.  The wand show could only hold 15 people at a time, tops.  Rides that should have had no wait at all were 30 minutes to an hour because they were running half empty.  Stores could literally hold only 15 or so people at a time they were so tiny!  Okay, rant over, but just keeping it real.

IMG_1407 Here’s what I was waiting on all day…my first butter beer mustache!  (Forgive the poncho flattened wet head lol.)  believe it or not, I was the only one in my group who liked the butter beer!  Which is totally unlike me, since I avoid all carbonated drinks.  Everyone else took a couple of sips and tossed theirs (either they didn’t like the taste or it was just too stinking cold) but I held onto mine all day!  Loved it!  I thought it tasted like a really sweet root beer. 

IMG_1402 Here is the kiosk.  They actually pour the drink first and then add the frothy foam.  Funny thing is, the foam keeps reappearing!  You could sip it off and it would just come right back.  Very strange.  And since the foam was quite sweet the drink would get sweeter the longer you had it.  Yum!

There are three rides in the Harry Potter part of Island of Adventure, Dueling Dragons (a super huge roller coaster that we did not partake in,) Flight of the Hippogriff, and the main ride in the castle.

IMG_1381 IMG_1384 The Flight of the Hippogriff is pretty much like Goofy’s ride in Magic Kingdom, but for some reason ds4 wasn’t interested in riding (he regretted it later in the day lol.)  So ds and I stayed behind while the other guys got in line.  The cast member let us walk through the line so we could take pics.

IMG_1392 Hagrid’s hut!

IMG_1393 buckbeak!

I’m going to break this Harry Potter trip report into two parts, as I took tons of pics of the castle and it deserves it’s own post.  :)  Stay tuned!


  1. Sorry to hear about the rain, but the great thing about Disney is that you can still enjoy it even in the rain! Looks like you enjoyed that Butter Beer! LOL!

  2. That looks like so much fun! Glad to hear that you enjoyed the Butterbeer! What fun!

  3. Thanks for your kind words. Au ate last night AND this morning!!! We're hoping this means he's decided to live. He's a tough kitty so if he has the will, he should recover. Thanks for the purrs. We really appreciate it.


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