Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bucket List: Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Man oh man, I am knocking off Bucket List items left and right. At this rate, I should be done with my entire list by next Christmas. To be fair, visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter wasn’t on my “Living in Europe” Bucket List, but it was on my all-time list.

Those of you who have been reading my blog since before the big move, know that I tried to fit this trip in before leaving for Aberdeen, but just couldn’t squeeze it into our pre-expatriation schedule. Now I can say I’ve been there, done that and got the Gryffyndor Tshirt. Just kidding. That would be dorky. Everyone knows all the cool kids go Slytherin.
We did go two days in a row, so I can actually say I’ve been to Hogwarts twice.
Took two strolls through Hogsmeade.
Drank two Butterbeers (delicious, by the way, though I was disappointed there wasn’t a Butterbeer Zero option. Oh well, I’m on vacation).
Rode the Flight of the Hippogriff twice.
And as a doubly special treat, I took two nephews along for the ride.
I guess my initial impression was that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was an entire park, but in fact it is just one section of the Universal Islands of Adventure. It’s still mega-impressive how they’ve made the fictional world come alive. The castle and its roller coaster are especially magnificent, though I probably should have heeded the motion sickness warning and taken a Dramamine. It’s definitely a bumpy ride.

At one point, the coaster took us to a scene that looked remarkably like Scotland. I got a stab of homesickness before I got terrified by the forbidden forest and its eight legged inhabitants. Of course, that’s right where the ride snapped a photo, and the look in my face is a mix of pure horror and nausea. Sorry, but I’m not sharing that one with you.

Instead, here’s one I took in front of the Hogwarts Express.
Which gave me another stab of homesickness since it reminds me of this one I took in Mallaig.
Not to mention that all the workers in this section were wearing Tartan.

The Harry Potter Section consists of three rides, two of which I rode. The third rollercoaster went upside down and since I have this little rule that I don’t ride roller coasters that go upside down, that was out. It didn’t take us too long to sufficiently see the Wizarding World, though we did return for more Butterbeer.
Other parts of the Universal Islands theme park include Spiderman and Seuss Landing, which my nephews especially enjoyed.

Universal also has a second park, Universal Studios, which is right next door. We bought tickets to both parks and spent 1 ½ days at Islands before scoping out Universal Studios yesterday afternoon.
Now we’ve moved on to DisneyWorld and will be spending 3 full days at the different attractions. Today was Animal Kingdom where we went on an African Safari and travelled to the top of Mount Everest.

Suffice to say, we are pretty darn tired, which is why I’m going to cut this blog post a bit short. Thanks for hanging with me through my sporadic postings!

1 comment:

  1. SO fun! I would love to try butter beer. Mmmm