Florida Guide > Universal Parks
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in June 2010 in Islands Of Adventure. During our recent holiday we were able to experience this new addition to the theme park.
The village is quite small and compact and due to it’s popularity can be very crowded. A sign at the entrance reads “Please Respect The Spell Limits” Hogwarts Express complete with costumed conductor provide a popular photo opportunity. The streets of the village are cobbled, the buildings have snow covered rooftops and crooked chimneys and the top of the village is dominated by Hogwarts School of Whichcraft and Wizardary.
This building is home to the Forbidden Journey ride. Queues for this ride were always very long. However the queue takes you through the school and there is plenty to look at whilst you are waiting such as the Mirror of Erised, the Hogwarts House Jewels, portraits that talk to you, snow that starts falling from the ceiling, holograms of Harry Hermione, and Ron, and many authentic features from the films. Along the way there are various recreations of the rooms of Hogwarts including the Headmasters office and the Gryffindor common room. It is recommended that all loose items are placed in a locker at the entrance to the ride. However, many people managed to take in cameras, later stowed in zip up pockets, (an absolute must or they would be lost on the ride), to take photographs inside the castle.
The ride itself, a simulated virtual rollercoaster ride, is a long ride with seats, or “enchanted benches” which tip and move around making you feel as if you are tumbling, dipping, flying and generally being tossed around. During the ride you fly through a Quidditch game, encounter a fire breathing dragon, giant water spitting spiders, the Whomping Willow, dementors and well known characters from the novels.
Other rides include the Dragon Challenge, previously Duelling Dragons, roller coasters where now you can choose to ride either the Chinese Fireball Dragon or the Hungarian Horntail Dragon Coaster and The Flight of the Hippogriff.
Butterbeer, is on sale from a cart outside the Three Broomsticks Inn where authentic dishes like fish and chips, cottage pie and Cornish Pasties are served. In ' The Hog' s Head Pub' you can enjoy spirits and drinks inspired by the Harry Potter stories.
Shops include Honeydukes Sweet Emporium where you can buy Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizzbees, and the famous Bertie Bott' s Every Flavour Beans. Zonko' s joke shop, and Ollivander' s Wand Shop where the wand chooses the wizard, not the other way around. The shops are small and authentic. There were queues to get into all shops and once inside they were very crowded. However for Harry Potter fans they are an absolute must.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a welcome addition to Islands of Adventure. Allow plenty of time for a visit, and be prepared to queue for almost everything, it is very worth the effort! !
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