Aaron and I started heading towards Orlando at 1:30 on Friday morning. That’s right. 1:30 AM. We actually did go to sleep early and woke up a few hours later to head out. Believe it or not, it wasn’t too bad. It really helped that the sun rose while we were driving. Then again maybe you should ask Aaron since he drove the whole way. I tell him every time that I will help, but if I do, it has to be the first part of the drive that I’m familiar with (because I’m a terrible direction follower/driver). That never happens though.
Seven and a half hours later we arrived at Harry Potter World right as it was opening. Ok. Ok. I know it’s really Islands of Adventure, but who really cares about the other sections of the park. As soon as we got our tickets we headed straight to Hogwarts. Take a look at me in all my nerdiness.
Here I am in the middle of Hogsmeade surrounded by people totally NOT in the Harry Potter Spirit. More of this needs to be happening. Check out my wand. I got Hermione’s because the one for my birthday wasn’t very pretty. Or wait. Maybe all those people are real wizards thinking “Look at that silly muggle waving around a $30 stick.”
Me and the conductor of the Hogwarts Express! I loved when some of the people talked to me in character! In this picture I need that hair-fixing spell Hermione uses. What is up with my do?
Wands at the ready! No shame here at all. I’m glad I whipped my wand out because it made that Gryffindor talk to me in character about wands and charms and stuff. So fun. But why didn’t these people perform. I don’t know what I was expecting them to do, but I was expecting something…
Playing dress up.
If I could have any magical object in real life other than a wand, it would be the Pensieve. Totally looks like a water fountain in this picture though…a very fancy water fountain.
Gryffindor! I don’t care that Pottermore sorted me into Hufflepuff. Don’t care at all.
And then there is Aaron…thinking he’s cool.
Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.
And some fish and chips…the fish was sooo good! I’d say it was the best “amusement park food” we had on the whole trip.
Here are a couple more pictures of some of my favorite things…
All the moving pictures in the Great Hall.
The Mirror of Erised.
The Three Broomsticks.
Ollivander’s where I got my wand! The girl they chose for the performance was totally not into it. She was like 13. I feel like they should always pick people in their 20s. I mean this isn’t Disney. The people who care the most aren’t the young kids. It’s people my age. (Well I care at Disney too).
I took pictures of basically every store window, but I’ll spare you the gazillion pictures. I loved it so much. As for the rides…I’ve ridden both of the roller coasters before when they had a different theme, so I didn’t care about the rides as much as the decor in the lines. I’m not sure if we were lucky or unlucky because the lines were so short. It was nice, obviously, because we didn’t have to wait forever, but it was frustrating when I wanted to look at stuff and take pictures of everything and people kept coming up behind us and making us feel awkward or rushed. Just go around me for goodness sakes! It was like people didn’t understand it was about the full experience. And for the record, if you don’t like Harry Potter, why are you even at Islands of Adventure? The rest of the park is terrible. They should tear it down and make it all Harry Potter World. Nothing else can even come close to it now.
Other locations they could add:
1. Gringotts (Doesn’t this seem like the most obvious theme for a rollercoaster?)
2. The Burrow (Just to walk through like the Swiss Family Robinson Tree house in Disney)
3. Diagon Alley (Duh)
4. Knockturn Alley (Scary)
4. Ministry of Magic (So cool)
5. Number 12, Grimmauld Place (Scary)
6. Shrieking Shack (Why isn’t this already there in Hogsmeade?)
7. Azkaban (Scary)
8. Platform 9 3/4 (Did I miss this? All I wanted was a wall with a sign that I could pretend to run into.)
9. Number 4, Privet Drive (With a big floating Aunt)
10. Quidditch Field (Figure out how to make people fly and it could be an awesome show)
See? Harry Potter World could totally be it’s own amusement park. Everyone for completely redoing Islands of Adventure say “Yay.”
Oh! The Hogwarts ride. So fun. We rode it twice because, well you see, I have a completely ridiculous and irrational fear of animatronics. The Dragon and the dementors freaked me out the first time, and I closed my eyes and missed a lot. (There I go being all Hufflepuffy). Aaron, my love, gets motion sickness, but he rode it again with me anyway. I totally kept my eyes open the next time (Gryffindor, see!) and it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it the first time.
I also loved Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom and all of the moving stuff in the store windows.
On a different note, here I am with my other favorite movie! Too bad this section of the park is horrible! At least I could pose with the sign right?