On our trip to Kissimmee, we were lucky enough to get the chance to stop by Universal’s Islands of Adventure to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is pretty much the only part of the park I am going to be covering, as it is the main reason we went and it was so hot that day, that we didn’t get to see much else.
You all know I am a diehard Disney World fan and I did feel like I was cheating on the World a bit, but I really wanted the boys to be able to experience this part of Universal. As I had never been, I had no idea what to expect. I will say this, stepping into the gates to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is like being instantly transported into the movie itself. It is a.maz.ing!!!
We got to the park shortly after it opened and made a beeline for the Harry Potter section. We didn’t stop to look around on the way into the Wizarding World because I knew the line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey would be getting pretty long. When we arrived, the link was 60 minutes and it was a long and hot 60 minutes at that. Let me also note that this is the first and only ride I have ever waited in a line longer than 20 minutes for, because no other ride has been worth it. This one was!
There are no words to explain how great it was. All of your favorite characters are there, along with favorite scenes or things from various movies. The dementors, the giant spiders, the whomping willow. All of them are there to help take you on a thrilling, twisting and turning ride through Hogwarts and on a quest to help Harry win a quidditch match. If you have motion sickness, I would not recommend this ride. In fact, my sister joined us and had to pass because of the motion simulation of the ride.
After going on the ride of our lives, we headed into Hogsmead for some butter beer and a stroll through the shops. The details put into every aspect of Hogsmead and the shops found there was amazing.
We went into Zonko’s, Fred and George’s joke shop for a look at the gags and gadgets found there, including the extendable ear.
We crossed over into Honeydukes for some sweet treats and I purchased some authentic Every Flavor Beans, featuring flavors such as ear wax, dirt and earthworm as well as a variety of other yummy and rather gross choices too. Don’t worry parents, there is a cheat sheet in the boxes, but these are an endless source of entertainment when you feed them to your kids. Take a look at these faces.
A quick trip by the Owl Post, where you can mail real postcards to your family and friends was a treat, as well as a trip into Ollivander’s for a look at the wands from the most famous of wizards were quite a treat as well. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and hope to return some day when it is cooler and a little less crowded, but rest assured it is possible to see and do it all regardless of what time of year it is.