The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- A Realistic Recap

This past week I was lucky enough to get out of California and head East to Florida and the Caribbean with my sister. We flew to Tampa on Saturday and then drove to Orlando to Universal Studios on Saturday. The area is split into two parks, and Harry Potter World, as we call it, was in the Islands of Adventure, so off we went into the heat and humidity (let's just say it's so humid in this area of the world I gained zero pounds and ate more than normal). We arrived at maybe 9:30 or so and spent about three hours in this specific section of the park. We went on two of the three rides, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (really, really great- you fly all over Hogwarts) and the Flight of the Hippograff (way too short of a ride, and I'm not just being picky). We went in all the stores, which included Dervish and Banges (wizarding equipment), Flich's Emporium (general merchandise), Honeydukes (huge candy shop), Olivanders (we saw the wand selection show and then went into the actual store), Zonkos Joke Shop (tricks), and the Owl Post (more general merchandise, plus the chance to send something with their postmark, which we did not do). We bought butterbeer at Hog's Head (delicious- sort of like a caramely cream soda or root beer) and had lunch at The Three Broomsticks (unimpressive). 

[worth every penny]
[The Three Broomsticks- you pay for the ambiance, not the food]
[No I will spend $10 for a tiny box of Jelly Beans, thanks]
[Pumpkin Juice! Sounds gross.]

After we checked out the other parts of the park, which included the Jurassic Park, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing. We didn't go on any other rides, though, since most were water ones, and neither of us felt like getting drenched. Ironically, we got caught in a thunderstorm that afternoon and had to buy ponchos. 

[Seuss Landing]

[Good old Florida afternoon thunderstorm]

As a whole, I thought the Harry Potter part of the park was really neat. Universal obviously put in a lot of thought and money into creating it and tried to include little touches that readers would appreciate. But, it is still a theme park- something I loathe (and I'm not sorry; I live in Southern California with a million Disney freaks, and I just can't handle the crowds, expense, and epic materialism). The lines are long, the kids are whining, and the products are over-priced (I did buy a snitch, though, that flutters it's wings). It was almost $100 to get into the park for one day (plus $15 to park the rental car), which is a bunch of crap too, but that's pretty much the going rate these days. I'm glad I went but don't think it's something I'm going to necessarily do again.


  1. I love theme parks, but I agree that they are ridiculously expensive and crowded. One of my sisters hates theme parks too, so I understand. I went to the Islands of Adventure park in 2001 with my cousins and we really enjoyed it. The Harry Potter world looks amazing! I need to visit this park again.

  2. I know it's not nearly as nice as Disney, but I'm really more of a Six Flags girl. I like rollercoasters and rides, and Six Flags has tons of them. Also, maybe because it's not as popular, it doesn't seem to ever get to crowded or too crazy (at least the one I go to). I hate hate hate crowds, so that's a huge selling point for me.

  3. Butterbeer is SO GOOD! I'm obsessed! I always get frozen + on tap when I go. Pumpkin juice IS GROSS, haha. I'm glad you liked HP but yeah, I agree with you on theme parks being pricey.