Sunday Salon

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Happy Sunday everyone!

Today I want to talk about my trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

But first, my current reading... I'm still working on The Liar's Lullaby by Meg Gardiner but hope to finish it today. The review for it will be on Thursday. And Tuesday I'll be posting a review/discussion (turned out really long, lol) for a memoir I really enjoyed reading.

That's it for that, lol. Well, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened this past Friday at Universal's Islands of Adventure here in Orlando. I really wanted to go but we already had plans to go down to Palm Bay to visit my in-laws on Saturday. So I suggested we go Friday evening after I got off of work. My husband texted me during the afternoon to tell me that the park was at capacity and they weren't letting anyone else in. Supposedly, a line went all the way down CityWalk for people waiting to get into the park just in general!!! Apparently, they were updating it on the news all day. I don't think anyone expected that kind of turn out! We decided to go ahead and give it a try anyway since we wouldn't get there until about 7:00 pm and we hoped it would clear out. Well, when we got there, we still ended up having to wait in line for about an hour just to get into the Harry Potter area of Islands of Adventure!! That was crazy! It wrapped around like half the park, haha. When we got in it was insanely packed. It's a fairly small area but still fun. I'm going to post some pics.. click on them to make them bigger! Oh, I forgot my camera so these are all crappy iPhone pics!

This is when you first walk in... going down Hogsmeade. See how packed it was!! It's hard to see the storefronts.










Can you read that store name? It says Olivanders. What you also don't see is a looooong line waiting to get in because that's where you go to find the wand that belongs to you... just like Harry Potter did. ;)






Huge barrel of butterbeer. The line for this was forever long. We waited about 25 minutes and still had a ways to go. Then we realized they also served it in The Three Broomsticks restaurant so we went there instead. You can get it frozen or "on tap" but either way it's super yummy!






Hogwarts.
The ride there is actually called Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey or something like that. It's a ride through the grounds of Hogwarts. It didn't take you inside as much as I expected, but we went all over the grounds. We flew through the Quidditch field, lol! And we came face to face with dementors!! AAHHH
Oh, we waited 1 1/2 hours to get on this ride!!







Some Hogwarts students.... I caught the end of this so I didn't get to see what they did.






This one you might be able to see if you click to make bigger. This was part of the waiting for the big ride. It's special effects, of course, but Harry, Ron, and Hermione there looked so real like they were really standing there talking to us!




There were other things like the Sorting Hat (while waiting for the ride). Outside at the other end of the area there was the Hogwarts Express. I couldn't get any good pics at all once it got dark because my phone camera doesn't have a flash. They sort of cheated and took a ride that already existed, Dueling Dragons, and just changed the location and look of the entrance to make it more "harry pottery". There is also a kid's ride, Flight of the Hippogriff. Apparently early that morning, the 3 main actors were there for the grand opening.

So anyway, that's all for that. We need to go back sometime soon to enjoy it a little more, but it's going to be crazy like that for a while so we might have to wait. It's nice, though, because the rest of the park is not nearly as crowded and the lines are shorter than usual because everyone is going to the Harry Potter attractions, lol!

19 comments:

Amanda said...

You are so lucky!!!! When I make it out to that area to finally go to the HP World, can I have you guys show me around??

Jenny said...

Amanda -- yes, definitely! Just let me know when! =)

Amanda said...

It'll probably be closer to winter, like maybe Jan/Feb next year when it's a bit more off-season?

Jenny said...

Yeah, that's probably a good time. I think November through February is considered off season (I think!). March starts spring break and it's much warmer then.

Amy said...

I'm so jealous! I really really really want to go!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, my, what a fabulous adventure! Except for the lines, of course, but it sounds like you made it fun...

Here's my salon:

http://laurel-rainsnowsaccidentallife.blogspot.com/2010/06/sunday-salon-june-20.html

Jenny said...

Amy -- think you'll get to make it down here in the future? Offer is same for you! I'll show you around!

Laurel -- it did end up being a fun time together even though we did stand around for most of it, lol!

Trisha said...

I am so jealous! I make it down to Florida just about every winter, so if it works out this January/February, that is definitely going to be a stop I make. :)

Okay, I just read Amanda's comments. It would be very cool if we were all there simultaneously!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I'm going to wait till November. I'm aiming for cooler weather or smaller crowds. Thanks for sharing your photos and experience :)

Amanda said...

Trisha! That would be completely awesome! We can replicate our foursome from Ellis Island at Harry Potter World. :D

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

That looks SO awesome! I've never been as far south as Florida -- we may have to plan a trip.

Trisha said...

Amanda and Jenny - That is definitely a plan to strive for!

Beth (Maybe-Tomorrow.net) said...

I'm soooo jealous! Can't wait to check this place out. Just have to rustle up the air fare first lol

nomadreader said...

So cool! I really want to go, but I have no intention of going this summer when it's sure to be hot and crowded. It was nice to live vicariously through your pictures in the meantime!

Zibilee said...

So cool that you got to go!! I am planning on taking the family sometime during the summer. I hope it's not too hot and crowded!

jpalesh said...

I went on Sunday and I LOVED it! We went in the morning, and the park/staff were good at controlling the lines and crowds, which was much better then from what I heard happened on Friday. We didn't wait in as long of lines as you did and it wasn't as crowded. I loved the ride and the area as well. If we get free teacher passes again this year, we will need to drag your sister to it! Did you try the pumpkin juice? I only tried the butterbeer.

Jenny said...

Hi Jessica!! That's really good they figured out how to make things more efficient the rest of the weekend! I would like to go back when it's not QUITE as busy and I think it might be more fun. I didn't try the pumpkin juice... Jason told me it was just lemonade at first, lol... but no it was something totally different. We'll see. Yes, if you get teacher passes we should definitely all go! When do you usually get your passes?

Jenny said...

Trisha and Amanda -- sounds great!!

Juju -- that's smart for sure. As horribly hot as it is though, for some reason I love spending summer days at the parks, lol.

Beth -- yeah. =( living in Orlando definitely has its perks! I have to remind myself about that all the time when I feel sad that I don't live in NYC, hahah!

nomadreader -- yay, I'm glad I could do that for you, hehe. =) I hope to get better pics one of these days when I have my camera and it's not so crowded.

Heather -- good luck with the not being too hot and crowded, lol! How old are your kids?

Meg said...

Oh wow, I've definitely got to get down there soon! Sounds/looks like so much fun, and I'd love to have a nice, chilled butter beer right about now :) Awesome! Thanks for sharing your photos and stories with us!

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