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Friday, January 28, 2011

~~~The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ~~~

My family & I have year passes to Universal... So we go there often and ride our favorite rides, eat at our favorite restaurants, or just sit and people watch. The pass includes both Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure. Islands of Adventure is also a visual feast with each "island" themed and designed to immerse you into the attractions' storylines. I wanted to showcase each area in the parks for you to see and since I have so many friends who love Harry Potter I am starting with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.



The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is part of the Universal Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida. It is one of seven themed areas within the park. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features items and scenes from the Harry Potter movies... The area's most popular attraction is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey which exists within a re-creation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It takes you on a journey through Harry Potter's wizarding world. Other attractions include Dragon Challenge, a pair of dueling roller coasters, and Flight of the Hippogriff, a family roller coaster. The area also features a re-creation of Hogsmeade which includes many gift shops and restaurants from the series of Harry Potter books including Dervish and Banges, Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Zonko's Joke Shop, The Three Broomsticks and The Hog's Head.




A re-creation of the Hogwarts Express lies at the entry to Hogsmeade. The re-creation features "billowing steam and an iconic whistle". In the Potter series the Hogwarts Express is the train used to transport students from London to Hogwarts. The Owl Post is a working post office (where postcards and letters will be delivered with an authentic Hogsmeade postmark) that also sells stationery, writing implements, stamps, and owl-related gifts.


Frank my son-in-law & Owl Post Office


The Three Broomsticks, based on the inn and pub from the Potter series, offers a variety of food and beverage items from the Harry Potter movie including butterbeer, pumpkin juice, strawberry-peanut butter ice cream, chocolate cauldron cakes in addition to standard dining options. Similarly, The Hog's Head is based on the pub from the Potter series owned by Aberforth Dumbledore. Honeydukes is a sweet shop, based on Honeydukes Sweetshop in the Potter series. The shop sells many items from the Harry Potter universe including Chocolate Frogs, Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans.







Inside Ollivanders wand shop.Various Harry Potter merchandise items can be purchased from three different gift shops in Hogsmeade. Dervish and Banges is a store selling magical items, as well as Quidditch supplies, Hogwarts clothing, and other merchandise. The store is based on Dervish and Banges in the Potter series. Zonko's is a toy and joke store, based on Zonko's Joke Shop in the Potter series. The third shop is Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods. It is a general gift shop (named for Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch) offering Hogwarts souvenirs (such as clothing and stationery), replicas of props from the Potter films, and other toys and souvenirs.




Ollivanders is a re-creation of Ollivanders wand shop, the store where Harry purchases his wand in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. (As Ollivanders is in Diagon Alley, not Hogsmeade, the attraction is portrayed as a branch of the main shop.) Unlike other shops in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you are only allowed ingroups of 20 to experience the premise from the Potter series, that "the wand chooses the wizard". Similar to the first film, the wand keeper and a selected guest test a variety of wands until the right one is found. After experiencing the attraction, souvenir wands can be purchased




Dragon Challenge
Dragon Challenge is a dueling roller coaster which features two distinct tracks built to overlap and intertwine with each other. The ride was formerly in operation since the park's 1999 opening under the name Dueling Dragons. The attraction was renamed in homage to the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, depicted in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The two sides of the coaster have been renamed "Hungarian Horntail" and "Chinese Fireball", after two of the dragon breeds which appear in the book. It is the only dueling inverted roller coaster in the world. The ride features many Harry Potter relics, including the Goblet of Fire and the Triwizard Cup.




Flight of the Hippogriff
Flight of the Hippogriff is a steel roller coaster designed for families. The ride opened in 2000 as the Flying Unicorn. Similar to the Dragon Challenge, this ride was re-themed prior to the opening of the Wizarding World. The roller coaster's back-story is that Hogwarts' Care of Magical Creatures professor Hagrid is teaching young wizards to fly on a Hippogriff (as Harry does in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) by using a wicker replica of the creature. A re-creation of Hagrid's Hut is passed on the way for a lesson from Hagrid himself on how to properly approach a hippogriff.





Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a new attraction inside the replica of Hogwarts Castle, simulating a tour of the castle and its surrounding grounds. Visitors initially walk through the castle, interacting with various characters and props from the Potter series,before boarding a "magical bench". Throughout the ride, you are are taken around the outside of the castle, encountering the Whomping Willow, a horde of dementors, and a Quidditch match






These photos were taken over several visits and I hope you enjoyed the tour~


Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

12 comments:

Rick and Paulette said...

I'm pretty sure I'd rather see the Universal's Harry Potter theme park rather than any of the actual Harry Potter movies - I saw one and didn't much like it!

Thanks for the tour - it looked interesting!

Renee said...

My boys love Harry Potter and they can't wait to someday go to the theme park. Great pictures!

Gail Durham said...

Wow, that looks like a great theme park. Great pictures!

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Happytrails said...

Wow! How awesome is that??? Thanks for the tour.
It has been several years since we have been to Disney in Orlando and I am sure much has changed. Can't wait to return one day soon.

Donna K said...

That was a great tour and I enjoyed the photos. Looks like you had a grand time. I'd love to join you but my Nimbus 2000 is in the shop...

Kimberly and Jerry Peterson said...

We just spent the past few days at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for our first and only visit. We had a heck of a time taking photos since I did not want to lug our good camera...your photos are great.

Harry Potter's part of the theme parks was by far the most crowded of all...in fact it was so crowded it was hard to enjoy it.

We will be writing and adding all of our photos of all about our adventures and even a video of Jerry's adventure on the Dueling Dragon ride...I did not ride it!

Sue and Doug said...

great tour of the Harry Potter area!!..thanks for letting us tag along!!!

Jerry and Suzy said...

Woohoo, what a ride through a delightful place. Thanks for sharing!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

What can I say....but, WOW!!!! I saw only one of the movies, and I must say, this themed park would be much more fun. I'm sure of it.


Thank you for visiting with me this past week. Since I've not been around on the computer much I'm trying to stop by and visit with my blogging buddies today and sending along wishes for your upcoming week...that it be a happy one!!!

EFT for Cancer said...

My nieces and nephews will totally love this place! This is a must visit this year!

martin.shannon1991 said...

i love the potter movies and visited potterland in july of 2010 was very busy going back in august 2011 cannot wait love it!

Get your mamogram & check up today... Early detection saved my life....

breast_cancer_survivor

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