The Wizarding World of Harry Potter meets me! Part1
Jun 07, 2011
I had been looking forward to my visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for years. As soon as the first announcement was made, I started planning. I became increasingly excited every time a new tidbit about the theme park was released.
My family had already planned a trip to Orlando in late May of this year. The vaction plans had been set around other’s work schedules and were firm. Imagine my excitement when I hear rumors of a soft opening! The day my family and I went, I could see Hogwarts as soon as I make my way to the entrance of the Islands of Adventure. I ran to the Harry Potter section to find the gates to Hogsmeade closed and two employees watching guard. As I walked along the wooden bridge that runs in front of Hogwarts castle, I found an employee entrance that was open. I honestly thought quite hard about walking in and seeing how far I could get. They the though of being banned for life from the little piece of Harry Potter heaven flashed in my head, and I decided against it.
As soon as the official date was release, out official planning began (The friend who introduced my to Harry Potter went with me). We decided to wait and go in the fall with the hopes that it would be less crowded. We were in Orlando a whole three days before we got to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and i’m still not sure how I didn’t explode with excitement.
The day finally came and there was magic in the air. It was almost as if I was waiting to enter Hogwarts myself, as a student. When entering the park, there was a noticeable crowd going in one direction-straight for Hogsmeade.
You just cannot help but smile and walk through the gates of Hogsmeade with a very large spring in your step. You feel like you should stop and stare at everything to take in all the minute details, but trust me, this is not a good idea.
The first thing that I saw when entering Hogsmeade was the Hogwarts Express, steam and all. It is quite the perfect way to start off the day. I took a picture with the conductor who seemed quite the proper gentleman. He held his arm out for me to take and called me “love” when he asked how I was. I was thrilled by that small expereince, which is what makes the park so special. For example they had a little scene of a snowman dressed in a Gryffindor scard holding an owl. It was adorable and just plain fun!
If it weren’t for two things, you would totally forget that you aren’t actually in Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. These are the heat and the throngs of people. When I mentioned before that you wouldn’t want to stand still too long and take everything in, that is because if you did so you would be pummeled. Most of the people in the Islands of Adventure park seemed to be in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section. I will be excited to go back regardless, but especially when the crowds have thinned a bit. I have a strong feeling that will be a long time coming.
We got there shortly after the park opened. By the time we got to out first ride, there was already a 45 minute wait. Of course this was for the Forbidden Hourney ride, which is my favorite ride, The wait wasn’t bad at all though because the line takes you through Hogwarts castle including the Gryffindor common room, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and corrider complete with talking and moving portraits, and finally to Dumbledore’s office. This ride is like nothing I have ever ridden before. I was able to ride it twice and it was fantastic!
What really makes the park special, like I mentioned before is all the little things. I especially enjoyed all the food. We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks and I was pretty pleassed with the wizard fare that I partook of. Having frozen butterbeer while waiting in the sun to take a ride on a hippogriff was just another wonderful moment that I can recall.
Stay tuned for the second installment of my trip!