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October 2010



My Harry Potter Amusement Park Review

Hello…anyone out there? I’m still alive here but have been so busy. As soon as I get around to finishing up my Europe posts, I will try to post here a little bit more. I have tons of entertaining things backlogged and ready to post about! Anyways, I thought I would take a break from Europe and post my review of the Harry Potter Amusement Park since I have been excited about this place since I first heard news there was going to be one and it’s still fresh in my mind.



First off, just so you know….the Harry Potter Amusement park isn’t it’s own park. It’s actually a “land” inside of Universal’s Islands of Adventures. Much like how Disney has fantasyland, frontierland, etc. So Islands of Adventures has a land called the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It consists of 3 rides: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, and Flight of the Hippogriff. Here are my brief thoughts on each of the rides.

The Forbidden Journey – was AMAZING. it’s unlike any ride i’ve ever been on. it is most similar to Soarin’ from California Adventures mixed in with the Spiderman 3D ride at Universal (not sure if this exists in LA but it does in FL). It’s not a roller coaster type ride but it is definitely fun with awesome effects, props, and scenery. Also, the line for the ride wraps around inside of Hogwarts which was done beautifully. It really feels like you are inside of the books/movies! They even have the talking paintings which are pretty cool. This is definitely the highlight.


The Dragon Challenge is a typical roller coaster but there are two coasters that are in a “duel”. I only rode on one of them but I’m sure they are both the same. It was fun but nothing out of the ordinary.

Flight of the Hippogriff is more of a kiddie rollercoaster. It literally lasts like 30 seconds! Still worth going on so you can see the Hippogriff in the nest (much better view from the roller coaster!) and Hagrid’s House :)



Besides rides, there are also all of the little shops to visit. The shops were SO CUTE and realistic! My only complaint about them are that they were way too small and cramped. We went during the off season and it was still almost too full to really shop. I can’t imagine having gone there when it first opened and school was out.

Zonko’s – the joke shop with all of the gags you read about in the book come to life!



Honeydukes – the candy shop. sorry for any crappy pics btw…the park was so crowded it’s hard to get a decent shot of anything!




The owl post – where you can also buy harry potter postcards, stamps, and get it Hogsmeade postmarked!!




There is also Dervish and Banges where they had the monster book of monsters displayed in a cage and it was snapping away! :)


I did not make it to Ollivander’s Wand Shop because there was a line and we had heard it’s not really worth it. They do a little show for each group that enters the shop where someone gets a wand chosen for them. Next time though!

Food and drink wise we were covered with the Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head. I loved the atmosphere at both places.

I couldn’t resist getting the turkey leg, but just so you know disney’s is way better! Much more juicy.


Everyone recommends the fish and chips which were quite tasty.


There are a few other items on the menu including chicken and shepherd’s pie (which I had heard bad things about).

And of course we had to try the BUTTERBEER! I got the souvenir cup which allows you to have 95 cent refills of soda throughout the park and a reduced price refill of the butterbeer. I really loved the butterbeer. It was like a combo of creme soda and root beer. It almost tasted like an ice cream float but without any ice cream!


Lastly, we wandered over to Hog’s Head


i decided to try the frozen butterbeer which is just a butterbeer slush. It was too sweet for me though.


I had a really fun time and can’t wait to go back with some of my harry potter friends from back home including boyrobot!!! My only complaint about this place is it’s not really built well for heavy crowds so definitely try to go when school is in session. Navigating the lockers at some of the rides was horrendous because it was so crowded! The rest of the park was so empty though. All of the rides in the rest of the park were 5 min waits pretty much so that was nice! I heard during peak season, they actually had a couple hour wait just to get into Harry Potter land. CRAZY. So glad we went when we did. This is a definite must go for any major Harry Potter fans. Aside from the size, it won’t disappoint!


Comment from Louise
Posted: October 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I thought your pictures, especially the one of Hagrid’s hut came out really well! Ah, I wish this park wasn’t all the way in Florida, or I’d totally go check it out. On the off season, of course. I hate standing in line with sticky-handed kids.

Comment from girlrobot
Posted: October 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Louise – I LOVE your photos so your comment means a lot to me! :) Def try and make a trip out to FL one of these days…there is so much to do out here!

Comment from che
Posted: October 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

im so jealous!

Comment from boogiemouse
Posted: October 5, 2010 at 9:02 am

oh my!! this is sooo cool. it’s just like i imagined reading the book and watching the movie of course. love the buildings. trip to orlando soon that indeed!

Comment from linda
Posted: October 6, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Loved seeing your photos of the HP amusement park! I hope to see everything in person someday. It’s funny to see everyone dressed in shorts/tanktops when the whole town is covered in “snow.” =)