How I wish more than ever that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was real as well as the wizarding world. The environment created here in Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure inspired by JK Rowling goes beyond my wildest dreams in terms of complete immersion. I admire the thought and intention behind even waiting for the rides in line – from the goblins in Gringotts bank to the sorting hat rhyming away next to the talking portraits through the Great Hall. This gives me that much more motivation to write – not to have a theme park after but the power of imagination and beauty of sharing ones thoughts in a strong, relatable story, fiction or not. Now all I want to do after getting back is also binge watch the whole movie series (abcfamily/freeform weekends do not count as they cut out scenes and have too many commercials). Maybe Easter weekend 🙂 I’ll whip up a pint of butterbeer and attempt pumpkin juice!
Though exhausted, it is totally doable to do both parks in one day – as I rode the Hogwarts ride (Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey) 7 times…. The single rider line was clutch indeed. In my opinion, Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure was the better park in terms of attractions. Dining at the Three Broomsticks allowed me to savor my longing for a delectable Butterbeer as well as the traditional fish and chips. Wandering away in Honeydukes, Zonkos, and the Owl Post had me leaving with a chocolate frog, travel mug, and a bit of parchment. Traveling on the Hogwarts Express showcases the journey one makes from Platform 9 3/4 to Hogsmeade Station – including Hagrid on his motorcycle and the flying car whilst in the halls of the train, trolleys animatedly go by selling treats and every flavor beans. Don’t forget to take a walk through Knockturn Alley where you’ll find Borgin and Burke’s – it’s tucked away to the left of Gringotts! One can also tour Ollivander’s and have the wand choose the wizard in a demonstration by a master wand maker!
I honestly cannot stop raving about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – maybe I’ll make this an annual event just to be in that atmosphere of fellow Potterheads. I’m also looking to see any other Harry Potter-esque places in the U.S. like a themed bookshop or restaurant. Any ideas?