Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
On our recent vacation to Orlando we decided to go to Universal Studios to see the Harry Potter exhibit. I must admit as I am getting older amusement parks are not my favorite things, but I am a big fan of Harry. My husband is a big fan of saving money. Which is why we sat through a 90 minute presentation for a time share we already own in order to get the $100.00 off Universal Studio tickets and the privilege of a one hour head start before the park opens. That was the reason that the alarm was set for 6:30am on vacation. After lots of coffee, getting two teenagers up and ready to go, we were standing in line for the Harry Potter ride at 8:05. We only waited 30 minutes to get strapped into the car and head off on our adventure. It seems the new rides are all virtual. You don't really go anywhere, you just sit, strapped in, in front of a big screen. The "car" you are in shakes, rolls, tilts and swings you around while the movie plays out in front of you. There are warnings everywhere about motion sickness, and for good reason. The way to keep from getting sick is medicine and just closing your eyes. I must admit I missed some of the movie because my stomach was telling me I really didn't want to see what was playing. The ride only lasted about four minutes. But it was long enough for me to get queasy and have a head ache. As we exited the ride through the gift shop, we noticed that the streets of Hogsmeade were filled. I mean there were people everywhere. There was a line to get into the shops! The wand shop had the longest line. We walked past the Three Broomsticks, Honeydukes, Filches Emporium and Dervish and Bangs. The windows were filled with cauldrons, the screaming plants, robes and potions. We found a short line and bought butterbeer. You can get your butterbeer frozen or liquid with a foamy head on top. We bought one of each to share between the four of us. I liked both of them. Jake and my niece Meredith preferred the frozen and Lee was more interested in the fact that people were standing in line to get into a shop and how crazy that was. Butterbeer has been described as tasting like cupcakes and butterscotch or a cross between Dr. Browns cream soda and ginger ale. The amount of people who entered the wizarding world of Harry Potter was astounding. That section of the park was at capacity by 9:30am. We left Harry and entered into the rest of Universal. I must admit the magic wasn't there. After walking the crowded streets of Hogsmeade, seeing the crooked buildings and feeling like you really were in another world, going into the worlds of Dr. Suess, Marvel Comics and the Lost Continent can't compete with Harry. Maybe it's because those worlds are in my past and Harry is new. It was a fun, but tiring day. I hope that you can enter into a magical place and get away from the real world for a bit. Take care!