Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finally got my Hogwarts letter...

Oh man, i had SUCH a hard time narrowing down the pictures to post of our trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. So this is a long post. If you aren't into Harry Potter you might want to close the window now, haha. So anyway, on Saturday morning we got up early and headed to Universal. We have been talking about going since it opened, and when we got our invitation to my cousin's wedding in Lake Mary we knew it was the perfect time to get to the Wizarding World too!

The weather was so perfect. It was warm but not muggy, and as we walked from the garage to the entrance Weezer was playing and I was so happy!  When you walk into Islands of Adventure you can just see a hint of the Hogwarts castle and I swear I almost started crying. Nerd alert! We hurried through Suessland and Lost continent (or something) until we rounded a corner and there was the entrance to Hogsmeade. It was so amazing. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it!

They really have made every detail perfect. I was happy that we go there early, and went off season. The crowds really weren't bad until later in the day. 
The window displays were incredible! I loved how everything in the shop was packaged like it was really from Honeydukes. I bought a chocolate frog, two boxes of Every Flavor Beans, and some Pepper Imps. I would be embarrassed for you to see the receipt, everything was SO EXPENSIVE.

Then we got in line for Butterbeer. I wish the souvenir glasses would have been cute. What a shame.

Pumpkin Juice!

Travis got a regular butter beer.

I got a frozen one. It was SO GOOD. Like the most delicious cream soda you ever had. Mmmmm totally worth 4 bucks.
You can't go inside all the shops, but they all have perfect window displays and signage. There is a great Gilderoy Lockhart display in the bookstore. I wish you could have bought his books! 

Ugh, why does nothing ever have MY name on it? We got one of these of course.

I loved all the pennants in the line for the Dragon Challenge ride.

I don't like this kind of roller coaster (I get sick) so I always try to get picture of Travis riding them. There are his little legs in the back.

And there he is in the top corner. I was SO CLOSE to getting his face! Dang. Travis says that ride was really fun.  I wish i would have walked all the way to the front of the line though. Travis said there were lots of cool props on display.

Then we waited in line for Ollivander's. It was pretty cool. I wouldn't wait longer than 30 minutes though. This was actually the only line we really waited in the whole time we were in the park. Mostly it just took a long time to walk through the lines to the front of the ride. It was awesome. I usually don't like theme parks because I HATE waiting in line for hours to ride one ride. Anyway, Ollivander's, they pick one person and help them find their wand. I wonder if you get a discount on the wand if you get picked? I was talking about getting one but they were super expensive. Of course.
Hogwarts Express!

Someday I will ask someone to take a picture of us, instead of awkwardly photoshoping us together.

We rode the ride inside Hogwarts four times. It was so amazing, best ride I have ever been on. We figured out if you sit in the far left seat (if you are facing them) the dragon comes out right in front of you. It is SO FUN. The first time we rode it Travis was really screaming, which was fun because he is usually really stoic and acts like things are no big deal. The only complaint I had was the line was moving so fast we didn't get a chance to look at all the cool stuff inside the castle! Dumbledore's study was probably my favorite. 

Of course we had lunch at the Three Broomsticks.

They have an exclusive beer called the Hogshead brew. So cute.

We got fish and chips! The other food looked pretty delicious too. Cornish Pasties and roast chicken. I got a fizzy pumpkin drink and it was so yummy! The food was expensive but it actually tasted really good. And continued my fried fish marathon.

I love perfect every detail was. The packages piled up in the owl post building were so fun to look at.

We looked in all the shops but there wasn't a ton of stuff we loved that we were willing to pay the price for. But Travis did get a cute Durmstrang shirt and a patch. I got a glass with the Hogwarts crest and a Snape key chain. They had really pretty time tuner and deathly hallows necklaces but I didn't even ask the price. They had awesome prop replicas of the Nimbus 2000 and a Firebolt! 

I got another butterbeer on the way out of Hogsmeade. It was so hard to go out of that part of the park and go to the other areas! 

So in conclusion, the wizarding world was awesome! Totally worth the price of admission. I'm so glad we were finally able to go! And the first week of February really was the perfect time to visit. We hardly waited in any lines!


  1. AMAZING! I can't believe you actualyl got to have butterbear. RAD! I would have blown so much money on Harry Potter merchandise.

    1. oh man, if we go again i'm going SAVE UP so i can buy more stuff! everything was more expensive than I thought it would be! so insane!

  2. Glad that y'all had a great time! And that one photo totally doesn't look Photoshopped. I hate to admit that I have never seen a single Harry Potter movie or read any of the books. I may be the only person in existence, huh?

  3. Hello,

    I am new to your blog and I love it. I love your reviews and how many pictures you are including. This post made me common because i would be geeking out too but I am on the west coast and have yet to make it to FL. Thanks for the lovely blog!


    1. thank you! i always worry that i'm posting TOO many pictures. haha.

  4. Looks like it was so much fun! I hope I get to go one day.
    Your photoshop skills are excellent because that photo of you guys together looks great!

  5. i'm so jealous (except for the crowd thing; i hate crowds and lines. it really does look so effing magical there! i guess it better be, for the price of everything. haha. glad you guys had fun! <3

    1. i really hate crowds too. i can't imagine going in the summer when it is so hot and you have to wait hours for each ride! terrible!
      it was so magical, it really felt like you were there!

  6. I'm so jealous, that place looks incredible!

  7. I am not even a Harry Potter fan [*bracing for backlash*] but that looks kind of amazing. I want to go now.

    1. it is ok kimmie, i'll still be your friend.

  8. Gaaaahhh this makes we want to go so badly! It looks like you two had a lot of fun! It's a shame that everything there is so damn expensive though

  9. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Awesome! I used to go up to Universal pretty much twice a month since it was only about an hour/an hour 1/2 away--when I went home for Thanksgiving I would of KILLED to go to the WWOHP but alas it did not happen.

    Super jealous! Hopefully next time I go home to visit it will be during a non-holiday and I can go.

    Great review!

    1. if it was close to me i would totally have season passes!

  10. I really want to go there too! My hubs hasn't read any of the Harry Potter books so he totally wouldn't get it though. Thank you for including so many pictures, I feel like I got a wonderful sneak peak :)

  11. Loved Wizarding World. Was there last November and this made me ridiculously happy! Long live Harry!

  12. I LOVE your blog! I found you thru mypapercrane. Can you do a post about some of your favorite blogs? :)

    1. thank you! i'm actually working on a post like that. I follow SO MANY BLOGS (probably over 300! it is out of control) and I'm having a hard time narrowing it down!

  13. Okay gorgeous, I'm about to ask you a hundred questions. Firstly, I am an insanely in-love fan, so right there with ya. Secondly, we are going in a month or so and I need to know more and more and more! Please let me as you all the questions and let me know more! Hahaha I figured you would not mind. ;) It's hard to find practical details online!
    -When you say expensive, can you expand? We'll have our eight-year-old son with us and saying no is going to be sooo hard, since we will want everything as well. How much was a chocolate frog per say? I was ten. ;)
    -I seriously want a keychain (which will make my son jealous because we made up his name and he's always in your boat). Please say that was like.. mmm.. $7? Haha
    -Which roller coaster ride is that? My husband and I can go on it, but not the little man. I don't want to make the mistake of having him wait in line for it! Scary!
    -What else was there going on at Ollivander's other than them "helping" someone get their wand? Were they like $30? Bleh. All the ones online (my little man has been a wizard and a Hogwarts attendee the last two years for Halloween) are so plastic and cheap!
    -The fish and chips look like heaven. I'm sure we'll have lunch there. Was it like $10 a head? Ack! I'm saving for this trip. Hahaha If you can't tell already!
    -Do you have a picture of the Snape keychain?!?! My gosh, my gracious. I told my husband I'd marry Snape if anything ever happened to him. I'm head over heals. Must have. Was it pricey too?!
    I'm simply excited! Thanks so much for posting such awesome pictures and any reply would be amazing.

    P.S. You photoshopped in made me laugh so hard in a good way. ;)

    1. yessssssssss i do not mind! i tried to find good guides before we went but couldn't really find any! i could talk about the park forever!!!
      here are some price examples. the boxes of every flavor beans were 10.95 and the chocolate frogs were 9.95. They had "special edition" ones for 14.95 that i didn't understand what the difference was. I bought the candy because I have a "harry potter" shelf and they will be cute displayed. House scarves were 34.95, all the pins were 6.95-14.95. We got my husband a t shirt (which is nice quality actually, feels soft like an american apparel shirt) and it was 24 i think. There was a cute 4 pack of house socks that was 24 bucks that tempted me. they had really cute stuffed animals (fawkes, crookshakes, fluffy, dragons) that were around 20 to 25 bucks. the butterbeer was 4.25 for frozen and 3 something for regular (i like frozen better) with a souvenir mug i think it was 11 or 12. they have house robes that almost 100 bucks!! insane! if you go in the big universal store on the way out they have really cool broom replicas for over 200 bucks! i didn't see them in the wizarding world, they also have cool jewelry in a case in the universal store.
      The name keychains were 9.95! They had lots of other ones in varying prices, they had a cool time turner one that was I think 8, i didn't see it until we were leaving or i would have gotten it!
      The roller coaster is the dragon challenge! If there isn't a wait, let him walk through the line with you because there is fun stuff to see! They have a kid coaster called flight of the hippogriff that I went on and liked! It was really fun!
      You can go into the owl post shop and see all the wands piled up, that is where the ollivander's show empties into. if you wait for the ollivander's shop it is like a little show, probably 5 minutes long? The wands were all at least 30 bucks (they werent priced and i was scared to ask). They were nice looking, maybe heavy resin? even when there was no wait for the rides the wait for ollivender's was long. And if your kid gets picked i feel like it would be REALLY hard not to buy them that wand, because it is just like the first movie, and a light shines down and the wand "chooses" you. The show was cool but I don't know that I would wait in line for it again.
      The fish and chips was 12.99 and after looking in other restaurants in the park the second day I think it really is the best value in the park. The food was good and it was a good portion! I'm pretty sure the other choices were around the same price. we went into a dr. seuss restaurant the second day and they had mini pizzas for 8 bucks, but when we got to the front they looked so crappy that we just went back to the three broomsticks.
      I can't believe i didn't take a picture of the snape keychain. like i said above, it was 7 bucks. it is so cute, i'll take a picture for you!!!

      you guys are going to have so much fun! seriously, when we rounded the corner and i could see the gates i was on the verge of tears, you really feel like you are there! so incredible! it was the best part of the park too. the rest was kind of anticlimactic.

    2. You area princess! Thanks for all your answers! That was very helpful. You're so right about the wand thing. That is hard. I wish they did do a discount for the one picked-but even then-the kids not picked must just be standing there sad like.
      I can't believe the candy is that much! Sheesh! I wonder if it's even that yummy of chocolate! I could do the keychain stuff though. Wow. And the food and butter beer sounds good price-wise I'd say. I'm so excited!!!!

  14. Oh my goodness so excited! We are going (with Miss Amanda who already commented up there) soon and we are so excited!
    #1 your photoshopped photo is awesome and you are so good at it, I would have never known!
    #2 I love your photos, please dont ever think your posting too many. You make me want to go on trips because you post awesome details and plenty of photos.
    I was wondering about some of the prices, but I see you answered amanda is those, thanks!
    Did you notice any vegetarian options in the restaurants? Not a huge deal because i'll google ahead of time, just thought id ask :)
    Cant wait, so damn excited. And about the crying...tom and I were talking one day about tattoos and he had said that a girl had gotten a deer silhouette. I got excited and said "did it say always and forever" he said no, but then of course just thinking of it brought tears to my eyes hahaha,,,cant help it. Love Snape :) :)

    1. There really weren't any vegetarian options at the restaurant. They had the potatoes and carrots and corn and fries as sides but I don't even know if they would let you order just those, sometimes those kinds of places can be weird about custom orders. We didn't go in lots of restaurants but the only vegetarien option I saw was cheese pizza and salad at the circus tent cafe in dr. seuss land.
      Oh man, when you get a glimpse of the castle from the front of the park it is like your stomach drops!! it is KILLER. I'm planning on getting a deer on my arm this summer, with always under it. freaking love snape. when his whole story is revealed in the book i BAWL every single time!! can't wait to hear how your trip goes!! and seriously, if you guys are planning on spending a few days in the park go for the costco deal! even if you just do to days it was 150 for dual park passes for three days, verses 120 a DAY for single passes at the door!

  15. HP say whaaa?! So awesome! I went last spring break and it was amazing--has you very well know. We got stuck on the Hogwarts ride and got to go again. That was one of my highlights, hahaha. My husband rode the Dragon Challenge over and over. But seriously, I thought I was going to die the first time, so I just kicked it in Honey Dukes.

    Your pictures are so great! When I went I didn't have a camera, so I used my phone. FAIL! But, I still got some OK photos.

    Oh well, guess we'll have to go again! :D



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