On Day two of our Theme Park hopping adventure. Chris and I (courtesy of my Orlando-based sister Kathy) spent the day at Universal Studios, Orlando. The main objective… to go to the newly opened attraction… “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”… (for now) only at Universal Studios in Orlando.  In actuality the whole trip to Florida was just to see the Harry Potter attractions.

Ok. I admit it. I am a Harry Potter fan. Get over it.

The attraction in in the second of two theme parks at Universal Studios… Islands of Adventure.

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While we are relatively late… 10:30am… the park was almost virtually empty.  As explained in my previous day’s post on Walt Disney World, we flew to Orlando after the summer season which partially explains the empty park. Then again, The Harry Potter attraction was the newest addition, so most folks proceeded there first.

En route we passed through the Doctor Seuss attraction.

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After passing a few other deserted attractions we end up at the entrance of the attraction, where else but … Hogsmead.

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Hogsmead is like a little old English town perpetually in winter.

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Hogwart’s Express

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First thing’s first… I had to have a serving of Butter Beer.

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Butter Bear tastes like root beer with some vanilla crème on top.

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We then proceeded to Hogwart’s for the main ride.

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Hogwart’s Castle is actually quite impressive…

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The line through the greenhouse went quickly… our total wait time, around 10 min.

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Their stairway to the headmaster’s office

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Oooh… talking paintings… there was a discussion between Godrick Griffindor, Helga Hufflepuff,, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin…

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The sorting hat!!!

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Ok, that’s about it for the pictures inside Hogwarts. I tried to take pictures inside Dumbledore’s office and with Harry, Hermione, and Ron in the classroom of the Defence Againsit the Dark Arts professor, but they came out blurred.

Anyway… the RIDE WAS AWESOME!!!

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It was about lunch so we went to Three Broomsticks for lunch…

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I had the fish and chips. And another glass of Butter Beer.

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When I would get bored, I’d whip out my wand… yes! I bought a wand!!! So beware… ADAVA KEDAVRA!

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Olivander’s

Speaking of wands, we were able to get into Olivander’s for the brief “show” where he chooses one member of from the audience and presents three wands. Just like in the movie, the old wizard (he did not exactly identify himself as Olivader himself) would pick out a wand, hand it over to the selected audience member and ask him/her to give it a wave… naturally the first two attempts were a tad disastrous. On the third try… like in the movie… the audience member is mystically surrounded by wind and light with the matching music playing. The last wand would be one of the wands you can actually purchase in the adjoining shop upon exit.

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Hogsmeade is where all the shops and restaurants are located.

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Anyway… the whole Harry Potter attraction was super incredibly awesome!! While we were there, we actually went back to ride again and buy stuff.

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And of course… we did see other attractions while in the park.

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