Monday, December 05, 2011

Ron Weasley and I were in love last night in my dreams (not Rupert Grint, Ron Weasley) and so now seems as good a time as any to talk about Universal. One of the most exciting parts of our vacation was our plan to visit Universal parks (both Studios and Islands of Adventure) to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time. And to put the cherry on the top of the excitement, my Dad generously offered to send us in style - VIP Tour style. What this meant was that we walked around with a guide for 7 hours and she let us in the exit of every ride. We skipped every line. Even the wand experience line! It was pretty fabulous and we were on the receiving end of a lot of questioning glances...and one or two dirty looks. Really, most of Universal was fun, but it's really not so...magical as Disney. I highly enjoyed almost all of the rides we went on and feel like ET is the classic, lovable ride that I remember while the Simpsons was the new break out favorite. But who cares about that.

Hogsmeade! It was really everything I had hoped. They did a fantastic, fabulous job on it. Some pictures of the buildings and such can be found at my brother-in-laws iPhone blog here. In particular, Hogwarts. I don't want to run through everything, so here's just my main feelings:

  • It just FEELS like Harry Potter.
  • Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge is too adult for what Harry Potter is all about. I didn't know this at the time, but apparently that's just a ride that was already at Islands of Adventure re-concepted for Harry Potter. The new concept sort of works, but the coaster just feels out of place. Big Time. That being said, even if you don't want to ride the coaster, go through the line. That sounds stupid, but there was some fantastic stuff to look at in that line.
  • Flight of the Hippogriffs = kiddie coaster that lasts literally a minute. If there's a wait, this is not worth it at all.
  • The Forbidden Journey was awesome. Cool ride mechanics, neat story, you're in Hogwarts! Though, I do have one bone to pick: MUGGLES CAN'T SEE DEMENTORS. Again, the stuff to see in the line is fantastic, so even if you don't want to ride, go get in line.
  • Butterbeer is insanely sweet. I kind of liked it but I don't think I could have had a whole cup. A few sips was enough.
  • The Three Broomsticks felt true. Different styles of chair, lofty, wooden, just...awesome. 
Verdict: Awesome! Love! So glad I went!

I should warn you that these Orlando vacation posts will only get nerdier, so if this is too nerdy for you, watch out. I'm about to go way down in your eyes as far as coolness goes. Being cool is pretty damn stupid when you can be off having fun instead. Like these HP nerds:
loml + katie + hogwarts express = awkward picture of two slouchy nerds

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