We made it to Universal’s Harry Potter World. With rooms at the Hilton across the street, we had a taste of the park from the minute we checked it.
If you purchase your tickets online you can enter the park 1 hour early and enjoy Harry Potter World without as many crowds. Unfortunately, this meant we had to wake up at 6:15 to make it to the park for the 7am opening.
It was 100% worth it. Cinco does not like rides. So, The Princess and I headed straight to the Forbidden Journey ride while Queen Gram took him around the park. The Princess and I virtually walked onto the ride. Later in the day the wait was more than 90 minutes.
The ride was amazing. Half the fun is walking through the Hogwarts castle and looking at the all the details that are brought to life from the movie. For example, the talking sorting hat. I LOVED the moving and talking painting that were hung throughout the castle. The best of course was the famous fat lady.
I also thought the ride was great, as did The Princess. In fact, she loved it so much we went back to ride it a second time later in the evening.
Next The Princess and I hit the Flight of the Hippograph ride. Not nearly as exciting as the Forbidden Journey. But it is meant to be a ride that younger children and can also do.
After the rides, Queen Gram spoiled the kids by purchasing each one of them a wand at Olivander’s Wand Shop. After that we he had to walk the park and practice our magic with the newly acquired wands. Universal created stations around Harry Potter World where the wands are interactive and the kids stopped boiling cauldrons, made plates of tea cake spin and performed several other “charms”.
We also tried the famous “Butter Beer”. The kids loved it. I gave it a so-so and Queen Gram thought it tasted horribly sweet.
The next stop was the candy shop. Each child got one chocolate frog. I figured the frogs were hollow like chocolate bunnies at Easter. Oh no sir. These were full on giant hunks of milk chocolate complete with wizard collector cards.
Once we had our fill it was time to do the Minion ride. But before we got in line for the ride, Cinco and The Princess wanted to try their luck and/or skill at carnival game. Now, I hate carnival games. These things are money sucking, time wasters at any amusement park and NO ONE should ever play them as far as I am concerned. But the kids had their spending money from their allowance and wanted to go for it. They each decided to spend $5 on the game. And, THEY ACTUALLY BOTH WON and WON BIG toys not the wimpy little ones.
Then I decided perhaps everyone who played won. So while Queen Gram took them on the Minion ride, I watched the game. Several people came by to play, and only one boy won a small key chain sized Minion toy. Crazy!
The backstage Studio Tour was next. It has changed a lot since the days when I was a kid and took the ride. I am exactly sure Cinco and The Princess liked it very much. But when you go to Universal you sort of have to do the Studio Tour, right?
After all that it was only 1:30 in the afternoon. We grabbed lunch and mom decided it was time for a nap. Of course, I was the only one who actually took a nap. The kids played in their rooms and watched a movie.
When evening struck The Princess just couldn’t get enough of the park. Cinco stayed with Queen Gram while The Princess and I went back in. We managed to ride the Harry Potter ride, one more time, as well as the Simpson’s ride and we watched Shrek 4-D all in about 90 minutes. In the end, The Princess opened the park at 7am and closed it down at 10pm! I’d say she got her monies worth.