We have been living in Orlando for eight months now and still hadn’t made it over to Universal Studios to see ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’.
After seeing yet another commercial for it on TV, we decided that today was the day. Our aunt and her friend were in town visiting and they came with us.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is so much fun! Once you walk through the main gate, you really feel like you’re in Hogsmeade with its snow-covered roof tops and very tiny shops. It was a dark and cloudy cold day, threatening rain. The low hanging clouds made it seem like it could actually snow. Caroline was freezing the whole time and really wishing for her gloves, scarf and a hat; she’s such a “Floridian” now.
We checked out the Hogworts Express train and met the conductor. Then, we went into all the shops and looked around. Caroline really liked the wand shop, but she thought it was too crowded and too small, even though it wasn’t a very busy day.
The headliner ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, had a 45 minute wait. You enter first through the greenhouse like you’re in a Herbology class and then you go through the Hogwarts Castle into various dark rooms that are all very well done. Caroline rode the ride with our aunt, while Elly and her friend continued on the Castle tour. Caroline thought the ride was a “once in a lifetime ride”, meaning that once in her lifetime was enough.
Elly’s favorite ride was the Flight of the Hippogriff, which is like Big Thunder Mountain, but shorter. We really liked seeing Hagrid’s house and the big animatronic Hippogriff sitting on its nest.
We give the Butterbeer mixed reviews and were split 50/50 on whether we all liked it or not. We had the slushy one, which tastes like cream soda and the topping tastes like caramel whipped cream. Elly thought it was yummy. Elly’s friend works there and she says that they sometimes serve it hot, but only for a week in December.
Our favorite shop was the post office Owlery where they have animatronic owls sitting up high looking down at you and blinking. Elly couldn’t resist getting a Hedwig stuffed owl; he was just too soft! We have him sitting on the edge of our windowsill in our apartment looking out. Caroline bought some coffee mugs and some key chains for her friends.
Overall, we had a great time at Universal. There was a lot of construction going on and we’re really excited for the expansion that they’re doing to connect the Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios with the Hogworts Express. We’ll have to come back to see it someday. It’s supposed to be done Summer 2014.
After walking back through the park and along Universal City Walk, we were glad to be going back to Disney. We had dinner reservations waiting for us at the California Grill at the Contemporary resort. 🙂
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale