Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hogwarts Day 3

Time for a brake from the Magical World of Disney and experience the Wizarding World. That's right. My Owl came saying I needed to head to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Upon arriving at Universal Studios, we made our way over to Hogsmeade. The first thing we find is the Hogwarts Express and a conductor ready to greet us. Took a picture with him as expected than made our way through the streets of Diagon Alley. It all looked exactly as I imagined it would look. It seemed that I had been transproted onto the movie set. Except there were a lot more Muggles there than I would have liked. Oh well.

We made our way up the hill to the triwizard torunament ride where we are to take on a dragon. This was a roller coaster ride that had you spinning all over the place. The walk up was quite fun as there were signs cheering on your favorite triwizard contestants. Then we walked past the Weasleys flying car that hit a tree. Then we were led to the hall that the Triwizard cup was kept. Continuing on we found our way to the tent where the competitors waited their turn to fight their dragon. As we kept going we finally made our way to the ride and boarded our dragon. That was a great roller coaster ride. Yes I did that a couple of times.

We then made our way to the Hogwarts Castle which was so amazing. The line had you navigating through various rooms of the castle. We walked through the potions room, the greenhouse, Dumbledore's office, the Griffindor's Common Room, past the Sorting Hat and finally made our way to the ride which was a great visual adventure where we followed Harry and Ron through the grounds of Hogwarts, escaping dementors, spiders, and bludgers. It was a fantastic ride. We rode it 3 times throughout the course of the day.

Time for some Butter Beer. I had mine frozen. That was some really good stuff. We drank our butter beer as we walked through the streets and shops of the Hogsmeade. The shop windows displayed all of the items that a student at Hogwarts would need for school, cauldrons, spell books, robes, quills, potion mixes, even the book of Monsters and yes it bites. We then watched an outdoor show where the other triwizard schools displayed their artisitic moves for us. It was quite fun.

Then we made our way over to Hagrid's hut where we were able to take a ride on a hippogriff. Another great roller coaster ride.

We took a tour of Olivander's Wand Shop where Mr. Olivander himself was helping us to find the perfect wand that would work for us. Yes a couple of potted plants fell over and books were rattled a bit but eventually we found the right one.

Then the Hogwarts Frog Choir performed for us. This was comprised of students from hogwarts accompanied by frogs. They were having so much fun up there singing songs about Hogwarts and potions, and such. I loved it.

Dinner that night was at the Hogs Head Tavern where I had an amazing shepherds pie, salad and butter beer. The tavern was pretty amazing to look at.

We walked through Zonko's where the Weasley's had all of their silly inventions for sell. And the candy shop was pretty amazing as well. Bertie's Box of every flavor beans, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Juice, and so many other great trinkets from the books were for sell here.

Once we had toured everything in Harry Potter, we made our way to other sections of the park where we found the super hero's rides like The Hulk, which was so cool. I have never been on a roller coaster where you get halfway up the slow incline at the beginning and then just take off at full speed. It was so unexpected and such an amazing ride. We also went on this 3D adventure car chase around New York with Spiderman capturing all the bad guys. Storm took us on a spinning adventure that resembled spinning cups. And then we took a Fantastic Four ride that lifts you high above the air and then drops you suddenly. Ah!

From there we headed over to the Dr. Seuss land where we went through the classic adventure with the Cat in the Hat. Thing 1 and Thing 2 sure are fun little characters.

When we were done with Universal Studios, we took a cab back to Downtown Disney where we walked around the shops of DownTown Disney. There is a super huge character store there that had everything. I bought myself a charm bracelet and scrapbook kit. This is going to be a fun time scrapbooking all of these pics. I'll probably make it through all of my Disney movies while I do this.

Downtown Disney had some fun, unique shops including a Lego shop that had life size lego models of Disney characters. So cool! Well this was an early night for us as we were exhausted and knew that we needed our beauty sleep to prepare for the final and climatic park of them all tomorrow. Magic Kingdom! Sweet dreams.

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