Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Magical World Brought to Life at Universal Orlando (Orlando, Florida, Beyond WDW Series 7)

Wizarding World of Harry Potter 
Magical World Brought to Life at Universal Orlando
(Orlando, Florida, Beyond WDW Series 7) 

We were in Universal Studios Hollywood a year earlier and the 
Wizarding World of Harry Potter was still being built and that
got all of us curious to see how it would look like once completed.

This visit to Universal Studious Florida would give us a chance
to see the very first Wizarding World of Harry Potter among
Universal Studios theme park, so we were all thrilled to see it.

The themed zone begins in a typical London scenery,

…where the triple decker Knight Bus is found with
talking shrunken heads hanging by the bus window.

At the backstreet of this  London scenery,


…is the magical world of Harry Potter,

…where the Diagon Alley 
was so  realistically recreated

...that could be accesed by a magical wall beside
 the  Leaky Cauldron, just as what the book says,

…and would make one feel like being transported
 to the magical and mysterious world of Harry Potter.


It includes re-creation of connecting alleys,
like the schemingly dark Knockturn Alley,

a small section of Muggle, London,

…and many shops and restaurants from the book series including 
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes,  Olivander’s Wand Shop,  Borgin
and Burkes, Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions, Florean 
Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour and Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment. 




We were able to dine at Leaky Cauldron, 

…a medieval- themed restaurant,

…where we were served delicious British cuisine.

The rides are Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts 
an exciting roller coaster ride where the queue was kilometric
and as it does not have a lane for those with Express Tickets.

Another attraction is the Hogwarts Express, where guests had
to endure the very long queue at the King’s Cross Station,

…as it also does not have a lane dedicated
to those with upgraded Express Tickets.

The long and meandering queue, thru an optical illusion,
would make everyone appear to pass thru a brick wall,
that would take them to the concealed Platform 9 ½ .

The Hogwarts Express is an attraction of its own.


It is a full-scale replica of the train that appears in the film.

The train ride features modern London Cityscape, 
that turns bucolic as it gets closer to Hogsmead, 
realistically projected on the train’s glass windows.

The train ride would take guests from the Diagon Alley 
located at the Universal Studios Orlando to Hogsmead,

…which located at the Islands of Adventure, so a park-to-
park admission ticket is required to ride Hogwarts Express.

One can take the same train from Hogsmeade 
back again to Diagon Alley where the scenery
changes from rustic to a modern cityscape.


At the Islands of Adventure theme park,
the Wizarding World of Harry Potter 
includes re-creation of Hogsmeade. 

The breathtaking snow-capped rustic cottages
of Hogsmead was realistically recreated,

…and just like the Diagon Alley recreation,
would also make one feel transported to the
magical and mysterious world of Harry Potter.

Housed in these snow- topped cottages,


..are gift shops and restaurants from the book series
including Ollivanders, the Hog's Head, Honeydukes, 
Dervish and Banges, and the Three Broomsticks.

The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was
a sight to behold and serves an eye- catching  centerpiece,

…and the host for the park’s flagship attraction;   
the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. 

We skipped two attractions, the Dragon Challenge, a pair of inverted 
roller coasters, the Flight of the Hippogriff, a family roller coaster.

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