Thank you so much to everyone who encouraged me to read the Harry Potter books. I’ve finished the first, second, and third and have loved the stories so far. I can’t really remember the movies, so I feel like the plot of each book is new!
My friend, and housemate, Helen from Georgetown was training in Orlando for her job. Her plane back to DC was overbooked (as always, Delta) so we seized the opportunity to get together!!! I drove over Saturday morning and picked her up from her hotel. We decided to go to Islands of Adventure because we were dying to go see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
We bought our tickets ($90…. gulp) and made a quick pitstop to buy shorts. (Helen’s suitcase was en route to D.C. and she was wearing PANTS… big NO-NO in Florida heat!) We made a bee-line through the park to the Harry Potter section. I don’t even think words can describe how incredible it was. Very, very well done.
Our favorite part was definitely the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.” The ride was SO COOL. But the best part was the queue. No, seriously. You walk through the park and it is like you are in Hogwarts. So realistic (minus an annoying hologram of Harry, Ron, and Hermione).
Here are my tips if you’re planning on going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Don’t bother trying not to look like a tourist. There’s a lot of standing and waiting and sweating, so wear shorts and sneakers and a t-shirt. You’ll already be better dressed and more put together than 99% of the other visitors.
Be prepared to spend money. It’s a theme park, it’s a rip-off, and it’s expensive. Oh well.
Take pictures…. as you can tell by the post, I have none.
Be mindful of timing of the rides if you’re storing things in a locker. The first 55 minutes are free!
You can walk through the castle without riding the ride. Spend as much time as you want listening to (and watching) the portraits lining the halls!
Don’t stop at the first butterbeer station you see. Keep walking through the street and there are more stations with shorter lines. Everyone’s so eager when they find that first one so the line is ridiculous. Also, get the frozen one if it’s super hot!
Pay attention to what line you’re getting in. Helen and I got stuck in the front row line on accident for a roller coaster and our wait time easily tripled.
Try to go on rides during “lunch time” as the lines are much shorter.
Last, but not least, REMEMBER WHERE YOU PARK…. Not that Helen and I completely forgot and spent an hour roaming the parking garage trying to find my car or anything….
It’s really amazing. They did such a wonderful job with the whole exhibit. After the Hogwarts tour ride, Helen and I decided we could have left without seeing anything else and still would have gotten our money’s worth.
It’s also really strange because I don’t really consider myself a HP geek or anything, but I was ready to buy a cloak and enroll in Hogwarts!!!! (And by every single Hogwarts t-shirt in the gift shop.)