YES, YES, YES! We spent the week at Universal Studios and I GOT TO GO TO THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!
In no particular order, here are some of my impressions:
Butter beer is YUMMY.
Pumpkin juice is good, but not nearly as yummy.
Hogsmeade village looks quite authentic. Although, most of the storefronts are fake. There IS a Honeydukes and Zonkos you can shop in for real. And a couple other gift shops with Harry Potter t-shirts and such.
Things are combined. For example, Olivander's is there as if it's part of Hogsmeade. But we all know Olivander's is in Diagon Alley. And Moaning Myrtle is in the bathroom there, but of course she should be in the girls' room in Hogwarts.
Even if you are not a roller coaster person, go through the line at the Dragon Challenge ride. Cool stuff to see!
The line for the big ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, is awesomely cool. So many things to look at! The mirror of Erised, Dumbledore's office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts room, and the sorting hat were my favorites. Oh, and the griffin that leads up to Dumbledore's office.
The Flight of the Hippogrif is a pretty small ride, but fun. A step or two above kiddie-coaster. But you get to see Buckbeak, and the top of the incline gives you the BEST view of the whole village.
The Three Broomsticks restaurant and Hog's Head pub were nifty. Good food, too. Get the fish and chips ;).
Oh, and I know you're going to ask about wands. You know, the whole Olivander's experience. Well, gotta tell ya. We did that. First, let me give you a hint. The line is CRAZY long. BUT, if you stay at one of the Universal hotels, you get into the Harry Potter area an hour before the park opens. That is what we did. Totally worth getting up early! We didn't have to wait at all.
So here goes:
Only so many people are allowed in the room at once. A wandmaster (or whatever they're called) greets everyone and picks a kid from the audience.
My son was picked!!!
He's given a wand and asked to point it at specific things in the room--like at a pot of flowers in order to "water" them. Of course, as in the movie, things don't go so smoothly with the first few wands.
Then the kid is handed a wand that "chooses" him.
And here's where the rumors may have you on the edge of your seat....
The fact is....the one who gets chosen does NOT get to keep their wand for free. Oh, no. Thirty bucks, baby. He's told, "If you would like to purchase your wand, there is a cash register through this door."
Color my son a bit disappointed.
"Oh, but didn't you buy it for him?" you ask.
No. He had money, and he chose to buy dragons. And if I bought him one, I'd have to buy his sister one. AND they are NOT made of wood. Molded resin. As in super-hard plastic. As in, you break it there's no fixing it.
Besides. We're homeschoolers. We're going to design and make our own!
Alrighty, then. I had every intention of posting pictures on here. But Blogger for some reason no longer inserts the html code, which can be cut and pasted wherever you want the pic. Now, it just puts the pic itself in the top, and I can't figure out how to move it. So, to avoid delaying the post, I had to do no pictures.
So, I put a few on my Facebook page.