Friday, January 7, 2011

Day Three: Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

Today we decided to break from Disney and head over to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. Ever since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened last year I have been anxious to see it with my own eyes. We again set off early and were at the park shortly after opening. We immediately went over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to avoid lines. Apparently everyone in the park had the same idea and when we got back there we were met with HUGE amounts of crowds. The main Harry Potter ride in that area has it's queue throughout Hogwarts castle, which was pretty amazing. The replica of the castle, although built to scale, is very realistic and true to what you see in the movies. I was told prior to coming here that the set design team from the movies and even J.K. Rowling herself were instrumental in the design of the park. It certainly shows when you are there.

The back view of Hogwarts Castle

Although the Harry Potter area is magical and a real treat of an experience, Universal did make some pretty large mistakes during construction. For one, there are certain rides that require that you stow your purses and backpacks In lockers when you enter the attraction, then pick them up when you exit. Doing this requires that people entering and exiting the ride are all milling around in a small (emphasis on SMALL) common area, making you literally fighting for two feet of space. I felt like I was at a huge rock concert. Not exactly low stress, but more on that later.

The day was another long one, but incredibly fun. I got to taste butterbeer which is kind of like a cream soda concoction with a caramel topping.

The village of Hogsmede

There are several other lands in Universal Islands of Adventure including a Dr. Suss land and a Superhero land. The rides were really cool and the atmosphere fun and enjoyable but the parked lacked the special charm and whimsy that is always present at Disney, and that I have come to expect from other parks, but never get. That's why it's called Disney Magic I guess!

Favorite Ride: The Incredible Hulk, classic coaster, scream you head off. Fabulous!

Tomorrow: Animal Kingdom BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

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