I and I am sure you ahve noticed that my reviews tend to lean towards the cinematic fashion, but this past week I had the distinct pleasure of going to Harry Potter World in Orlando before the June 18th grand opening. I'll give you a moment to gasp in envy. ... you good? moving on.
First off let me say this, no reviews, no pictures, no videos will ever do this park justice. They need to just chop it off and make it its own park. It is so perfectly secluded in the park that you really feel like you're entering a different continent. There are no clues as you make your way closer, you just round a corner and BAM Hogsmeade. Don't be ashamed if you pee yourself a little. I know I did. It met all my expectations and then some.
When you enter you are greeted by the Hogwarts express and a row of shops. The stores are made like the books so its very cramped but still very cool. All the shops are colorful and true to the books. The workers are committed to their roles and extremely friendly. The sweets are all delicious, from the chocolaty overload of the cauldron cakes to the surprisingly delicious pumpkin juice, Universal made few errors.
Then of course there is the butterbeer. Oh my giddy God's trousers it was delicious. Imagine someone flattened out a cream soda, squeezed in butterscotch and topped it off with the most delicious whip cream ever created. Bottle that crap up cuz I'm addicted. You have the option of getting cold or frozen but I highly recommend the cold.
As you walk down the lanes of Hogsmeade, workers treat you to shows of harmonizing frogs and acrobatic Beauxbatons and Durmstrangs. Pause for entertainment, because they truly were a treat and then continue on to the piece de resistance, the forbidden journey ride housed in a life size Hogwarts castle. No ride could ever possibly compare to this one. First of all you get to tour the castle and see all the wonders in the book like the mirror or erisad, the Griffindor common room, Dumbledore's office, and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. On top of that is some truly great holographics and special effects throughout. Than of course is the ride. It's hard to explain but I'll do my best. You sit in a chair four seats wide and make your way through the castle on an enchanted flying seat. You battle a dragon, play some quidditch, and fight off some giant spiders. All the while, you move between video and real life seemlessly.
The park was incredible. To describe everything in it would take years but it is truly a magical experience for muggles and Harry Potter nerds alike.