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Universal Studios Island of Adventures – Part 2, Harry Potter - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Universal Parks

And so to Harry Potter.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Universal’s greatest triumph to date. You enter through The Lost Continent into England to see the snow capped roofs of the buildings in Hogsmeade and on to Hogwarts. The roads are cobbled and the buildings are complete, not just facias with nothing behind them. In 2014 many more additions are to take place. There will be a railway which will depart from Waterloo Station (in Universal Studios where the Jaws ride used to be) which will transport you to Hogwarts, and you will be able to wander down Diagon Alley.

At the moment though, you can enter the shops of Hogsmeade and buy cloaks, entire school uniforms of Hogwarts, wands and books. There is even a wand shop where the wand chooses you and not the other way around. At the moment you have to queue to get into this shop, unheard of for a shop in a theme park, but it is very popular. Some of the shop windows feature moving plants, suitcases, books and artifacts from the Harry Potter movies.

You can sample Butter beer and Pumpkin Juice from a stall in Hogsmeade or dine in the Three Broomsticks restaurant. This rustic tavern is where visitors to Hogsmeade come to dine. The restaurant serves the ' Great Feast Platter, ' fish and chips, shepherd' s pie, soup, salads, pumpkin juice and Butter beer, plus tasty desserts including apple pie and chocolate trifle. However, how genuinely authentic this food is, is debateable.

There are several rides to enjoy; The Flight of the Hippogriff, this is fairly tame but fast and has a height restriction of 36 inches. You will be instructed by Hagrid on how to approach a Hippogriff while you are waiting to board the ride. During the ride you will go past Hagrid’s hut and go swirling through the pumpkin patch. This is listed as a family ride so it is not really a thrill ride, but I wasn’t sure!

The Dragon Challenge is a very fast hang-you-upside-down thrill ride very much only for the brave few! This used to be the Duelling Dragons before Harry Potter World was built. This ride is more like the Amazing Adventures of Spider Man or The Incredible Hulk ride.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a ride where you enter through the towering castle gates and make your way down passageways and corridors. You will visit Dumbledore’s office. The Defence Against The Dark Arts classroom. The Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirement and many more. You will make your way through the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, then soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry and his friends on a fabulous adventure, coming face-to-face with magical creatures!

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