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 Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
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Cour_Delafleur
Confunded

Canada
714 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2010 :  15:19:07  Show Profile Send Cour_Delafleur a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens this Friday at Universal Studios in Orlando.

I'M GOING IN SEPTEMBER!!!!!!

Ridiculously excited. The Ontario Science Centre has a Harry Potter Exhibit right now with sets from the movie. I was there this weekend (AWESOME) and it got me so excited for it.

http://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/

"I think she's magic," said Nor.
________"You, you think everything's magic," Manek said. "Stupid girl."
____"Well, everything is," said Nor. - Wicked

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Edited by - Cour_Delafleur on 06/13/2010 15:19:53

diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2010 :  04:00:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
H,=m. Is't it a bit weird for a science center to do an exhibit on magic? Anyway, let us know how you liked the park! I won't be going any time soon :(

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2010 :  09:15:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I really want to see the exhibit, too. It's been traveling, but I can't seem to find out where it is going to be next. The official site for the exhibit never seems to show more than the current location-- rather inconvenient.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2010 :  12:19:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hadn't even heard about the exhibit. I hope it comes down my way soon. I'd love to go to Universal. It won't happen this summer, but maybe next year or the year after. Do tell us all about it when you go, Cour. I'm sure it will be fabulous!

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s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2010 :  13:36:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://www.harrypotterexhibition.com/

This is the official site. Don't know why I didn't post the link before.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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Cour_Delafleur
Confunded

Canada
714 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  22:31:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, so I've been there and back.

It was incredible. I'll share some pictures, but they don't do it justice. So much of it has to be experienced to be appreciated, but I'll do my best with an overview of a few rides/attractions:



*** BEWARE SPOILERS ****





FORBIDDEN JOURNEY:

Easily the best theme park ride I've been on. A mix of motion simulation, rollercoaster, and IMAX. The line winds through Hogwarts (we never had to wait more than 30 minutes, but I'm told lines in the first month were several hours long) and you make your way through the Herbology greenhouses, the Entrance Hall, a hallway filled with portraits (best were the founders arguing over Harry Potter's Quidditch skills and Slytherin complaining about the presence of real Muggles at Hogwarts), and into Dumbledore's office. Here there's a hologram of Dumbledore - which was amazing - who explains that they have opened Hogwarts to Muggles for a day and that we'll be given a history of the school. Move through Dumbledore's office to a corridor with the Fat Lady (pretty hilarious) and then into the Gryffindor Common Room. There were three portraits on the wall bickering with each other and telling stories not from the books or movies - first time we see occupants of portraits visiting each other. From here we move to the History of Magic classroom. There's some bickering at one end of the room, and then a hologram of the trio appear from under the invisibility cloak. They explain that they'll be busting us out of History of Magic (because it's dead boring - geddit? Because Binns is a ghost?) and taking us to a Gryffindor-Slytherin Quidditch game.

Then we get to the ride (the above all happens in line). The ride starts in the Room of Requirement, where Hermione meets us to sneak us out. We fly through the castle for a bit, before we're greeted by Hagrid, who, holding an empty leash, asks us if we've seen a dragon. We follow Harry and Ron by broom to the Quidditch pitch, but are interrupted by a the dragon. We fly through the castle a-la Harry in the first task as the dragon chases us. We manage to escape the dragon, but find ourselves faced with Aragog and other Acromantula. We get away from them and wind up at the Quiddtich pitch, where we follow Harry on his hunt for the snitch, follow the chasers as they score, etc. Then the Dementors show up, and they're everywhere. We run from them for a while until Harry and his Patronus show up. Then we're back through the castle and off the ride.

I may have missed a few details and mis-remembered the order (I can't remember if the Acromantula were before or after Quidditch), but that's the gist of it. I can't possibly describe how well done and realistic this was. I was flinching away from the spiders and Dementors (even though it wasn't in 3D, like some of the other rides in the park) and was terrified when we came around a corner and were faced with the dragon. The IMAX screen surrounded you so between the motion of the ride and the amazing visuals it felt pretty real.


DRAGON CHALLENGE:

A great, but fairly standard high-speed rollercoaster. You walk through a looooooooong path that takes you through banners for the four Triwizard Champions. The path also provides the best view of Hogwarts you'll see. The rollercoasters (there are two) are fun - one Chinese Fireball and one Hungarian Horntail - and fast with loops and corkscrews. Nothing remarkable, though.


FLIGHT OF THE HIPPOGRIFF:

Another pretty standard rollercoaster. This one was more geared towards kids and was slower and less exciting than the Dragon Challenge but was still enjoyable.


HOGSMEADE VILLAGE:

GREAT! I'll break this down a bit because there was quite a bit to the village.

Ollivander's - I was a bit disappointed, to be honest. The store itself was great and the actor playing the Ollivander-esque shopkeeper was pretty good, but the line to get in was pretty long. They let about 30 people in at once and then only one person is selected to have the wand choose them, while the rest watch. I imagine it's great if you're the person who gets chosen to have the wand choose you - which I wasn't. It was still pretty enjoyable - it was a bit of a show, recreating Harry's first visit to an extent. The 29 of us who didn't get chosen could either get wands based on our birthdays or pick a movie replica (both were the same price - about $30)

Honeydukes & Zonko's - Perfect. So much candy! I can't remember everything they had... there was so much! I got Peppermint Toads and U-No-Poo (was basically just a jar of green M&M's. I pretty much just bought it for the jar that has U-No-Poo on it in bright green letters) and a Cauldron Cake (YUUUUUUM). Zonko's was great. They had Fanged Flyers and Pygmy Puffs and all kinds of stuff - again, too much to remember. The staff were great. Anytime a Pygmy Puff was purchased they asked you what you were going to call it, and then announced to the whole shop "Arnold the Pygmy Puff has just been ADOPTEEEEEEEEEEED"

Butterbeer - Not what I expected, but great. It was kind of like a caramel-y cream soda. Very, very sweet, which isn't how I imagined it, but, like I said, still great. The foam on top makes for some spectacular mustaches. It was more of a dessert than a drink, especially if frozen (which was amazing - especially in the 40oC Florida heat). You can get it either in a disposable cup or a collector's mug.

Three Broomsticks & Hog's Head - Typical British food (Fish & Chips, Bangers & Mash, etc.) I got a rotisserie chicken, which turned out to be about the size of my head. It's cafeteria style - order, grab tray, grab table. We went just before the park closed so it was pretty empty. It looked just like the Three Broomsticks in the movie. Sadly no Madam Rosmerta. The Hog's Head had a full range of beer, including a Hog's Head Brew, which was pretty good. (FYI - Butterbeer was non-alcoholic.) No Firewhisky, but the bartender said she thought they were coming out with one.

Dervish and Banges & Owl Post - pretty standard gift shop. There was nothing in here that you couldn't get at the main Universal gift shop (which was much less busy), but it was set up to look like the shops from the movies, and had lots of great props like the Monster Book of Monsters and the Triwizard Cup, etc. The best gift shop in the park was the one at the end of the Forbidden Journey, which had things you couldn't get anywhere else.

The details that made it amazing:

The signs. The Hog's Head had a sign saying alcohol would not be served to Underage Wizards - a proclamation issued by the Department for Intoxicating Substances. The warning signs on all rides were in the same style as the Educational Decrees, and were issued by the Ministry of Magic. No admittance signs said No Muggles.

The portraits. I mentioned that some occupants of the portraits moved between pictures, but I didn't mention how realistic they looked. At the exhibit I went to earlier this summer, the moving portraits were just framed televisions. I guess it was the same thing here, but the screens were given a texture or a finish or something to make them look like paintings instead.

The general decor. There was a lot of work done to make it look authentic, including cobblestones, rusted piping, etc.



******************



That's all I can think of for now. There were apparently groups from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang and a frog choir at various times, but we missed all three.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/macveyd/sets/72157624796319475/

This is a select batch of my pictures (36 out of the more than 200 I took). I'm a flickr newbie, so I'll put captions, etc. when I figure out how.

"I think she's magic," said Nor.
________"You, you think everything's magic," Manek said. "Stupid girl."
____"Well, everything is," said Nor. - Wicked

Order of the Bookmark

Edited by - Cour_Delafleur on 09/09/2010 23:09:32
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  09:03:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
COOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll have to show Daughter. A couple of her friends went over the summer. They had to wait 90 minutes on line for the Forbidden ride, but said it was worth it too.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
Member of the HPEW & HPCS Appreciation Society
s.i.n.e. qua non
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  13:43:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was geared up to be all cynical but .... that sounds awesome!

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  19:35:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is so, so cool!!!!!!! All I can say is I WANT TO GO!!!!!!

Order of the Bookmark

s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 09/10/2010 19:36:39
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JKRisSuperior
Mediwizard

USA
694 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2010 :  22:11:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That sounds fantastic! I'd love to go someday!
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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2010 :  15:36:41  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
It sounds awesome. Thanks for the details, Cour. I'm not much of a roller coaster fan if it's fast and twisty. So I'll skip the dragon one. But I'm at least going to try everything else. I hope we are going next spring. We'll combine it with Disney World, which I love. Hubby has never been to any of the Universal parks, so we'll probably spend a couple of days there. We've only gone there to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Eeyore

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