Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

by Darla

Part of my 30th birthday gift this year was a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP). You may remember that I chose to have a Harry Potter themed birthday cake…well, I knew the WWoHP was due to open this year, so I decided that I wanted to visit there more than anything! When we found out that we would be moving to the Virgin Islands for the Coast Guard, I knew it was the perfect opportunity! We were able to work the park, which is part of Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure theme park, into our trip, and we were lucky that it officially opened the same day we were due to leave our home in Maine!

We decided to go to WWoHP before we did anything else in Orlando, since I was so excited about it! I’m glad that we did it first, but it was also very, very busy because when we went the park had only been officially open for four days! It was pretty crazy!

We arrived and parked about 30 minutes before the park was due to open and it was a good thing we did because we ended up in a crazy long line waiting to get in. There are two entrances into WWoHP; one is for guests staying in Universal hotels and goes through Seuss Landing and the Lost Continent to the right. The other entrance is for the general public and goes through Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, and Jurassic Park to the left. This was the line we joined and when we did, it was all the way through Jurassic Park! We got in line right at the entrance to Jurassic Park! If you’ve been to the Islands of Adventure, you know how long of a line that is! Admittance to WWoHP is included in the price of a ticket for the Islands of Adventure, but because the demand is so high, you have to be given another (free) ticket before you can actually get into Hogsmeade!

We stood in line for a good 30 to 40 minutes, but once the park officially opened, the line really moved along pretty quickly.

Then, before we knew it…

…we were in!! I was so excited I could hardly contain myself!! I couldn’t think straight to decide what to do first! It was just too overwhelming!

Upon entering, you are confronted with a big choice: Hogwarts or Hogsmeade. How can you possibly decide?! I just stood there for several minutes, mouth agape, head swiveling from one side to the other. Finally, I decided I would get started with a photo of the most prominent part of the park…

…Hogwarts! You can see the castle from miles away while driving down the interstate! It’s thrilling to see and the glimpses that you get of it as you walk through the park to WWoHP are awesome teasers!! They did a fantastic job on it!!

At the base of the castle, there is a gate with a winged warthog sentinel on each side. This is the entrance to the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The line for the ride meanders throughout the castle, giving you an exciting tour as you wait. The detail is wonderful and there are even amazing screens that have images of the actors from the films that talk to you! The way that these are set up really makes it look like the characters are actually there!

The line takes you through such scenes as Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and the stairwell where there are real moving portraits that interact with one another (although they neglected to add any moving staircases). Unfortunately, I don’t have any photographs of the interior of the castle because you can’t take bulky items on the ride with you. When you first enter the castle, there are Hogwarts students standing by to assign you to lockers for your bigger stuff. Seeing as I had my DSLR (with flash and zoom lens) with me, I couldn’t take it on the ride and the camera on my phone is useless in low light situations. I was extremely disappointed, but trust me when I say that the castle is amazing and wonderfully done!

The actual ride is, without a doubt, the best ride I’ve ever been on! It’s a combination of movement, video, animatronics, and simulation. The premise of the ride is that you are riding on bewitched benches (courtesy of Hermione) through the castle and grounds, down to the Quidditch pitch to watch Harry and Ron play. There’s dragons, giant spiders, twists, and turns…it’s amazing!

Across from Hogwarts is the small (very short) roller coaster the Flight of the Hippogriff. This ride had a short line all day long, and wasn’t terribly exciting, but was worth hitting because of the chance to see Hagrid’s Hut and the surrounding areas. Hagrid is the Care of Magical Creatures teacher in the books, and Buckbeak’s caregiver, so Hagrid’s Hut and the setting around it are perfect for the Flight of the Hippogriff. We stood in line for about five minutes before boarding the ride, which was very nice! Plus, the wait is almost entirely shaded, a big bonus in hot, sunny Florida!

As you round the first turn of the ride, there is a very large, animatronic Buckbeak in his nest! He bows to you and you’re off! And before you know, it’s all over! This is a seriously short ride, but fun nonetheless!

There is another ride called The Dragon Challenge that is based around the first task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It is a hanging seat roller coaster that has two separate tracks, each one running in different directions and “challenging” one another. This is a very thrilling ride, but be aware that the line gets extremely long as the day wears on. My recommendation is to ride this ride first thing, followed by Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, as they have the longest lines.

After the Flight of the Hippogriff, we headed into Hogsmeade. All of WWoHP is set in winter, so the roofs are all snow topped and there is this adorable snowman at the entrance.

If it weren’t for the sweltering heat and humidity, you could almost believe that all the snow is real! It’s really quite pretty! Of course, this photo also doesn’t show the throngs of people milling about!!

Speaking of groups of people, it’s important to know that there is only one place in all of WWoHP to get food.

If you want food, then you have to visit the Three Broomsticks. I recommend queuing up well before lunch. It took us over an hour to get through the line and get our food! I think that as time goes on, and fewer people visit the park, things will obviously get easier, and run smoother. Right now, though, because the park is so very new and busy, if you leave WWoHP, you have to get in line to get back in! Accordingly, nobody was willing to leave, so the food line was very, very long. The same is true for the butterbeer carts that sit out in the park. I suggest, if you’re only looking to get a beverage, that you head over to the Hog’s Head Inn bar. It is next to, and actually adjoins, the Three Broomsticks, but it has a separate entrance, and a separate line. The entrance is around the back, so most people never find it! We stood in line for butterbeer there and only waited about 10 minutes! And speaking of butterbeer…

…it is wonderful!! They did a great job creating it (create your own homemade butterbeer…tastes just like the park’s)! It met all of my expectations! They actually had J.K. Rowling give final approval over it, so you know it really is what she meant it to be! You can get it “on tap” (shown above) or frozen (as a slushie). While the slushie is refreshing, I actually prefer it on tap. The frozen version tastes “flat.” The best way to describe the difference is to compare it to a regular Coke versus a Coke Slushee. Coke is bubbly, while a coke slushie tastes flat. But it really is personal preference and I recommend trying it both ways.

The flavor of the butterbeer itself was very close to a cream soda, except it was more butterscotch flavored. It was really delicious…I have high hopes that they will market it outside of the park!

Both versions have this sweet, delicious foam on top. The flavor reminds me very much of vanilla ice cream, while the texture is more like whipped cream. It’s a little thick and, strangely, if you don’t drink all of the foam right up, it seems to regenerate. I know that sounds weird, but unless you drink it all at once, it never seems to go away. It. Was. Awesome!

And you have to get a photo of yourself with a butterbeer mustache!!

At this point in the day, we strategized and split up. The hubster jumped in line for lunch at the Three Broomsticks, while the kiddo and I headed for the candy shop…Honeydukes!!

Again, there was a line to get into the shop, but it moved along quickly and there are these beautiful window displays to captivate you. The storefront for Zonko’s Joke Shop is also here and they have a lot of fun stuff to check out. One display is for Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean, which they have plenty of inside Honeydukes! Another of the displays is for Candyfloss (cotton candy). There was also a beautiful chocolate frog display with a giant chocolate frog box opening and closing over a huge chocolate frog, but it was a bit too crowded for picture taking.

The inside of the shop was beautiful and whimsical. This funny little guy is supposed to be where all of the black licorice sold in the store comes from!

Every surface of the shop is covered with pretty jars of every shape and size and all of them are filled with wonderful, colorful candies (it’s exactly the kind of place I want my own kitchen to be)!

Even this adorable pink, spiral staircase in the corner had candy all over it! There were several candy dispensers and jars lining the walls that you could use to fill pink bags up with. It was three dollars for a quarter pound of candy, six dollars for a half pound. Quite steep, to say the least. My advice would be to skip the “by-the-pound” candy, though. Most of it is every day candy that you can get anywhere (and usually much, much cheaper).

Instead, invest in the specially made candies, such as these pepper imps.

There are also these sugar quills, as well as Bertie Bott’s Beans, Acid Pops, Chocolate Frogs, and Chocolate Cauldrons. Be aware, though, that these are still pricey. A chocolate frog will run you about $10, plus tax. It’s quite big and it is good quality chocolate though, plus you get a Famous Witch or Wizard card with it! There are also pre-weighed jars of various candies throughout the store that are fun because the jar is stamped with the Honeydukes logo (of course I had to have one)!

Honeydukes also offers pumpkin juice, which is available at other carts and vendors throughout the park, too. Pumpkin juice tastes like very sweet pumpkin pie. It is fruity and pumpkin-y, but it also has spices added, much like those you would find in the pie. I personally didn’t enjoy it, but then again, I don’t like pumpkin pie!

Another great thing at Honeydukes is the treat counter! It’s full of delicious little cakes and treats, such as fudge, Hagrid’s Rock Cakes, and treacle tarts (follow link for recipe), which are Harry’s favorite!.

I chose to get a Cauldron Cake (my own homemade versions can be found here) and was not disappointed! The small white candy tastes like coconut to me, while everything else is chocolate. There is a small amount of chocolate filling and a hard chocolate coating on the bottom. The cake was very delicious and I highly recommend splurging on one!

Zonko’s Joke Shop adjoins Honeydukes. The joke shop is filled with fun little toys like Sneakoscopes, but it mostly contains old fashioned muggle toys and games. Be sure to peer up at the ceiling though to catch some extendable ears dangling down from above! There are a lot of these little touches throughout WWoHP that big fans will enjoying seeking out!

Outside of Honeydukes and Zonko’s is the Hogwarts Express! It’s a full sized steam engine that appears as though it has just arrived. Every few minutes steam billows from the stack and from under the engine, making it all the more impressive!

And the conductor is really wonderful! He was warm and friendly, and quite fun to chat with. Never once did he step out of character and it was very funny to talk to him! Many of these singular characters that you can interact with are actually from the UK too, making everything that much more authentic!

The littlest details were seen to even here around the train! Students’ luggage waiting to be wheeled up to the castle!

If you want a photo with the engine, don’t be afraid to just step right up. If you wait for the chance too long, you’ll never get it! People are almost constantly moving in and out, but if you step up and pose, everybody is polite enough to allow you a couple of shots before jumping in!

At this point, it was time to rejoin the hubster for lunch in the Three Broomsticks. A big bonus to WWoHP is that they don’t skimp on the food! This is a picture of my lunch…just my lunch! That’s a whole half of a roast chicken! Just for me! It’s a lot of food and the price isn’t too bad, while the food itself was quite tasty! After you order, you wait at a counter for the food, then move along to a condiment area before being seated by helpful Broomsticks employees.

You can also order a mug of Hogs Head Ale at the Three Broomsticks! The hubster tried it and gave it a 7 out of 10! Not too shabby!

Next up was Ollivanders. We kept putting this off with the hopes that the line would go away. It was over an hour wait! We thought, “This must be good!” Let me save you the trouble: don’t stand in line for Ollivanders unless you really, really want to see the inside of the shop. It’s not worth it. We were told that there was “a really great show” and that wands would choose you. This isn’t true, however. The show was very well done, it just wasn’t worth the overlong wait.

Let me stop here to say that the inside of the shop was very lovely! It was fun and whimsical and just what you expect.

And Ollivander himself was incredible! He was wonderfully believable and brought so much to the atmosphere. But it’s important that you know that the “show” is only about eight to ten minutes long, and only one persone gets chosen by a wand, so you have to try to be that lucky one. The “show” is actually a reenactment of the scene from the first film (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) when Harry visits Ollivanders for his wand. Afterwards, you are ushered through a doorway to peruse the wand selection available for purchase.

Here is a display of some of the wands you can buy. There are replicas of many of the main characters’ wands (including the Trio, Dumbledore, and Voldemort) and all of the wands run about $30.00, give or take, but many of them were sold out. It was here that we learned that you have to shop early if you want to get something specific.

The store where the wands are sold is actually fronted by a sign for the Owl Post. Be aware that you can’t enter through here; you must stand in line for Ollivanders in order to enter the Owl Post. There is, however, an entrance to Dervish and Banges (selling souvenirs such as clothing and key chains) on the back side of the building that adjoins to the Owl Post.

Also next to the Owl Post storefront is the Owlery, which is an open air sitting area full of benches and ceiling fans for resting and cooling off out of the sun.

There are also several animatronic owls in the rafters above that lend a fun air to the place. In this area, there is a small stand that sells some stationary, such as post cards and special Harry Potter stamps. These are very fun, inexpensive souvenirs to check out, and they even have a little stand where you can have them stamped as coming from the Owl Post!

The owls in the owlery are just one of the little details that makes WWoHP so wonderful! Keep your eyes open for these treats as you go about your day.

Shrunken heads in the Hog’s Head Inn bar

Parchment and quills in a shop window

Stacked cauldrons inside and out of a little shop

Hermione’s lovely gown from the Yule Ball in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Fun moving photos of Gilderoy Lockhart near Ollivanders

A snitch and bludgers hanging over a Quidditch shop

A case holding the quaffle and moving bludgers for Quidditch in a window display (the golden snitch was flitting around in the background)

One of the best places to witness the attention to detail that went into WWoHP is in Filch’s Emporium.

As you exit the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, you enter Filch’s Emporium. This is rather large gift shop offering clothing and accessories, keychains, magnets, and many other things. As it is supposed to be part of Hogwarts, there are still little reminders of the castle, such as Gryffindor’s sword.

These owl column toppers were particularly pretty.

There are random “file drawers” scattered throughout with different students names labeled on them. I was sorely tempted to pop this one open and see if there was actually anything in there, but I wasn’t quite tall enough!

Beautiful old books stacked in Filch’s Emporium

Wands, a Marauder’s Map, and a death eater’s mask

This display of the Marauder’s Map in Filch’s Emporium had beautiful little moving projections on it at random.

Here you can just make out the flag with “Harry Potter” on it to the left, as well as some small footprints at the top!

A bottle of Skele-Gro on display in Filch’s Emporium

The other entrance to WWoHP has this fun sign reminding everyone to “Please Respect the Spell Limits.”

For anyone planning a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, be early! Anywhere from a half hour to an hour before open is best. Be prepared for lots of lines and lots of waiting. But be patient! There’s a lot of detail and fun to take in while you wait if you’re willing to look around! Don’t leave without trying butterbeer in one form or another (or both)! Expect to pay a lot for stuff. Nothing is cheap here. Although you do get a lot, and good quality, for your money. Pack food to tide you over if you don’t want to wait for a long time at the Three Broomsticks. The food is good, but you wouldn’t truly miss out if you didn’t have it. Buy souvenirs early, as they sell out of smaller sizes and more popular items very quickly. Last, but definitely not least, take a camera and photograph everything! You’ll regret it forever if you don’t! For ticket prices and information, visit http://www.universalorlando.com/home/home.aspx

I know this is a very long post, and maybe it’s pretty boring for some people, but I wanted to make sure there was a lot of information for anyone interested in making the trip. These are tips you won’t get from most places and they will be very helpful! I hope you enjoyed my recap and photos!! Have a wonderful week!

Great Harry Potter recipes from Bakingdom:

Homemade Butterbeer

Double Chocolate Cauldron Cakes

Treacle Tartlets

Honeydukes Candyfloss Cupcakes

Harry Potter Sugar Cookies

Hogwarts House Pride Spice Cake

 

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bttrflybabydoll July 6, 2010 at 9:12 am

Love it! I'm not as big a fan as you are by any means, but I want to go now! That was awesome, and the Butterbeer sounds wonderful!

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2 Anonymous July 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

Awesome job Darla! Thank you for all the very useful info! I CANNOT wait to go to WWoHP! I will def look back at this before we go (there are no plans in the works yet) bc all the heads up are great. As usual, great pics too! Looks like you had a great time.
~Kristen

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3 cynthiesmom July 6, 2010 at 10:50 am

Love it! My kids are really wanting to go there now that I showed them your pictures. They are both Harry Potter fanatics! Is there much for a 4 and 8 year old to ride/do there? Or should we wait a few more years? We are heading to St Augustine in a few months and since we are getting a free week in the condo we were thinking of hitting up something in Orlando. Thanks for all the great pictures and info!

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4 Anonymous July 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I love this post Darla! I think that you should seriously consider doing travel writing. You are living in the perfect place and you are not only informational but exciting! Can't wait to talk to you and see more photos!!!

Cristen

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5 Anonymous July 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm

this is AWESOME!! makes me feel like i was there with you (and i wish i was!). great pictures and info!! you're a natural my dear :) ~ k

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6 Nadya July 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm

looks like you had a blast! i want some butter beer!

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7 Melissa July 12, 2010 at 7:26 am

Wow!! Thanks for all the wonderful pics. It looks just like I thought it would. I can't wait to go but I want my son to be a little older and I don't want to go while pregnant so I can ride the rides! Found you on FB and look forward to exploring your site.

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8 Creations By Lyndsay July 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

Your pictures are awesome! I'm going there for my honeymoon, hehe! Can't wait! I'll take your advice about the lines, pictures, packing food, etc… Thanks so much!

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9 Anonymous August 3, 2010 at 4:57 am

An amazing post cant wait until november for our 2 week visit from the uk, staying at WDW but have 2 week pass to universal too!

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10 Sugarbear August 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I'm so happy that this post has been helpful for people!! If anyone has any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!! WWoHP is an amazing experience and I want everyone to get the most from it that they can!! :)

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11 Jessiker October 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm

soo….i'm jealous. crazy.

Glad you had so much fun though!!

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12 Callissa October 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I saw your pictures some time ago but I've just read your blog entry now….wow! It sounds like you had such an amazing time and you have so made me want to visit. I also noticed a sneaky t-shirt change to a 'muggle' top, very discrete ;)

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13 Sugarbear October 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Hahaha @Callissa! I'm not that slick! I actually spent two whole days there, so I have two HP shirts! I'm pretty obsessed, I know! And I intend to go back and spend another two days there!! ^_~

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14 Jessica October 18, 2010 at 11:34 pm

This is a great post! I live in Hong Kong and I'm obsessed with Harry Potter…I only hope that one day I'll be able to come to this theme park. Thank you so much for sharing. xxx

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15 Sugarbear October 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Just wanted to let my fellow Harry Potter fans know that I am making some special treats for the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 release!! They are going to be recreations of treats that J.K. Rowling invented for the novels! I'm really excited about them, and I know a lot of my fellow fans will be too, so check out the blog during the week of November 15!

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16 Tubs November 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Cotton candy to all you US muggles, that is!
Just magical ol' Candyfloss to the British bunch (;

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17 nadège November 20, 2010 at 8:43 am

my 2 children and I are big fan !! I didn't know that a place like this really exist !!! fabulous !

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18 Krizann November 24, 2010 at 10:59 am

I love love love it! reading your post makes me want to jump on a plane and head to florida already!

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19 Jessica December 15, 2010 at 12:43 am

I just stumbled across your blog through foodgawker and have so enjoyed reading this post! I went to WWoHP in October for a friend's 30th birthday and we all agreed it was the best day ever. Reading your post brought back so many good memories!

I agree that the butterbeer was AMAZING and I'm going to have to try your recipe to recreate it. And the Forbidden Journey was totally the best ride in any amusement park ever. We went on it three times the day we were there!

Thanks for sharing your day!

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20 Anonymous December 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Wow! I am going in 6 days!!! I am REALLY excited. I hope I have as much fun as you do! Thank you for sharing the tips [especially about the shops] about what do do first, what sells out, the food, the quality, everything!

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21 Renee May 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

I am soooooo jealous! I hope I get to visit one day. I’m a super ridiculous Harry Potter nerd. We have a lot in common.

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22 Stacey M July 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Totally agree with you on pretty much everything! I went to WWOHP in September, so it was not quite so busy….really enjoyable. I agree that the castle ride is the best! We rode it twice. I did prefer the frozen butterbeer b/c I thought the foam mixed well and gave the drink an even better flavor. But you are right, you should have it both ways! The conductor we met was different than yours, but he was amazing, too….always in character, like you said. We couldn’t stop laughing at him!

The main thing that could be better about WWOHP….is that it could be BIGGER! =)

Thanks for sharing….I want to go again!

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23 Heather Cane July 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I just wanted to say that my Mom and I are headed to WWOHP this September and I couldn’t be MORE EXCITED!!!! We wanted to go last year when we were in Florida, but, sadly (very very sadly!) the park opened after we were scheduled to come home. Thank you for the post! It’s making extra-excited!

Anyway, LOVE the Muggle tee!!!! Where’d you get it?!?!?!

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24 Darla July 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Hi Heather, You guys will love it there! I can’t wait to go back!! Oh, to live in Florida so that I could go all the time! :) Have a fantastic time!! As for my Muggle shirt, I got it from the WB Shop online. I’m not sure if they sell this exact one anymore, but I love it! In fact…I love it so much that I eventually ordered a second one, just like it, so that I’d have a back up when this one wears out!! It’s soooo comfy and fits great. I got the small, and it fits true to size. :)

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25 Heather Cane July 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

Thanks Darla! We had originally planned to go to WWOHP for two days, then we talked about doing just one – but now we are definitely back to two days! I told Mom that if we only went for one day we’d totally regret it and she agrees! I sent her the link to your blog and she loved it!!!

All the best to you and yours!!!

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26 Eman August 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I can’t tell you how much this post excites me. Thank you thank you for making it that long and packed with details, I’m from Egypt and a die hard Harry Potter fan. My siblings and I grew up with the books and the movies, we grew up with Harry and this is truly and end of an Era with seeing the last movie after reading the amazing 7th book….I can never describe my feelings but I’m sure u understand =D seeing all those pictures and descriptions of the theme park made me feel as if I’m almost there and I wish someday I’ll have the chance to go but in the mean time I’ll open this post again and again to take me back to this fun. Glad you and your family enjoyed it that much.
On another note I have an incredible sweet tooth and I love tryin your recipes or just readin about the ones I wish I can make but still can’t. You are an amazing cook, photographer and overall artist, and such a sweet person too, your blog is more like a cozy kitchen and I just love spending time reading it and enjoying your artistic mind.
Sorry for the long post but I just had to thank you. (cant wait for PotterMore too =D )

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27 Hollie Pangan August 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

So I made a post just a few minutes ago on your House Colors Cake about wanting a Harry Potter themed 30th Birthday Party! I hadn’t even seen this post or the one about your birthday cake! I wish we could go here but I have a 2 year old and I am 8 months pregnant with our 2nd daughter so there will be no trip as soon as my bday in February! Maybe when I turn 31 or 32?! Your pictures are awesome though! I really enjoyed looking at them! Thanks for sharing even though I must admit it makes me pretty jealous! ;)~

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28 Hollie Pangan August 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Oh and PS I have that MUGGLE shirt! :)

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29 Dee August 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

I have read your site several times as I plan my sons 7th birthday party (which isn’t until December but I have to start early). We had to try the butterbeer recipe right away and you are right. It is just like at the park. We all loved it and I am using it for the party. Thank you for all of your information and recipes. I am going to try some of the others like the cauldron cakes too. I am so excited.

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30 Caladrya September 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Thanks so much for this description!
Loved the pictures. Unfortunately for me, those pictures will have to do, because I don´t think I´ll ever get the oppotunity to go myself. I know I´d absolutely love to, but the fact that I´m living in Germany (!) quite prevents me from actually doing it. Just way to expensive…maybe if I´m like…15 years older and managed to get a profitable job. Which might actually be possible, but I doubt my boyfriend (yes I fully expect him to be around for that long, so far it´s been 3 years) would be too thrilled about it *gg* He already thinks my obsession with HP quite exaggerated…but whatever^^ Guess I´d even go alone if necessary.
But…I´m getting sidetracked here…^^ You must be bored with me by now^^

Just wanted to add: Amazing site! I just found it today, because Star Trek fansite on facebook featured your cookies *gg* Btw: Aaaawesome Star Trek cookies! I do love the series as much as you do.
Since I also adore baking and cooking and stuff I guess your recipes will be of good use to me^^ I´m excited to read more of you. And tomorrow I´ll start to work through all of your older entries. (It´s like 3 a.m. in Germany, so I should be heading to bed.)

Love

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31 Refeti October 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

Oh my GOSH! It is my life wish to go here, it looks INCREDIBLE, and your photos are mindblowing, especially that last b/w one of Hogwarts. I can’t wait to try butterbeer :D gaah everything looks just oh-so-perfect!!! Thank you for this post!

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32 Lara Betty Cottrell March 26, 2012 at 2:03 am

You’re soooo lucky! I really want to go! you know the picture of a snowman… Thats Hufflepuff not Griffindor ;D Sorry I’m a weirdly hardcore potterhead ;D

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33 Darla March 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

Hi Lara, It’s a fantastic place!! You definitely have to go! I can’t wait to go back!! :)

Also, thanks for the tip, but it actually is a Gryffindor snowman, the photo just looks off color (it’s the processing). :) You can see a little better in this image that the scarf is, in fact, dark scarlet and gold: http://disneytraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Potter-Snow-Man-520×390.jpg. I wish they’d built snowmen or something representing each of the houses, though!

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34 Leo Robertson April 29, 2012 at 12:07 am

OMG! I’m so envious. What a wonderful day out. We are hoping to get there one day when my little girl, Hermione (yes, we called her Hermione!) is older. I loved that your post was long with lots of info and pictures.

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35 Rachel June 20, 2012 at 12:49 am

Hey Darla,

I just wanted to tell you that I totally loved this post of yours. Will be heading to WWOHP this August and I’m so so so excited. It’s only June :( but the time will come soon enough! Will take some of your advice regarding the q’s and all, but it’s been about 2 years so I’m hoping the q’s have diminished a little heh.

Will be reading this post again when I go! Cheers and thanks for putting effort into this. Loved it!

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36 Tina June 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm

DARLA!!

We just got confirmation that the kiddo, one of my best friends, and her hubs are going to Potter World this Sept!

I rushed over to check out your post- and yours is BY FAR the best one I’ve found on the internet so far. Your pictures are great and you gave wonderful info.

I’m.SO.EXCITED.

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37 Tina June 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Um.. my post above should say that *I* am also going. Geez. Type much, Tina?

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38 Aimee August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

This is THE most amazing post ever!! I love finding posts like these so you know exactly what to do & when! It’s a bit far from me in Australia but when I do visit I will definitely follow all your advice :) Also all your Harry Potter recipes are genius!!!

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39 Tarynn September 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

Thank you so very much for this post! I am planning to make the trip to Orlando in April for my 27th birthday! I have been looking online non-stop for the past week (when I made the official decision to start planning the trip) and I have to say this is the best reference that I have found! As excited as I have been, this has by far gotten more stoked to go than anything else. Wonderful tips too!!!
Yay for WWoHP!!!

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40 Katie June 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Oh my goodness! This place seems amazing!!! I wish I was going. I rave about your blog at school and everyone but my friend Alex thinks I’m totally crazy but I don’t care! Potter heads unite!!!

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