Thursday, April 14, 2011

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

I should preface my remarks here by saying that I have not read the Harry Potter books.  I know.  I know.  I was just never interested.  Doug and I watched the first movie when it came out on DVD.  We weren’t impressed with the movie.  I know.  I know.  I’ve heard that the first movie wasn’t the best.  The books are always better.  I was just never interested.image The sign says, “Please Respect the Spell Limits.”image  This section was not just crowded; it was packed.  It became difficult to maneuver the stroller through the crowd.  There’s a roller coaster called Duelling Dragons that the kids weren’t tall enough to ride.  There’s another ride called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  Timmy is barely tall enough, but decided that a wait of over an hour wasn’t worth it.  There was a line to enter a gift shop in one area, and apparently Butterbeer is a big hit because there were two carts selling it, and the lines stretched on and on and on.  Doug and I took turns riding the Flight of the Hippogriff with the big boys, and it was a fun ride.  Did I mention that I don’t like roller coasters?  I don’t like roller coasters.  I think it’s the control freak in me… But, I actually enjoyed this little coaster.  It was fun.  I would actually ride it again.  That’s really saying something.  :)image Add this picture to the outtake reel…  Way to focus on the window instead of the object behind the window, huh?  Oh well…  It was crowded.  It’s not easy to take a picture quickly with a manual focus lens.  I took lots of pictures.  The ones I took in the morning are a little grainy because my ISO setting was way high.  I didn’t figure that out until lunchtime…  I wandered back into this area while Doug and the kids rode the roller coaster in Jurassic Park, so I took some more pictures there, but by then the sun was glaring, and those pictures are a little washed out…  Anyway, not so great photographs aside, the architecture of Harry Potter’s world is incredible.  I love the random  leaning chimney stacks the most, I think.  :)image image image image image

There were stands selling various magic wands, and lots of people wearing cloaks – some work at the park, and others were guests.  The photographs make it look like it’s cold there, don’t they?  I think the temperature was the single reminder that this was part of a theme park and not a real wizarding community. 

After spending some time hanging out in Harry Potter’s neighborhood, I want to know more about him.  Timmy and I started reading the first Harry Potter book yesterday.  So far, I like it.  I knew that I would, if I read it, but I had to wait for the desire to read it…

I’m glad I waited.  I don’t have to wait forever for the sequels to be published.  And, as many of my friends know, I’m not a big fan of series books… so we’ll see how it goes.  Am I really the last person to read these books??  I think I might be.