This post is very photo-heavy and wordy!!! I talk in detail about the aspects of the park, tips for vacationing there with families, etc., so just beware!!! haha
As you know, Ian and I went to Florida for our honeymoon and our main objective while we were there was to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I've been wanting to go SOOO bad since they created the place! It was pretty much the most magical place I've ever been too and I've waited FAR too long to share it all with you!
It was about $80 per person to get into Islands of Adventure which is actually decent considering all the things inside! You don't only get to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you buy a ticket to the Jurassic Park section, Lost City, Dr. Suess Land, a section all about cartoons, and Marvel Comic world. SO much to see! The food was VERY reasonably priced. Ian and I ate lunch for about $15 total and the HUGE bottles of water there were only $2.00. I thought that was great! You're also allowed to bring in backpacks or small coolers with drinks and snack foods, so if you have kids, that's a major plus!
In order to incorporate all of the wizard favorites, they modeled the section of the park after a snowy Hogsmeade Village, but included all the favorite shops from Diagon Alley at the approval of J.K. Rowling. When you walk into the section of the park, it is the WEIRDEST thing because everything looks genuinely snowy except it's 100º out! haha
All the shop fronts have moving elements to them. The music store has sheet music blowing around like a ghost is in there. Dogweed & Deathcap has a real working Mandrake crying in the window. Zonko's also has the funniest mechanical jokes in the window! Also, as expected, all the pictures move: the posters, the photos, the pictures on the books.
I loved all the realistic props they had. Whole store windows and ROOMS were filled with just... props. Memorabilia from the films/books, pieces that were obviously made just for the park. Seriously incredible! Some of my favorite prop pieces that I saw were: quidditch trunk/balls with real working bludgers, Gilderoy Lockhart's memoir, SO may quills, specialty wands in Ollivander's, I could go on and on.
The specialty stores like Honeydukes and Zonkos had the most amazing merchandise and decor. Honeydueks had all the authentic candies and treats from the book in branded packaging. It all looked so pretty and delicious! All the zonkos products were in vintage packaging and had little joke toys and magic tricks including PIGMY PUFFS!
At Islands of Adventure, there is one restaurant in each themed section of the park. The one in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the Three Broomsticks (run by Madame Rosmerta). They have whole authentic meals. Very medieval. Very cool.
Then there's the castle: Hogwarts castle was COLOSSAL! They did SUCH an amazing job replicating it!!! The castle itself is actually a ride. (An AMAZING ride that combines robotics, roller coasters, and simulators!!!) You have to walk through the castle to get to the front of the ride, and it serves as the "line" on busy days where there are hundreds of people in line.
They had everything right down to the Pensieve in Dumbledore's office! They had holograms of characters that looked SO real I felt like I could reach out and touch them. All the portraits talked to each other, the Herbology Greenhouses were spetacular, and all the artwork and architecture made me feel like I was there. FOR REAL. I could talk about it for days.
For souvenirs, Ian and I went a little crazy. haha We saved most of our souvenir money for the park, so we spent kind of a lot. The merchandise ranged from VERY expensive to incredibly reasonable!!! I got this Azkaban shirt, the Time Turner Keychain (that I turned into a pendant), the Skele-Grow Keychain, a Ravenclaw pin, and MY WANDDDDD!
Here's a shot my hubster took in our hotel room of our wand boxes and some Honeydukes treats we bought! (acid pop and sugar quill!)
Well I hope that was fun for you Potter-lovers, and if you're not one, I can't believe you made it through this! haha I've been meaning to share these for so long and I'm so glad I did! If you're thinking about vacationing there, you TOTALLY should! It's an amazing place and the rest of the park is spectacular too! Thanks for reading!