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Harry Potter Theme Park v.2



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  #281  
Old June 14th, 2014, 7:34 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

Thought there would be a new thread or something on here.

I am going to Universal in July. They will have Weasley Wizard Wheezes (Zonkos is closing in Hogsmeade), Florean Fortescues Ice Cream, a Quidditch Shop and others I can't recall at this time. They will have Knockturn Alley and it will have Borgin and Burkes. The rides are Gingott's Escape and Hogwarts Express. The Hogwarts Express will Que at Kings Cross station and feature Windows that show the landscape from London to Scotland along with other surprises that have not been verified (maybe dementors?). You have to purchase park to park tickets to ride on the Hogwarts Express. It will feature different experiences when leaving from each park.

I am really excited about going. I went to Hogsmeade went it opened and it was amazing. Jimmy Fallon will be filming the Tonight Show from Universal next week and will feature Diagon Alley.



Last edited by Revaunch; June 14th, 2014 at 7:59 pm. Reason: stupid kindle
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  #282  
Old June 18th, 2014, 2:12 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

I can't believe the lack of interest in the expansion: hopefully just a reflection of the sad state of the forums and not of the fandom. The reveal of Diagon Alley hasn't resonated as much as the initial news of the construction of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts: perhaps it's largely because the fandom is so disjointed nowadays. But having lived in Orlando for much of the past year and a half I have been able to watch the progress and stay updated on some insider information. It's fantastic! I can't wait to once again experience the magic that I felt upon walking into Hogsmeade for the first time. As always, I'm avoiding as many spoilers as I can afford in order to make that experience as new as possible.


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  #283  
Old June 18th, 2014, 3:30 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revaunch View Post
Thought there would be a new thread or something on here.

I am going to Universal in July. They will have Weasley Wizard Wheezes (Zonkos is closing in Hogsmeade)...
Really? I'm so surprised to hear that. When I went last year it was very busy. The only place that I saw with a constant line to purchase something. Do you know what they're replacing it with? Or do they just assume that selling all the candy in one park will suffice?

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Originally Posted by MrSleepyHead View Post
I can't believe the lack of interest in the expansion: hopefully just a reflection of the sad state of the forums and not of the fandom. The reveal of Diagon Alley hasn't resonated as much as the initial news of the construction of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts: perhaps it's largely because the fandom is so disjointed nowadays. But having lived in Orlando for much of the past year and a half I have been able to watch the progress and stay updated on some insider information. It's fantastic! I can't wait to once again experience the magic that I felt upon walking into Hogsmeade for the first time. As always, I'm avoiding as many spoilers as I can afford in order to make that experience as new as possible.
I'm sure the opening will be as big as the original. I'm still a little annoyed that you have to buy the double park pass to view both areas (Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade) and I wonder if that will affect anything. Or I guess most people go knowing that you have to spend a ton of money on tickets anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

Regarding the interest on the forums - I see that there are right now 218 muggles on and 3 students. I always wonder why those 200+ people don't just log in/ sign up and start posting. Maybe between the opening of the new park and the new movies we'll get some life here again.

I can't wait to see what the reaction is to the new rides and all. When we went to Hogsmeade last year I loved every moment of it, but wished there was enough to do to spend a whole day in that area. I guess this new area will make up for that.


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  #284  
Old June 19th, 2014, 11:54 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

I don't think the lack of discussion in this thread necessarily means a huge drop in enthusiasm about the park. I'm excited about it. I have a pass to Universal that expires in July, so I'd like to schedule a trip there that follows the introduction of these new areas. I just wish I knew the exact date of this expansion.


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  #285  
Old June 20th, 2014, 12:31 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

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Originally Posted by HMN View Post
Really? I'm so surprised to hear that. When I went last year it was very busy. The only place that I saw with a constant line to purchase something. Do you know what they're replacing it with? Or do they just assume that selling all the candy in one park will suffice?


I'm sure the opening will be as big as the original. I'm still a little annoyed that you have to buy the double park pass to view both areas (Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade) and I wonder if that will affect anything. Or I guess most people go knowing that you have to spend a ton of money on tickets anyway, so it doesn't really matter.
Honeydukes will take up the entire store. The Zonkos facade is still there though. You only have to buy a double park pass to ride the Hogsmeade Express between parks. You can still see each part with a single park pass. They will sell ticket upgrades at each station.


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  #286  
Old July 2nd, 2014, 6:48 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

Diagon Alley will be revealed on July 8! I am a bit disappointed because I will not be back in the Orlando area until a week later - horrible luck and timing! But it seems like the press event may have been the big reveal with the actors: the grand opening may be smaller scale.

Soft openings for riding the Hogwarts Express began today and will last on and off all week. In a way I'm glad I'm not there, lest the temptation of riding the train deprive me of the newness and magic of experiencing Diagon Alley for the first time!
Quote:
Originally Posted by IenjoyAcidPops View Post
I don't think the lack of discussion in this thread necessarily means a huge drop in enthusiasm about the park. I'm excited about it. I have a pass to Universal that expires in July, so I'd like to schedule a trip there that follows the introduction of these new areas. I just wish I knew the exact date of this expansion.
Discussion throughout the fandom has tapered, even on the opening of Diagon Alley. I have friends I met at midnight book releases and film showings and the New York premiere of DH2 who made detours from their 'everyday lives' for Harry Potter, and I don't see that enthusiasm and sacrifice among them or as widespread online. I have no doubt that the opening of Diagon Alley will be huge, but the mood of the fandom has certainly changed. I don't think Diagon will suffer, but the lead up from both the fandom and Universal has not matched the excitement of Hogsmeade or even the Magic Quill of Pottermore. The Potter fandom has moved on, in a way, and while there will always be devotion and excitement, I think that the giddiness and exception-making has largely departed, even for something as big as Diagon.


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  #287  
Old July 8th, 2014, 6:16 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

First of all. Here's the first story about the opening, and its packed again jsut like the first opening Click here.


Second, ME and the wife went yesterday (July 7th), after work. We got there past 7pm wich only gave us just over two hours to look around. We heard they were soft opening some stuff here and there the past couple of days and were just hoping we could take some pictures outside the new London area and maybe get a sneak peek at a few things. Boy were we wrong.

ME and the wife walked around the park to the facade of london. We took pictures of the different parts of london and of the three story bus with the talking head and wizard outside of it. Then I looked to the inner wall that I knew blocked the corner you go around to see the famous brick wall entrance to Diagon Alley. I noticed people jsut around the corner taking pictures and though to myself, "cool, they are eltting people take picture to the entrance of diagon alley". To our surprise when we turned the corner, there it was. The entire Harry Potter park was open and hundreds of people were walking around.

So long story short, the night before the grand opening, everything was open except for the HP ride. Now I know thats a huge part of the experience but living in Orlando and having season tickets we can always go back. But everything else, including Hogwarts express was operational. All eateries, stores, bars were open.

It was perfect. It was just busy enough to were you can join in the crowd with oooh and ahhhhs when the live shows starts, and the cheering and clapping when the Dragon with growl then shoot fire. Yet, slow enough were you could eat, drink, and shop freely with no lines to wait in. The night sky gave way to cooler breezes and a nice break from the summer heat. The only line we really had to wait in was for the train and that wasn't even 15 minutes! I would have taken the 3 hours i spent on this night without the gringotts ride and without the chance of catching a glimpse of any stars over spending all day on the grand opening anytime.


Now enough bragging and onto my experience...... It was great. For those who visited hogsmeade, Diagon Alley blows it out of the water. In fact, for someone who may visited both parks for the first time might be kind of bummed out when they go from diagon alley to hogsmeade. Diagon alley its itself (just talking stores, eateries and bars) are literally twice the size of hogsmeade. Diagon Alley is partially enclosed so when you go in you feel likes your in a completely different park from the rest of universal. The stores inside Diagon alley feature mostly the same as Hogsmeade but at a grander level. Weezly's is pretty much the size of the old zonkos but you can look up and see a second floor like in the movies. There's olivanders whcihc is a little bigger than the one in hogsmeade. Theres a sports (quidditch) shop, theres a shop for candy, ice cream parlor, and butter beer store just like hogsmeade. Like hogsmeade Diagon Alley provides food and drinks at the Leaky Cauldron and I forget the name of the outside bar.

There are two stores that completely unique to Diagon Alley and thats a small gringotts bank type place where you can buy wizrding money to use in the rest of the park. Also tehre is a picture place where you can buy moving pictures of you and there family. One fun example I saw was a couple dancing in front of a green screen. I looked up at the monitor and saw they were posing for the same picture HP had in the movies of his parents dancing, pretty cool.

Ok so Diagaon alley is the size of two hogsmeades, then you have a side portion to explore which is Nocturne Alley. Down here are talking heads and creepy stores. Pretty cool place. Then you walk back out to lonodon and then enter Kings Cross station where u get on the train and go to hogsmeade.

Im not going to go into details about what I saw. Theres enough spoilers already out there on the internet. I will just say this. Hogsmeade was great and I was excited when it was opened. However, Diagon Alley was jaw dropping. If you have been to Hogsmeade, liked it, and are debating goinb back? Do it!. If you have never been to Universal and are a HP fan, make every effort to visit especially now.

I've been lucky enough to live in Orlando while this parked opened and lucky enough to have the money to go to London and see the HP studio park. Before Diagon Alley opened, I would have said the London studios were just as cool of an experience as Universal. However now with the immersion and immense size of Diagon Alley, with the experience of getting on the train only to get off right in front of Hogsmeade and over looking Hogwarts castle, and all the wizarding items and food for sale, nothing can touch the experience you will have in Orlando. Absolutely awesome!


If anyone have any questions (other than about the new HP ride) feel free to ask.


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  #288  
Old July 9th, 2014, 3:06 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

I'm going Saturday. I don't know if I'll go on the Escape from Gringotts ride, I'm not a ride person, but even so, I'm really looking forward to it.


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  #289  
Old July 9th, 2014, 10:24 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

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Originally Posted by IenjoyAcidPops View Post
I'm going Saturday. I don't know if I'll go on the Escape from Gringotts ride, I'm not a ride person, but even so, I'm really looking forward to it.
We had a great time and couldnt get on Gringotts ride. People say go first thing in the morning. However I think going late in the day, around 7pm would be better. Its less busy, cooler weather, and like hogsmeade, looks awesome at night!


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  #290  
Old September 16th, 2014, 5:48 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

After too many months waiting, I will be visiting Diagon Alley this Saturday - finally! I lived in Orlando last year and witnessed some of the construction, but sadly my time in Orlando didn't overlap with the opening of Diagon, and I was out of the area for the grand opening. (Of course, the grand opening was less stellar than with Hogsmeade four years ago; rather, the media event was the main hooplah.)

I've been distracted by work-related activities recently, so I'm listening to Jim Dale's OotP when I have some off time in order to get excited for the Potter immersion. Having visited often (and worked at!) Hogsmeade during my time in Orlando I wonder if I will feel the same magic visiting Diagon that I did visiting Hogsmeade for the first time. I'll be sure to come back with a full review!


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  #291  
Old November 22nd, 2014, 11:40 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

Well. I've been off this forum now for, I dunno, at least 3 years I think (I haven't checked)and I haven't had much to say or add; but one thing I've badly wanted to do for years is is visit the WWoHP.
Finally, 2 weeks ago, that wish came true. I went down with my wife and our 13 yr old son.
So here's my review and experiences, with a few tips for anyone who hasn't gone yet.

We did Hogsmeade first, but by way of King's Cross station near the Diagon Alley entrance. We decided to do that because Hogsmeade was the original park.
The ride on the Hogwarts Express is a joy, very immersive, and quite entertaining. It turned out to be my son's favorite part. The cabins look extremely authentic to the movies, just perfect in every detail. I won't say more as to not give too much away, but make sure to pay attention to the door as well as the window when riding.

At Hogsmeade, when you stand at the entry gate, the view is literally stunning. I stood there with my mouth open..I think I muttered an expletive to the effect of a divine or hallowed bit of poo. There is no photograph that can do that view justice. Hogwarts just looked magnificent looming over the town. From there, it looks so real, and the detail is impeccable.
I'm not huge on heavy duty roller coasters, so Dragon Challenge went unridden, but the Flight ot Hippogriff ride was fun if short-lived. The Forbidden Journey ride was totally awesome, I did that like seven times. The single rider line makes the whole thing even more enjoyable - more on this later. (My son is not exactly the brave type so he wouldn't go on any rides, so the wife and I went on separately while the other stayed with him. *sigh*.)
You can also do a "tour only", where you aren't rushed through the displays (portrait hallway, Dumbledore's office, DatDA classroom, Gryffindor Common Room) and get to see more of the castle than you normally would. It's surprisingly very very dark in there though, and the path too linear to seem like you're really in the castle.. I guess I was a little disappointed in that, but reality has it's limits.

We did the Ollivanders thing, and toured the shops, which was a lot of fun, not in any small part to the wonderful employees who work there. They were all phenomenal. I truly hope Universal treats them well, because they deserve it. They were all very kind, very helpful, and very generous. The guy at Honeydukes gave my son a Ravenclaw card (from a chocolate frog) just to make sure he'd get one, because he likes Ravenclaw. The wand master at Ollivanders didn't pick him for the show, but later came out to the shop and helped him pick a wand out. In case you're wondering, my son is not special needs or anything, the people are just that kind.

Oh, the butterbeer. Wow, you guys are not exaggerating. That stuff is all kinds of awesome.
We ate breakfast at the 3 Broomsticks (well, actually, the Hogs Head side), and I admit to chickening out. I was going to go with the traditional Brit breakfast, but some of looked.. unappealing.. so American it was. Hey, at least I still had "bangers" I guess. AKA sausage.

All in all, awesomeness abounded, but it did strike me that it was all rather small. Essentially just one medium-long length avenue.

Then on the Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley. All in all we took the HE about 7 times.
I'll split this into two posts, with Diagon Alley for the next.

Okay, part two.

Diagon Alley. Wow. Okay, so while the looming Gringotts dragon (who periodically belches fire!) doesn't quite match the spectacle of Hogwarts, the rest of the place, it's immersive detail, feel, and countless entertaining bits, more than do so.
If you're a big Harry Potter fan and come here not for the rides, but to feel like you've magically, actually entered the wizarding world, this is the place you really want to be.
Many of the shop fronts are just facades, but each and every one is loaded with detail and authenticity. Most of the shops from the books/movies are here.
There is also a faithful recreation of Knockturn alley, and an interesting twist of the layout in what UO calls "Horizant Alley".
All in all, Diagon Alley is much larger than Hogsmeade, and we spent more time there.
The new addition is in every way worth going back for.
There is so much to see there, and some very interesting shops like Wiseacres or Scribbulus, although I would say Weasley's Wizard Wheezes didn't sell much of anything I found interesting. And I really thought they'd sell muggle magic tricks there (juggling balls aren't magic).
Ollivanders at Diagon alley is a more faithful reproduction of the movie set (especially the front) but I found that there are actually two rooms in the back where they run their show, which cuts down on waiting time significantly.
My one regret is not getting a chance to do the Gringotts Ride.. the single rider line was closed.

Regarding the single rider line I keep mentioning; if you're by yourself and not in a party, you can take the single rider line, which they use to fill in the gaps of odd numbered parties for the rides. The wait was essentially zero at Hogwarts. Highly recommended if you hate long lines and don't mind going solo for a little bit.

Lastly, though the parks were closing early due to the season, we managed to see them at night, both were absolutely beautiful.
I can't wait to go back some day. I had to force myself out of Diagon Alley when the last day was done.

Okay, part two.

Diagon Alley. Wow. Okay, so while the looming Gringotts dragon (who periodically belches fire!) doesn't quite match the spectacle of Hogwarts, the rest of the place, it's immersive detail, feel, and countless entertaining bits, more than do so.
If you're a big Harry Potter fan and come here not for the rides, but to feel like you've magically, actually entered the wizarding world, this is the place you really want to be.
Many of the shop fronts are just facades, but each and every one is loaded with detail and authenticity. Most of the shops from the books/movies are here.
There is also a faithful recreation of Knockturn alley, and an interesting twist of the layout in what UO calls "Horizant Alley".
All in all, Diagon Alley is much larger than Hogsmeade, and we spent more time there.
The new addition is in every way worth going back for.
There is so much to see there, and some very interesting shops like Wiseacres or Scribbulus, although I would say Weasley's Wizard Wheezes didn't sell much of anything I found interesting. And I really thought they'd sell muggle magic tricks there (juggling balls aren't magic).
Ollivanders at Diagon alley is a more faithful reproduction of the movie set (especially the front) but I found that there are actually two rooms in the back where they run their show, which cuts down on waiting time significantly.
My one regret is not getting a chance to do the Gringotts Ride.. the single rider line was closed. That looks awesome.

Regarding the single rider line I keep mentioning; if you're by yourself and not in a party, you can take the single rider line, which they use to fill in the gaps of odd numbered parties for the rides. The wait was essentially zero at Hogwarts. Highly recommended if you hate long lines and don't mind going solo for a little bit.

Lastly, though the parks were closing early due to the season, we managed to see them at night, both were absolutely beautiful.
I can't wait to go back some day. I had to force myself out of Diagon Alley when the last day was done.


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  #292  
Old November 30th, 2014, 8:57 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

That is awesome Grym. I hope to mimick that one day for some family fun. Like the sound of that Gringotts dragon, I imagine for young kids that would set them running with a yelp. Sounds like a good time.


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  #293  
Old January 13th, 2015, 5:11 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

We went in October and it was awesome - and crowded. The lines were long, but it was worth it. Loved both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Grymmditch already described everything perfectly so I won't repeat except to add that my son did get picked for the Ollivander's wand demo. He was so excited and they did it almost exactly like the movie - great special effects. The wand that chose my son cost a bit more than I expected, but thankfully, his grandparents are big softies and wanted him to have the full experience so they bought it for him. The wand is interactive and there are places throughout both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley where he could do spells that worked. He loved it.

I took tons of pictures - it was almost like walking into one of the films. The Forbidden Journey is probably my favorite ride of all time - about as close to virtual reality as you can get - but we rode everything. Twice. And the butterbeer is awesome. I got the souvenir mug and bought a bottle of pumpkin juice. The pumpkin juice is not as good as the butterbeer - a little too much like drinking pumpkin pie for my taste - but the bottle looks cool. We also got chocolate frogs and Bertie Botts beans. My son and I had as much fun as Ron and Harry trying the different flavors - but thank God for the flavor chart.


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  #294  
Old January 13th, 2015, 5:43 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

I only went to the WWOHP once, back in 2010. I didn't have enough cash on me to buy stuff so I figured I'd head right for the Forbidden Journey ride. I had about a 45-50 minute wait just to get into the castle, but it was very much worth it.

Had to admit, the Aragog did scare me but I loved the Castle tour and the Ride.


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  #295  
Old February 11th, 2015, 1:51 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

Wow, Im surprise the last couple of psots about the new diagon alley and nobody spoke about the "magical" wands. You can actually use the wands in on both sides at certain places to cast certain spells, like levitaing suits and making it rain. That is why the wands are a little more expensive.

Anyways gladd people like the addition. When HP first opened up I was so impressed that when they announced an expansion I didnt think they would ever top it. Boy was I wrong. Diagon Alley was a huge accomplishment for Universal. Congrats you guys!


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  #296  
Old February 28th, 2015, 7:39 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

I am green with envy to those of you who get to experience this HP theme park. I almost wish I hadn't watched the 'making of' the park. I do wonder why they didn't make this in England though.... considering how the author only wanted British actors for the movies and such. I would have thought England deserved the park first and foremost.


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Old February 28th, 2015, 8:25 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

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I am green with envy to those of you who get to experience this HP theme park. I almost wish I hadn't watched the 'making of' the park. I do wonder why they didn't make this in England though.... considering how the author only wanted British actors for the movies and such. I would have thought England deserved the park first and foremost.
There was already a park there [Universal] with land available and Disney World's just down the road, so it's already a tourist destination.


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  #298  
Old March 10th, 2015, 6:51 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

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Originally Posted by WillieWeasley View Post
Hooray!! I finally found the Wizarding World of Harry Potter thread!!

I'm traveling to Universal Orlando next month for my 50th birthday and I can't wait! Thanks to everyone who has posted reviews and photos. I'm going to gleefully dig into them and drool with anticipation.

So how did it go? WW?

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Originally Posted by Daniel_Potter View Post
I wish I sometime can visit the theme park!

Me 2 <sigh>


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  #299  
Old April 11th, 2015, 7:21 pm
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

The park is only a two hour drive away from me. Contemplating on moving to Orlando just so I could get a year round pass and visit Hogwarts on a daily. Haha. I've been there once (before they did the expansion) and as a true, and slightly mad, Harry Potter fan, I then understood what the tumblr term "feels" felt like when I was there. I can't wait to go again. Preferably in the winter next time.


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Old November 18th, 2017, 1:08 am
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Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

I went there twice and I was most overjoyed with the sights and background music being played from the HP soundtracks. I finally tasted then butter beer, careful its sweet! Eaten at the 3 Broomsticks and rode every ride from the Flight of the Hippogriff to Escape from Gringott's, took a family photo while in Gringotts! I've walked down Diagon Alley and snuck around Knock-turn Alley at night! However! There 2 experiences I am missing from the Universal Studios HP World I am missing! The after hours behind the scenes admission I so desperately want to do! Additionally, I want to go to HP World with HP SMART, fun loving people! If anyone has these experiences please share! Thanks, ahead of time!


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celebration, forbidden, journey, november, premiere tickets, soundtrack, wizarding, wizarding world, world


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