Friday, February 14, 2014

It was Magical

We woke up at 6am the next morning, which is a horrible time to wake up on vacation. Today was the day!!! I was going to Hogwarts! We stayed at the Hard Rock for a few's cool and plays music, it's onsite, it gives us Express Passes to avoid lines...but mainly because if you stay in an onsite hotel, you get to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter a whole hour before the park even opens! Sold!

So Josh and I hit the pavement and walked to the Islands of Adventure park at 7:45am....yawn...Once we hit the park, we just followed the signs (and people) towards Hogsmeade. We had to run through Dr. Seuss land....

We found ourselves on the Lost Continent....getting closer...

Shut up Sleeping Fountain...

Finally...crossed a bridge, and lo and behold...

Be still my heart

Now, it was super crowded in Hogsmeade....
Ba ha ha ha ha ha it wasn't! We took a quick stop in Ollivander's to watch a young witch select her wand. Actually...the wand chooses the wizard. There was a cute little show with an actor who picked a kid out of the audience and tried to match her to her wand, with hilarious results. The show followed the first movie pretty closely and it was fun to watch.

Next stop...Hogwarts!!!

Through the gates....

I'm going to Hogwarts, Y'all!!!

We had to walk through the green house to get inside the castle

Pictures that actually move and talk


First day at Hogwarts and we are already being sent to the Headmaster's office....

Penny (sieve) for your thoughts

Dumbledore was talking to cant see him because you are a Muggle...and also this camera is not the best. From Dumbledore's office, we are sent to Defense Against the Dark Art's class. 

Hey!!! I know them!!! Harry, Ron and Hermione tell us they are going to sneak us out of class!!! 

Rawr....dragon bones

We wind through the Gryffindor common room

and find this guy, sorting us into rows...

Then comes the ride...oooohhhh aaaahhhh... The basic story is that we are skipping out of a boring lecture (by Prof. Binns, because DADA teachers keep disappearing) in order to see a Quidditch match. Oh, and there is the small problem of a Dragon being on the loose...silly Hagrid. Well, this ride puts you on this bench thingy and then twists you all around while watching a 3D screen. You really feel like you are flying. There are plenty of thrills too...stupid spiders...Did I mention that you really feel like you are flying? Any I have been known to get motion sickness on planes...well broomsticks are worse. They should have called this ride the Journey into infinite Motion Sickness! After the ride, I was feeling a bit sick so we wandered back through Hogsmeade. (following a short, but needed stop at a nearby Starbucks)

Zonkos and Honeydukes
 Inside Honeydukes, they have every single candy ever mentioned in Harry Potter!!! It was like a dream come true!
Bertie Botts Every Flavor with caution

I wanted to buy one of everything! I left with a (giant) Chocolate Frog complete with a Famous Witch or Wizard card (I got Helga Hufflepuff) and a package of peppermint toads.

Inside Zonkos Joke Shop

 Shhhh...The walls have (extendable) ears
I have not seen this Wizard :( (but the sign moves, just like in the movie)

After looking in the shops, we hit up the Dragon Challenge rollercoasters. There are two "dragons" and we rode them both, back to back since there were no lines. Then, I thought to myself "self, I think I want to go back to Hogwarts". I am stupid. The second time on that ride did me in. I had to close my eyes half way through and pray that I didn't vomit! After a few minutes sitting outside, we decided to go get some food and see if that would make me feel better. When in Hogsmeade, everyone knows there is only one place to go...
So we headed to the Three Broomsticks and got some lunch

 If you paid close attention, there were shadows of house elves and owls moving on the walls.

A quick peak into the Hogs Head pub

And we were see the rest of the park :) But I knew we would be back (two more times, in fact)

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