Expanding the Wizarding World

What a bummer. The top 10 for the People’s Nerd contest (to possibly earn a spot on King of the Nerds on TBS) have been posted. I am, sadly, not in the ranking. Since I am needing something to keep my mind of off the results, I figure it’s time to blog!

Sidenote: the new plan is to also post a vlog on Mondays. We’ll see how long I can keep that up 😉

If you are in any way a Harry Potter fan (books or movies), then I’m sure you’ve heard about the expansions Universal is adding to their Florida theme park. In October 2011, I was lucky enough to have a paid trip to, what I call, Harry Potter Land. My mom needed a babysitter for my niece and I needed a bit of a vacation. There was only one slight drawback… I was pregnant with my son. Theme parks are pretty lame when you’re pregnant. Why? Because you can’t ride any rides but the tea cups at Disney. (But it was incredibly appropriate since I found out I was having our kiddo right after watching HP8.) Still, I was way too excited to get to go to Universal’s Islands of Adventures. I have loved Harry Potter since a friend read me the first book in college. (Now I’m getting all nostalgic… we’d all meet in one of our dorm rooms in pj’s and sit on pillows. Those were the days!) I would have given anything to be a part of the world that I’ve loved for so long. So quite frankly, not being able to ride the rides was not a big disappointment for me. Now, with the new expansions coming, I have a little bit of advice for those of you planning to go. Personally, I’m waiting for my son to get a bit older so that we can both have a blast at HP Land.

The Islands of Adventure Park Layout

What? No Twilight Island? ELL OH ELL!

What? No Twilight theme park? ELL OH ELL!

When you go, definitely plan your day accordingly. I could have easily spent all day at the Wizarding World area. But that was probably because I didn’t even notice the Marvel Super Heroes Island. Jurassic Park also would have been nice to spend more time in. With the expansions to HP, the next time I go I plan on spending an entire day in that area.

Expanding the Wizarding World

Currently, the Islands of Adventure HP area looks a little something like this:

You can currently visit Hogsmeade where you can buy over priced candy at Honeydukes, fly around Hogwarts with the trio, find the wand that was meant for you at Ollivander’s (or rather, have it find you), admire Gilderoy’s book collection, and many other Potterhead things. I myself enjoyed quite a bit of butterbeer. Which, just so you know, is way too good.

The expansion is going to add Diagon Alley, Gringotts and bits of London to Universal Studios. Yup, that’s right. The expansion is not going into the Islands side. But fret not Potterheads, this is actually pretty cool. According to the official announcement:

And – just like in the books and films – guests will be able to travel between ‘London’ and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express.

How cool is that? Not only will we get to stand on Platform 9 3/4, we’ll get to ride the Hogwarts Express. Not to mention visit 2 parks. I do wonder what that means for ticket prices. Will it be 2 for 1? Or possibly paying for a train ticket? Guess we’ll see in 2014. Either way, I am way too excited for this to open up! The Islands HP area was put together with an amazing attention to detail, not to mention Jo’s seal of approval. It’s an amazing experience to finally go inside the books so if you’re a true Potterhead, start saving to 2014!!


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