Let me begin by saying I'm not even a big big Harry Potter fan. I watched the film before our trip to Orlando just so the WWOHP wouldn't be lost on me and thought it was 'ok'. Having read lots of advice online we made this our first stop as soon as the park opened. We went straight to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden journey ride as you can't use the Fastpass on this - there was already a 30 minute wait but I actually enjoyed the wait, in fact for once I would have preferred the queue to be a little longer so I could enjoy all stuff on show as you're waiting, this is all an integral part of the ride with cleverly recreated parts of the film involving the characters. The ride was good, even to 2 non Harry Potter fanatics, it relied heavily on special effects created by projection of images onto a screen in front of you and the sets pivot to create the effect of flying and jolting and everything else, a bit like the Transformers and Spiderman rides. After this we we speedily made our way to flight of the Hippogrith which had no queues but was really quite a tame rollercoaster that's not particularly exciting but it was ok. The best bit is walking through Hogsmeade and admiring the view of Hogwarts from a distance, Universal have really done a fantastic job here, the view of Hogwarts from a snow covered Hogsmeade is breathtaking and the detail in the shops, the street and the train station is excellent. We went to the 3 broomsticks for lunch which was good for a bit of fun, we bought sweets in Honeydukes and tried Butterbeer which is heavenly for the first few sips then gets a bit sickly so it's a good one to share. It's got a butterscotch marshmallow-y topping followed by sweet fizzy soda. The queue for Ollivanders (where you get a wand chosen for you) were ridiculous so we skipped that, queuing for ages to buy an overpriced stick was no on my agenda. I do think they make the queues massive on purpose so everyone thinks the experience is much better than it is just because everyone else is doing it!
I would definitely advise an early visit as when we went back for lunch it was so much more crowded in Hogsmeade than it was at 8.30 am.My trip was so good it has inspired me to read the first book and watch the film again and I can only imagine how exciting this place would be to a true Harry Potter fan!
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