The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

Ever since I heard of this theme park opening more than 10,000 miles away from home, I made the hubby promise to visit it with me one day. We were actually planning to in 2014 (when our time shares mature) but as luck would have it, I unexpectedly found myself at its doorstep last month.

The Hogwarts Express at Platfrom 9 and 3/4 greeted guests as soon as they cross the Hogsmeade sign (okay, it’s rather off since you don’t really ride the express to Hogsmeade but what the heck, right?).

Hogsmeade looked like it did in the movies – like an old English village in winter. The Hogwarts students went to Hogsmeade during the Christmas break so it’s always full of snow in the movies (and books).

And that’s a butterbeer stand right smack in the middle of the street!
They have a short show at Ollivander’s, but the lines were too long (besides, I have quite made up my mind to visit this place with the hubby). But we did get to try some wands.

Ollivander’s wand shop

That’s Hogwarts in the distance. Yes, you can go inside the castle and inside, take the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. I didn’t get to, though, since we thought it was a scary ride and decided not to take it – turns out, it was similar to the Spiderman 3D ride, and there were no sharp turns and drops after all. Must. Go. Back. 

Incidentally, Universal Studios in Japan and in Los Angeles will have their own Wizarding World of Harry Potter by 2014 – I guess that means I don’t have to travel all the way to the US to se Harry Potter again. About time I visit Japan too, since it’s been more than seven years since I set foot in that country which I have always loved/been fascinated with since I was a kid. 

The three friends’ wands: Harry’s, Ron’s, and Hermione’s:

We didn’t get to ride on anything inside the Wizarding World since our other options were the Flight of the Hippogriff, a roller coaster (it says family-friendly but still, a roller coaster is still a roller coaster; besides, we all know the hippogriff flies like crazy!) which looked a lot like what we call the Caterpillar here in Manila and the Dragon Challenge, another roller coaster with two hoops. 

But inside Hogwarts is a tiny shop full of anything and everything Harry Potter. I would have loved getting the Muggle/Wizard shirt or a House shirt/jacket but I didn’t think hubby would like it (I found out too late he wanted a Slytherin shirt!) so I contented myself with a Quidditch shirt for the little boy and loads of chocolate frogs.If I had a lot of space left in my luggage, I would have bought loads of mugs and stuffed toys, but alas, I was only allowed two luggages at 64 kilos. So, there.
Hedwig backpacks! I wanted the Hogwarts notebook but it was so heavy to be of practical use.
The happiest place this side of the park for me was Honeydukes, which as you all know, is a sweets shop. 

Why did the student eating the Puking Pastilles have to be green? Reminded me of The Exorcist.

Look at the colorful interior and all those chocolate frogs and fudge flies!

And just like in the books, each chocolate frog had a legendary wizard inside it. I got Rowena Ravenclaw (the one I gave to my in-laws had Albus Dumbledore). Unfortunately, they don’t really move. 😦

I also got a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. This one though, is a lot safer than in the books. It did have earthworm, earwax and rotten egg flavours, but they were mild and still tasted like normal jelly beans, once you got past the icky top flavor. I even tried the black pepper flavor – spicy jelly beans!

I quite forgot what store in the books sold all these gadgets, but connected to the “sweets” section inside Honeydukes is a “gadgets” store.

I would have gotten some sneakoscopes and extendable ears but I couldn’t figure out a practical use for them so I held my wallet in check. But they sure looked like a lot of fun!

I can’t wait for 2014 – I will make sure to visit Japan when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens there. 🙂

2 thoughts on “The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

  1. I never thought I'd get to visit it this soon, Heidz. 😉 Nabasa ko lang yun sa Japan coz I was researching the ride inside Hogwarts. I planned kasi to go back there nun 2nd weekend ko, but decided against it kasi mag-isa na lng ako and the transpo cost would have been too much. 🙂


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