Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Harry in Orlando

Yes, the late middle-aged clan made a trip to Orlando to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. The reviews couldn't be more different. The two Universal parks each have a Potter attraction. Hogsweade is interesting, architecturally fun and has five roller coaster type rides. Not being 'ride people' we were done in about an hour. Then we took the Hogswart Express to Diagon Alley in the other park for a completely different experience.

Dragon Alley is large, has lots of shops and great visuals. The dragon on top of Gringotts Bank spews fire every few minutes. The butter beer was -- well butter beer. You can purchase wands, robes, quidditch equipment and uniforms all at outrageous prices.

If you're going, do as we did, see Hogsmeade first then train over to Diagon Alley. Reviewing at least the first two films (or books) will completely reimmerse you in all the Potter lore you need to enjoy your visit.

Insider tip: we chose the coldest day we could find, a brisk 50-55 degrees, which meant the crowds were smaller by at least half. If you go mid-summer or around the holidays; well I'm very sorry.

One final warning, if you have resisted the rides at Hogsmeade do not, repeat do not make the mistake of taking your final ride opportunity at Gringotts. We saw several slightly green faces leaving that ride. Do take the tour of Gringotts (great goblins) and the Castle just take the last exit before boarding the stomach wrenching rides.

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