Hey heyyy everyone and happy Tuesday! As you guys know this week on lifewithlilred will be featuring posts all about my Universal Studios adventure, which started with yesterday’s Monday Update: Orlando Vacation Edition. To continue with this theme, I thought that we could finish our conversation about my favorite part of my vaca – The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. Take a look at these cool pics and then let’s discuss:
As I mentioned before, Universal Studios added on to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter park with Diagon Alley. The pictures that I’ve posted and will continue to post throughout the week does not do the HP replicas justice in the slightest. We’ve already talked about a lot of what the newest HP park has to offer yesterday but we have yet to talk about all of the different rides, so let’s get on that!!
Diagon Alley features two new rides, an interactive train ride on the Hogwarts Express and Escape From Gringotts. The nice thing about boarding the Hogwarts Express is that it takes you to Hogsmeade, which lies in the neighboring park, the Islands of Adventure. And of course you can hop the train and head back to Diagon Alley. To get to the Hogwarts Express you must walk through Kings Cross station, complete with the luggage of Hogwarts students and a hologram which makes you look like you’re walking through the wall to Platform 9 3/4 to onlookers.
Once you’ve boarded the train you enter into a spacious cabin boasting luggage racks, plush seats, and framed photos of London. As the train begins to move you can see scenes of London streets, HP characters like Hagrid, and the approaching Hogwarts castle through your window. Make sure you pay attention to your cabin door as well, where you will see silhouettes of Harry, Ron, Hermoine, and the soul sucking Dementors. Once Harry’s Patronus charm chases the Dementors away, you can exit the train and you will find yourself right in the heart of Hogsmeade.
The second new ride in Diagon Alley is the Escape From Gringotts, a high speed 3D roller coaster. The awesome thing about a lot of the rides at Universal, specifically the HP rides, is that they make the waits in line completely tolerable because you are able to interact with your surroundings. In the line for Escape From Gringotts, you get to experience walking through a perfect replica of the bank, complete with high vaulted ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and talking and moving goblins. And it wouldn’t be a HP ride without talking and moving pictures on the wall!
After your walk through the bank, you board an elevator that’s measured in miles instead of floors to take you deep into the bottommost layers of Gringotts. Before you begin your mine cart ride, you get to see a short hologram interaction between Bill Weasley and a goblin, to tell you a little bit about what you’re in for during your tour of the Gringotts vaults. From there, you enter your mine cart and get down to business. If you are expecting a nice leisurely ride, you will be in for quite a shock…Especially during your run ins with trolls, dragons, Bellatrix, and Voldemort!
There are three rides in Hogsmeade, but I am only going to discuss one of them, as the other two are your standard roller coasters. One of the best rides that Universal Studios has to offer is Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey. This is another 3D roller coaster which takes you on a grand tour of the Hogwarts castle and grounds. Similar to Escape From Gringotts, a lot of the fun is waiting in line! During your wait you get to walk through the corridors of Hogwarts, where you encounter holograms of Dumbledore, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. You get a look at the greenhouse, the Gryffindor common room, as well as multiple classrooms. You also get to see the pictures on the walls interacting with each other. The most interesting picture experience comes from watching the founders of each house discuss letting muggle born students practice at Hogwarts. (We all know how Salazar Slytherin feels about this!) And of course, a tour through Hogwarts wouldn’t be complete without hearing the fat lady sing! All of this excitement occurs before even coming close to going on the ride!
You know that you’re in for a wild ride just from getting into your cart because they are moving along a platform at a pretty quick speed, and once you’re on and buckled in the ride begins. Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey let’s you feel what it’s like to fly as you travel behind Harry and the gang, going everywhere from the Quidditch field to the Forbidden Forest. Be on the lookout though because your journey is filled with dangerous twists and turns, putting you face to face with giant spiders and Dementors. You get up close and personal with the HP trademark, the Whomping Willow, as well as a high speed adventure beneath the Quidditch field rafters a la Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets. The Forbidden Journey is a long ride and by the time you’re done you really feel as though you made the million mile trip throughout the Hogwarts grounds. Shake it off and cool down with a delicious frothy Butterbeer…you earned it!!
So there you have it, the Lil Red inside look at the rides of The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! Make sure you tune in at the same time and same place tomorrow for more of my Orlando, Florida vacation fun! Until then, have any of you been to Universal Studios before? What was your favorite ride there? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah