Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Honeydukes

Honeydukes Sweets Shop is interconnected with Zonko's Joke Shop. So you can walk inside one, and easily venture over to the other. But I gotta say, Zonko's wasn't all that magical. It's quite small in there; and it just doesn't seem to have a great appeal.

Inside Hog's Head Pub

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Inside Hog's Head Pub

"The Management will not take responsibility if you lose your HEAD"

One interesting little tidbit: there is no soda served anywhere in the Wizarding World area. As I was in line to buy a frozen Butterbeer.... mmmm..... I heard a Team Member mention that to a guest.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Hogwarts Express

The Hogwarts Express

Awhile back, on the DisUnplugged Podcast, there was mention of a rumor of what J.K. Rowling had said in her negotiations with Disney. Apparently, she wanted guests to have the experience of actually riding on the Hogwarts Express; I believe in the same fashion as Disney's monorail is used. So people would've entered the main attraction area by way of this illustrious train. How cool would that have been?!?!?

Hogsmeade: Please Respect The Spell Limits

Hogsmeade: Please Respect The Spell Limits

I think that it was amazing how Universal was able to bring in Alan Gilmore to help design this area. Alan played an integral part in bringing the Harry Potter world to life on the big screen. His influence can definitely be seen in all of great detail of this attraction.

And oh yeah, the Butterbeer is quite good..... especially the frozen version. :)

Approaching Hogwarts

Approaching Hogwarts

One of the great things about venturing to an unknown area, is the buildup of excitement that can sometimes come along with it. Of course, THE main thing to see at the Wizarding World, is Hogwarts Castle. And depending on your approach, you'll just see bits and pieces of the castle, to take that excitement to a whole new extreme. [This land is at the back of the park, and there are 2 main ways of getting there.... this shot was taken by going clock-wise through the park.]

Port of Entry

Islands of Adventure - Port of Entry

Back in early July, I finally had a chance to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And just to let you know, I am a self-confessed Harry Potter geek. During the whole publicity of this new addition to Islands of Adventure, it was quite interesting to hear this referred to as a theme park (or a theme park within a theme park). In actuality, it is basically just a "land". And a suprising small land at that. But one thing I was really impressed with, was the attention to detail that is so faithful to this amazing franchise. From a photography standpoint, it seemed quite challenging to think of creative ways to shoot the area. But at least there were a lot of details to try and capture. Despite any misconceptions, the Wizarding World is still a magnificent and magical addition to Universal's Islands of Adventure.

I also have to give it up to the DisUnplugged Podcast Crew for definitely helping to manage my expectations of this experience. Although it's sometimes great to enter a world of unknown, and be open to surprises; in this case, it was helpful to somewhat know what to expect.