posted by Colm Hanratty | 0 Comments
A number of months back, the opening of the ‘Harry Potter Theme Park’ generated an awful lot of media coverage. I saw it briefly in the news myself, but I remember others telling me that it was a park where you could buy wands, visit Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and more in the presence of thousands of other 'muggles'. Yesterday I got to see what all the fuss is about.
The first thing to dawn upon me was that it certainly isn’t a ‘theme park’. It’s one section of Universal Studios’ ‘Islands of Adventure’ theme park. The second thing to dawn upon me was the number of people there. Once the gates open, that’s where everybody goes. There’s good reason for this – it’s damn good fun. Even more so if you’re a big Harry Potter fan.
While I am a big fan, I’ve never read any of the books and haven’t seen all the movies yet. In saying that, I have seen some of them more than once, so I was really looking forward to it.
The main attraction here is ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’, a ride that’s a mix of actual movement and motion simulation. It’s a fantastic ride – utterly thrilling. Other things you may want to check out are ‘Ollivander's’ where you can buy magic wands (they’re $29.95 plus tax so they’d want to be magic at that price), 'Dragons Challenge' which is a rollercoaster I seized up on, and the Hog's Head pub where you can eat and drink.
I spent about two hours there and, apart from the line for ‘Dragon’s Challenge’, I enjoyed every second of it.