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Friday, July 19, 2013

The Wizarding World: Your Vicarious Experience

Writerly Adventures

 Ever wanted to go to Harry Potter land in Universal in Orlando, Florida? Or have you already been? This is a very detailed vicarious experience for anyone who wants to go, or, who wants to go back.

Welcome to the World of Harry Potter

Congratulations! You made it to Universal's Islands of Adventure! Unfortunately there are SO many tall trees in Florida that despite your excitement, you can't even get a glimpse of Hogwarts until you've reached this bridge near the back of the park. This is an epic moment. Take a picture.

Travel a little further and you come to another bridge with a better view. This picture sums it all up.

Finally you've made it! Compared to the rest of the park, this section shines. It literally looks like you are stepping into another world.

On your right, you see the scarlet Hogwarts Express. The conductor there is hilarious and makes snide comments about "muggle technology." The train lets out a jet of steam.

Where should you start your adventure? The starting sounds like an appropriate place. So you head to the first shop on the left side of the street: Zonkos.

Even better than you expected! The store is packed from floor to ceiling with Harry Potter products! Here you find fanged frisbees, punching telescopes, extendable ears, sneakoscopes, remembralls, screaming yo-yos, filibuster fireworks, and much more.

At the edge of the shop, you see this painted on the wall.

You look up. There really are ears.

Next stop: Honeydukes sweet shop. It's like Willie Wonka and October got together and had a baby. This place is loaded with goodies, all bearing the Honeydukes logo. Everywhere you look there's a treat from Wizarding World! Some examples include...

Peppermint Toads! (tiny toad-shaped chocolate bits with a peppermint zing to them--definitely one of my favorites)

Pumpkin Juice (another favorite). When you take a sip of this, the flavor packs a punch. It tastes like Halloween! Cider, ginger, pumpkin--sure it sounds like Thanksgiving, but trust me, it tastes like Halloween. You can't stop drinking it until your tastebuds need a break from the drink's flavorful festivities.

Blood Pops, bottom middle, Every Flavor Beans, bottom right. Then there's lemon drops, lollipops, licorice, gummies, candied worms...

On the back wall: grab a Honeydukes treat bag and start filling it up with an assortment of treats (or a bunch of your most favorite). They have more Every Flavor Beans

Cauldron Cakes, along with various fudges and delectable sugary treats. This is your vacation, and when will you be here again? Leave your healthy eating habits at the door--you'll want to try everything! (And don't forget the Chocolate frogs! They come with trading cards.)

Ice Mice, top left. Chocolate Cauldrons, bottom right. Along with some skeleton goodies.

With your bag now full of wizarding goodies, you look out the window. You've only been in two buildings so far. You could marvel at Zonkos and Honeydukes all day, but there's more to see!

You've found the entrance to the Three Broomsticks! You long to go inside as a scent of Butterbeer, spare ribs, fish and chips, and shepherd's pie wafts through the open doors to greet you. But after all those sweets, you couldn't possibly fit another bite in.

You locate a wanted poster of Sirius Black--it even moves.

Bathroom stop. You hear a moaning sound and realize with a jolt that Moaning Myrtle is moaning the bathroom. You decide to stay far away from the stalls with out of order signs.

You've made it up the left side of the street to a little opening. Perfect timing! Everyone is gathering for the Triwizard performance. Behold, the proud Sons of Durmstrang.

And next, the lovely ladies of Beauxbatons.

Further up the street you find a roller coaster: Flight of the Hippogriff...

But we'll get to that and the other roller coasters, Hogwart's Castle, and Ollivander's next time.


  1. Sigh...a vicarious experience is ALMOST enough. ;) Love that you did this as a blog post!

    1. Haha...I know, I want to go back! Thanks for commenting :)


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