John Mayer's Real Estate Blog: Florida: Orlando

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Other Attractions at Islands of Adventure Theme Park in Orlando

My Review (4 photos below)Click Here to See All of the Photos.

Get to this park early or buy a 2 day pass if you want to see and do everything it has to offer. We went 3 days before Christmas and the place was packed!! In fact, I have never been to a theme park where it was a struggle just to make headway through the crowd in an orderly, civilized manner. I like this park but will never go back on a holiday or peak times ever again - lesson learned! When we arrived, there was a 90 min. wait for Spiderman and The Hulk, so we went to Harry Potter. It was filled to capacity so we were directed to Toon Lagoon, halfway around the park to get a pass for between 3:30 and 4:30. When we finally got in, you could not move in the sea of people trying to "enjoy" themselves. I was surprised that we got to ride the Dragon Challenge Coaster so quickly and believe me, it is not for the faint hearted. It is by far, the best, fastest and scariest roller coaster I have ever been on and you have to have courage to ride it twice (or be a kid :-) The Flight of the Hippogriff is a pretty tame roller coaster in comparison and we waited 30 min. for nothing special. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey had a 90 min. wait time and the crowd was unbelievable, so we had to pass. The kids were getting hungry and we hadn't seen Spiderman yet, so we had some unspectacular and expensive food at the Fire Eater Grill. The wait for Spiderman at this point was only 30 min., and it was worth it. Disney class 3D effects and thrills in the dark put smiles on everyone's faces. It was getting cold at this point, so we headed back to the rented locker for our stuff ($8.00) and the long walk to our car. The kids had fun but you could tell they were disappointed by not going on all of the rides and seeing the shows.

PROS: Dragon Challenge Coaster and Spiderman. Hogwarts was very well done with lots of photo ops and on a less crowded day would be a wonderful experience. The park in general seems to be fairly well laid out and on less busy days might actually be enjoyable. The kids liked the water rides.

CONS: It was a long, expensive day and I left feeling cheated. There were so many people, it took you forever to get anywhere and the long wait times made it even worse. If we ever go there again, it will be in non peak times. Not being able to see Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was a major disappointment. We didn't even get to see the many shows that were going on at various times simply because it was so hard to get through the crowd or even see the show time boards. Rude people determined to get through the crowd were everywhere, although most folks were just patient and accepted the situation. So much for the Holiday Spirit.

Hogsmeade Butter Beer. They say it's like butterscotch cream soda - YUCK! I had a real beer for $6.50.

Harry Potter Butter Beer

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. There was something for kids and adults in this park.

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride

Hogwarts Castle was an over crowded nightmare. It took forever to get anywhere!

Harry Potter Hogswarts Castle

Jurassic Park River Ride. Everybody gets wet! The smiling kids (in the ponchos) went on it twice.

Jurassic Park River Ride

Click Here to See All of the Photos

NOTE: I left my Nikon D90 at home this time and shot these pics with my trusty (and lighter) Canon Powershot A630 8mp point and shoot.

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These photos are copyright (c), all rights reserved and may not be used or reproduced without permission from John Mayer. Permission can granted with a link back to my website and / or blog, providing the site is appropriate for everyone. Photographs are a great way to share the world. Thank you for viewing.

 
Comment balloon 19 commentsJohn Mayer • December 27 2010 11:50PM
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