Hayley Johnson from Flight Centre Paddington immerses herself in the world of 'The Boy Who Lived'. Having visited countless theme parks, Hayley has found her favourite - Harry Potter World.
Islands of Adventure
The mystical world of Harry Potter has always fascinated me. Now thanks to Universal Studios in Orlando, all muggles can enter this magical universe. It's impossible not to feel like a kid again when you walk into Harry Potter World. The amount of detail that has gone into the buildings and streets is truly astonishing. Universal Studios has really captured the essence of Harry Potter, with snow on the rooftops, the Hogwarts Express, 'Moaning' Myrtle in the restrooms and a moving wanted poster of Sirius Black.
Best Theme Park Ride
The highlight of visiting Harry Potter World would have to be the inside of the castle. Waiting times for this ride can be lengthy. If you're impatient and don't mind if your group is separated, I highly recommend jumping into the single rider's line. This does drop your waiting time dramatically. Universal Studios have designed this ride brilliantly. While you make your way through the line you walk through different parts of the castle including a classroom, Dumbledore's office and Gryffindor's common room before finally reaching the top of the line to start your journey. I've been to many theme parks in my life and this ride really takes the cake.
Ollivander's Wand Shop
For those who want the full Harry Potter experience, a visit to Ollivanders Wand Shop is a must. If you're lucky, you might even be chosen to be fitted for a wand. Even if you're not chosen, there is a large collection of character wands to purchase. You can buy everything from cloaks and owls to broom-sticks and chess boards.
This is one store that sweet tooths shouldn't miss. Inside Honeydukes you'll find different types of weird and wonderful candy, such as the famous Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. Beware you may get flavours like vomit, earthworm, rotten eggs and grass, as I discovered the hard way. Right outside Honeydukes is a Butterbeer stand. Butterbeer is probably the best drink I've ever had. Don't worry – it tastes nothing like butter and is not alcoholic. I will give you plenty of warning though, Butter Beer is very addictive. The cravings you have after tasting this brew will last a while but will be completely worth it.
Universal Studios and in particular the Wizarding World of Harry Potter definitely left me wanting more. I look forward to returning in the near future.
Are you interested in discovering the world of Harry Potter? Contact Hayley Johnson, an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre based in Paddington, Brisbane who can be reached on 1300 128 769.