I was in Orlando for one day and I was able to be lucky enough to return to one of my favorite (if not the best) theme park in the world. However, this time I would be able to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter since my last visit to Islands of Adventure was around 2006-2007.
Me and my mom got to the park around 11:00 a.m, paid for the tickets, and went on in. Port of Entry was the same old thing as it was except of Corse it had all the Christmas decorations still up and around. I was talking to my mom about the entrance to the Navigators Club and if you where to find the entrance and if the gate was open, you can go on in and go to the top of the bridge (if you don't get caught in the act). To my surprise, the gate was open! However, I didn't go to the bridge. I got a picture of me sneaking in and then we where off for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
After passing Seuss Landing (which was still done up in Grinchmas) and the 1/2 that was left of Lost Continent, we finally approached the entrance to the Harry Potter land. Anticipation struck me and then BOOM, we where in. This island's details are insane. From the stone work to the shops, EVERYTHING! You had to take a minute to let it all sink in. Very well done. The first thing we did was went in the crowded Zonkos, we saw all that was in there (which was not that much) and left. We traveled up the street and me and my mom have always wanted to try the famous Butterbeer! However and thanks you guys for this tip, I knew not to get the Butterbeer from the outside carts. We went inside The Three Broomsticks and cut over to The Hog's Head. Me and my mom stood in a very short line for Butterbeer. As we stood in line, over in the corror was a staircase and if you listened closely, you can hear the audio of someone up stairs working on the dishes. Soon we paid for our Butterbeer (regular and frozen) and got the mugs to go with them and sat down to try both of them.
Now Orlando United, you guys got darn close (like 90 to 95 percent) to being correct on the secret Butterbeer recipe, but the Butterbeer at the WWoHP was VERY TASTEY!! It was a great drink and so was the frozen one too! However, I liked the regular one better because I had abit of a hard time getting the taste of the frozen one compared to the regular one.
After drinking up both Butterbeers, we went to the bathroom and heard Moanty Mertiel in there. Enough said.... We continued to look around the shops and we came up to Hogwarts Castle, it was absolutely beautiful but it had a perspective problem. From a far distance it looks 1 to 1 scale like it should, but if you are right up against the rock work looking up then it looks smaller than what it should be. Also the trees that are near the castle also throw off the perspective since you can get a better idea how big the building is. Not to mention but you can see how big the bridge is too. Anyway we got in line for Forbidden Journey:
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (8/10)
This is a great ride! You get flung around on this kuka arm as you get chased by dragons, dementors, spiders, and a life size Whomping Willow. I mean Universal pulls no stops as to what they will put you through that terrified you in the Harry Potter movies (except Voldemort). While you experience these nightmares, they add in some special ride footage that mostly consists of you flying with Harry Potter and then leaving him as you come face to face with some creature. For example, the dragon. I must say, that was my favorite scene in the ride. He was very detailed (which I mean scary) and the hot fog blow-in-your-face was a wonderful touch. But with every great ride, it had some problems. The most common one was the blurry screen. Next was the fact that the ride's aim wasn't in the middle of the vehicle, it was more off to the far right seat (the dementors and the dragon), and last was that their are aton of missing theming here and there. For the most part if your not riding the ride and focusing on the what is going on, you can look to see ether the top of the building, the bottom of the floor, the track, the edge of the screen, the other cars, and so on. Overall, it is a very fun ride.
8 out of 10
After leaving the ride we went over to Jurassic Park and then it rained for a little awhile. We went inside The Discovery Center and saw a baby raptor get born. I wanted to name it to get the award but a little girl got that honor. She named the raptor "Flowers"...
So if you get attacked by a reddish raptor, remember its name is Flowers.
Moving on, me and my mom passed through Toon Lagoon and into Marvel Superhero Island. When I got into this island there was one thing on my mind, that big huge green monster they called The HULK. My roller coaster. The one that makes me want to be a Mechanical Engineer. The one that I compare all other roller coasters too. The one that doesn't play nice. The still in my mind, the #1 roller coaster in Orlando. I wanted to re-ride that roller coaster so bad!!! Soon we where in the line for it and my heart was pumping. We saw the old video, we went through the lab and soon be where at the docking bay. I was so excited. Then we boarded onto the car and we where off.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster (9.8/10)
This is my baby! Sure there isn't too much theming on the ride, but the roller coaster makes up for it in a huge way. The launch on that coaster is so dang cool. No other roller coaster in the world launches at an angle using over 200 Blackhawk tires. After that, it is a rush. Inversion after inversion, break and then the corkscrew and end.... The ride is over a minute long but it feels like a 30 seconds. Overall, AWESOME!!!
9.5 out of 10
After riding Hulk I went over to Accelatron and rode that. I really like this ride and still think it is the best tea-cup ride out there (10/10). Then I rode the best themed drop tower that is Dr.Doom's Fear Fall (10/10)*. Then went back to Jurassic Park and rode the River Adventure (9.5 out of 10).
We soon lead ourselves over a little attraction that I was glad to see open again, the Triceratops Discovery Trail.
Triceratops Discovery Trail (6/10)
I was glad to see this old attraction back open. I still remember the first time I went and saw this and was scared to touch this living, breathing dino. I was young but it burned in my head how life-like it was. Now that I am older, I know its fake but it is entertaining and somewhat of an awe to see a scale replica of a Triceratops working and moving. Image a kid that loves dinos, they would be all over this attraction just loving every minute of it. I also need to give props to the tour guide since you would need to know quite abit about Triceratops in order to survive the questioning part of the tour. Other than that, I think the attraction needs some more theming but the simple attraction part works well.
After going through that, me and my mom went back to the WWoHP and re-rode Forbidden Journey. After that we went a rode Dueling Dragons (I still say that name since its better than saying Dragon Challenge).
Dragon Challenge (7/10) (originally Dueling Dragons [10/10])
This is not the old attraction I remember. While the roller coaster part is the same, the queue is very boring now. In the beginning, we walk threw a nice tent with the goblet of smoke...errm fire. Then we see the Tri-Wizard Cup and then the eggs. After that, nothing but rock work. What happened to the skulls??? Where is all the cool effects like the choose your fate? Sure some wood works are still there but the whole dark, scary, creepy feel is gone. Uggg... The only somewhat cool things on the line are those new choose your dragon signs and then up in the rafters a big projection of a dragon looking in. After that the ride is the same except no more dueling aka... the main point of the ride. In the end, the roller coaster part is awesome but I miss the old attraction. Plus don't get me started about the two big dragons that where part of the entrance.
R.I.P Dueling Dragons You where awesome.
7 out of 10
After riding both dragons, we left the Wizarding World for the last time. Passed through Lost Continent and missed Poseidon's Fury. Good bye to you! You will be missed. Then went threw Seuss Landing and Port of Entry back to Marvel Island where we re-rode Hulk and then went on The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman (10/10). Gosh this ride is awesome and if Transformers is coming to replace it, boy this ride will be missed the most. It's a classic and hasn't gotten old. Also with the new HD projectors, the videos are now abit more brighter and more detailed abit. I can't wait to ride with the new animations. It might be just well be a new ride (in my mind). Now if they can get some new voice over’s of the people in the Spiderman movies then that would put the ride WAY over the top (not that it already is and has been).
So after riding Spiderman, I re-rode Hulk one more time. I took the single rider option and was lucky enough to get the front row! I don't know how I managed to do that but I did (Train 2 is what I rode in). Then I rode the Hulk and left the park.
It was a fun day and now I am at home typing to you.