Words CANNOT describe how excited I was to see this park. I am a self-confessed Harry Potter nerd, I have been ever since I was eight and the first book came out. I've read all the books (more than once...) and have seen all the movies (also more than once). When I was eleven I waited for my Hogwarts letter and was very depressed when I didn't get one. I could continue to confess my nerdy fandom but I think by now you get the point. So when I found out they were building a theme park based off Hogwarts, it automatically went to the top of my bucket list. I was far more excited to go to the Wizarding World than I was to go to Disney World! That's how much of a hard core fan I am.

The Wizarding World is inside of Universal's Island of Adventure - a theme park within a theme park. So when you pay to get in, you're paying for the entire Island of Adventure. That being said, we only rode one roller coaster in the park before immediately heading over to the Wizarding World because I could not deal with my excitement!!

When you first enter, you walk into Hogsmeade and oh my gosh you really do feel like you're there! They even have the Hogwarts express right near the gate as if to make it seem like the students were arriving. The shops in the park are all the same as they are in the books. There's snow on the roofs, and luckily we went on a pretty overcast day so the sky was grey and it fit perfectly in with the atmosphere (however, it was still hot and humid as hell. Gross.) They also have the Three Broomsticks restaurant and the Hog's Head pub, and the interior of them both is exactly the way I imagined it to be.

You can go to Ollivander's and pick out a wand, Honeydukes for candy, Zonko's for toys and pranks, and all of them fit the description from the book perfectly. There are vendors everywhere selling butterbeer, which is basically frozen cream soda. Extremely sweet but totally delicious, I fully enjoyed it. They also sold pumpkin juice, chocolate frogs, Bertie Bot's every flavor beans and other goodies from the book. I could not stop smiling the whole time I was there because it really took me back to my childhood. 

(Inside Zonko's Joke Shop)

(Display of candy inside Honeyduke's)

(Wands up the wall inside Ollivander's) 


Then you have Hogwarts castle, which is incredibly impressive. The castle itself holds the "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" ride. In order to get to the ride, you have to walk through the castle grounds and then into the castle, through the classrooms, Dumbledore's office, the library, the hall of portraits, and a couple other places before getting through the ride. They really spared no details, the whole caste is very elaborate. The portraits in the hall of portraits even talk and interact with each other! We went during off season so there was virtually no wait, but I can imagine that even if you did have to wait in line for an hour to get to the ride you would be thoroughly entertained by the castle.

The ride itself is by far one of the coolest rides I've ever been on. It takes you through a virtual reality where it makes you feel like you're flying on a broomstick, then it brings you back to reality where you encounter dragons (who spit fire at you) giant spiders (who drip water on you - oh my god so nasty) the whomping willow which tries to stomp you, and dementors which are horribly realistic and terrifying - I may or may not have screamed like a small child when first saw one. If I were younger and going on this ride I probably would have cried by eyes out from fear, it really is a scary ride!

The park only offers three other rides - one is a very small kiddie roller coaster, and the other two are big roller coasters, which were super fun. Other than that you just enjoy the shops and atmosphere.

I absolutely love love LOVED this park, I thought it was so much fun, super realistic and really well-done. My only complaint is how tiny it is! It only takes a few hours to get through the whole thing. I wish they would make a massive theme park based on it and included even more from the book. I would recommend it to Harry Potter fans of any age! However, if you haven't read the book or you are not a fan, you won't understand a single thing about what's going on and I would recommend skipping it all together.