Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Wizzarding World of Harry Potter

Hogsmeade & Hogwarts
All day spent at the Wizzarding World of Harry Potter in Universal theme park. It's actually two separate places: Hogsmeade in one part of the theme park, and Diagon Alley in another - the two linked by a short train ride (the Hogwarts Express).
It was fantastic and of course the girls loved it. Architecturally, it looked exactly like the films, down to the last detail. The vertiginous Hogwarts, the village with its wand shop, wonky Diagon Alley and Gringots Bank, butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron, the triple-decker bus and so on. The rides were amazing - somewhat terrifying for a 50something adult, but the girls kept going back for more. 
I particularly liked the Hogwarts Express with its very realistic Kings Cross and Platform 9¾, including clever 'push-the-trolley-through-the-wall' trick using mirrors. The train interior took me back to grimey but comforting 1970s British Rail carriages, and we loved the video and visual effects as the train compressed London-to-Hogwarts in 5 mins.
We didn't spend much time in the rest of the park - Jurassic Park ride, Dr Seuss. It was all about Potter. Worth the money.

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