last week my mom and i went to orlando, florida for a short vacation. we went to universal studios orlando, and most especially the wizarding world of harry potter! it was absolutely fantastic, brilliant, spectacular and all of that. i loved it.
you walk right into hogsmeade just as it is seen in the movies. since its the universal studios park, it’s based on stuff from the movies more than the books. it really was an experience for all of your senses. first of all, they play the score from the movies continuously! i love that! you are walking around in the movie scenery, hearing the soundtrack so it feels like you are really there. then there’s obviously stuff to see. there are rides so you can experience that sense as well. they have butterbeer - really! it was so delicious. and the three broomsticks is a restaurant to eat it where they have mostly english-style foods to try as well - and pumpkin juice! and they are always cooking so you can smell it as well.
the hogwarts castle is great. it is up on top of the rocks so you cant really walk through the hogwarts grounds, but you can take a tour of the inside and see some stuff. you walk through dumbledore’s office and there is an extremely realistic hologram of him in there doing a speech! and then in the defense against the dark arts classroom there is a hologram of harry, ron and hermione talking as well! they are SO real looking - except for the fact that you know the actors aren’t actually standing there, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t real.
then the ride through hogwarts is SO well done - i rode it 5 times and could never open my eyes the whole time because the dementors are so real looking and scared the crap out of me.
you can go into honeydukes, zonkos, dervish and banges, the owl post office, the three broomsticks, the hogs head, and ollivanders. yes, you can get a wand! they have replica wands of about 12 main characters, or some other ones that are original and you can pick them for yourself.
something i LOVED is that all the employees are in character all the time! in hogwarts, they are dressed in school uniforms, in the restaurant they are dressed differently, etc. in the three broomsticks, my mom ordered pop and the girl says “that doesn’t exist” because they don’t drink pop in harry potter! loved that.