I’m back to recap our first full day in Orlando! You can read about our first night here to get nice and caught up.
We slept in a little bit because someone (that would be me) was feeling a little damaged (also known as “very hungover”) from our first night of free booze at our resort. Hey, you only honeymoon once!
Once we got moving, we caught a shuttle from our resort to the Universal Studios area to visit Islands of Adventure park! When we booked our honeymoon, we planned on spending one day at Islands of Adventure so we could see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, something we both wanted to see.
We were pretty darn excited to see it in real life!
The details are great, but if I’m being completely honest here, Kevin and I were a little disappointed, mostly because of the size. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is currently only one part of Islands of Adventure, and we were able to cover everything in the morning and early afternoon. We thought there would be SO much to do and a lot different rides, so we were a little disappointed when we realized how small it was.
We did learn, however, that they are building an expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the Universal Studios park (how smart of them – now people will have to buy a park hopper pass to see both parts of the Harry Potter section), so I’m sure we will be impressed when they add Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express.
This cute conductor fella was great and even spoke with an English accent! We appreciated the authenticity.
Another thing we were a little disappointed in was the size of the shops. We think Walt Disney World does a great job of creating flow to their gift shops and smaller ride areas, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter had the smallest little shops (and the park wasn’t even crowded!). Maybe we were being picky at this point, but we couldn’t look around at any shops because we couldn’t fit!
We made our way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (at this point, my excitement level was through the roof) to go on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.
Prior to our trip, I had researched the heck out of everything there is to know about planning a honeymoon to Walt Disney World, but I didn’t look too much into Islands of Adventure, thus I had no clue what to expect during this ride. Feeling a little hungover still and having pretty bad motion sickness tendencies as it is, let’s just say I was more than nervous.
And I had every right to be nervous because I found the ride absolutely awful! Kevin didn’t enjoy it too much either. And the reason why is because of the type of the ride it is. Neither of us do well in IMAX-type settings where we’re entirely surrounding by a big fat moving screen. The whole Harry Potter ride was like watching a moving IMAX movie on steroids mixed with high-intensity movements. At one point, I swear we were upside down. Although I can’t be too sure, because my eyes were closed the whole time as I tried not to vom on my new husband. Being hungover didn’t help!
I’m sure the ride is so great for most people, and we really enjoyed walking through the school to get to the ride portion, so I’ll give it that!
We took a mini break to settle our stomachs before riding Flight of the Hippograff, which I think may have been the shortest roller coaster Kev and I had ever been on. But that’s okay, because we were at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and on our honeymoon! I don’t think anything could have ruined our good moods at this point.
After a few rides, we were ready for Butterbeer! And it was DE-LICIOUS! Seriously so great.
I was fond of the small details throughout the main Hogsmeade area, especially this one!
One thing we did before leaving the Harry Potter area was stop in Ollivanders Wand Shop, where we got to see two cute little kids get new wands chosen for them. The effects in this little “show” were great and it was worth the 30-minute wait (longest wait of the day!).
Kevin loves Jurassic Park (his favorite movies ever) so riding this one was a must. I also thoroughly enjoy it!
Finally, I started to feel better and we headed to see how long the wait was at The Hulk.
No wait! Say whaaaat?!
Kevin talked me into riding this one twice in a row (wasn’t feeling 100% yet, so I was being a great wife by doing this), and pretty soon we were starving so we headed to lunch back over in the Harry Potter area.
Three Broomsticks it was! Our Disney Dining Plan (obviously) didn’t carry over to Islands of Adventure so we had to pay out pocket, which was totally fine. We were actually pleasantly surprised at how relatively inexpensive the food was compared to traditional theme park food. We weren’t quite sure what to expect when it came to the quality of the food, but then…
We took a bite and WOW. This was one of our best meals of the whole trip! I ordered the fish and chips and Kevin got the ribs and chicken platter.
Apologies for the poor/dark photo. We brought our new camera on our honeymoon, but Universal does not let you carry bags on the rides* (Walt Disney World does) and we didn’t feel like renting a locker, so we skipped the nice camera at this park.
Anyways! We rode a few more rides like the Dueling Dragons, Spider Man (which is an IMAX-type ride but less intense so it didn’t bother us as much) and The Hulk one last time before we went back to our resort to relax a bit since we were headed to Magic Kingdom (!) later that evening.
So what about you? Have you been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? What did you think? If not, who is just dying to go for the first time?
More to come!
*Edited 11/19 to add – a reader commented that Universal has free lockers available to put your bags/cameras in! Thanks again for the tip, Courtney!