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The day after Magic Kingdom, all of us went to Universal Islands of Adventure. Staying at Cabana Bay got us entrance to Harry Potter world an hour early, so we were there at 7 am ready for action. We walked as quickly as we could through the park to get there. Hogsmeade is at the very back, so we skipped a lot of the rest of the park at first.

The first thing we saw was the castle peaking out over the trees. It was gorgeous.

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The castle was beautiful from every angle

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Castle

We walked through the village of Hogsmeade to get to the first ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. We had to walk into the castle to get on. The entire day, we rode only the single rider lines. We never waited more than fifteen minutes for anything and generally, we were always within one or two of the rest of the group.

Forbidden Journey was a simulation ride, my first. It was insane. Even though we were barely moving around, the giant screens and effects made it feel real. I loved it so much. After we rode that, we walked through the village a bit. The lines weren’t awful. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I thought it would be.

It’s strange being in the hot Florida weather while the buildings around you are snowcapped, but I liked to look at them.

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Hogsmeade

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Hogsmeade

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Hogsmeade

We decided to go into the Owl Post after the Ollivander’s line was massive.

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The entrance to the Owl Post

I loved the attention to details. The poop on the stands looked real. The walls of the Owl Post are covered in “mail.” This is also where you buy your wand.

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There is poop on all of them

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Shelves of mail

I waited in a long checkout line, but I got my wand. It’s a birthday wand, so the wood corresponds to my date of birth. March 18th! I love the leaves around it. There are places around the village with interactive setups that will work if you do “magic,” but I could never get them to work. I guess I’m actually a squib…

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14 inch ash with unicorn hair

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It’s beautiful

We also had to go into Zonkos and Honeydukes. They’re the same place here, the candy store.

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Zonkos

 

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Loved this sign

It was so colorful. I bought jelly slugs here. One of my friends got a chocolate cauldron and another got Fizzing Wizzbees. I also bought a chocolate frog and Fever Fudge. I got a Dumbledore card. 🙂

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Loved the inside even more

He asked if I knew how to use my wand and when I said it didn’t work, he gave me the following advice:

1. Mean the spell

2. Use small, purposeful movements

3. Don’t keep the wand in your back pocket or you’ll shoot your bum off

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I got to meet the Hogwarts Express conductor!

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Yay!

We also ate a late breakfast at the Three Broomsticks. I had my first butterbeer here. It was a cold one, but later in the day I got a frozen and it was so much better. It was so neat to walk around the restaurant. Above us, you could see the doors and luggage leading to the rooms.

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Breakfast!

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More Hogsmeade

We rode the Flight of the Hippogriff also. It’s a children’s roller coaster, so it wasn’t awfully exciting, but we were able to see Buckbeak and Hagrid’s hut, which was neat.

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Hagrid’s hut from Flight of the Hippogriff

It was so slow I was able to take pictures the whole way through.

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Mickey and Patricia

Walking through the village, we also came across a frog choir! This song was supposed to be a choir song, but the Slytherin kept trying to rock out. Later, we passed a Triwizard pep rally going on with the Durmstrangs and the Beauxbatons.

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The flying Ford Anglia!

I ended up buying a $15 butterbeer at the end of the day. It came in a souvenir mug that I can use for $0.99 refills for the rest of forever (on everything except specialty drinks, like butterbeer.)

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Butterbeer was everywhere

We rode Dueling Dragons as well, twice. It’s two roller coasters, a red and a blue, that intertwine. It’s modeled after the first Triwizard task. We rode both and I liked the red better. We had to walk through a dungeon to get to it and all of the tasks were there somehow. The egg was there, the portkey, the dragons, etc.

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In the queue for Dueling Dragons

We met this conductor too. He was pretty funny.

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Group picture!

I regret not going to Diagon Alley the next day, as I woke up early enough to go and we had nothing planned that day. I’ll go someday though. It was wonderful in Hogsmeade.

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