This weekend was filled with Harry Potter. Let me explain… for a couple years Universal Studios Hollywood has been building The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for us on the west coast.
For the past few weeks there have been soft openings, this weekend happened to be one of them, and I was fortunate enough to go both Saturday and Sunday with my friends Brian and Frank.
While the park itself is not as immersive as the Orlando version, it’s still impressive that we manage to get Hogsmeade, Butter Beer, Ollivander’s, The Flight of the Hippogriff, and the amazing Forbidden Journey ride.
We don’t get the Dragon Challenege roller coaster or Diagon Alley.
The food at the Three Broomsticks was excellent, I had the lemon herb roasted chicken and Butter Beer. This time I had it frozen, and it tasted better than Orlando’s.
The soft openings are for testing and getting all the kinks out before the park officially opens. You don’t normally associate this part of the testing with food, but I hope the quality of food stays this way long after the park opens.
It’s a rare case to be walking in the Wizarding World that isn’t hot or super crowded, that’s why I had to go both days this weekend, who knows when I’ll be able to see the cobble stoned floor again.
The Forbidden Journey ride is the apex of the park, both metaphorically and literally. It’s the highest point in the park that features the Howart’s castle and it’s the crown jewel of the park. If you haven’t been on it before, it’s part simulator and part dark ride with animatronics and practical sets. I’m always impressed with the transition between the two mediums.
Here’s a more indepth conversation about it courtesy of the DIS Unplugged Podcast. Frank and Brian guest starred on the episode as well. You can listen to them here.
And here are the pictures;