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live2tell75

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  1. A quick update: This past weekend I made a return trip to TWWOHP to visit some great friends: Dave, Tim, Sue, Andrew and Nolan. It was great seeing them all. Once again I enjoyed the new area. By 10am their wasn't a wait to get into the area and FJ had about a 60 minute wait. Both coasters only had about a 10-15 minute wait. Longest wait: by 9:20am, a worker estimated that the line for Olivander's Wand Shop was about 2 hours! We skipped the wand show, but used the other entrance to get into the shop (about a 10 minute wait). The boys loved their magic wands. I think all enjoyed Frbidden Journey and the new area. Thanks again to Dave and the Risen family for such a great weekend! Here are a couple of photos from our visit. The boys loved casting spells with their new wands. Enjoyed a tastey lunch at The Three Broomsticks. Susan demonstrates the only way to drink Butterbeer is with a Butterbeer stashe. Thanks again to Dave and the Risen family for an awesome day - it was great seeing you all again!
  2. Continuing with my Europe tour, on our second day in Italy we visited Miabilanda. The day started out great with ERT on Katun, the park's awesome inverted roller coaster. After about a dozen rides on Katun our group then explored the park's other signature attractions including one of my favorite coasters of the entire trip, iSpeed, a pretty intense launching coaster. Along with the park's 2 main coasters, a pretty good dark ride named Ghostville complete with unexpected live actors gave us a good scare. The shooting dark ride "Reset", themed to a post apocalyptic New York City, was interesting. But the theming was pretty good. I think I should have riden it one more time, but not pay attention to the shooting aspect, just take in the theme of the ride itself. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how great this park actually was. Onto the photos! On our way to Mirabilandia, we drove through more gorgeous European countryside. Our second park of the trip, Mirabilandia. Like all the parks on our tour, Mirabilandia was highly themed. Inside the entrance of the park. This area kind of reminded me of IOA. Gorgeous. ERT on Katun was fantastic! I think I must have gotten about 10 rides on Katun! Katun is a great invert. Once again, the park was pretty. Even the kiddie coaster was themed pretty good. One of my favorite coasters of the trip, iSpeed. What a great ride! iSpeed really lives up to it's name. Ghostville is a haunted house ride complete with a few live actors that scared the crap out of us! Some of the group got a little wet on the splash battle ride. Main difference between Italy and the U.S. At parks in the U.S. the basketball midway games are always popular. Not so much in Italy. As you can see the soccer simulator game was the crowd pleaser. I wonder if it has something to do with a little game called the World Cup? Monosaurous was a pretty well done themed dino ride. You even ride in cool dino-egg cars! Another dino. This should be interesting, visiting New York via Italy. The entrance area to Reset, the park's shooting dark ride. The park probably had a lot of fun theming this area. Pretty elaborate. Our awesome group survived post- apocalyptic New York! Next up Movieland Studios and a ride through the Alps - stay tuned!
  3. Thanks Jimmy! I really didn't think I was going to be able to do this trip, so I am truly grateful for the opportunity to attend. Thanks Melissa - the reunion will be epic!
  4. A preview of the park was presented yesterday. Looks like Triple Hurricane is staying but the Starliner is not. The artwork for the park looks pretty good. I feel like if this park wants to have any chance to survive, Legoland is it's best chance. A lot of photos of the event, artwork for the new attractions and the transformation of the park can be found at Orlando Parks News and at Johnny Upsidedown
  5. After 2 fun days in London, I joined the group flight to Milan, Italy to start the official Europe tour. After a early morning of travel we arrived in Italy and headed over to the Gardaland Resort. Once arriving to our gorgeous hotel, we were treated to a fantastic reception hosted by fellow TPR member, Bruno. It was a great way to start the trip, a big thanks Bruno! After the reception we headed out to the park. I really enjoyed our day and half at Gardaland. The theming was a lot more extensive than I had thought it would be. Other than the park's very themed mine train coaster Mammut, the coasters were pretty average. But I was surprised how smooth the corkscrew was, which was a plus. The dark rides were great. The shooting dark ride was Universal quality themed. The Pirate Adventure boat ride was a fantastic way to cool off. I think this was our group's favorite attraction in the park. The park had a great mad house. I can't get enough of these type of rides. I just wish we had more of them in the states. Fuga Da Atlantide was highly themed water flume, that was fun. Another highlight was the Flying Island. I forgot how nice these type of rides are. We got some fantastic views of the Lake Garda region. Overall I was really impressed with the park. Onto the photos! Enjoy! We made it to Italy and The Gardaland Resort! Welcome to the first of many gorgeous hotels of the trip, The Gardaland Hotel. Gardaland Hotel. The surrounding area was beautiful! Gardaland Hotel, home to the park's mascot, Prezzemolo. Gardaland Hotel. Gardaland Hotel. Gardaland Hotel. A view from our patio outside of our room. Prezzemolo and a princess were in the hotel to meet guests. A welcome reception for our group, organized by fellow TPR member, Bruno. After some snacks and a complimentary drink, Robb and Bruno go over the great perks that we had in-store at the park including front-of-the- line passes! On our walk to the park from the hotel. Main entrance plaza. The entrance was kind of a walk, but was very pretty. Gardaland entrance. The park was very well themed. I believe a magic show was housed in this castle. The Magic House, was a pretty good Mad House attraction. I think it was my favorite mad house on the trip. Ramses, a pretty elaborate shooting dark ride. The theming inside was top notch. Reminded me of Universal quality theming. Sequoia Adventure and Magic Mountain coasters. Sequoia Adventure wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it doesn't really leave any kind of a good impression either. Joey enjoys a soft served gelato cone. I had to try one too. It was super yum-o! The pirate themed area of the park. Inside and below this ship lies a pretty cool pirate boat ride. It was so good our group road it 3 times! Our awesome group for the week. More top-notch pirate theming. The pirate themed restaurant was well done. The pirate themed restaurant was even home to this half naked guy! This has to be the longest wacky worm coaster in the world! Melissa and Renee enjoying the ride on the monorail. The log ride with the Sequoia Adventure and Magic Mountain coasters in the back round. The boys on the Colorado Boat Flume. The space-aged themed drop tower. A highlight of the park, the Flying Island ride. On the Flying Island we got some fantastic views of the park. And great views of Lake Garda and the surrounding area. Beautiful views. Awesome peeps. More park views. I really hope when Legoland Florida opens next year, the park will keep Cypress Garden's old Island in the Sky ride. Alfredo, Amy and Andrew are excited for the haunted house, Inferis. Too bad it wasn't that great. More theming. Dinner was a lot better than the traditional State's standard fried foods and burgers. Mammut was a fun mine train coaster. Once again another attraction with great theming. The Fuga Da Atlantide water ride was very Disney/Universal/Busch quality in theming. I present you "The Real World TPR Europe" season. More of Fuga Da Atlantide. On the ride you float between this sexy guy's legs! Fuga Da Atlantide Splash! The ride was great, just to bad you didn't get that wet. =( Fuga Da Atlantide does come to life at night. Fuga Da Atlantide at night. This area reminded me of Islands of Adventure. We spent the last few hours in the Fantasy Kingdom area. This area had a fun car ride that was themed through a farm. More of the Doremifarm car ride. Good times. The cute plane/monorail ride. Fantasy Kingdom theming. The Magic House. We ended the night with a surprise, the park's version of a night parade. It was a great way to end the night. On the way out of the park we saw these two royal figures. Next up Mirabilandia - stay tuned!
  6. The Emmy Nominations were announced this morning and Glee was nominated a lot! Nominated as Outstanding: – Comedy Series – Directing for a Comedy: Ryan Murphy (2 nominations) – Writing for a Comedy – Actor in a Comedy: Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester – Actress in a Comedy: Lea Michelle as Rachel Berry – Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Chris Kolfer as Kurt Hummel – Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester – Guest Actress in a Comedy: Kristen Chenoweth as April Rhodes – Guest Actor in a Comedy: Mike O’ Malley as Burt Hummel – Guest Actor in a Comedy: Neil Patrick Harris as Bryan Ryan – Casting for a Comedy – Hairstyling for a single camera Series I just wish the Emmy’s had a category for best Dramedy because even thou Glee can be funny, the show has a major dramatic aspect to it. I’m super happy for the show’s many nominations. But I’m not sure Glee can hold up in all of the Comedy categories.
  7. Through a wonderful surprise turn of events this last spring at work I was able to sign up for the recent Europe 2010 TPR trip. My 10 day trip consisted of travel through 5 different European countries including the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and The Neitherlands. We visited 7 beautiful theme parks, a tradional German Fair, rode over 35 new roller coasters and most importantly got to catch up with some old friends and meet some new fun-fantastic ones. The trip was an absolute blast! Thanks again to Robb & Elissa for organizing another memorable trip! Here is part one of my trip. I met up on the last day of the UK TPR tour at Thorpe Park. Had a fantastic day that included ERT on Saw: The Ride and Nemesis Inferno. Onto the photos. Enjoy! Day 1: London Day 2: Thorpe Park Day 3: Gardaland Day 4: Gardaland & Mirabilandia Day 5: Movieland Studios & A Drive Through The Swiss Alps Day 6 & 7: Hotel Colosseo at the Europa Resort & Europa Park Day 7: The Wurzburg Fair Day 7 & 8: Hotel Matamba at Phantasialand & Phantasialand Day 9: Efteling Day 9: Farewell Dinner & Final Trip Thoughts! Arrival day in London. It was a lot warmer in London than I had expected. Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery. I took in a matinee show in Leicester Square. I love London, it was good to visit again. The next day, I joined up with the TPR UK tour at Thorpe Park. First ride of the day: Saw: The Ride, a new credit for me since visiting the park on the TPR UK tour in 2006. I'm not a big fan of the Saw movies, but this ride was doe well. Good theming and a few unexpected surprises. The second part of the ride was a little rough, but I find that most of the Eurofighters I have ridden in the past are kind of rough. More of Saw: The Ride. The theming continued through the exit. Disturbing, but keeping with the theme. The park's new haunted house, Saw: Alive! I thought was a very well done haunted house. I didn't expect the actors to actually touch you! One of my favorite rides in the park, Vortex. I could ride this all day! Teacup ride. Jon and Ben on Nemesis Inferno. Nemesis Inferno to me is a pretty good inverted coaster. Since it was pretty hot out, we wished the rapids ride had gotten us wet. Colossus, the park's 10 looper coaster. I must be getting old, but Colossus felt a little rougher than I remember when riding in 2006. Slammer. Slammer. Stealth, the park's rocket coaster. Stealth's coaster cars are pretty cool looking. Our fun Thorpe Park group for the day. After our day at Thorpe, we headed to dinner at Wagamama in Windsor. We were able to get a culture credit since Windsor Castle was located across the street from the restaurant. It was great to see old friends and make new ones. That's it for tonight. Next up: Day 1 of the Europe Tour in Italy. Stay tuned!
  8. So last night I hit up the new area once again. What a big change from Friday. There was no line to get into WWOHP. There was a good crowd though. A typical quick Florida thunderstorm came through around 6pm, so this may have scared a lot of people out of the park. We ate dinner at the Three Broomsticks for the first time, waited about 15 minutes to order. I had the Fish and Chips. It wasn't bad. The stores were kind of hectic, especially Honeydukes. We rode Forbidden Journey. My friend who was with me hadn't been before, so he wanted to see the whole castle. The wait sign said 75 minutes, we went in and the line was half way up on the ramps in the green house. This was a major difference from the night before. We ended up waiting only about 30 minutes. I guess the sign out front hadn't been updated. This ride is a real people eater! The line always moves. Once we got off it was exactly 10 pm, but we cut through the lockers area from the gift shop and back into the main queue, the team members said we just made it. Our second ride of the night was great and a walk on. As the night before, the area's shops pretty much stayed open at least till about 10:45 pm, no one was trying kick anyone out. This is a perfect time to see all the animated store front windows.
  9. So I made the trek over to WWOHP on opening night. I entered IOA around 8:45pm. At work today I had seen the insane crowds and I was crazy enough to check out all of the excitement. To my surprise other than Harry Potter, all of the attractions were pretty much 15 minutes or less wait times. The park roped off the entrance into The Lost Continent at the Suess Landing bridge. This was to keep the traffic flow for exiting guests. And boy did I see agazillion park guests drag themselves out of there. So I turned around and headed over to Jurassic Park and caught up to the line to enter Potterland. The line started at the Jurassic Park River Adventure entrance. The line moved pretty good, I think I waited about 20 minutes and we were in. While waiting, I talked to people in the line and all had tried to get in all day, with no luck. One lady was at the parking garage at 5:30 this morning, Another family had waited about 3 hours to get into the land but gave up. I was glad we all got in. Rode Forbidden Journey tonight one time. The single riders line was closed as of 9:30, so I stuck it out and waited the 90 minute wait. I still love the ride, for me it is amazing! My main reason visiting the park tonight was to experience the land at night. It was pretty cool after getting off the ride around 10:45pm, they kept most of the shops in Hogsmeade open. The team members were still super nice and didn't rush anyone to get out. It was actually pretty nice and quite. I was able to check out all the animated windows without the sun's glare. This is an area that has to be visited at night, it really is gorgeous! I finally left IOA around 11:45pm. And I was back to my hotel. Here are a few photos from the night. Enjoy! Upon entering Islands of Adventure I came across a giant movie screen showing Harry Potter movies at the end of The Port of Entry.. Only Forbidden Journey had any kind of a wait. Hogsmeade is beautiful at night. I think I enjoyed Frozen Butterbeer more than regular Butterbeer. But they are both yummy! I was happy to find a pin that mentioned the new land and not just general Harry Potter themed pins. That's it for this update, thanks for reading!
  10. So I made the trek over to WWOHP on opening night. I entered IOA around 8:45pm. At work today I had seen the insane crowds and I was crazy enough to check out all of the excitement. To my surprise other than Harry Potter, all of the attractions were pretty much 15 minutes or less wait times. The park roped off the entrance into The Lost Continent at the Suess Landing bridge. This was to keep the traffic flow for exiting guests. And boy did I see agazillion park guests drag themselves out of there. So I turned around and headed over to Jurassic Park and caught up to the line to enter Potterland. The line started at the Jurassic Park River Adventure entrance. The line moved pretty good, I think I waited about 20 minutes and we were in. While waiting, I talked to people in the line and all had tried to get in all day, with no luck. One lady was at the parking garage at 5:30 this morning, Another family had waited about 3 hours to get into the land but gave up. I was glad we all got in. Rode Forbidden Journey tonight one time. The single riders line was closed as of 9:30, so I stuck it out and waited the 90 minute wait. I still love the ride, for me it is amazing! My main reason visiting the park tonight was to experience the land at night. It was pretty cool after getting off the ride around 10:45pm, they kept most of the shops in Hogsmeade open. The team members were still super nice and didn't rush anyone to get out. It was actually pretty nice and quite. I was able to check out all the animated windows without the sun's glare. This is an area that has to be visited at night, it really is gorgeous! I finally left IOA around 11:45pm and headed back to my hotel room and crashed!
  11. These photos were taken this morning from a news helicopter of the Citywalk area. I think there are few people at the park, or trying to get in! Mix this with the present temp of 95 degress, looks like a good time! =(
  12. Thanks for the update - great job Inukaza! I can't believe how much progress has been made in the last couple of weeks!
  13. Thanks again everyone, glad you liked the report. I didn't go into details about the main ride, Forbidden Journey because I didn't want to give any spoilers to those who wanted to be surprised. But if anyone has any specific spoiler questions about the ride or anything about the area, feel free to PM me, I'll be happy to answer as best as I can. I didn't get to see the Frog Choir, but I did hear them when I was on Flight of the Hippogriff. There seemed to be a big crowd watching the show. That's one of the experiences I plan to check out on my next visit.
  14. Forgot one photo to add to my report, a bottle of Pumpkin Juice. As I said earlier, I liked it, but it was kind of strong, but at least it came in a cool looking bottle (it should, it cost $6!). But I still like Butterbeer the best! Pumpkin Juice!
  15. In Honeydukes, I picked up about 5 or 6 candies to look at and sure enough the labels said "Specially made for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort". To be honest I didn't look at anything particular in Zonko's, not sure if the items are from the movies/books or just gag/joke gifts. The Forbidden Journey and Dervish and Banges gift shops all featured everything you could imagine Harry Potter merchandise. People were going crazy! If you are a pin collector the stores carry about 20-30 different pins. The only thing I wanted was something that said "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" on it. I asked the store's keepers and they said as of right now they didn't have anything with the ride's name on it. Nope unfortunately the wands don't have interactivity. I had heard over the last few years while TWWOHP was being built there were rumors about incorporating a "MagiQuest" type system (not sure if that's what it is called?) Who knows, maybe sometime in the future something will be added. I think if Universal could do what Epcot did with the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, it would work well in the new land. The sign in front of the attraction said the wait time was 45 minutes. I timed it and sure enough it was just a little over 45 minutes. Other than the queue in the greenhouse, because there is a lot to look at, the time does go by pretty quickly.
  16. ^ The restraints are over the shoulder. I figured that I must have had the look of someone that might not fit in the seat properly. Since I have gained a lot of weight in the last 3-4 years, this was a wake up call for me personally, since I have never been singled out for any ride in my life. I noticed the guy that sat next to me that was really tall, he wasn't pulled out, but after the ride he was freaked out because he thought his legs were going to hit many objects throughout the ride.
  17. Thanks everyone. I have updated my review to include everything and hopefully it is written a little clearer. Most of my photos of inside of the castle did not come out. I wasn't clear if we could use a flash. I now believe you can, I'll try to get some on a future visit in the next few weeks. Also something that didn't occur to me is that the now present Lost Continent area (Mytho's Restaurant, Poseidon's Fury, Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show, Mystic Fountain and Theatre Magic show/store still take up a pretty large footprint for an island.
  18. 6/05/10: Soft Opening Photos 6/18/10: Opening Night Photos 7/9/10: A Return Visit With Good Friends All week I have been closely watching online the soft opening status of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure at the Universal Orlando Resort. Last weekend Universal hotel guests started getting admittance into the new section for a preview every morning from 8am to around 11am. During the week, reports started coming out that the general public was also now being admitted in for the preview. I had planned on visiting the new addition when it officially opens on June 18th. But after having a hectic and kind of stressful workweek, I decided to chance it this morning and see if the preview was happening. I arrived at the Islands of Adventure main entrance around 8:15am and there was already a good crowd forming. Something that surprised me, was along with the regular ticket turn-styles, the park had set up 6 portable ticket turn-styles in the middle, in front of the park’s gate. I have never seen this gate open, it is always closed. I guess they figure with the upcoming large crowds it’s better to be ready. The park was scheduled to open at 9am, but do to the large crowds, they opened at 8:45am. Once the gates opened, everyone high-tailed it through Seuss Landing and then stopped at the entrance of the Lost Continent. While our large crowd was waiting on the bridge to the Lost Continent I began to worry that we wouldn’t get in. But after a minute, the 1/2 a dozen Universal employees, let us all continue on our way, and sure enough the gates to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter were open! I had to do everything I could to not stop and look at anything. My goal was to hit the new land’s signature attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Since I had heard this had closed earlier than the rest of the land during previous previews, I wanted to make sure I would get at least one ride in. Forbidden Journey is housed in the giant Hogwarts castle. When I arrived at the gates to the castle the wait said 45 minutes, I didn’t care. Half of the attraction is the line that weaves through the castle. You experience the most famous rooms in the castle from the books and movies. Other than the giant greenhouse, most of the line is inside and in the air-condoning, which is a good thing since it was 9,000 degrees out today! The castle features some very cool special effects. Through “magic” you really come face to face with characters from the books and movies. After touring through the castle, it’s was time to ride. I will say that the Universal Team Members did an excellent job with the loading process. A warning about the ride, do to the ride’s seats, they have test seats for larger guests to try out. I’m 5’8” and around 210lbs and I was pulled aside to test a seat, I had no problem, but it was a wake up call for me, that yes I need to go on a diet! I saw at least about ½ dozen larger guests that weren’t able to ride. Once I was seated on my “enchanted bench” we were off in the air. You fly via a magic spell through some famous scenes in the books and movies. The only way I can describe this ride is how a lot of other people have described it: a across between, the floor movement of The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman at Islands of Adventure and Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the flying feeling of Soarin’ at Epcot and the motion of The Simpson’s Ride at Universal Studios. Then throw in top-notch theming on the level of Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios and you have The Forbbiden Journey. There has been a lot of hype about this ride. I will admit after getting off this ride I had the WOW thoughts like I did the first time I went on Star Tours and Back to the Future in the early 90’s, and Dinosaur and Spiderman in the late 90’s. I think this will be a winner for the general public. It just feels like this ride has taken the technology of the other rides I mentioned above and combined them all. The story of the ride is very chaotic and all over the place, but I think most people should be able to follow along. The ride is very smooth, not jerky. A lot of times I didn’t know which way was up. You move in every direction, sometimes for short instances are on you back, surrounded by giant dome screens. I could possibly see some people feeling a little queasy riding this. My favorite part about the ride was how immersive it was. Everything is up in your face. After the ride is over, muggles exit through “Fitch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods” gift shop and can purchase their on-ride photo. I rode the ride a second time and used the single riders line, waiting only about 5 minutes. After Forbidden Journey, I took a ride on the Flight of the Hippogriff, a family sized gentle roller coaster. Highlights of this ride include traveling through a pumpkin patch, seeing Hagrid’s Hut and bowing to a Hippogriff. The robotic Hippogriff works well. If you had been to Islands of Adventure in the past, Flight of the Hippogriff is the old Flying Unicorn Coaster re-themed. I think the park did a good job with this. I decided it was time to explore Hogsmeade Village and to have a taste of Butterbeer. So I tried the normal non-frozen version of Butterbeer. It was really good, a cream soda tasting drink with a butterscotch foam topping. I heard that the frozen version was good also from other guests. I also picked up a bottle of Pumpkin Juice. This was kind of strong. It really does taste like biting into a pumpkin pie, but then after awhile the taste changes to a really strong-spicy cider. It was good and came in a pretty cool pumpkin bottle. But the winner for me was the Butterbeer. I poked my head into the Three Broomsticks restaurant. It was pretty much just like in the movies, dark with tall ceilings. Looked like a pretty good place to eat. Connected to the Three Broomsticks is the Hog’s Head Pub, a bar with character. The shops were all very detailed with treats from the books and movies. All the store’s windows and façade windows were unique and had a special magic quality to them. From quills writing by themselves to moving portraits, all were animated. Olivander’s Wand Shop and experience was excuse the pun, "magical". Had to wait in about a 10 minute line to go into Olivander’s. Once inside, we found the shopkeeper stocking the floor-to-ceiling wand boxes. Once our group of about 20 muggles were in the shop, the keeper helped a young boy find his perfect wand. Through special effects and “magic” the wand found him. After the presentation we were ushered into the real wand shop where you can purchase your own wand if you would like. Decided to check out the old Dueling Dragon's attraction, the park's 2 inverted roller coasters. Nothing has changed except that this has been renamed Dragon's Challenge and the castle queue is themed to the Tri-Wizard Tournament complete with the Goblet of Fire and Tri-Wizard Cup. I think this works well with the new story and theme of the ride. I think this new area is going to be a huge success. The only problem I see is even thou the shops are very awesome, they are very small. When I was walking through the wand shop it was jammed packed, could barely move, and the area was not that crowded and not even officially open yet. Also since The new land is on a small footprint, everything is very tall. I spent most of the visit while in the castle, shops and restaurants all looking up. The walls and shelves and theming go about 2-3 stories up. My neck was actually kind of sore. It is a lot to take in. I am familiar with Harry Potter, I have read the first 3 books and seen all the movies. I believe guests that aren't familiar with Harry Potter will still appreciate the highly themed new area. People not familar with Harry Potter need not to worry. I have never read a Dr.Suess book in my entire life. But because Suess Landing is highly themed and themed welI, I can appreciate Suess Landing's attractions. The joke shop and candy shop are very whimsical as well as the wand shop. Guests that rode Spiderman and didn't have any previous knowledge going into the ride, but enjoyed it, I believe will have the same results on Forbidden Journey. My best recommendation is to visit during the off season like in the fall. This summer it is going to be a gazillion degrees and agazillion people visiting! The Harry Potter area is very hot, no shade, but that is not unique to just Harry Potter, other than Jurassic Park, all of the other islands at IOA have no shade either. Since I rarely go to the Florida parks in the summer, I guess I forgot how extremely hot IOA can get. If you can't wait and have to visit soon, be sure to get to the park EARLY. If the park is scheduled to open at 9am, be at the park gate lined up by 8:15am. Most likely the park will open a little early. Once inside the park, hit Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey first, Save the shops and restaurants till after the ride, you will have a much shorter wait this way. Here are some photos I took of my visit. Thanks for reading. Enjoy! THe stampede through The Lost Continent to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hogsmeade Village entrance. The Hogwarts Express welcomes muggles to the new land. The Hogwarts Express The Hogwarts Express Hogsmeade Village Outside of Zonko's Joke Shop. Inside Zonko's Joke Shop. Dragon's Challenge Entrance. Dragon's Challenge queue. Dragon's Challenge queue featuring the Weasley's crashed car and Hagrid's Hut. Weasley's crashed car. Dragon's Challenge castle entrance. Looking the other way. Welcome to The Tri-Wizard Tournement. Dragon's Challenge queue, the Goblet of Fire. Dragon's Challenge queue. Dragon's Challenge queue. Dragon's Challenge queue featuring the The Goblet of Fire. Dragon's Challenge queue. The Tri-Wizard Cup. Dragon's Challenge queue Dragon's Challenge queue, floating candles. Dragon's Challenge. Honeydukes candy shop. Inside Honeydukes. Inside Honeydukes. Inside Honeydukes. Inside Honeydukes. Inside Honeydukes. Outside Honeydukes. Animated shop window. Olivander's Wand Shop. Inside Olivander's Wand shop. Inside Olivander's. Lots of wands! Inside Olivander's. Inside the real wand shop, kind of busy. The Monster of Books, be careful, this book bites! Inside Dervish and Banges. Outside of Dervish and Banges. In the Owlery. The Three Broomsticks Tavern. The Three Broomsticks Tavern. The Three Broomsticks Tavern. The Three Broomsticks Tavern. The Three Broomsticks Tavern. The Three Broomsticks Tavern. The Hog's Head Pub. The Hog's Head Pub. The Hog's Head Pub. Street entertainment. Hogsmeade Village. Entrance to The Flight of the Hippogriff. The Flight of the Hippogriff. Hogwart's Castle, home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction. Hogwart's Castle, home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction. Hogwart's Castle, home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction. Hogwart's Castle, home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction. Hogwart's Castle, home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction. Greenhouse part of the queue for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction. Thanks for reading!
  19. Now there is only one Golden Girl left. - Rue Mcclanahan passed away early this morning. =( http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/06/03/rue-mcclanahan-dies-at-76/ I'll come out of my Golden Girls closet and say that I always have good laughs when I catch an old Golden Girls epsiode. So sad.
  20. Inside the Magic has posted a pretty good video of the queue through the castle. It's a little dark, but I have heard the castle is pretty dark. To me the queue looks like it is a major part of this attraction. The detailing looks very cool. I look forward to checking this all out on opening weekend. .
  21. Went to the park for an hour yesterday morning to get few updated construction photos. More dirt being moved around. Looks like progress has been made on the new path/bridge leading from next to the Narobi Train Station over to the Edge of Africa. The train is running again, but the Narobi station is still closed. The park has re-opened the Egypt train station for now. I'm not sure if Animal Connections is closed now? It was roped off and the looked dead with no activity. Last thing I noticed was in the gift shop by The Moroccan Palace, the store used to carry lots of Katonga items, they now have been replaced with Cheetah stuffed animals and toys. Makes sense since Katonga is on it's way out by summer's end, and maybe an another hint of what is to come. Onto the photos! New construction wall outside of the park since my last visit. Flamingo parade. New cheetah items in the gift shop near the Moroccan Palace. The Animal Connections attraction looks to have closed. Wall by the old monorail/skyride station bordering the Edge of Africa. The cheetah topiary is coming along quite nicely. Heading out of the Crown Colony sky ride station. Looking back at the station. Part of the new pathway from Narobi to the Edge of Africa. New pathway. Rhino Rally minus the water portion. Looks like they have started removing Rhino Rally's track. Before heading out of the park, had to visit one of my favorite places in the park, Tiger Trails in Jungala. They are such gorgeous animals. That's it for today's update. Thanks for reading!
  22. Found this on Youtube. Attractions Magazine has posted a ride through of Forbidden Journey. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8KHb2yIiuY
  23. A link via IOA Central/Inside the magic, a flicker page with almost 200 photos: This looks awesome, I cannot wait to go!
  24. ^ Thanks. Wow if it is longer than Dueling Dragon's line, than it will be long! And if most of the line is inside, than that is great, more time in air condionting, less time in the summer Florida heat!
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