Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books. Just not my reading genre. I prefer historical fiction over fantasy (fiction)<—(alliterations & synonyms, I Like It!).
I’ve been introduced to Harry and have picked up bits and pieces of the other character wizards in the story while Hali read out loud to Carli when she was younger. And, of course, Harry Potter has been the talk of the literary town for nearly two decades with his series of seven books. Never mind the gal who wrote these novels having a hard time publishing them initially and literally, J.K. Rowling. The plot thickens when this author was first turned down by one publisher only to turn the page to a world-wide literary audience with a publisher who bought her story and an entertainment company built a Harry Potter theme park.
So when visiting Universal Studios in Florida, be sure to give the Harry Potter attractions a go. The thrill rides are exciting if you like that sort of thing but for me it was the exceptional attention to detail in the setting of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade that made this attraction come to life, despite it all a fantasy. Unfortunately, the star at Universal Studios is not Harry Potter. Nope, it’s ButterBeer.
After riding the climactic Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in Hogsmeade, warm up with a ButterBeer sold at this cart just outside the gift shop. Something magical about this beverage. It’s buttery, sweet, rich, and creamy. Sort of like butterscotch buttered rum brew without the rum. So good, I could have two. Well wait. At $10 a pop, and though well worth every ounce with that first plastic pint of this potion, I’ll settle the tab.
Unlike the shows at Disney, where the shows are worth the admission price alone, the LIVE shows here at Universal Studios are nowhere near Disney caliber. In fact, they’d probably have to pay ME to watch them, again.
So after visiting Universal Studios, I’ve concluded that if you are a big Harry Potter fan, you like BIG crowds, ButterBeer, have decent walking shoes, and extra cash for the essentials (ButterBeer and a round of DUFF beer), this theme park it might be worth the the $153(w/tax) admission price.
Me, I’ll admit it, I’ll take Disney over Universal any day. Disney just has the knack for moving people despite long lines, better attention to detail (twice Hali had encountered no TP in Universal rest rooms), FastPass, and quality shows.
Something about the Magic Kingdom that makes it more magical. Sorry Harry, your wizardry has lost its magic.