Orlando 2011 - Universal Islands of Adventure (Harry Potter World)
On our first full day, we went to Universal Islands of Adventure mainly just to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Cecelia is 5. Despite being tall for her age, she's still a few inches short of riding the big kid rides, which didn't bother me too much because my brain is just not meant for that kind of movement.
Harry Potter World is really well done. All the structures are dark brown with snow-covered rooftops. Off in the not so far distance atop the hill sits Hogwarts. We drank butterbeer (mainly root beer and butterscotch) which came with a souvenir mug. We went into Olivander's where wands are sold. Stephanie bought Professor McGonagall's wand.
The main ride was very good. It's inside Hogwarts. The paintings actually move. It starts off with you sitting in a 4 seater on a moving walkway. To the side you see other people starting their rides. A green flash of light with some smoke and you're off the ground in a hurry (you Potter nerds know what I'm talking about). The ride is basically an IMAX movie screen that's a few short feet in front of you (disapproving mothers all over the world are cringing over their kids sitting this close to the tele) while your seat moves violently as if you're flying along side Harry and friends on a broomstick. Every hard turn moves you off screen, and all of a sudden there's a dragon spitting fire in your face, a tree trying to bash your face in, or a Dementor kissing the soul out of you (feels remarkably similar to motion sickness).