Tuesday, October 19, 2010

potter watch: part II

it's tuesday again!  so here we are back with part II of my wizarding world of harry potter review (read part I first).  up today: the other 2 rides at the park!  like harry potter and the forbidden journey (which, again, is inside the castle), the lines for the flight of the hippogriff and dragon challenge wind past an assortment of harry potter "artifacts."  because the lines were not an obstacle while we were there, we actually had to let people pass us in line in order to slow down and take it all in (we didn't want to miss anything!).  when the lines are horrendous, however, these little touches are bound to be welcome distractions. 

the flight of the hippogriff

this coaster is meant for younger kids, but if you skip it for that reason you miss a bunch of neat stuff, including the best view of hogsmeade village you can get in the park (from the top of the coaster)  

as well as hagrid's hut

hagrid's scarecrow

some of hagrid's belongings 
 {fans of the books: note the flesh-eating slug repellant and blast-ended skrewts!}

the loading platform for the ride was meant to look like the inside of hagrid's hut

and as the ride begins, you come face to face with - gulp - buckbeak the hippogriff!!

dragon challenge

this coaster relates to book 4: harry potter and the goblet of fire, so it's all about the triwizard championship.  now this ride is definitely for adults!  it's your full-on, feet-dangling, steep drops, quick turns, upside-down-loop roller coaster, with the added element of "dueling" another dragon.  you choose whether to ride the hungarian horntail or the chinese fireball dragon when you get close to the end of the line

and the two versions, which are almost identical but not quite (the horntail is slightly scarier, as it should be if you read the books!), leave the platform at the same time, so a few times throughout the ride you "almost" run into the other dragon, which might be the scariest part of all!

as you walk into the ride, you immediately begin passing signs "supporting" the different triwizard champions:  

harry potter

cedric diggory

fleur delacour

and victor krum

you also pass by mr. weasley's flying car (which has zero relation to book 4 but i think they just wanted to have it somewhere!)

the line then moves inside
where we pass...

the champions' luggage

the goblet of fire

the triwizard cup

the mermaid eggs 

and some fabulous floating candles, to guide the way!

more visiting tips: when you are riding forbidding journey and dragon challenge, they require you to put all your personal belongings (although i'd obviously suggest keeping your camera with you for the lines!) in lockers.  there are locker banks right by the entrances to these two rides, and they are free for the amount of time they've calculated it should take you to get through the ride (so it automatically adjusts as wait time does).  after that, there's a charge.  it's a pretty high-tech system, they use your fingerprint to lock and unlock the lockers.  there's a few glitches in the system still, but luckily they always have locker attendants nearby.  also, the lockers aren't all that big, so don't over pack for the day or you might have some issues.  they also messed up and didn't make them deep enough for the longer wand boxes, so either buy wands after riding the rides or do what we had to do: take the wand out of the box and put in locker, then put box on top of locker bank and *pray* no one takes it while you're gone.  yea, i know that's not exactly a perfect system.  they really need to put in deeper lockers.  i also can't imagine what these locker banks are like in the summer or during holiday weeks; they were a bit of a mob scene and pretty darn annoying for us in our way-less-crowded-october weekend.  but whenever i'd get annoyed i'd just look up at where i was and that'd usually put a smile back on my face!

next potter watch: hogsmeade station and hogsmeade village, with a look inside the fabulous shops!

xo. di.

*images from my personal collection



thanks so much for the note! i love reading your comments. xo. di.

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