A Literary Adventure

Imagine a place where literary adventures come to life. A theme park where you can visit some of the most beloved characters and places ever written about in technicolor life.

It exists. And I went there.

Butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks anyone?

Yeah, on the last day of our vacation we spent the day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. I don’t know if the people planning the park had this in mind, but it is seriously the most literary theme park I’ve ever been to and it was amazing. Of course they have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which we all loved, but there’s also Seuss Landing with a super cool Cat in the Hat Ride, Jurassic Park with the exciting River Adventure ride (and a replica of the museum from the movie), Marvel Super Hero Island with the incredible Spider Man ride and The Lost Continent where you can explore Poseidon’s Fury.

Okay, so Spider Man may not be strictly literary, but I was surprised that the inspiration for so much of the park came from the printed word. How cool is that? And walking through a town that looks like it had sprung from the pages of a comic book? Awesome!

As for Harry Potter world, where do I begin?

The level of detail put into every part of the park is just mind boggling, but seeing Hagrid’s hut and the car in the whomping willow, watching people take money out of the Gringott’s ATM and seeing Extendable Ears on the shelf — it was SO FREAKING COOL!! We couldn’t stop grinning the whole time we were there ๐Ÿ˜€

The Pumpkin Fizz that my son got was surprisingly delicious, but the Butterbeer — YUM! That thick head you see tasted like a creamy melted butterscotch candy. SO good! And yeah, I look like I’m wasted, but there isn’t any alcohol in the butterbeer ๐Ÿ™‚

Apparently the recipe for this drink is a highly guarded secret and the chef who created it actually flew to Edinburgh to bring J.K. Rowling a sample, to get her stamp of approval before the park opened. (You can watch an interview with him here.)

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is seriously the coolest ride ever and the walk through the castle to get to the ride is half the fun. Dumbledore talks to you as you pass through his office. Paintings on the wall talk to each other. The Fat Lady wakes up and scolds you when you go by the entrance to Gryffindor house.

But this might be my favorite thing. My souvenir from the day. My Gryffindor scarf.

Now if it would just get cold enough here so I could wear the dang thing!

And this has nothing to do with my post, but I had to give a shout out to blogging buddy Beth Revis. Her fabulous book, Across the Universe, is going to debut at #7 on the NYT Bestseller List! Holy Freaking Cow! So excited for her!!!

27 thoughts on “A Literary Adventure

  1. You lucky girl, you! I wish that park wasn't on the other side of the country. One thing, for sure, I want to go in winter like you did. I have a hard time imagining Hogwarts in a Florida summer. Those photos of you prove how much fun it's got to be.
    And, I'm so excited for Beth. She's soaring, for sure.

  2. I am SO jealous! It looks like a fantastic vacation – I swear I'm going to make it there some day! Especially now after seeing your pics! Glad you guys had such a good time!

  3. I almost shared this with my daughters but decided not to. They were supposed to go to the Harry Potter theme park in December with my mother, but their flights were canceled twice because of snow. Fortunately, we're going in April, when there will hopefully be no snow … I think I'll read through your post with them before we go : )

  4. Sherrie-

    I'm so glad you and your family got to experience that. I'm extremely jealous, it looks like an amazing time. I'm reading Across the Universe now. I was forced to put it down because I have to work. Anyway, great book!

  5. I used to teach a few miles from Islands of Adventure. The high school my students eventually went to, Dr. Phillips, was right across the street. You could stand in the parking lot and hear the roller coaster screams. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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