Harry Potter and the Wizarding Worlds at Universal Studios, 2017 Report
(The Dragon?) On my way to Gringotts, I noticed a HUGE dragon perched on the top of the establishment. (How could you not notice it)?
I had heard much about this
escaped dragon, poised at the top of Gringotts.
When walking towards the bank, the Dragon expressed some displeasure about its situation.
On my way over to the Escape from
Gringotts I got slightly detoured, visiting the Money Exchange
(The Money Exchange)
There was a Goblin perched up
high in the Money Exchange room.
He was interacting and engaging with
visitors. It was quite entertaining. In addition to the Money Exchange being an interactive experience, it is also a store.
While there I ended up making two purchases. The first was a set of three coins (from "The Noble Collection").
My second purchase was a
logical one: A Gringotts wallet. (After all, who better than Gringotts to house, guard and take care of my money)?
When I left the Money Exchange I
continued on my over to the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride.
(The Lockers at Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts?) Soooo, before moving on to the Escape from Gringotts experience, I just gotta talk about the lockers there. (The lockers???)
Yep, the lockers.
Often with many fast, roller-coaster like rides at theme and amusement parks there are lockers for riders to store their loose
items in, since they may fly loose during the ride. Welllllll, Universal did things one (or two) better at their Escape from Gringotts
ride. There are numerous rooms filled with lockers for the storage of personal belongings. However, instead of just using a key to secure
the locker, you do so with your fingerprint.
Once securing your items in and shutting the door you're instructed to place a finger down on a scanner. Your finger print is scanned
in (and saved off), and you're good to go. (In order to retrieve your items, you just type in your locker number, rescan your finger and you're good).
After entering my belongings and scanning in my fingerprint, I made my way to the Escape from Gringotts.
(Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts)
The line for Harry Potter and the
Escape winds around the inside of the open lobby area of this banking establishment. Inside this lobby are a large number of Goblin bankers,
lining both sides. After a bit of winding to and fro, I was at the ride.
I really like how many of Universal's rides combine the traditional type of amusement ride (with movement) with a bit of the theatrical.
I first experienced this with their Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ride. This is also the case with their Harry Potter and the Escape from
Gringotts ride. Not only are you taken for a ride through the bowels of Gringotts, you also get a chance to experience some of Ron, Hermione
and Harry's adventures in their search for Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, (Voldemort's fourth Horcrux).
I thoroughly enjoyed the ride! I decided to head over the King's Cross Station upon my departure.
(King's Cross Station)
At King's Cross Station you board
Hogwarts Express, on your trip to Hogsmeade.
When I arrived I DID look for
that magical portal leading to Platform 9 3/4. (I unfortunately wasn't able to find it). What I did find was a line leading to Platform 9 3/4.
(It was clearly labeled "9 3/4", though, once you arrive at Hogwarts Express).
After a short wait I was boarding
(Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade Station) The Hogwarts Express ride to the Hogsmeade Station was a fun, entertaining ride. (I'm not going to give away any of the details here,
to keep from being a spoiler). I can say that I was glad that I had purchased the 2-park admission.
Upon our arrival I disembarked Hogwarts Express.
I entered Hogsmeade. (Once again I
admired the detail which went into recreating this magical village).
It was starting to get late in the day. One of Orlando's daily afternoon storms had made its way through and decided to linger around.
It had taken a good amount of time for the torrential rain to finally stop. (This actually turned out to be ok, since I had decided to just
hang out in one of the local stores in Diagon Alley).
So anyway, after walking through Hogsmeade, (once again lingering a bit to take in the sights), I made my way to Hogwarts. (It was now dusk and
this added a kewl mystique to my journey up to Hogwarts, along with giving the castle a mysterious look to it).
I made my way up to Hogwarts to get on
the Forbidden Journey ride.
(Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey) The line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was probably the longest of the day for me. (Once again) that was ok.
With it winding through the innards of Hogwarts, there were many sights and sounds to entertain us through our journey to the ride.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
was a Blast! Once again, the blending of a tradition roller-coaster-like ride (with movement) with audio, video and some kewl special effects
made the ride fun.
Following the ride I walked around Hogsmeade for a bit, before finally deciding to head out. It was close to the "bewitching hour"
of 10 o'clock, when the park would be closing.
(I'd get a good night's sleep in preparation for tomorrow's equally "magical" experience).