This summer I learnt that Disney isn't the only one capable of creating magic.
I worked at Walt Disney World this summer, and while that allowed me to go into any Disney theme park for free (even the ones in Paris and Tokyo!) sometimes my friends and I decided to go to one of Universal's theme parks on our days off.
Universal definitely had some of the coolest roller coasters I have ever been on (The Hulk ride will forever be my favourite), but the best part about going to Universal's theme park Islands of Adventure was visiting Harry Potter World.
There are a lot of amazing things about Harry Potter World, so I'll sum things up as best as I can.
Hogwarts is amazing, and the ride inside of the castle is even better. The ride takes you on an adventure with some of the coolest effects. I felt as though the characters were really talking to me as I flew through a quidditch game, past the whomping willow, and then battled against a ferocious dragon Hagrid accidentally let loose.
The line for the ride may be long, but there is a single riders line that usually has a quarter of the wait time.
The shops in Harry Potter World are beautiful, full of details that will make you squeal, and are super crowded. From what I've been told by the super HP fans I went to the park with, J.K. Rowling wanted Hogsmead to be crowded and bustling like she envisioned it. If that's true then she got exactly what she wanted.
The bathrooms have sounds of Moaning Myrtle talking to you as you... do your business.
And the whole place is filled with music from the movies. As soon as you enter that section of the theme park, you immediately feel as though you've walked into the movies (or books, whichever you prefer), and the music helps create that effect.
Right now Universal is constructing Diagon Alley in their other park, Universal Studios, and their plan is to build platform 9 3/4 with a train that will take you from Hogsmead to Diagon Alley.