I’ve just returned from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, and will be doing a series of posts on my experiences in Harry Potter World. I’m a big fan… and the park had a lot to live up to… I’ll try not to give too much away for those of you who haven’t journeyed to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But hopefully my posts will either bring back memories of your own trip or entice you to travel there yourself!
This post will highlight:
Hogsmeade, Honeydukes, Zonkos
This last post about my trip to Harry Potter World will focus on Hogsmeade in general and the two most colorful shops on the block: Honeydukes and Zonkos.
Hogsmeade village was totally charming. Despite the Harry Potter World being in Florida, the snow covered rooftops and icicles hanging from the windows add a definite extra bit of magic. I loved how many of the chimneys are crooked and how there are detailed shop windows as you stroll down the street. The attention to detail in the buildings is truly amazing!
The Hogwarts Express was the perfect thing to put at the entrance to the park! The shiny red train has become so emblematic of the series and people can’t help but feel like they’re arriving just like Harry did when they see it. Below are my brothers and me with the Hogwarts Express and a few pictures of Hogsmeade village:
Honeydukes is definitely one of the most dazzling candy shops I’ve ever been in! The bright green and pink paint are perfectly suited to the glass jars of candy and delectable goodies they have for sale. There are shelves upon shelves of Chocolate Frogs. Boxes and boxes of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Sugar quills, Ton-Tongue Toffee, Pepper Imps, Peppermint Toads… They had so many different types of candy straight out of the books. The Cauldron Cakes were especially cool looking (but I didn’t get a picture of them). They were chocolate cauldrons that looked like they had green icing/foam bubbling out of the top.
My only complaint about Honeydukes is how expensive it was. A single Chocolate Frog costs $12. A small box of Bertie’s Beans costs $10. In fact, I don’t think I saw anything under $10… I would guess going into a shop like that with small children would be every parent’s worst nightmare.
Zonko’s Joke Shop was equally colorful with lots of quirky games and toys. They have fluffy toy Pygmy Puffs, You-No-Poo, and Extendable Ears among loads of others. I kind of wish I’d bought an Extendable Ear. The box said they extend up to 12 feet, and it looks like it’s a rubbery, fleshy ear with a microphone inside and a long cord that leads to a small box with an earbud attached. Pretty cool how they managed to create that, though it looks less inconspicuous than how I imagined the Weasley’s version in the books.
Below are some pictures of both Honeydukes and Zonkos:
A few more things I wish they had at Harry Potter World:
Each post I’ve been coming up with something I think the park needs, but it’s pretty clear that I basically want the entire world of Harry Potter to be recreated! But here are a few more things I’d like to see at the park someday:
-Quidditch Match (3D show perhaps?)
-Room of Requirement (maybe a set of doors with rotating rooms behind it?)
-A potion brewing experience!
-Grimmauld Place (complete with screaming Mrs. Black and Kreacher)
-The Weasley House (of course!)
And finally, while I found the walkthrough Hogwarts to be very fun, I couldn’t help but imagine a Hogwarts ride kind of like the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney. I’d love to get a FULL tour of Hogwarts through classrooms, the House common rooms, etc. with ghosts drifting by and staircases changing and portraits talking. To me, that would be the perfect Hogwarts ride (not that Forbidden Journey wasn’t totally awesome, but it was more of a “let’s scare you and whip you around” type ride).
Thanks for checking out all my Potter posts this past week! I’ve been having lots of fun sharing and reliving my experience with you! I hope everyone gets to go someday! It’s definitely worth the trip for any Potter fan! 🙂
Coming soon… My review of Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly!
OMG I WANT TO GO!!!
oh my gosh I KNOW about the prices! I'm so lucky that I got to use my friend's discount (he works at HP) so I got 20% off my t-shirt and chocolate frog one time. Good thing cos I didn't even finish the chocolate frog, ha! I did my holiday shopping there actually. I bought my friends a pair of Pygmy Puffs and a chocolate frog keychain (it really smells like chocolate!). I love the little section you added at the end of each post, what you wished was at HP! I really hope they all come true. 😀
I'm so sad that your WWoHP posts are over 😦
Maybe if the chocolate frogs were actually alive, it'd be worth it. Altho if it hopped away, well that would be pretty sad.
How is there NOT a Quidditch match?!
Do it!!! It's amazing ^_^
You are so lucky you got a discount!Why didn't I smell the keychains?!?! I would have bought one if I knew it smelled like chocolate! :PI hope all my HP rides/attractions come true too… I hear they're planning to expand… Maybe someone will see my blog… hehe
😦 Me too! I want to go back!
Hahahaha! Yeah, I might have paid $12 for a live choco frog!
For reals! Quidditch is a Harry Potter staple!
Thanks for the heads up about Honeydukes. My son is too young to really know about candy (I've only given him a little bit so far), so if we go soon I could probably still take him in there without a fit. But as he gets older, I can see that it will be something we'll have to skip, or let him know ahead of time that we won't be buying anything in there.They HAVE to add the Burrow! And I love your idea about something similar to the Haunted Mansion ride. I kind of pictured the line that you go through for The Forbidden Journey to be like that, but it would be nice to have something more in-depth. LOVED your posts, Lauren!
Looks like they have great attention to detail! Wow, I had no idea chocolate frogs were that expensive… my friend brought me one home from when she visited so that was nice of her!
Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed these posts :)I think it's sooooo smart when parents hold off giving their kids lots of sugary stuff like candy and soda. Kids need nutritious stuff at young ages. And they have plenty of energy (with or without sugar!)I couldn't think of a ride or attraction to go with the Burrow… Dinner with the Weasleys? I dunno… But I agree they need to add it!!!!
Your friend must love you 🙂
Garden Gnome toss! It'd kind of be more like a fair attraction, but it could be fun!