Summer Travels: The Final Vacation - Wizarding World of Harry Potter (tips and pics)

As previously mentioned, I have been to Harry Potter World 3 times now. Each time, I have learned something new about taking advantage of all your time there. 

Tip #1: Get to the park right when it opens. It officially opens at 8AM, but you can park starting at 7:30AM. That way you can be some of the first to go to Harry Potter World. It's all the way at the back of the park, so it's quite a walk, but it's best to go from the back to the front of any park. Errol and I arrived at 8AM, not knowing about the 7:30AM trick yet. We went straight to the Hogwarts ride, and there was already a 30 minute line at 8:10AM! 

Tip #2: Enter Hogwarts line through the store connected to it. The real line begins outside of the ride, and it is a line to get to the locker rooms to temporarily store your bags before getting into the line for the ride. You can enter the locker room through the store, and it is so crowded no one would ever know that you came in that way. Bypassing the first part, you have now skipped half of the line! 

Tip #3: Take a separate tour of Hogwarts castle. There is a lot to see inside Hogwarts, but you may not be able to truly absorb it all while in line. You can walk through a separate aisle through the castle, with your bags (and thus, your camera), and at your own pace. 

Tip #4: Have an early lunch at Three Broomsticks. If you've followed Tip #1, you probably get hungry earlier too. Having lunch early, around 11AM, you will miss the long lunch line! 

Tip #5: Buy a Butterbeer with souvenir cup early. Turns out that if you buy a souvenir cup, you get discounts on Butterbeer refills and soda for the entire day. 

If you are an HP fan, you will love HP World. You enter the park, and you're in Hogsmeade. To your right, you'll see the Hogwarts Express. Every 30 minutes, there's a performance (Hogwarts choir, Beauxbatons danceres, Durmstrang dancers). You can have lunch at the Three Broomsticks, and Hogshead is also attached where you can get a pint. You can buy Every Flavour Beans at Honeydukes. And so much more! 

For anyone curious, Butterbeer tastes exactly how you might imagine. But no, it's not alcoholic. You can buy frozen or soda-style, and it is delicious. The best way to describe it is a butterscotch cream soda. The foam on top is the best part, and is actually added separately. 

If you're a Rockefeller, you can afford to buy all of the merchandise. But if you're a poor student, the next best thing is to take pictures with the clothing as if you did buy it all :)

Any of you who are planning to take a trip to Islands of Adventure, please let me know if you need any more tips! It's definitely worth the long lines. Next trip will hopefully be to England to see the actual sets!

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