I blush to tell you that I've read almost every Harry Potter book since and seen many of the movies as well so, as you can imagine, the news of the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a theme park in Orlando, Florida, devoted entirely to you know who and his exploits, got my attention bigtime.
I went immediately to the Internet for info.
Jill Schensul of North Jersey.com had this to say:
I went into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as a journalist and a skeptic. I emerged laden with souvenirs and quite thoroughly charmed. ...read more hereThe Washington Post has a really detailed and complete glowing review:
All of the wizarding landmarks are there, from Ollivanders to Zonko's joke shop. At Honeydukes, you can get chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, plus other candies that only serious fans will remember from the books, such as the Toothflossing Stringmints that Hermione buys her dentist parents.
Some of the most impressive things about the Wizarding World are the smallest details. For example, if you stop by the Owl Post to mail a letter, the postmark will read Hogsmeade!... read more hereAnd here's the ultimate accolade from a 13 year old who has just come back from a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
He marveled at the moving portraits,, "just as cool as in the movies," and said that you don't feel like you are in a movie set, "you feel like you are actually there." read the entire Hubpages article here
The hit ride of the park seems to be the Forbidden Journey Ride Here is a blow by blow, spoiler filled review of it ( hint it got a rave) Forbidden Journey Ride Review
The place has barely opened and it has already won an award-- voted Best New Attraction by Hollywood news. com .
If you, like me, are not up for scary rides or Dragon Roller Coasters ( I once lost my lunch on the old Coney Island Parachute Jump) never fear, you can ramble around the Hogwarts campus or ride the Hogwarts Express and shop in various magical emporia or grab a meal or a snack. The fun part, from what I've read, is exploring places and encountering situations right out of the pages of the books and that these, far from being fake and disappointing, bring the whole Harry Potter experience to a new level for children of all ages. It's not about rides and cotton candy. It is about experiencing and really visiting the world of Harry Potter.
At the moment, I am told, the crowds are humungous and the waits are long which is why I will only be making internet visits wearing my cloak of invisability for a few months-- but I am thinking that this coming winter or spring, a trip to Orlando to indulge my Harry Potter mania, might be fun. Quidditch anyone?