The Flight of the Hippogriff is a fun and simple rollercoaster. I wish it had gone around the track more than once, but it was fine for a minimal thrills girl like me. Because I’m not a fan of being raced along upside down, I did not go on the Dueling Dragons rollercoaster. However, I heard from the many scary-rollercoaster-loving people that it was one of the best. Also, the ride is made up of two rollercoasters which run at the same time, the Hungarian Horntail and the Chinese Fireball. Apparently, the Chinese Fireball is the better of the two, although both are thrilling.
The best part of the park is undoubtedly the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. The architects of the Wizarding World cleverly designed the ride so the line takes you through Hogwarts. You don’t get bored waiting because there’s so much to look at. Walking through the castle was as exciting if not more than the actual ride. Everyone in my group was literally, about to have a heart attack from the sheer exhilaration of BEING INSIDE HOGWARTS. Or certainly as close as we’re ever going to get to it. The castle is made extremely well, although obviously not everything could be included, but there is something new and intriguing around every corner from classrooms to the griffin statue which leads to Dumbledore’s office. The most amazing moment for me was when we turned into a hall and the paintings began to move and speak! For others, it was when Dumbledore appeared on a balcony and began to address the line. All these wonderful surprises before you even got to the ride. I won’t give away what actually happens in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but you are strapped into a seat that moves up, down, side to side, and every which way as you are spun through and adventure created with a neat combination of large 3-D movie screens and animatronics. Parts of the ride are actually rather frightening, but don’t close your eyes! You don’t want to miss a thing! I rode on it twice, and would gladly have raced through Hogwarts twenty more times because there’s so much to see.
I was very satisfied with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and really only have two complaints. The first is that Universal Studios is missing out on some serious merchandising opportunities. There’s plenty of cool stuff to buy, but I was disappointed to find very few items related to my favorite character, Luna Lovegood. Radish earrings? I would have bought those in a snap. I sport my Ravenclaw lanyard each and every day, but I was still annoyed to find that certain things only came in “Slytherin” and “Gryffindor.” Universal could easily add these things, and I’m sure they would turn a profit. There are plenty of Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs (in fact, most of my Harry Potter Club identifies Hufflepuff), and I’m not the only one who thinks Luna is the coolest. The other problem is just that the Wizarding World is small. It takes about an afternoon to see everything, which isn’t that big a deal because you have the rest of Universal Studios to explore. However, considering Harry Potter is the only portion making money right now, I would recommend that Orlando keep all us Muggles happy and expand. Still, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a must-see attraction the next time you’re in Florida or if you need a fun family vacation.