Well, we had a one heck of a time in Disney World. We only had one day there, but we packed in EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, a parade, lots of walking, and way too much food. Though the rides were whimsical and fun, what I’m really missing is the amazing architecture. It is truly a beautiful place! We circled and adored Cinderella’s Castle, did the obligatory Pirate’s of the Caribbean ride, stayed for the electric parade, and then admired the castle again from the water as we rode the ferry back to Port Orleans.
If I had to play favorites, I’d say the Castle was this trip’s notable at-night experience, while EPCOT’s World Showcase is my favorite daytime jaunt. Visiting EPCOT is one of the few memories I have from my first trip to Disney World–I was three years old, in a stroller, terrified of the “characters,” and didn’t muster the courage for a single ride, not even the flying dumbos. Sad! I loved EPCOT this time though; eating funnel cake and drinking beer in Japan was weirdly wonderful! As great as that was, overall top-listers included Germany, Morocco, and France.
The next day we spent at Universal Studio’s Island of Adventure with the goal of broom soaring in Harry Potterville. I think they actually call this attraction “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” which comes from the world created by the books, or some such silly name, but I’ll call it Potterville. Full disclosure: I know nothing about Harry. I’ve seen one film in the series, and since I was lost the entire time, I have vowed off and on to read all the books and watch diligently the movies. Has that happened? No. That said, Potterville was simply amazing. For fans and non-fans alike, Potterville will impress. To make an English castle (I think this is called Hogwarts) look appropriate in Orlando takes skill. The dampness is there, the fake firs crown the structures, and park staff wear the cloaks and stripes and don the wands. Somehow, England in Orlando works.
The butterbeer was delicious and a nice touch–tastes basically of cream soda with a dollop of sugary froth to make it appear as prepared by a wizard. It’s non-alcoholic but was a fine introduction to the immensity that is the Harry Potter universe. English choir groups chanted mystical songs, the candy shop from the books, HoneyDukes, tempted with bright colors and sweet treats, and the overcast and misty day made ours one well-spent in Potterville.