Monday, August 22, 2011
Last Monday, I left for FLORIDA. I was thrilled because I was FINALLY going to go to Harry Potter World thanks to my dear friend, Matt Benyo! Click to enlarge pictures (which were taken courtesy of MB because Charles stole my camera). Our first stop was Universal Studios! It was Tie-Dye Tuesday for us, but his brother, Drew, kept it real with his hang-10 hand sigs. We rode all the rides and I was set on not getting wet, but that went out the door on the Twister ride. On one of the rides, it recorded a video of you and my arms were flailing like a trapped T-Rex. Unfortunately I can't show that to you, but the visuals in your mind are probably accurate.The next day, we went to the beach. I was pretty sure I covered all exposed skin with sunblock. Wrong. This is me; post-beach. You'll notice that big white spot on my back? That was where my hand reached to cover my back. For some reason, I thought my hand extended and covered all of my back, but no.That night, we went to Downtown Disney and walked around. Note Drew hangin' 10 and Matt is super tan. I'm just trying to keep it real. Later that night, I would be lathered in Aloe Vera and have trouble sleeping because of my burns.Finally, the day that I had been waiting for since its opening had come. Adorned with the Deathly Hallows symbol Matt made me and "Get Back to Hogwarts" playing repeatedly on my ipod, we set off. Upon walking into Hogsmeade, I literally stopped. It was like everything I'd seen in the movies had popped up in front of me and it was breathtaking. We hopped on the Dueling Dragons right away. In line, you pass several Tri-Wizard Tournament props. The rollercoaster was neat. I liked the red one best (the other is blue). After that, we headed for Hogwarts to ride The Forbidden Journey. The wait was 90 minutes, but once inside, it was cool. They had talking paintings and the rubies for the different house points and the RIDE? THE RIDE WAS INCREDIBLE; all biases aside. It combined a lot of different things, but I won't spoil it. After the ride, I bought a cold butterbeer. You have the choice between cold and frozen. It was almost exactly how I pictured it to taste in my mind. It's hard to put into words how great something is. You just have to experience it. So, I say go. I can't wait until I can go back sometime next year.My second favorite part about Islands of Adventure was the JURASSIC PARK area! We went on this Jurassic Park water ride and I was under the impression that it was a scenic ride down a river showing off dinosaurs. Wrong. Raptors got loose and we were up in this building on this raft and we come to the end where a giant T-Rex is growling and thrashing at you. I was staring up at the T-Rex both shocked and mesmerized when BAM! you drop and hit the water and you get soaked. They took a picture right before you drop and I didn't even notice the drop so the picture was ridiculous. My hair was sticking straight up like the Slim-Jim guy and I had a look pure terror on my face. GOOD TIMES. Afterwards, we took this fun photo.We left to go see the final Harry Potter movie. I had not seen the movie yet. Why? Because I wanted to re-read the books first. When the midnight showing happened, I was only on book 5 and at that point I was like, "Who cares how long it takes now. I'm not at the midnight showing." I finished the 7th book a week before I left for FL. I was really excited and had been anticipating seeing the final movie for awhile. I did enjoy it thoroughly, but I cried so much. The first time I cried, I stopped not long after, but near the end, I think I cried for an hour straight. Sometimes it was light and then it would get heavy. Matt kept looking over at me and Drew asked what was wrong with me lolol. It's just hard because there is a lot of death and being the last movie makes it even harder to watch, but it was lovely. My eyes were sore for the next 12 hours.We went back to Harry Potter World after the movie, but without Matt's parents and it started thunderstorming really badly, but we didn't care. When we were there earlier, we didn't go to any of the shops. Upon walking through the gate, I started singing "Get Back to Hogwarts" as loud as I could and hopped in puddles and ran with Matt and Drew to Hogsmeade. All of the shops were REALLY neat. They had Zonko's, Honeyduke's, the Hog's Head, Ollivander's, and more. We ended up getting butterbeer from the Hog's Head and when the girl said get some butterbeer mustaches, apparently I'm the only one that did. Matt said my mustache was like Uncle Vernon's. Also note how soaking wet I am from the rain. We waited in line to go into Ollivander's where a wand chooses a wizard and THAT was cool to watch. We were able to jump on the Hogwarts ride within 5 minutes of getting in line and it was even better a 2nd time. We also hopped a barricade and took a picture with a trolley. On the way out, I screamed "THIS IS THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH" as loud as I could. The workers just stared at me. Twas a good night & trip.
Posted by Chelsea Kirchoff at 5:30 AM