Ever since I set my eyes on the-boy-who-lived, I have always been a Harry Potter fan. Although I'm not really a scary fanatic, I've read all of the books several times and watched all of the movies several times as well. I'm so happy with how the franchise was developed and created that I know it's already a classic within our very midst. I may be even be so bold to declare that everything about the Harry Potter universe is perfect, more so if Sir Richard Harris was able to finish the whole series. But it is what it is and I'm sure many will agree that we cannot get enough of it.
That is why when I learned that there was a WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, OSAKA, I got excited at the prospect of being in the midst of J.K. Rowling's masterpiece. Even though the boys of THE YAPPY BUNCH did not share (yet) my love for all things HARRY POTTER, they were also looking forward to going to a place filled with magic.
And that is what exactly THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER did to us all: take us to a place so enchanting, so spellbinding, so extraordinary that it wouldn't take a Gryffindor fanatic to be sucked right in stronger than Tom Riddle's diary.
Suddenly we all don't feel like ordinary muggles anymore!
|Picture from the internet!|
The WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!!!
We got our tickets for UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!!!
Like what I mentioned in my UNIVERSAL STUDIOS blog, it is best to avail the EXPRESS TICKETS besides the admission in order to get ahead the long lines of the theme park's rides.
When you get the EXPRESS TICKETS you automatically get a scheduled entrance for THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER. You see unlike the other attractions in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS in OSAKA where you could ride all you want, you could only go to POTTERWORLD just one time and with a reserved schedule at that. You cannot just walk in.
|Photo from Universal Studios Osaka site|
If you were not able to avail of the EXPRESS TICKETS, you could just head over to the ticketing site for studio passes after the entrance at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. PLEASE go there IMMEDIATELY after your enter the theme park because ticket distribution could get crazy. My friend dropped by there at about 11:00am and she got the 6:30pm schedule for WIZARDING WORLD. Not cool!!!
Our schedule for THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER is at 12:30pm and we were there on the dot.
After surrendering our ticket to the attendant, we walked a long pathway going to THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER. When we saw the wild car of Ron Weasely we knew that we didn't get lost!
And we finally saw the stoned arches!
This doorway separates US from all the magic!
And we're here! THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!!!!
|Photo grabbed from website|
Now where do we want to go first?
|fast forward picture|
My boys were not really as crazy as HARRY POTTER compared to me and Rocio. But they happily went along and were so curious with everything they're seeing.
It WAS sort of crowded but we didn't mind. WE WERE IN DIAGON ALLEY anyway!
Oooh... What's that we see?
Have you seen this wizard? Not yet! But if we do, we'll give him a hug for you.
Anyone up for a copy of Gilderoy Lockhart's "Magical Me"?
If you feel like playing QUIDDITCH, here's the Quaffle, the bludger, and a missing golden snitch!
How about some wizarding equipment?
Anybody feel like sending out mail?
I wonder if those are real snow? It sure feels like it.
Time certainly flew by here because we felt were only walking for a few minutes but a half hour has already gone by!
As much as we wanted to go around and explore DIAGON ALLEY further, a towering familiar castle caught our eye.
To not lose any more time, we went straight for HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY.
The school was guarded by these two winged beings.
Still thinking whether or not you need an EXPRESS PASS?
Wait time for the HARRY POTTER FORBIDDEN JOURNEY ride is 230 minutes!!!! That's almost 4 hours!!! Jeeezzzzzzzz!!!!
The FORBIDDEN JOURNEY rides had lockers but they don't allow strollers or trolley bags. So we were forced to split up. Andrei and I stayed behind first to guard our stuff while the Chinese Adonis, Rocio, and Mati went for it.
This all looked so real!!
The line was crazy long! Even with our EXPRESS PASS they waited for about 15 minutes.
It was dark inside HOGWARTS castle so you would have to forgive our blurry pictures. But at least you'll get a peek of what's in store for you there.
The moving pictures leading to the dorms!
Some were just still but the others would really talk to you!
And there's Professor Dumbledore's office!!!
And there's Harry Potter, Ron Weasely, and Hermione Granger!!!!!
When it was my turn later on I realized at this point that they were all speaking in Japanese. I guess I would have to rely on my non-verbal communication to understand the ride. Tee hee!
The Fat Lady guarding the entrance to the Gryffindor dorms!
Oooh! It's the sorting hat!
Like what you see down here Mr. S. Hat? I bet you'll get another Gryffindor from our group!
And suddenly he looked very doubtful.
I think after this point cameras were asked to be kept because it was time for the FORBIDDEN JOURNEY. Wow that ride was wild!!! It was very similar to the SPIDERMAN and TRANSFORMERS ride where you are seated going from scene to scene in 4D. But this time, the hydraulic chairs looked like the ones they had for roller coasters and it really almost flung me around with whooping jumps and scary falls. It almost felt like I WAS in a roller coaster.
Watch out for the WHOMPING WILLOW part. It was scary!!! This ride got me all dizzy!!! Andrei got frightened too but he did not say a word and just closed his eyes. I saw braveness in that. He was more composed than me! ha ha ha ha ha!
When it was my turn with Andrei to go to HOGWARTS, the Chinese Adonis, Mati, and Rocio went around THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER.
It's Mati's turn with his Daddy now.
They didn't let the crowds faze them.
Ooh legs! Tee hee!
It was a wet day at THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER so it was good that the kiddies brought their jackets.
After all that walking Rocio and Mati decided to stop for a drink.
Rocio superkaduper loves HARRY POTTER too and was psyched to try this!
My pretty niece said drinking butterbeer was quite lovely. I can't wait until it's my turn later!
The WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER is actually not as big as we thought it would be but there is always something interesting to see at every corner.
I wonder if there are house elves peeping through those windows?
Rocio wanted to drop by Honeydukes but the lines were too long for her.
Yohoo! Here comes the sun!
Yohoo! Andrei and I are done!!! Wow that HOGWARTS ride was sort of scary. Andrei swore never to ride it again. As for me, I still want to try it next time... but in english. He he he he!
While going around, Mati and Andrei got curious with a window showing some screaming Mandrakes.
Of course, going to THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER is not complete without checking out some wands from OLLIVANDERS!
There was a quite a long line to get into OLLIVANDER'S with batches of about 20pax each time. The FAST PASS doesn't work here so we had to wait for about 20 to 30 minutes. It's okay, we just took pictures!
When the queue turns at the line for OLLIVANDERS, you get a beautiful view of the HOGWART'S CASTLE. Do like we did and take pictures. He he he he!
When we got inside, we were led inside this small room with stacks and stacks of wands.
Later on an attendant talked to us (in Japanese) and showed us the secret door to meet Ollivander!!!
Could you figure out where it is?
It's a much younger OLLIVANDER!!!
He picked a little kid from our group and looked for the perfect wand for her. The process was the same way Ollivander did it in the movie where the wrong wand caused a small explosion while the right one gave out some hallelujahs!
Too bad they only did it for one customer. The little lords really wanted to give it a go with this famous wand maker. He he he he!
Taking pictures was not really allowed inside but the Chinese Adonis was able to sneak in a few clicks.
Tee hee... Sorry!
I wonder if magic gets the dust out from the very high stacks of wands? He he he he!
When all was done and the little girl was happy with the wand that chose her ladeedah, we were led outside via this door hidden among the towering wands.
This is the actual wand store of the WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER and though it's not as magical as the quiet room, it still gave a certain kind of excitement for the kiddies.
Mati, Andrei, and Rocio are going to get some wands!!!
Andrei was deciding between Snape or Harry Potter's wand.
The same goes for Mati. He's torn between the one from Sirius Black or Snapes.
In the end, Andrei went for the good side and picked Harry Potter's wand (3,500Y). Mati however decided to go for the unlikely hero and went home with his Snape wand (3,500Y)
What about you? What wand would YOU pick?
That's (l-r) Harry Potter's, Hermione Granger's, Ron Weastley's, Draco Malfoy, and Neville Longbottom's!
While the kiddies were resting, we watched a bit of the Frog Choir singing the bit they did in the banquet scene in PRISONER OF AZHKABAN.
With that I decided to quench my thirst with a cold bottle of pumpkin juice (less than 1000Y -- sorry! I forgot!)
This was CRAZY good! I loved chugging down the sweet drink infused with cinnamon. I thought it would be like taking in liquid squash. But really it was more like apple pie in a bottle. I would so want to have another one!
Afterwards the Chinese Adonis and I lined up for some butter beer!
So excited to try this!
And it's the moment of truth!
To be honest I was more blown away by the cold pumpkin juice. I don't know if I expected too much but the Butter Beer in THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER did not taste what I expected it to be. I thought it would be more like butterball in soda form (like what I always read) but it had more caramel in it with a slight bitter after taste.
My husband loved it though and finished the whole thing just by himself.
We got two mugs of the butterbeer and now, Mati and Andrei drink their nightly milk from it.
The kiddies still felt like resting so it was just me and the hubster who went to HONEYDUKES!!!
You gotta hand it to J.K. Rowling! The name of the store itself is enough to get me dreaming of sweet treats ahead!
I wonder if those are edible?
Bertie Bott's every flavor beans!
Fudge flies? Maybe next time.
If these are licorice, I'm not tempted at all to try it.
ZONKO'S was also connected to HONEYDUKES.
Shelves upon shelves of items for your practical jokes!
I'm not sure though if EVERYTHING here is real. Sorry we were in a hurry since the kiddies were waiting.
That big cockroach just scares the bejezez out of me.
And we're done with Honeydukes and Zonkos!
It was about 4pm so it was time for us to go back to the real world of UNIVERSAL STUDIOS to check out the other rides.
Too bad they don't have King's Cross station here in THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!
But they do have a very friendly train conductor!
Rocio didn't want to join us in the picture and just had a solo one afterwards. He he he he!
Hay! If only Hogwarts were real little lords...
So sad to leave THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER! Even if we stayed for quite a long time, we couldn't get enough of everything! Hopefully next time we could stay longer even if the crowds are crazy and our time is limited.
Oh well! Something to come back for! Possibly in the english speaking world this time. He he he he he!
After having an ultra late lunch and going on other rides, we rested in the grassy area in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, OSAKA.
Andrei couldn't get enough of his wand! He was so cute casting spells on the clouds that were passing by.
Kiddie imagination at its finest!
While we were waiting for Rocio to finish her HOLLYWOOD DREAM BACKDROP ride come night time, I took a picture with the little lords holding up wands!
Andrei has Harry Potter, Mati got Snape, while I got a selfie stick! Parang may plastic pa!
TEE TO THE HEE!
And it's time to go! Adieu UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, OSAKA!
As for THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER, no real good byes were needed because its magic would ALWAYS be within those who believed in the boy who lived.
Lived because of LOVE.
NAKS! Ang kurneh!
Don't worry, THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER is anything BUT cheesy and corny like me (obviously I'm no JR Rowling). But MOST DEFINITELY, it will truly take you to different levels of your imagination!
WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, JAPAN
2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward,
Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 554-0031, Japan
Check these out:
OUR UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN TRIP!
WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER WEBSITE
WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER FACEBOOK
Even after we got back to the hotel, little lord Andrei was still conjuring up spells with his new wand.
Not Leviosar okay?