So, Harry Potter goes way back in my family… ever since my son J and I devoured the first books together. When he was little, we would sit on the couch and I would read aloud to him, page after page, and we relished every word. (During the reading of the Prisoner of Azkaban, J was so scared of Sirius Black, he made my hubby sit with him while I read! *Muhahaha*)
Not only did we read the books, but my son loved all things Potter, every magical toy manufactured to having a dragon painted on his bedroom wall! He even dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween… probably more than one year running!
Then came the movies and eventually word about the theme park, which we breathlessly awaited…until this morning! We got a sneak peek! So how did we manage it? Well, we heard via Twitter that guests staying on-property were being allowed in, while regular park guests were on stand-by. Well, we wanted to be sure we gained access, so we made reservations at the Royal Pacific Hotel, which had a lovely Asian aura to it. It was recommended by the concierge that we pick our tickets up that night, as admittance to the Wizarding World was before Will Call opened. So, we took the cool transport boats to City Walk, ate at the Latin Quarter (Chilean Sea Bass…yum!) and then went to get our tickets. The tickets with our resort key were our passport to Hogwarts!
The ticket lady told us to be at the entrance to Islands of Adventure by 7:30 for an 8:00 a.m. opening for resort guests. (Virgin Atlantic had a special going where the Brits got in at 7:30 a.m.! Good marketing!) So, we got the early wake up call and then headed out on foot to the park…too early for the transport boats to be running! We made it there by about 7:20 and were about tenth in line. Not bad, or so we thought. Hundreds filed in behind us and by the time the gates opened at 8, there was a mad rush for the ticket takers.
Be warned Florida Residents! Our tickets showed up as expired (much to the lady’s despair in line behind us because we slowed her down) and so we were taken to Guest Services who explained that Florida Resident tickets must be used the same day, lest we pass them along to a non-resident. (Wish the ticket lady had told us this the night before! She cost us precious minutes in getting to the WWOHP!)
So we switched out tickets and were back on the run for the entrance…and boy! was the wait worth it! The first view of the snow-capped rooftops as you scanned the area was breathtaking! It was just as I imagined it should look!
So, here’s a short video of the first part of our sneak peek. (I’ve got two other videos I will be posting shortly.) Enjoy, you muggles!
Remember to check back for Parts 2 and 3.