‘Wand’erful Wands

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is rumoured to be one of the best parts of the Universal experience, if you’re into Harry Potter getting yourself a wand is also a HUGE deal and there is soooo much choice.

Both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are home to Ollivanders wand shop. The main store is situated in Diagon Alley and the extra ‘branch’ if you like is over in Hogsmeade. Ollivanders is the “maker of fine wands since 382 BC” the shop is filled with wand boxes that are stacked to the ceiling! You will also have the chance to take part in the magical interactive experience of how a wand chooses it’s user. You’ll have the choice to purchase your own unique wand or choose a replica one, used by everyone’s favourite Harry Potter Characters.

You can choose from either an interactive wand or one that isn’t interactive. There are many places to purchase your wands; Ollivanders, Wands by Gregorovitch, Orlando Gift Shops or even in CityWalk.

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Here’s a fun fact about how J.K. Rowling chose the wood for some of the main character wands: She has written that her choice for Harry’s wand was based on it properties however she later came across a description of the ‘Celtic calendar’ and how they assign different trees to different parts of the year. It Turned out that she had actually assigned the ‘correct’ wood for Harry’s wand and his day of birth. She then decided to do the same for Ron and Hermione’s wands so that they had a little hidden connection between the 3 that only J.K. Rowling knew about. Universal have actually incorporated this into their wand shops, the assistants in Ollivanders will take in to consideration your date of birth to get the most suitable wood when helping you choose your wand!

If you’re wondering what I mean by ‘interactive’ wands then wonder no more. Located all over the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, spell locations are marked by medallions which are set into the pavement. These medallions indicate where all you wizards and witches with interactive wands should stand to cast a spell.

Each marker will explain all the necessary information such as the direction spell-casters need to be facing, the words that need to be spoken for the spell and of course – the pattern in which you need to swish your wand to cast the spell.  – Most spell locations will have their very own expert spell caster who will always be on hand to help with any tricky spells.

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Every single wand comes equipped with a two sided map – one side for Diagon Alley and the other side for Hogsmeade for you to use to find the spell locations. My top tip for you is to look out for the HIDDEN spell locations! Some locations are not marked on the handy map so keep your eyes peeled and if you spot anything that remotely looks as though your wand can work its magic on then don’t be afraid to cast a spell!

You can either purchase your wands online beforehand or if you’re looking for the full experience and aren’t as impatient as I am you can grab a wand from one of Ollivanders shops inside the parks.

There are 39 replica wands for you to choose from such as Harry Potters, Professor Dumbledores, Death Eater wands and even Lord Voldermort. So are you a good or a bad wizard?? Replica wands are $39.95. There are also 27 interactive wands that you can pick from; there are wands for each of the different woods in the celtic calendar as well as all your favourite characters such as Harry, Hermione and Ron. Interactive wands are $47.95.

Soo not a lot of choice is there?! 😉 After thinking long and hard about it and annoying everyone else in the office discussing the pro’s and con’s for each wand I have come to the conclusion that I would definitely go for an interactive wand and it would have to be the Ron Weasley one!! Which wand would you go for any why?!

Don’t forget to purchase your Universal tickets before you travel to ensure to get to experience the greatness of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!

Spells Included..

Jess
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Ollivanders At Diagon Alley Is A Must

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It feels like a lifetime ago that I raised my hand in front of a packed Universal media day and quietly squeaked. “As, in the book Ollivanders was in Diagon Alley will you be moving the shop from Hogsmeade to there?”

It was the first time I’d ever asked a question at a media event and when all three of the Universal representatives turned to look at me I kind of regretted it. Not because they were angry or even intimidating I just felt it was the nerdiest of all questions that I could have asked! I could also feel the gaze of my colleagues burning into to me.

The Universal guys had a little look at each other, it appeared I was the first person to ask them this (later it was confirmed that I was indeed the first to ask). One of them said “Well Ollivanders is part of the Wizarding World and can literally show up anywhere, thats the power of magic”, not really an answer and I think they decided silently between them that they’d probably have to actually answer the question.

Universal that day confirmed that a new larger Ollivanders would be part of the new Diagon Alley and not only that but (and this bit is a secret) they’d actually have a few rooms to make the whole process move a lot faster.

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At the beginning of this month I was lucky enough to visit Universal’s new Diagon Alley, the whole new area is amazing but that’s for another more detailed post. As we walked around the new area we stopped at the new Ollivanders, it definitely has a very tardis feel about it. The shop front is small and unappealing, you could easily walk right past it. The cast members at the door were very good in shepherding people in and out, we didn’t queue long until it was our turn to see Mr Ollivander.

Ollivanders shop (one of the rooms we visited) is quite small and each show probably takes place in front of roughly 15-20 people. I purposely call it a show because the amount of effort, mainly from the actor playing Ollivander is quite exceptional.

I wont spoil everything that happens but it begins with Ollivander selecting a child from the audience who he feels is special. Our unexpecting Ollivander made the mistake of selecting the one child in the room who didn’t speak English! I say a mistake but our guide told us that some Ollivanders (yes there are more than 1) prefer to work with the Children who don’t speak English, it makes for a more entertaining experience. He wasn’t wrong!

Ollivander leads the child through several trial runs to finally select the wand that suits them. Every Wizard is different as Ollivander points out. Universal have been very clever with the new Diagon Alley and the introduction of the new interactive wands is a stroke of genius. You really can affect the window displays at many of the shops and features by waving your wand in a certain way. Watching a child achieve it gives you a warm feeling inside.

If you’ve visited the Ollivanders at Hogsmeade you’ll probably think that you don’t have to experience the Diagon Alley version, I would say you’re wrong. There are certain aspects of the attraction that have changed and in my opinion improved it. If I were a kid I would LOVE to be the chosen one!

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Shops At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley

Hi Thrill Seekers,

With new information set to be announced on Friday regarding the Hogwarts Express I’ve been going back through the information we’ve given here at Orlando Attraction Tickets.

From the last webcast Universal hosted we learnt the name of the main ride which turned out to be “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts”, we had a good look at the Hogwarts Express and we found out which shops will be represented.

What we failed to do though was tell you a little bit about the shops, so I thought I’d put that right today.

Borgin and Burkes 

Guests who want to discover the darker side of  magic will be able to explore Knockturn Alley and visit one of its most infamous shops, Borgin and Burkes. The dark arts specialty shop offers a wide range of dark objects such as Death Eater Masks (pictured below), skulls and other sinister items.

We believe that the Death Eater Mask will be very popular… Halloween could be full of Death Eater’s this year 🙂

Death-eater-mask

Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions

Here guests will find a variety of Wizardwear such as a selection of Hogwarts school uniforms, ties, scarves, jumpers and cardigans, authentic wizard robes and character costumes, as well as other apparel and jewelry fashion items inspired by the four schools.

Ollivanders

The new and improved Ollivanders will be bigger than the first Ollivanders (Hogsmeade) and will be located in its proper location in Diagon Alley.

Maker of fine wands since 382 BC Ollivanders is one of the Wizarding Worlds premier wand shops. Surrounded by towering walls of thousands of wand boxes stacked to the ceiling, visitors will be able to witness a magical experience of how the wand chooses the Wizard. Here guests will be able to purchase a unique wand or buy the wand of their favourite character.

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Quality Quidditch Supplies

 This shop will carry a wide assortment of Quidditch apparel and equipment including brooms, sweaters, snitches,  Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more. Weather you’re a fan of the Holyhead Harpies, the Chudley Cannons, Ireland or Bulgaria you can show your support with hats, pennants and a whole lot more.

Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes

Once inside this colourful 3 story shop, customer will find a remarkable cornucopia  of novelty items, magical jokes and toys to please and amaze the mischievous child in us all.  Items include Skiving snack boxes, Decoy Detonators, Extendable Ears, Pygm Puffs, Fanged Flyers and more…

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Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment 

For guests looking to round out their assortment of Wizarding essentials, Wiseacre’s is a place that cannot be missed. Visitors will have access to some unusual Wizarding wears including Binoculars, telescopes, armillary spheres, compasses, hourglasses and magnifying glasses.

Some great additional to the Wizarding World there, tomorrow I’ll take a look at some of the places you’ll be able to buy food.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Guide To Islands Of Adventure Universal Orlando

Marvel Super Hero Island

Rides & Attractions:

Incredible Hulk Coaster – This is a steel roller coaster located in Islands of Adventure inOrlando. It is named for the popular comic book super hero character, the Hulk. Voter #1 roller coaster by Discovery channel viewers in 1999.

Riders must be a minimum of 4ft 6in (137cm).

The Amazing Adventures of Spider man – Located in Islands of Adventure. The attraction is a hybrid ride combining special roving motion vehicle’s with 3-D projection, elaborate physical sets, and both practical and tactile effects.

Riders must be a minimum of 3ft 4in (102 cm)

Doctor Doom’s Fearfall – is a pair of S&S Power Space Shot attractions themed after the Fantastic Four.

Riders must be 52 inches (130 cm)

Storm Force Acceleration  – Based on the X-Men comic book stories, Storm Force Acceleration was added toMarvelSuperHeroIslandin 2000. Help on of the X-Men, Storm, defeat the evil Magento as you whirl and twirl in a “spinning power generator”!

There is no height restrictions for this.

 

Meet Spider-Man and the Marvel Super Heroes – is a meet and greet attraction where guests can meet super heroes. No height restriction.

Toon Lagoon

Rides and Attractions:

Dudley Do-rights Ripsaw Falls– a traditional log flume combined with Roller coaster track based on the old cartoon and movie Dudley Do-Right.

Rider must be a minimum of 3ft 8 in (112cm)

Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – a river rafting water ride themed after the 1960’s television serious Popeye the Sailor.

Rider must be a minimum 42 inches (110cm)

Me ship, the Olive – a kids playground built around and in Popeye’s ship. The three levels of the ship all contain a variety of interactive elements including cannons and hoses which can further soak riders on Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat barges.

No height restriction.

Mat Hoffmans Aggro Circus – a live seasonal BMX stunt show at the Toon Lagoon Theatre that generally operates during peak seasons, such as spring breaks and summer time.

No height restriction.

Jurassic Park

Rides and Attractions:

Jurassic Park River Adventure – is a water-based amusement ride that is based on Steven Spielburg’s hit film Jurassic Park.

Riders must be 3ft 10in (117cm)

Pteranodon Flyers – is a steel suspended roller coaster. Features three, two seater cars suspended on a track.

Due to low capacity of the ride, only those who are between 36-56 inches (91 and 140cm) or those with a child of that height may ride.

Camp Jurassic– is a children’s play area centered around an imported 50-foot (15m) tall Banyan tree. It features a variety of play elements including slides, nets, water cannons and fountains.

The Jurassic Park Discovery Center– is a large interactive, dinosaur – themed museum based upon the Visitor Center from the film. The museum features large, full sized dinosaur skeletons on display, as well as various games and activities for children.

No height restriction.

Triceratops Discovery Trail – is a walk through attraction where guests can get close up and interact with a full-scale animated replica of a Triceratops.

The Lost Continent 

Rides and Attractions: 

The Eight Voyage of Sinbad – a live-action stunt show located in the Ancient Arabia section.

No height restriction.

Poseidon’s Fury – an indoor special-effects show located in the mythological Greek section.

The Mystic Fountain – a fountain (located in the front of The Eight Voyage Of Sinbad show) that entertains and interacts with guests.

Seuss Landing

Rides and Attractions:

Caro-Seuss-el – is a themed carousel.

The Cat In the Hat – this is a dark ride which takes guest through the Dr. Seuss story of the same name.

No height restriction.

If I ran the zoo – interactive play zone for kids.

One fish Two fish red fish blue fish – a spinning ride with a musical riddle that will help riders escape water-spitting fish.

The high in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride – is a twin-tracked tour above and around Seuss Landing.

Oh, The Stories You’ll hear – a stage show based on the Dr. Seuss books and characters.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Rides and Attractions:

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – this is a scenic dark ride which utilizes KUKA robocoaster technology, which allows the seats to pivot while being held above the track by a robotic arm.

Height restriction 4ft (122cm)

Dragon Challenge – is a pair of intertwined inverted roller coasters. The ride is themed into two dragons, one side being Chinese Fireball and other Hungarian Horntail.

Height restriction 4ft 6in (137cm)

Flight of the Hippogriff – is a roller coaster and was one of the first attractions to open at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Height restriction 3ft (91cm)

Ollivanders – an interactive experience based on the Harry Potter location Ollivanders.

Buy Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter Merchandise Online

For the first time every Universal Orlando has launched an online shop to allow fans topurchase Wizarding World of Harry Potter merchandise from the comfort of their own homes.

The online shop allows you to visit the same stores available at the Islands of Adventure, Dervish and Banges, Filch’s Emporium, Ollivanders, Owl Post and Zonko’s are all represented.

The online shop can be visited by clicking here – Universal Orlando Online Shop