Harry Potter and More
Trip Start Jul 14, 2010
24Trip End Aug 14, 2010
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The Harry Potter area of the "Islands of Adventure" park was jammed packed with people every day so it was difficult just walking around however the rides, exibits, and atmosphere of the little village and castle was just fantastic. The best ride was the Harry Potter Castle ride which took you on a broom stick ride on a dragon chase. Tish was over the moon with the experience.
The 3 day pass was just about the right amount of time to see everything in the peak of summer
The 39 degree 90% humidity days certainly didnt deter the crowds though and some of the rides had up to 170 minutes waiting time. We were able to circumvent some of the queuing by travelling as "single riders" which usually cut the waiting time to 5-10 minutes although it meant we usually didnt sit together. There is a new ride named "Rocket" which is one of the best I have been on ... it starts with a vertical climb then vertical fall. There is a video camera on the back of every seat so when you finish theanging ride, you can view all your expressions .... Tish couldnt stop laughing after watching my video on the screen. At Harry Potter World, there were more than 90 minute queues just to enter the theme shops so in the end we entered none .... so I didnt get to buy my magic wand.I havent been in crowds like this since the millenium new years eve at Sydney Harbour.
As it was almost 20 years ago, Orlando is full of British and European tourists.
You see more English soccer team shirts in the street and at the parks here than you would at a Manchester United game. Today we even met a small child from London wearing an Aussie soccer shirt that his Aunty sent him from Brisbane. I get a chuckle out of seeing all the soccer parphernalia as the American media are constantly poking fun at the masculinity of soccer players
We are now shifting our focus 20km south into the Disney area which means changing hotels to the Ramada on Highway 192. We have booked that hotel for 4 nights at $28 per night so we hope it it isnt too bad. We met a school teacher on the plane who is moving with his family to Orlando due to the low cost of living here. He told us hotel rooms go for as low as $21 per night which is comparable to the $18 per night in some Las Vegas Casinos. By the way, the guy on the plane foreclosed on his house in Los Angeles (paid $280k seven years ago - now assessed at $95k).
He has bought a 4 bedroom house in Orlando for $87k which was last sold 3 years ago for $232k.
I sure hope the housing bubble in Australia doesnt burst as bad as the one over here.