Taiwan and Japan - Day 9

You're a Harry, Wizard!

I was so excited as it was Harry Potter today. Rob was’t feeling the best so we helped him decide that today would be a good day to rest up and recuperate. Even with Rob sitting out we had 11 people to organize so of course we were running late.We stopped at the JR station before we switched onto a JR line and organized our reserved seats for tomorrow to go to Hiroshima. By the time we arrived at universal studios it was nearly 12, which is very late to get to a theme park. I was a bit upset because I could not get an express pass but nether less we headed into the park.

We headed over to get timed tickets to get into Harry Potter world and were pleasantly surprised that we could get tickets for 1.20pm. I say that we were surprised because the park was seriously full of people. Anyway we only had an hour to waste so we had a look around the park.The wait for everything was 100 min plus which was ridiculous. Backdraft had await of 50min so I decided we would go to that. It turns out it only took 30minutes to get through the line and before we knew it we were in Backdraft. Backdraft is a quick show about how the special effects in movies do. You watch Ronu Howardo talking Japanese and he explained some movie that had Kurt Russell in it. Kurt Russell was dubbed in Japanese too. We ended up in a room with a scene set up and they demonstrate a scene from the movie with explosions, falling outcrops,smoke and leaking water. At the end the part we were standing on dropped a tiny bit with the one of the explosions and scared the crap out of me. The boys spent the next few minutes laughing about some Japanese old lady who got scared.

By this time we were ready to go into harry Potter world. I was a bit concerned as I have seen videos on how busy the shops and lines and street can be. It was busy but not too bad. To get into Harry Potter world you walk through the forbidden forest and pass the Ford Anglican car crashed in there. You then turn the corner and arrive in the amazing town of Hogsmeade Town is covered in Jake snow on the roofs and they have all the shops leading up to the castle. Drew and Dani went straight for Olivanders, while the rest of us started with a butter beer. Anthony and I ordered a hot one in a souvenir mug. It was delicious although very sweet and 1 between the 2 of us was more than enough.

The next stop was into some shops we went into the Owl post office and Dervish and Banges. We bought scarves. Dani and Anthony got Ravenclaw, Tim and Drew got Hufflepuff and I got Gryffindor. Anthony and I also bought a lot more things including some really awesome pins. A food cart to grab some lunch was next and we grabbed a pumpkin juice and a sandwich.I will say I was not a fan of the pumpkin juice but the bottle was very cool. The rest of us lined up for Olivanders and passed the time in the 40 minute queue by performing the lyrics to the Harry Potter Main Theme: Wand wand wand wand wand wandwaaaaaaand wand. Steve filmed a video of this beautiful song in4 way video, the video can be found on his youtube site.

In Olivanders we were treated to a small show with Olivander himself. He spoke in fluent English and Japanese and was amazing. He chose a child and picked wands for him, the first one wasn’t right and made lightning. The second on e wasn’t right and made the draws pop out. Finally he chose one and with the catch phrase of “I wonder” gave the little boy a want. The room lit up and the boys face was so excited. He got to keep the wand as well which was cool. We bought our own wands in Olivander . Anthony got Victor Crumbs wand and I got Hermione Granger. The wands were amazingly made and if they were not so expensive I would have gotten more.

We really wanted to go into the castle but the line for the ride was 200 minutes. Not crazy enough to join that line I remembered that I had read you could do a walk through tour of the castle. As we approached the gates bypassing the line we saw the entrance to the walking tour. 10 minute wait time, we were all pretty happy. The castle and castle tour are beautiful it is so well themed. We went through the green house, into the castle, to the front of Dumbledore office, into his office and into the common room. They have done a great job.

After more shopping, we brought a chocolate frog and Bertie Blots every flavor beans. We headed to the 3 broomsticks for a bit to eat. We got our English themed food and were directed to a table of 9. It was outside but we had a view of Hogwarts. The food was great. We had nearly completed everything in Harry Potter World so after a quick stop into Honeydukes and Zonkos we headed out. A brief look around the park made us realize we were not getting on anymore rides tonight, So we briefly stopped to get Anthony a Turkey leg and then headed to Universal Walk to do some shopping.

Anthony really wanted Bubba Gump for dinner so after looking at the JUMP store and playing in an arcade we all headed to Bubba Gump for dinner. It was pretty good. Tired we headed back to the hotel to unload our loot. Harry Potter World was amazing.