www.whyville.net Oct 13, 2013 Weekly Issue

Senior Times Writer

A Magical Sixteen

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A couple months ago, I got dropped in on some news about my family going on a trip to Disney on my birthday. As the time came close, my mother and stepfather changed their mind and told me that we would be spending two whole days at both Universal Studios parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure) in Orlando, Florida. Do you know what that means? Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and Harry Potter galore!

For the trip, I took October 8 and October 9 off of school on top of the four day weekend already set. On October 8, my family and I got up bright and early and hit the road. The trip to the resort I was staying at took approximately seven hours total. After getting situated and feasted on fine food, we all hit the sacks for the early wake in the morning. We would be going to park number one, Universal Studios.

When we got to the park right after it opened, we hit Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Shrek 4-D first. After hitting everything that I wanted most (favorites including Transformers: The Ride-3D, The Simpsons Ride, Men in Black Alien Attack, and The Mummy), my stepfather and I waited about 30 minutes for the roller coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, my favorite ride at the park. After the wonderful day at Universal Studios, I went to bed early for Islands of Adventure the following day knowing that I would finally live the Harry Potter experience like I have wanted to for years.

When we got to Islands of Adventure, we went through Seuss Landing and The Lost Continent fairly quickly to save time for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When the time had come for the park, I was very thrilled. I read the first book in second grade and I've been enthralled with the series ever since. So when I saw the sign that said "Hogsmeade" with the Hogwarts Express train behind it, I smiled with glee. Whatever inner geek was there was now showing. I took in everything and decided to go to the Dragon Challenge first.

While getting to the loading station, I was taken by memories of the Triwizard Tournament, Arthur Weasley's flying car, and the halls of Hogwarts that contained objects from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. After riding both challenges (the Chinese Fireball being the better of the two for me) my mother, brother, and I went to the Flight of the Hippogriff.

After a final bow to Buckbeak, I finally got to walk the halls of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

While walking to the loading area, I walked through the hallways and corridors, classrooms, and Dumbledore's office. The ride was so great, I went on it three times before leaving Islands of Adventure. After leaving, I ate lunch at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade.

To feed the whole family, my stepfather purchased The Great Feast along with two Pumpkin Juices for my mother and me. After eating, we went to Honeydukes for Chocolate Frogs and Cauldron Cakes. After sinking my teeth in the chocolate wonder with my Rowena Ravenclaw card in the box, I hunted down a Ravenclaw lanyard for my car keys. Then I went to a Butterbeer cart and got a frozen Butterbeer. With the cold glass in my hand, I walked into Olivander's Wand Shop where my mother purchased the Elder Wand and a Ravenclaw banner for my room.

After saying my final goodbye to my dream, we went to the Jurassic Park for the Jurassic Park River Adventure. The other ride had too long of a wait time. After that we soaked our way through Toon Lagoon. When we wrung out our clothes as much as we could, my family and I waited an hour for the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride. After that, we "dropped" by Doctor Doom's Fearfall where my brother's priceless face forever gives me a bright smile. While my mother and two brothers went on the Storm Force Accelatron, my stepfather and I rode the infamous Hulk Coaster.

When the time at the theme park drew to an end and I walked bast the lighthouse, I looked back at the adventures that I got to go on myself. I looked back at the dreams that I finally got to live. I write this to you now, hoping that you'll be reading this on my birthday, October 13.

Author's Note: I did not take any of the pictures in the article. The wifi at the resort I'm staying in is too slow to get on my laptop, I forgot my USB chord for my camera at home, and my camera on my phone is scratched up. Thanks for reading! Sources: http://www.attraction-tickets.info/theme-park-ride-of-the-week-dragon-challenge/


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