Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eclipse gets a big thumbs up!

Yes, I know my posts have been unbearably fangirlish lately. Too bad. I'm an annoying, squealing, clapping, vampire t-shirt sporting FANGIRL. And proud of it, too.

The highlight of my day yesterday was when I learned that my best friend had gotten her hands on 4 tickets to the Burger King pre-screening of Eclipse at Sunset Place. ::cue high pitched squeal::

I KNOW! I was flippping out with excitement. A little nervous about being let down again, but still really stoked. After all, Twilight was pretty "meh" and New Moon was better but not as good as it could have been. Eclipse was my favorite book of the series and therefore had the most potential to disappoint.

But yay, it didn't!! The movie was fantastic! I know a lot of you haven't seen it yet so I won't post any spoilers, but let's just say Rob and Taylor were at their ultimate hotness! And the special effects were MUCH better this time around, along with Rosalie's god-awful wig. Unfortunately, I think Kristen Stewart will annoy me to the end of time, but in this movie she seemed a tad more human and less like a pouty, grunting robot. Loved that Jasper, Alice and the rest of the coven were a more central part of this movie. Am totally itching for Breaking Dawn to come out now!!

Annnnnddd, as if seeing my favorite Twilight book translated on screen couldn't get any better, they played an AMAZING trailer for the last (and my favorite) Harry Potter book, which will be coming out this November. I was literally tearing up at the end! I've posted it below for your viewing pleasure :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Guess who's going to the Eclipse sneak preview tonight?!!

::points to self::

THIS GIRL!! AH hahahahaha!!! My lovely BFF's church friend pulled through for us again this year and got us a few tickets to the Burger King sneak preview. Needless to say, we are kissing the ground she walks on!

I shall report back tomorrow with a full review! Now how the heck am I going to get any more work done today??

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Potterheads Rejoice!

As I'm sure all of your Potter fans know,The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is OPEN! And luckily, those brilliant muggles at Universal decided to build this magical paradise right in my backyard, a measly three and a half hour drive from my home - so of course, I made plans to be there opening week, ready to brave the insane lines and brutal (and I mean BRUTAL) Florida summer heat. Rest assured, I took about a million pictures and they will follow below :) I will do my best to relay the entire experience for all of you who don't want to deal with 8 hours of your trip wasted in lines and near-heat-stroke-inducing temperatures.

Islands of Adventure opened at nine, so we got there at about 8ish, and though there was no line outside, the line inside the park just to get into the Wizarding World was un-friggin-believable. I mean, my jaw literally dropped. I kept asking the attendant if he was sure this was the line just to get in, to which I received an annoyed nod and a stern gesture towards the end of the line. For those of you who have never been to Islands of Adventure, the park is sort of a giant cirle around a lake, and the park is divided into a few themed "islands", which aren't really islands at all but whatever. So adjacent to Harry Potter land on either side is an ancient Greek themed island and Jurassic Park. We started the line just outside of the ancient Greek themed island, in Suessland. Now I know what you're thinking - that doesn't sound so bad, right? We just had to get through that island and Bam, we're there. WRONG. We started at Suessland and went ALL THE WAY AROUND Islands of Adventure before we were even allowed in. I mean, this line was thousands of people long, at least. We went through Suessland, the entrance to the park, Marvel Comics land, through Popeye's island (whatever it's called) and through Jurassic Park before we even caught a real up close glimpse of Hogsmeade. Three and a half hours in that line, but that wasn't even as bad as the people who braved the lines on Friday, opening day. And here are a few pictures of Hogsmeade, from outside the Wizarding World, and the pictures of when we first entered the Wizarding World.

The newly added sign

We could see Hogwarts from the line - this was about halfway through it, entering Popeye's island.

Hogsmeade, from the outside. Glorious.

Here we are, entering Hogsmeade at around noonish. I was literally FREAKING OUT with excitement and covered in sweat at this point, though I really didn't care!

OMG moment!!

Our first up-close glimpse of the castle. *Swoon* This is also the site of the new ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, details to follow.

Ollivanders!! I am so, so bummed I couldn't get a wand, but the line was always at least an hour long and by the time we finished exploring all the rest of the Wizarding World, I just didn't have the energy. Next time!

All of the shops in Hogsmeade were just perfect. I couldn't get over how detailed and gorgeous everything was. Love!!

When we walked in, we were totally overwhelmed. I didn't know where to look or what to do first! There were lines to do everything, including getting into any of the shops in Hogsmeade. At that point though, we were starving and dying of thirst - so first things first, we made the line to try what I had been most looking forward to since I learned they were going to bring the Wizarding World to life. What else - Butterbeer!!!

I swear, I was like a little child jumping around in line, watching everyone else walk away from the cart with their frosty souvenir mugs, I was ready to have a heart attack from the anxiety!!! But finally, it was our turn and $40 bucks and 4 souvenir mugs later, we were all ready to try the fabled beverage.


Notice my face is beet-red from the heat. But it was allll worth it. Butterbeer is everything I thought it would be. If I had to describe it, I'd say it tastes kind of like a honeyed cream soda with a caramelish foam on top. We ordered both the draft and frozen kinds and both were awesome but the frozen kind was de-friggin-licious. Similar to a root beer float. Is it terrible that I've been dreaming about it since we left the park?

I was downright GIDDY here.

Here we are, all loving our butterbeer. The lovely lady to my left is my mom :)

How will I manage without it?

After we got our butterbeer fix, we NEEDED to eat. We were starving, and since we were in Hogsmeade, there was nowhere else we were going to eat but The Three Broomsticks. Honestly, I was sort of underwhelmed by the food there. I had the fish and chips, which were pretty bland, and Anth got the Shepard's Pie, which was, unfortunately, also bland. My mom complained that her chicken and ribs were dry, and my little brother got the most shriveled chicken fingers I've ever seen. Oh well. Maybe they were just too packed to concentrate on the food. I did try Pumpkin Juice there, and was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. It was very sweet, and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum, but not really to pair with a meal. Instead, I engorged myself with more butterbeer.

We had to wait about an hour just to get in!

The inside

Ready to eat!

My meal. Pumpkin juice to the left, fish and chips and frozen butterbeer.

My mom did love the corn. lol.

Ha Ha. I love that the boys are such good sports and pose for pictures whenever I want them to. My instructions to my little brother here were "Look like you are super full from a delicious meal!"

Full and happy. Next on the agenda - exploration!

We walked around Hogsmeade for a bit before we started the line for the Forbidden Journey, which was estimated at 120 minutes but ended up being more like 3 hours because they kept having mechanical problems. It was worth the wait, and we totally enjoyed our time in line! There was SO much to see inside Hogwarts, where the ride is located. The greenhouse, the room of requirement, Dumbledore's office, the pensieve and the portrait of the fat lady, just to name a few hallmark Potter places. I took a whole mess of pictures. The ride itself was so cool. It's kind of like the Spiderman ride at IoA, in that it's a simulator/rollercoaster, and they tried to pack as much into it as they could - Spiders, Dragons, Quidditch, Dementors, all the major characters - I thought it was a perfect tribute to Harry. I couldn't take any pictures on the ride, so you'll have to experience that for yourself when you go! But I LOVED it.


All the pictures moved, just like in the books! Again, it's the detail they put into this place that made it so magnificent. Hello there, Sirius :)

We made the line for Honeydukes later in the day - omg. Candy heaven!

The chocolate frog in the display window actually croaked and moved. I have a video of it somewhere that I'll have to post when I figure out how to post videos.

Approaching the castle!

Beautiful, isn't it??

Detail, detail. Just gorgeous.

The entrance to Hogwarts

The masses and masses of people waiting in line inside the Greenhouse.

Cute little plants? Look closer! Those are mandrakes in there!

Well hello there... You are too large to fit in one picture.

And therefore, you are split in two.

Ahh, I see Gryffindor is winning the race for the House Cup, closely followed by Slytherin!

You know what this is - I screamed like a little girl when we passed the entrance to Dumbledore's office!

It's a bit dark, but the pictures all talked and moved. So COOL!

This hall of portraits had about a million paintings hanging and talking! Epic.

Dumblie's office. Who is that I spy in the back??

A long deceased DRAGON ;o)

The defense against the dark arts classroom, where Harry, Hermione and Ron were waiting!

Can you see em?

The fat lady! She was adorable, as ushe.

An assortment of Potter paraphernalia,

You know this guy. The sorting hat! He talked as you walked by.

Ready to get on the ride! Those are all hanging candles.

After we rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, we made the non-existent line for The Dragon Challenge, which was just a re-vamped Dueling Dragons (a ride that used to live at IoA). Tons more Potter memorabilia, including the goblet of fire and the Triwizard cup!

There were tons of Potter signs like this one.

And this one.

Along with signs for those other schools no one cares about.

A nice photo op! Please ignore my crazy, fugly hair and sweat-ridden skin. It was a LONG day and we were really really hot.

Cool, huh? It even honked!! It nearly scared the pants off some stupid girl walking in front of us who gave us major 'tude for taking so many pictures. I laughed REALLY hard and I hope she heard me.

My lovely hubby carried my girly backpack all day. Why? Cause he's awesome.

So exciting!

I wish the blue flamed coming out of the goblet had shown up better,  but they were so cool!

The triwizard cup was also on display.

And just outside? The Hogwarts Express! Just as amazing as I'd imagined.

Hello, beautiful.

Our last stop in the Wizarding World was to Honeydukes and Zonko's Joke Shop. Including that line, we did about 8 hours worth of lines on Monday. I'd do it again in a heartbeat and I seriously can't wait to go back!

You can see just how packed it was. You could barely walk!

The inside of Honeydukes.

Candy buffet, anyone?

Yes, you'd better believe we got some of these babies to take home. I hope I don't come across any vomit flavored ones!

Inside Zonko's

Sneakoscopes for sale!

And that's it - I think I was too exhausted to take any more photos! We all headed back to our room and knocked out, and I don't think I'd ever slept so good in my life. The next day, somehow, we found the energy to do four Disney parks in one day. My legs still burn. I'll post that update some time this week.

It was an amazing day and I can't wait to hear about all of your experiences at the Wizarding World!