It’s September! That means it’s almost October! And that means it’s almost time for me to make my first trip to Orlando to spend Halloween at the new Harry Potter theme park.
I can’t freaking wait to get there, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Now that classes are back in you might be ready to plan a quick getaway, and I think Halloween is the perfect time to run away from normal life. You can walk the streets of Hogsmeade, shop at Honeydukes and find the wand that’s meant for you at Ollivander’s.
When I first booked the trip I mentioned that I’m normally I’m very wary of package deals, especially when going somewhere as touristy as Orlando. Sometimes you’ll think you’re getting a good deal until you do a little research and find that booking everything separately on your own is much cheaper. The packages being offered by Universal Orlando (where Harry Potter lives – he’s not at DisneyWorld) are pretty good though.
If you want to stay at one of the three hotels and resorts on the Universal property, you’re going to pay a lot. But if you’re willing to stay at a nearby hotel, maybe a mile or two away – with free shuttle service – you can get four nights hotel and a three day pass for the Universal parks for less than US$350 a person. That’s based on two people going. If you can get a group of four, then it works out to about US$280 a person.
Grab a great student airfare and you can totally swing this trip with the earnings from your summer job.
In case you need even more incentive, if you book a package with Universal for travel between now and December 31, 2010, you’ll also get:
* Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
* Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks™
* A commemorative ticket
Lisa the Muggle
Update: Someone asked whether I’m going to wear a costume to the park. Having just been to Comic-Con a couple of months ago, costumes do sound like fun.
I would like to feel Hogwartian while I’m there, but I’m also very aware that this is an amusement park, so I want to be practical. I don’t want to wear anything that will be difficult to sit down in, or to get on a ride, or that will be hot or heavy to wear or carry.
I think I might just go with a robe over normal clothes. I also have an HP scarf that I love, and I have some plastic Harry glasses I got at a midnight book release party. I might take those and just put them on for pictures.
There are shops there if you want an official Hogwarts outfit (http://tiny.cc/bdcnx), and there are places to buy them online, but if you want something affordable that you won’t worry about getting dirty, I think a Halloween store (or Target or Walmart or one of those) will be your best bet for a simple black cape.