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Old 12-19-2011, 02:07 PM   #781
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Wow, I've never seen any pictures of WWOHP with such small crowds before. Early admission rules!

Interesting to read your different reactions to the 2 rides on Forbidden Journey. It sounds like it's pretty amazing. I might like it as long as there are no 13-story drops!
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:41 AM   #782
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Originally Posted by marvali View Post
Nice update and interesting perspective of viewing your tour of WWoHP through the eyes of someone stalking Katharina like that. Not that I would ever take similar pictures or anything.
Yes, when I posted the update I was quite amused how Katharina so often is in the pictures just ahead of me - maybe I should have started a Katharina-do game for this part of the report!

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Great that you got the early entry and didn't have to fight crowds. A little disappointed it isn't more about the lockers and the line queues though. Those were the two big attractions that had me considering a day or two at US and IOA when we go back. J/K.....if I let Jonathan and Andrew read these updates we'll be going for sure since they are such big HP fans.
Well, I wanted to include a lot of practical information as well, therefore all the locker talk.

I can imagine that Jonathan would love IoA from what kind of attractions he loved at Disney. There is more good stuff elsewhere in the park (we will get to that), not only at HP!


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Can't believe you actually got scared on Forbidden Journey and were screaming and closing your eyes.....


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Great job on WWoHP. I do see that on my radar someday. Early entry seems to be the ticket ( ) to being able to get through without unbearable crowds.
I would really recommend checking out WWoHP as well as the rest of IoA and Universal! We had a great time there. There is another trick for lower crowds at WWoHP: the last hours before closing the crowds disappear as well.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:57 AM   #783
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Originally Posted by lovealldisney View Post
I think Disney could take a lesson from this. This is a great idea!
Yes, I like the lockers a lot as well! However, when it is crowded I can see how trying to get a locker might also be a hassle...

Disney actually has lockers at one attraction in Disney California Adventure at the Grizzly River Run ride which is a raft ride like Kali River Rapids (but about 100 times better!!). I thought it was a great idea for a water ride especially.

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Hmm... maybe that weather was a good thing considering you were able to get right into Hogsmead without crowds! I hope the weather holds out!
I think we were very lucky with low crowds for the whole day because of the horrible weather forecast...

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On a side note did you get my thank you email? I know you are busy just checking.
Sorry, I have been meaning to send you a nice, long reply instead of a short note... That's why it took me so long to respond...

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
No, not at the moment, ....however....Marlene and James walked by while I was reading the update you put up yesterday and Marlene said "What's that?" I explained that it was the WWoHP at Universal and that the writer of this particular TR was the same kind lady who sent her a postcard from Disney Paris. (James became confused at that point saying, I thought she was in Germany??? ) Marlene said, "Oh, I like her!", and then after reading, said, "We need to go there!"
And I am sorry if reading my trip report becomes a dangerous thing which might cost you a lot of money!! But we really loved our time at IoA and Universal and I can really recommend visiting it!

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I have the Intro written, so it can begin any time! Keep watching.
Ok, I will be on the lookout for it then!!!
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:01 AM   #784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Wow, I've never seen any pictures of WWOHP with such small crowds before. Early admission rules!

Interesting to read your different reactions to the 2 rides on Forbidden Journey. It sounds like it's pretty amazing. I might like it as long as there are no 13-story drops!
I really could not believe how lucky we were with the very low crowds!! Early admission is wonderful, but at the end of the day WWoHP was nearly as empty again, that's another great time for a visit.

Forbidden Journey is definitely the most technological advanced attraction I have ever been on. But it is also extremely well themed. There aren't any 13-story drops, so you will be fine!! There are some other attractions at IoA which you might not want to go on though...
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:30 PM   #785
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Part 3: An early Morning in Hogsmead

Part 3: An early Morning in Hogsmead

After two rides we decided that it was time to check out the other offerings of Hogsmead and browse the shops. It was still fairly empty:



We had to laugh about the following sign:



It is the Hogsmead restrooms, haunted of course and with themed stall doors (plastic made ot look like wooden planks). The reason why we had to laugh goes back to the many hiking trips Katharina and I have been on with our father to England. On one of the first trips we were very confused why the hiking map now and then had a mark on it which read "PC" - we did not think it was likely that this was a public computer terminal in some remote village along the coast of Cornwall. Some investigation cleared this up: PC on British maps stands for "Public Conveniences". Which we thought was a very neat term for restrooms (we think "restroom" is a funny term, too, who in their right mind goes there for a rest??). So seeing that sign at Hogsmead was just perfect!!

Overall I must say that I have visited many different English small towns and villages and Hogsmead definitely comes very close to the atmosphere there – but a bit more fantastic and "Northern". You really see how much thought and love for detail went into the whole design process for everything there.















All the shops are highly detailed and sell all kind of Harry Potter themed merchandise. From robes and wands to Quidditch t-shirts. And then there are Honeydukes – the sweets shop – and Zonkos – the toy shop. Both are amazing, everything has special packaging and creates a very foreign atmosphere inside. Here are pictures of some of the sweets:





Those Peppermint Toads are delicious, I brought some back for my colleagues and they loved them.



These are "Exploding Bonbons" - all the Team Members in the shop were very excited about them because they were selling them the first time that day. I got a packet for myself and they are very peculiar! They are made from white chocolate which is filled with candy that indeed explodes in your mouth – and has an orange and pineapple flavour. They are great fun and something very special!! I love it that they not only package normal candy in pretty bags, but actually develop their own special products.

And the following pictures are from Zonko:







Then we decided to try out the Dragon Challenge coaster. This is actually a set of two inverted coasters (meaning that the rail is above your head and your feet are dangling down, like on a chair lift). They were at IoA before Harry Potter and were called “Duelling Dragons” and just got rethemed. Or let's say the queue got rethemed since the coaster itself is just a steel coaster going over some bare land. The coasters used to be “duelling” meaning that they were launched so that they would meet on the track and nearly collide. However, that function was recently disabled because there were incidents where they had the suspicion that people from one train were throwing things at the other train – very dangerous!!

Here the lockers are inside the Hogsmead station building:





And then you walk to the Dragon Challenge which is one of the challenges during the triwizard tournament which takes place in the book “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. The queue is very nice as well. And once again there was no wait at all. We took the red dragon for our first ride. And after the lift hill I got a real shock: it felt like I was going to fall straight down. But this lasted only for a short moment and then it was a very fun ride! Great coaster!

After all this excitement we felt that we needed a break and headed here:



Well, not exactly to the Three Broomsticks, but rather next door to the Hogs Head for some frozen Butterbeer.





I love the fact that even the plastic cups are Harry Potter cups – no “Disney Parks” like on all the plastic bags/cups/plates etc. at WDW now.

But back to the Butterbeer – it is really sad to have to write about it now without knowing when I will be able to get my next Butterbeer! It is incredibly good. I was very sceptical whether I would like it, but I fell in love with it. Mhhh... Butterbeer!!
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:36 PM   #786
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
I have the Intro written, so it can begin any time! Keep watching.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Ok, I will be on the lookout for it then!!!
I will keep an out too.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:29 AM   #787
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ahh...frozen butterbeer! It is incredibly delicious I agree. I am SO glad to hear that you had a great experience with the DU ticket/transportation package as I've recommended it to my best friend who is feeling quite overwhelmed with it all.

I was a bit worried after your FJ ride #1 review but feel much better now. I love the idea of exploding bon bons, how very very fun!
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:48 AM   #788
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Love this update! Thanks Magdalene! That Butterbeer looks really yummy... Is it like a butterscotch type of flavor? It looks like it would be.

Oh and it's not 2013 when we'll be back in Germany it's 2014! Oh well I guess this gives me extra time to save. I know our DD will be able to go not sure about DS as I hope he will be done with school and gainfully employed by then
Now the fun of planning starts! I may call apon you for your help once again. No wait I most likely WILL ask you a million questions! Of course Berlin and Nuremburg on the list of places to go. And I hope to have a longer visit next time we meet it just wasn't enough time last time around.

I hope you and your family have a Very Merry Christmas and Many Blessing in the coming New Year. Say HI to Katharina for me if you see her will you?
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:10 AM   #790
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Some investigation cleared this up: PC on British maps stands for "Public Conveniences". Which we thought was a very neat term for restrooms (we think "restroom" is a funny term, too, who in their right mind goes there for a rest??).
I can only imagine what you think of American slang terms for this place, such as "can", "john", etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Overall I must say that I have visited many different English small towns and villages and Hogsmead definitely comes very close to the atmosphere there – but a bit more fantastic and "Northern". You really see how much thought and love for detail went into the whole design process for everything there.
I am very impressed with the theming there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
These are "Exploding Bonbons" - all the Team Members in the shop were very excited about them because they were selling them the first time that day. I got a packet for myself and they are very peculiar!
I was hoping they actually exploded like a firecracker, but I'm glad you enjoyed them anyway.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
And after the lift hill I got a real shock: it felt like I was going to fall straight down.
Yeah, I think I'll be skipping that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
But back to the Butterbeer – it is really sad to have to write about it now without knowing when I will be able to get my next Butterbeer! It is incredibly good. I was very sceptical whether I would like it, but I fell in love with it. Mhhh... Butterbeer!!
Sounds delicious!
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:34 AM   #791
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No matter how many pictures I see of Hogsmeade, I am still blown away by the detail.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post




It is the Hogsmead restrooms, haunted of course and with themed stall doors (plastic made ot look like wooden planks). The reason why we had to laugh goes back to the many hiking trips Katharina and I have been on with our father to England. On one of the first trips we were very confused why the hiking map now and then had a mark on it which read "PC" - we did not think it was likely that this was a public computer terminal in some remote village along the coast of Cornwall. Some investigation cleared this up: PC on British maps stands for "Public Conveniences". Which we thought was a very neat term for restrooms (we think "restroom" is a funny term, too, who in their right mind goes there for a rest??). So seeing that sign at Hogsmead was just perfect!!


You may have mentioned it in the past but I don't remember and now I have to know: What do they label Restrooms in Germany?
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:55 AM   #792
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Sorry guys, some things have happened recently and I will probably be waiting a little bit longer.
Oh No - Hoping this is not impacting the trip itself.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:47 AM   #793
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Sorry guys, some things have happened recently and I will probably be waiting a little bit longer.
Quote:
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Oh No - Hoping this is not impacting the trip itself.
Agreed--is everything ok?
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:53 AM   #794
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Hello everyone!
I'm so sorry for being absent a lot this autumn and winter, but life and especially work has been very crazy.... Although we are already in Hogsmead, there are some things from earlier I want to comment on

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The real ones are as delicious as they look! But I need to tell you that only Nuremberg is smart enough to make the sausages so short that they fit with the length of the bread roll. The "sausage sticking out at both sides"-design is in fact the much more common one!! Don't ask me what the Germans were thinking, maybe that you get to eat the ends without any bread being involved? As a kid I would always eat the ends sticking out first and then the bread with the sausage inside. Perhaps we need to send Katharina out to buy some Bratwurst as sold in Berlin - even though the typical sausage is something called "Currywurst" - curry sausage. Maybe you can convince her to do a bonus update about that. I think her DH could be convinced to take her out to a place called "Curry 36" for dinner one day...
[/SIZE]
As Currywurst is usually only sold from booths and you have to eat them outside, it is not really a great food for rainy and cold weather, so sorry guys, no pictures. BUT I have another interesting German sausage fact for you. I was just last weekend in Hannover and visited a christmas market with a friend, from Southern Germany. We bought a Bratwurst and when I saw her bewilderment of how the sausage was served, I thought this might be an interesting fact: In Northern Germany sausages aren't served in the roll but on a paper plate with a brad roll on the side (or on the top, as the plate is very small). These are special paper plates on one side on small strip is perforated and you can tear it of and use it to hold the sausage. Here is a picture of an empty plate, the weather was just too bad to take pictures.

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No, she did forgive me - even though this wasn't the first time I had been the cause for her getting wetter than expected. When we were in the US in 1992 we went to an animal park which had an orca show. There was a sign that the first five rows will get wet. Well, my English was good then, but not as good as it is now. And I told Katharina that "wet" would mean "moist" not "soaking wet" (two different words for this and depending on how you use wet it can really be translated with the one word or the other)... Well, we ended up being soaked from head to toe!
You forgot to add that I said it meant really wet....

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Oh and it's not 2013 when we'll be back in Germany it's 2014! Oh well I guess this gives me extra time to save. I know our DD will be able to go not sure about DS as I hope he will be done with school and gainfully employed by then
Now the fun of planning starts! I may call apon you for your help once again. No wait I most likely WILL ask you a million questions! Of course Berlin and Nuremburg on the list of places to go. And I hope to have a longer visit next time we meet it just wasn't enough time last time around.
Hi Wendy, great news! I hope we will still be in Berlin then in 2014 I'm looking forward to see you again! Pleas ask, if you have any questions!

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Sorry guys, some things have happened recently and I will probably be waiting a little bit longer.
I'm really looking forward to your PTR, I hope nothing bad has happened and you are all well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiouser&curiouser! View Post
You may have mentioned it in the past but I don't remember and now I have to know: What do they label Restrooms in Germany?
The signs usually say "Toiletten" or "WC".
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:01 AM   #795
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Dear Readers!

A Merry Christmas - or in German: Fröhliche Weihnachten - to all of you!

Christmas starts today in Germany - in the evening we will light up the Christmas tree and exchange presents. But until then I still have plenty of things to do - including decorating the tree! I hope to find some time in the next days for replies and a new update. Until then I hope all of you will have wonderful holidays!

Magdalene
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