Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by toxa, Sep 7, 2011.
do what i did ...
go into it blind and have a fun time.
i have not watched the movies, read the books or had any discussions on any boards about parry hotter and still enjoyed that section tremendously.
(well, i did try to watch a couple of the movies but turned them off after one hour. it wasn't my thing.)
going into that section of the park without background info won't be an issue.
you kind of get the jest of it all once you walk through and do the FJ.
it is a beautiful area and still greatly enjoyable if you go into it without any knowledge.
like doing MIB or Jaws, ET, Simpsons, Lucy Tribute, Shrek, etc.....
you might know nothing about them, but still have a great time
There are 8 movies total, although the last one is still in the theater. To understand most of WWoHP it is best to watch at least movies 1-4. That is the timeframe that most of the Wizarding World is focused on. Especially film 3 Prisoner of Azkaban which is the movie that introduces you to Hogsmeade village. Film 4 Goblet of Fire introduces the Tri-Wizard tournament and that is also a big part of the WWoHP.
Honestly, regardless you are bound to be confused unless you watch at least up to 4, and even then there will be many things that make little to no sense without reading the books. The entire place is so deeply themed that while you can enjoy yourself immensely regardless, it can be confusing to a non-fan. There is no outside influence once you are in that area of the park, so most of the snacks, drinks and even words spoken can be confusing to unknowledable muggles.
I haven't been to IOA yet, will go for the first time in a few weeks. But our town used to have an annual event called "Festival 9 3/4" where our downtown was converted to Diagon Alley and Hogwarts for an evening. I imagine the Universal attraction goes even more in-depth into making everything authentic - they have probably 100+x the budget and they don't have to tear it down the next morning.
The event was enjoyable to those who had no HP background, but parts of it were confusing for them. For example, I taught Transfiguration class, and a few of my "students" had trouble understanding what I meant when I asked which house they were from, or why I took points from their house when they were late for class. They were even more confused by Potions class, the actor playing Professor Snape was so in-character that he just criticized them even more when they asked questions.
A few people were also confused about what types of food to order at the food tents, but I think most people had fun anyway even if they did not know much about Harry Potter.
So if you have time, it might be worth it to watch at least one of the movies ahead of time. When I read the books, I started with book 3 (and that was when there were only 3 books!) and I was able to absorb and enjoy most of it without getting lost. I read it again after I went back and read the first two, and I had a much better understanding and appreciation of the details the second time. So it's not critical to have the background beforehand, but you will probably appreciate and enjoy it more if you do.
If you only want to watch one movie, I'd pick Prisoner of Azkaban (3) or Goblet of Fire (4). 3 has a lot about Hogsmeade, Sirius Black, and Harry's past; 4 has a lot about Quidditch, and with the Triwizard Tournament has a lot about different types of spells, magical tools, dragons, and wizards from other schools. They are also a little more "fun" to watch than some of the later films, the series seems to get much darker starting with Order of the Phoenix (5). Movies 7 and 8 (Deathly Hallows) take place largely outside of Hogwarts and don't really present very much background information on the wizarding world, so if you don't want to watch them all I'd skip those.
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