A lot of people say to skip Ollivander's because it's a quick little attraction and typically has a much longer wait. But I'd already resigned myself to the fact that I'd be waiting in lines all day (it was a holiday weekend and quite crowded). And I figured if I came all the way down here, then I'm not skipping anything! I didn't want to miss something and regret it later. So yeah, the line for Ollivander's was long (I think our wait was over an hour). And yeah, the attraction is only 5-7 minutes. But I'm still glad I saw it!
If you think back to the first HP movie and when Harry gets his wand, this attraction very much tries to recreate that experience. One person from the audience is chosen by Ollivander (our Ollivander was a very good actor and charming fellow) to hold different wands and instructed to wave them about. Strange things happen when the wands are waved in the shop, similar to how it was for Harry. It's fun and cute and one of the few calm attractions in the park. And what I loved was feeling like I was in the Wizarding World for even just a few minutes.
So I'd vote against skipping Ollivander's. Grab a butterbeer or pumpkin juice to sip while you're in line. Play a silly game with the people you're with (like "I Spy" or the alphabet game with Harry Potter characters).
And people say only kids get chosen by Ollivander, but in our group it was a 20-something girl in the front instead of a kid in the front. I think the real key is just being up front!
Below are some pictures of Ollivander's:
|Wand Display Window|
|Wand boxes in the bottom left corner|
I did end up buying a wand. One of my brothers was making fun of me saying I was paying $30 for a stick. And that he would go outside when he got home and pick up his own "wand" off the ground for free.
But I love the wand I got. It's Luna Lovegood's and it's beautiful. My other brother bought Snape's wand, but I don't have any pictures of his. So below are pictures of my wand aka Luna's wand:
|Label on the Wand Box|
|Rich brown color|
|Pretty tulip handle|
|Not a toy?|
Ollivander's wand shop is connected to Dervish and Banges and the Owl Post. They are kind of all just one big shop. You can buy wands, stationary, postcards, stamps (postage stamps as well as a wax seal kit) journals, quills, robes, stuffed owls, brooms... If you buy postcards, they will postmark them with a special Hogsmeade stamp. So cool! This is one of the bigger shops and was crowded all day long. But it's fun!!! You should definitely stop in here! Below are some pictures from Dervish and Banges and the Owl Post:
|Dervish and Banges sign|
|The Bludgers were fighting to get out!|
|The Monster Book of Monsters!|
|Owl Post sign|
|Shop window outside the Owl Post|
|Owls and packages to be delivered...|
|There are owls up in the rafters!|
One thing I wish they had at Harry Potter World:
EVERYONE was buying wands. Hogwarts scarves and wands are by far the two most popular souvenirs. Everyone was walking around the park, waving their newly purchased wands and feeling so magically cool. But... it'd be awesome if they had an attraction that USED your wand! How cool would it be to have a "Charms Classroom Experience" where you get to enter a Hogwarts Charms classroom and have a 15 minute lesson on how to perform a few basic spells (Wingardium Leviosa?). If you didn't have a wand, you could borrow one, but it might not "work properly." The classroom could be rigged to follow with the pace of the lesson/instructor so that different magical things (floating feathers or explosions) happened throughout the lesson when students started waving their wands.
I definitely think an attraction like this is possible, and I think the park needs more of this kind of attraction. The rides were all thrill/scary/intense rides, but we Harry Potter fans really want to feel like we're in the world J.K. Rowling created. We want to pretend we're wizards for the day. The thrills and roller coasters are fun, but I'd much rather experience Hogwarts firsthand.
Check tomorrow's post for another ride/attraction I wish they had at Harry Potter World...