Saturday, April 16, 2011

Going to Florida Gluten-Free Part 3

Islands of Adventure is home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you are planning a trip to this theme park and want to see the Harry Potter section of the park, check out for tips on how to do it right. If you don't get to the park early enough, like before the park opens, you either won't be able to get into The Wizarding World until later in the afternoon or at all. The section of the park gets that crowded.

We showed up an hour before the park opened and stood in line at the ticket turnstiles. As soon as we were let in (15 minutes early) we headed straight for Harry Potter. We were so early that our wait for The Forbidden Forest ride, which takes you through Hogwarts as you wait in line, took about 20 minutes. When we got off of the ride, the wait time was 90 minutes. We rode the next two rides back to back with minimal waiting time. Then I stood in line for Butterbeer (which I'm pretty sure was mainly just a $10 glass of cream soda), we looked around Hogsmeade, and left that section of the park. We didn't go into any of the stores mainly because I wasn't planning on buying an overpriced wand, nor did I want to stand in line for 45 minutes just to get inside Ollivander's.

Hogsmeade - do you see all the people?
A tip for riding the other rides at Islands of Adventure: single rider line. My husband and I cut our wait time down significantly for Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. Sure we didn't ride together (on The Hulk we were on the same car but two rows apart) but IT SAVED US TIME.

For lunch we left the park to eat at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville on Universal's Citywalk, which is just outside both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Margaritaville has a separate gluten-free menu, and Mike had a hamburger on a gluten-free bun and fries. I had a crab cake sandwich, which was a little bland but still pretty good.

me and the flying car
There is a restaurant within Islands of Adventure (Thunder Falls Terrace) that serves gluten-free food, but we didn't try it out. And FYI, Butterbeer is NOT gluten-free because the whipped topping is made where flour is used and you can't get it without the whipped topping because it is against trademark to serve it that way. Although, I don't recall any whipped topping on my Butterbeer. There was a foam on top of it, but it wasn't a whipped topping. Still, my husband didn't take any chances (not like he really cared whether or not he had Butterbeer). But if you want to experience gluten-free Butterbeer at home, check out this recipe I found from My Bakingdom. I've never heard of imitation butter before, but if it means I can make my own Butterbeer and drink it out of my awesome souvenir glass, then I will find imitation butter! (McCormick imitation stuff appears to be all gluten-free.)

Up next...DISNEY!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like fun, but you are scaring me about these crazy crowds! It will probably be worse the week we go because all of the school kids will be on spring break!