letters to my younger self

Universal Studios Japan: Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Waterworld, Unlimited Roller Coasters, Lighting of Christmas Tree

This day was one of the highlights of the trip. It IS the day we’ve gone to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and writing about it makes me smile. Maybe because it is one of the main reason we go to Osaka instead of Tokyo. And also because of the many many things we did inside USJ. (For now, I’ll divert from the usual paragraph style and write the USJ experience in bullets because why not?) 🙂

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  1. We were already in the entrance at 7-freaking-AM. Beat that!  It still amazes me. We always wake up at 8am and then go out at 9 or 10am for the first four days in Osaka but this morning all of us woke up at 4am? And then we were very fast in taking a bath and preparing ourselves and before we knew it – we were outside the streets of Osaka before 6am. (Darn, deep inside we were really suckers for USJ and specifically WWOHP isn’t it?) So why did we do this? It’s because we didn’t purchase the express ticket and we’re paranoid that if we don’t go to USJ early we would be deprived of the WWOHP that’s why it’s very early and we’re in front of the lines. 🙂
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  2. We ran to the entrance of Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I don’t know what went on with our minds. After waiting for more than two hours – and the Japanese staff were signaling three.. two.. one.. ikou-yo!!! (which means “go” in english) – we ran! As in! We ran like little children. Because it’s the hype? Because every one there were dashing towards the entrance to Harry Potter? Because we were excited? Because we’re little kids masquerading as adults! Darn I don’t know but halfway there I am out of breath and asked myself darn, why am I doing this? And walked and realised that I can’t run all the way to WWOHP because it’s too far!
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  3. And then when we’re complete we went inside Hogwarts! The excitement is still there. We saw the Hogwarts Express, Hogsmeade and all other stores in Diagon Alley and the people were lining up inside the Hogwarts Castle and we found ourselves lining too and before I knew it – this was a line to one of the rides: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. I was actually hesitant at first because fear of heights  but thankfully the ride was not scary. (I hate my scaredy-cat self) However, all the lines in Harry Potter is in Japanese – we need subtitles! The ride was fun and in 3D and they made you experience what it’s like riding a broom and playing Quidditch or being chased by dementors or seeking the Golden Snitch. Thankfully the ride doesn’t include 360 degrees rotation because I swear I cannot recover from that. But anyhow the ride was fun and it was good.
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    After that we fall in line again to the Flight of the Hippogriff which is I think a roller coaster only for kids because just when I was about to scream the ride ended. But still I got scared. I hope someday I’ll be able to ride roller coasters that were indeed scary and be proud of myself.
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  4. Because this is our first butterbeer.  After the two rides we opted to just stroll around the area – we took pictures in front of the castle albeit so many people walking and crossing the area. We also tried taking a picture near the lake but it is so hard. And then we entered Zonko’s joke shop where I panicked because I thought I had forgotten the battery of my DSLR. And then the CR which is the CR of Moaning Myrtle. (But now I wonder if the CR for males is also themed as that of Moaning Myrtle- I didn’t notice. ) The sun’s rays were streaking and it is a little bit hot that I took off my coat. And then we ate lunch at Three Broomsticks and in their open area at the back is where you can take a picture, a wonderful picture with the magnificent Hogwarts Castle as your background complete with background music – if you want to capture it in video. Which we did, in small doses. The butterbeer taste great if cold (though I didn’t get to taste the warm) and food is plenty. This is also where I saw a Slytherin and a Hufflepuff eating together.
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  5. We need Japanese Subtitles in Waterworld. We went out of WWOHP a little after noon. And we wanted to go to Waterworld but since the next show will be in 2pm – the three of us opted to line up to the scary-looking roller coaster. (I’m not sure if that was Jaws) They are urging us to join them but you can’t make me ride a roller coaster that spins 360 degrees. Darn. Such a bummer. But then they were already letting people in and we tried falling in line inside but we also waited again outside for them. Actually we tried looking for them in the line but to no avail because we cannot find them. So we waited in front of Waterworld and minutes before 2pm they appeared! So yeah- they said the Waterworld splashes water on their audience so we chose the middle seat where it would be too far to get water splashed on us. The show is good and truthfully the audience in front were 200% already wet even if the show has not yet started. It was a nice thing to get wet in hot areas but in there I think it would be very very cold. The show was good though I only understand a bit – I don’t even know the story of Waterworld – and I just understand bits and pieces of the Japanese language so I really can’t make out what they’re saying. After the show I thought I was the only one who didn’t understand. Thankfully they explained the story to us after.
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  6. We split off at this time. Because the three of them didn’t get to ride the roller coaster earlier – they were in the wrong line to begin with! So that explains why they come back so fast. They are going to ride it again and will fall in line to the correct ride. While the two of us go back to WWOHP to choose what jacket to buy (me) and buy the Minions. We strolled around USJ and it was so nice being here. This was the best experience I have with amusement park since forever. I am not an amusement park type of person – because I don’t like rides and crowds scare me and I just don’t like the noise from the people talking in general. But in here the weather is cold and the people were nice – they weren’t loud and the place is amazing – it feels nice to be a little kid again.
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  7. There was another show that we went into but I forgot it’s name. It was forgettable because we need another subtitle. And then after this – because we were tired (already) we sat on one of the park benches and still one of us wants to ride another roller coaster. Sad thing that we can’t join because we’re lolas. Lels. That was also the time that I went again (alone) to WWOHP to really buy the HP jackets and at that time the lights were starting to show and it looks like a white Christmas in Hogsmeade. After a while, we were complete!
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  8. And the last thing we did is to watch the Christmas show. Which is in Japanese so we couldn’t understand. Darn. Fake it till you make it. But also we were sitting – so I guess it was a rest. And this is how you will notice that the Japanese were very disciplined. If only we can be like that back home. And it also makes me a bit emotional because it’s nearing Christmas and I don’t know – Christmas being near makes me feel sad like it’s tugging at my inner core and I don’t know what to do.
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  9. Last order of business is to take unlimited pictures in the Universal globe. Because who doesn’t? We sure take up our time and I envy those people who get to wear black robes like they were really in Harry Potter. Next time, if there’s a next time I’ll do it!
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Though not a fan of amusement parks – this is the best and happiest experience I had in amusement parks. I enjoyed the crowd and the lights and the rides and the music and the people I’m with. I guess the place in its own is already wonderful but coupled with amazing people it gets on whole new level of wonderful. I think I would not get tired of saying this but I tremendously enjoyed being in Japan with these bunch. And it truly makes up for all the hardships and hurdles I or we got to endure before the trip. ❤
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