Shortly after arriving at Shin-Osaka station, we put our luggages into station locker, and head up to Universal Studio Osaka. As you may guess, our main interest for this place is obviously the Harry Potter attraction, which was recently opened in 2012.
Elok and Aya are fans of the J.K. Rowling’s fiction so we went directly to the Harry Potter attraction. And the place did not disappoint them or any Harry Potter’s fans. It replicates Hogsmeade Village, Hogswarts castle quite accurately. The village is the place where all Harry Potter merchandises are sold, while the castle houses the main rides of this attraction.
As Aya and Elok are not so fond of thrilling rides, so they’re happy enough looking around the village and castle, buying souvenirs and enjoy Butterbear, Hogsmeade’s specialty drink which taste like a mix of caramel and ginger (it was served hot, so nice in freezing weather of Osaka nowadays). Then it left me and Rafif to take the ‘Forbidden Journey’ 4D ride inside the castle, which was cool, as it took you in Harry Potter’s seat of his magic broom and fly and get chased around Hogwarts. You will also get a taste of playing Quidditch which was scary! In overall it was a very good theme park for Harry Potter fans and its movie lovers like me. The only issue I have with it is that all of the characters and story line in the rides were dubbed in Japanese! So imagine Dumbledore talk to you in Japanese, which reminds me of Professor Hamaguchi in Voltes V series. LOL. A bit of let down in otherwise a perfect attractions.
We spent a good 1.5 hours inside the Harry Potter attraction before we went around the rest of Universal Studios Osaka. Honestly, it is not so much different than Universal Studio in Singapore or Los Angeles, the previous two I visited. Hence we took one of the main attraction of the studio which was only available in Osaka: Spiderman the Ride, which was like the Transformers ride in Spider-Man (the animation) theme (watch for Stan Lee cameo appearance, as always!). It was nice, not so special though (I personally think Harry Potter’s one was better), but at least worth of 1 hour queue we took before the ride.
Finally, after spending 7 hours in the park, we headed back to our hotel, tired but happy indeed. Good time spent. And confirmed my hypotheses, my kids have grown up, they’re more fascinated with Universal Studios than Disneyland nowadays. Time has changed:)