It wasn't until we were ready to load that I realized the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit did not offer the storage luxuries of other roller coasters in other parks. There was no cubby along the wall in which riders could stow their belongings. The lockers were far below us, where my 7-year-old son, less than an inch shy of making the cut, sat crying and waiting with a friend. There wasn't even a pocket in each car to place sunglasses, phones, or assorted trinkets from the day. I boarded the roller coaster with too many things and pockets too shallow to hold them, and for the first time in years a roller coaster was intimidating me.
Earlier that day we had wandered through Hogsmeade and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, enjoying butterbeer and bits of magic. We had spent a good portion of two days in the Islands of Adventure park at Universal Orlando Resort, hiding from rain and dementors, and still buzzing from our turn on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (which is firmly ranked in the top three rides I have ever experienced). The magical land, which will be joined in 2014 by Harry Potter's London and Diagon Alley in the Universal Studios park (guests will be able to travel between the two areas on the Hogwarts Express!), is as finely crafted of a space as you are likely to find in the theme park world. It it simply wonderful. And crowded.
Truth be told, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, alone, is worth the price of admission.