Category Archives: Movie

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Review and Tips

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Unlike my other posts in this blog, I’m using English for this post especially for all Harry Potter fans out there who want to really enjoy their visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I know that some of you might want to read a review or tips before your visit, because I would do the same if I were you. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that I will do a review on this post is the one in Universal Studio Osaka, Japan.

This autumn I finally went all the way to Osaka from Tsukuba (the place where I live now) just to reminisce my childhood memories, the story that never really leave us *I know you all feel the same way :”), the place where the magic happened, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Just after I got off at the nearest station from the Universal Studio, Universal City Station, I was welcomed by Harry Potter posters every where. It is understandable since this Harry Potter theme is rather new (it was opened for public on July 15th, 2014). And just after we entered the main road towards the main gate of Universal Studio, Harry Potter soundtrack can be heard. At that time I thought I could cry of happiness and excitement T_T

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Main entrance of USJ

Well, I don’t want to spoil too many things, because I’m sure it would feel different when you enjoy it the first time without knowing anything about it 😀

So what are my review and tips for a day out at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

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Main entrance of WWHP

1. Come as early as possible

As we know in any theme park in the world, there are some regions related to a certain theme that we can enjoy in one theme park. In case of Universal Studio Japan (USJ), they have Hollywood, New York, Jurassic Park, Amity Village, Waterworld, Wonderland, and also our main highlight, The Wizarding Word of Harry Potter (WWHP). The system to enter WWHP is a bit different. Unlike other regions, you can’t just enter WWHP after you get your ticket from the main entrance. First, you have to take an entrance ticket to WWHP which you can get freely from a machine located exactly at the center of USJ (you can see the location from the map the staff will give you at the main entrance).

Why do you have to come earlier, because the line to take this entrance ticket is just like crazy. The machine will distribute a ticket with the time you can enter WWHP written on it. In my case, I came to the ticket machine at 9.15, and I got entrance time 11.20-12.20, which means I can enter WWHP during that time. But after we enter WWHP, actually we can enjoy it as long as we want. So the earlier you take the entrance ticket, the earlier you can enter WWHP, the more time you can enjoy it.

Note that they also have visitors limitation everyday. If the number of visitors reach that limit, the machine won’t distribute the ticket anymore. You don’t want to go home empty handed, right?

Actually you can also guarantee your entry to WWHP by buying special ticket at the main entrance. That ticket costs around 2000 yen. So if you want to buy it, you have to pay the ticket to enter USJ itself (6980 yen) plus special entry ticket (2000 something yen). If you have this ticket, you don’t have to line up for the ticket machine, and you can go in and out WWHP as you wish. You can find detail information about it from this website: http://www.usj.co.jp/e/attraction/att_detail/the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter.html

2. After you enter WWHP, go straight to the main rides

WWHP consists of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle. In Hogsmeade, you can find all those fancy shops that sell authentic and iconic souvenirs from the Harry Potter series, for example Zonko, Honeydukes, Owl Post and Owlery, Dervish and Banges, and so on.

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In Hogwarts Castle, there are two main rides, “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of The Hippogriff”. Trust me when I say it, the line of these rides are insane. Therefore, after you enter WWHP, don’t take pictures yet, don’t shop nor wandering around, you will have plenty of time to do it later. Just go straight to the rides so you can shorten your waiting time. FYI, when I first came to the ride, the waiting time was already 3 hours. When I was about to leave WWHP area, the waiting time became 4 hours! Gosh!

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3. Try Hogwarts Castle Walk

If you don’t have too many time in WWHP area because you also want to enjoy other areas, or you don’t want to line up for more than 2 hours for a ride, you can try Hogwarts Castle Walk. While visitors lining up to enter “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey” ride, they will enter Hogwarts Castle so that they can wait while enjoying the castle’s interior. The interior was absolutely beautiful, and consists of some important iconic props from the movie, for example the talking paintings, the house points counter, Dumbledore’s office, The Defense Against The Dark Arts classroom, and so on (again, I don’t want to spoil too much!).

So in Hogwarts Castle Walk, you can enter different line to be able to enter the castle, without having to line up for the “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey” ride. Good alternative, eh? Trust me, you don’t want to miss wandering around the castle.

4. Enjoy the street performances

There are two street performances, Frog Choir and Triwizard Spirit Rally. The performances were very beautiful. I enjoyed the choir so much, they sang some soundtracks from the movie with acapella style. And the Beauxbatons students wore the same uniforms they wore on the movie. Very pretty!

5. Flight of The Hippogriff

This ride is basically a usual typical roller coaster you can find anywhere. There is nothing special from this roller coaster, but if you want to stay only at WWHP area, it is worth a try. But if you will go to other areas, I recommend you to try roller coaster from Hollywood area because they are more challenging. And, if you have limited time in WWHP and it is not possible for you to ride both rides, you’d better choose The Forbidden Journey.

6. Take pictures of every detail

I thanked USJ management for making WWHP as detail as I could imagine. The buildings, interior decoration, some iconic properties (I don’t want to mention any of them here because I felt really surprise to find some stuffs that I didn’t expect to be there, and I want you to feel the same excitement as me 😀 ). So make sure to take pictures of all of them as they could be a lifetime souvenirs, too 🙂

7. Try the Butterbeer

Butterbeer is only sold at 3 places in the world, and USJ is one of them. It is sold in some stalls around the WWHP area so the line is not that long. You can buy it together with the mug souvenir, or only the Butterbeer with plastic cup. It is non-alcoholic, and the taste is like a soda drink (maybe root beer, I’m not sure) with float on top of it.

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Butterbeer with mug souvenir

8. Don’t mind other regions and stay until night

If you are a truly Harry Potter fans (just like me), I want to say that, don’t mind other areas, but just spend your time in WWHP until the USJ is closed. In my opinion, the rides at other areas are not that challenging nor exciting. I don’t know why, but maybe because I’ve been to Disneyland, Disneysea, and Fujikyu Highland, the rides in USJ are just typical. Especially Fujikyu Highland has more challenging rides, and Disney Resort offers more rides that you and your family (if you travel with kids) can choose.

And what so special about WWHP?

  • Obviously this is the only one WWHP in Asia, so if you live in Asia, this is the nearest WWHP you can choose.
  • Since WWHP area is new, there are so many people also visit it, and the line for the rides, restaurant, shops’ cashiers, and even toilet are horrible, so I’m sure most of our time here will be spent queuing. Therefore we need a whole day to explore every detail in WWHP area. We even will need a lot of time to choose what souvenirs we want to buy because all of them are very iconic and authentic ’till I wish I could buy all of them >_<
  • At night, there will be light up around Hogwarts Castle, so the castle will look even prettier than during the day. I didn’t stay until night in WWHP so I didn’t have any picture of it, but when I search #wizardingworldofharrypotter on Instagram, there are some people posts the picture of Hogwarts Castle at night, and it is so beautiful. I regret that I didn’t stay until late, so now I’m even planning to go there again for the second time before I leave Japan for goods 😀
See you again, Hogwarts!

See you again, Hogwarts!

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Para Pencari Tuhan udah jilid ke-6!!

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Buat yang sering nyalain TV sambil sahur, pasti ga asing sama sinetron satu ini. Para Pencari Tuhan, atau yang lebih sering disebut PPT, adalah salah satu program di TV swasta yang ditayangkan di kala sahur (sekitar jam 3 sampe setengah 5 kalo ga salah). Sudah beberapa tahun belakangan ini stasiun2 TV berlomba-lomba menayangkan program menarik yang dapat menyemarakkan sahur kita. Genrenya pun bermacam2, ada yang tipenya kuis2 interaktif, ada yang komedi2 cem2 OVJ, dll. Tapi satu kesamaan yang dimiliki semua program TV ini, yaitu adanya unsur komedi di setiap acara yang ditayangkan. Mungkin, supaya pemirsa ga ngantuk pas sahur kali ya..

Salah satu program TV yang selalu saya nantikan di kala Ramadhan (selain adzan maghrib tentunya :D) adalah PPT ini. Dan ternyata PPT memang mendapat tempat khusus di hati pemirsa, terbukti dengan terus menerusnya ditayangkan sinetron besutan om Deddy Mizwar ini oleh stasiun TV swasta tersebut. Dan bener2 ga terasa, ternyata PPT sudah sampe season 6 tahun ini. Dan tanpa sadar, saya bener2 ngikutin terus sinteronnya dari season 1 sampe sekarang >_< haha..yah, bolong2 sih, ga setiap episode dipantengin. Tapi ngerti lah jalan cerita tiap seasonnya 😀

Setelah saya amat-amati dan banding-bandingkan PPT dibanding acara pengiring sahur lainnya, ternyata, memang PPT ini punya banyak kelebihan (atau mungkin hal unik), yang ga dimiliki acara TV yang lain.

  1. Cuma PPT yang memiliki konsep penggabungan sinteron dan kuis interaktif.
  2. Cuma PPT yang sarat unsur dakwahnya. Dialog2 yang terjadi di tiap episodenya penuh dengan sindiran ringan yang lucu tapi ngena. Suka ngerasa malu juga kadang klo yang disindir itu terjadi sama saya. Alhasil, tiap saya nonton PPT selalu ngerasa dapat banyak ilmu agama baru, atau diingatkan akan perihal agama yang udah lupa, atau yang paling penting, jadi introspeksi diri banget. Hamba Allah yang seperti apa sih saya ini? Sudah sempurnakah ibadah selama ini? Apakah hati ini senantiasa bersih? dll. Beda banget sama program TV lainnya yang kebanyakan ketawa tanpa makna.
  3. Walaupun PPT ditayangkan setiap Ramadhan, ga pernah tuh sekali pun di sinteronnya dikisahkan lagi berpuasa. Mereka tetep aja ada adegan makan di siang hari (karena memang syutingnya juga sebelum Ramadhan). Setiap ada nasehat yang muncul juga ga pernah disebutkan “woy, lagi Ramadhan nih. jangan ini, jangan itu, dll”. Ternyata usut punya usut, memang sinetron PPT sengaja dirancang untuk tidak menampilkan seakan-akan terjadinya pada bulan Ramadhan saja, namun pada bulan2 biasa lainnya. Karena kata yang bikin nih, berbuat baik atau mematuhi syariat Islam kan ga cuma pas bulan Ramadhan aja, tapi ya setiap detik dan hela nafas hidup kita, kita harus menerapkan syariat Islam tersebut dengan sadar dan ikhlas. Subhanallah, jadi makin ngefans aja ama sinteron ini, padahal jarang2 lho saya nonton sinetron 😀 Namun sayang, saya lupa sumbernya dari mana statement tersebut.
  4. Kalo merhatiin PPT dari masa ke masa, jilbab para pemain wanita bener2 ngikutin tren yang ada pada tahun itu. Hihi, lucu juga ngeliatnya. Kalo di PPT yg jilid 6 sekarang ini, jilbabnya pada model2 arab dan timur tengah gitu. Yang ga berubah cuma istri pak ustadz Feri, jilbabnya tetep panjang dan sederhana. Bagus deh, bener2 mencerminkan istri seorang ustadz 🙂

Tapi kalo ngomongin jalan cerita, memang sih saya akui yang paling bagus adalah PPT 1. Waktu itu benar2 terasa perjuangan Juki, Chelsea, dan Barong untuk kembali ke jalan yang benar. Kalo sekarang sih, karena tokohnya juga udah makin banyak, fokus ceritanya udah tersebar ke masing2 tokoh baru tersebut. Jadi ga terlalu tersentarlisasi ke Bang Jack dan 3 bocah tadi lagi. Tapi klo untuk urusan sindiran yang ngena, masih dapet banget lah PPT ini.

Baru tadi pagi saya dapet suatu pengetahuan baru dari PPT. Jadi kan ceritanya Bang Asrul baru pulang haji (dia berangkat haji di season 5 kemaren). Eh pas pulang haji dapet musibah, warung soto batak yang dijalankan istrinya tertimpa fitnah, yaitu mengandung daging yg ga halal. Alhasil penjualan menurun drastis dan bahkan mereka hampir bangkrut.

Singkat kata, Bang Asrul pun curhat ke Bang Jack.

Bang Asrul: “kenapa awak baru pulang haji malah dikasih cobaan kayak gini, Bang? orang2 lain baru pulang haji dapet banyak berkah, awak malah dikasih ujian seperti ini. apa salah awak?”

Bang Jack: “emang kamu pikir kamu bakal bisa bilang dirimu beriman kalo belom dicoba?”

Bang Asrul: “tapi saya udah beriman kok, Bang. Buktinya saya naik haji kan?”

Bang Jack: “ya tapi ujian itu akan meningkatkan derajat kita di sisi Allah”

*yah kira2 beginilah dialognya, saya juga lupa2 inget. tapi insya Allah ga mengubah makna yang ingin disampaikan kok 🙂 nah sejauh ini, saya udah tau dan udah sering denger tentang ini. tapi, kita lanjut dulu yaa 🙂

Bang Asrul: “buat apa sih Bang, Allah repot2 menguji hamba-Nya. Allah kan Maha Tahu. Allah pasti tahu kan mana hamba-Nya yang beriman, mana yang enggak”

*nah lho, bener juga ya. saya ga kepikiran nih, kalo ada orang yg nanya gini ke saya, bakal saya jawab apa >_<

Bang Jack: “justru itu. Allah memang Maha Tahu isi hati hamba2-Nya. tapi, dengan Allah memberikan ujian, Allah sudah berlaku adil bagi setiap hamba-Nya. sehingga ketika di hari akhir kelak ada hamba-Nya yang masuk surga, ada yang masuk neraka, mereka ga akan bisa protes. karena mereka akan diperlihatkan semua perbuatan mereka saat di dunia. sehingga mereka dapat menyadari penyebab mereka masuk neraka atau surga memang semata2 akibat perbuatan mereka sendiri”

doeenngg!! bener banget lah ini jawabannya. bener2 bisa diterima akal serta hati. Allah memang udah mikirin semuanya ya. bener2 saya ngerasa lemaaahhh banget sebagai manusia. ga ada tempat bergantung dan bernaung selain Allah.

Hiks, jadi sedih bin galau nih malem2 gini. Betapa dosaku sudah tak terhitung banyaknya T_T

Btw, tadi liat gambar yang bagus lagi sebagai pengingat Ramadhan ini.

 

Semoga dosa2 kita diampuni oleh Allah ya di Ramadhan kali ini. Semoga saat Ramadhan ini berakhir kelak, buku amal kita bener2 baru dan masih bersih serta siap dicoret2in oleh amalan2 baik saja 🙂