The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Saturday, March 23, 2013

People.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Basically, it's just as good as you imagined it might be. Magical, for sure.  One minute you're in Orlando (Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure to be exact), the next minute you're in Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley.  And yes, there are speakers playing the Harry Potter music while you stroll through the wizarding world...

There's the Hogwart's Express, Honeydukes Candy Shop, Olivander's Wand Shop, and so much more.  I really almost bought a wand, just because I could.  But the wand chooses the wizard, and no wand chose me.  I read all the Harry Potter books a few years ago.  I may have re-watched all the movies before leaving for Florida.  I was embarrassingly excited.

Of course, this was the first stop inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter...

Calm down people.  Butterbeer is not, in fact, actual beer.  It is, in fact, pure sugar.  One sip practically sent me into diabetic shock.  Turns out butterbeer is a sort of caramelly, butterscotchy, sugary liquid with a foam made entirely of whipped cream.  For someone who rarely even puts sugar in her coffee, it was a little too much.  But I had to try it.  And there are all sorts of entertaining things while waiting in line...

Obviously, the whole Wizarding World of Harry Potter leads straight to one thing...Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  

There are a couple of rides in the Hogsmeade village, but obviously I had to ride the one inside of Hogwarts.  To be honest, I didn't know what the ride was, but I just wanted to go inside of Hogwarts.  I really should have known better when they made me put my purse in a locker for safety reasons.  And I will admit that I did know better when I passed 12 motion sickness warning signs on the 45 minute line to ride.  Just to clarify, the 45 minute wait that led me through Hogwarts was totally worth it.  Tricks and magic and all sorts of fun everywhere you look.  It looks just like the movies.  They don't actually tell you what the ride is until you're about to board, so it's pretty much too late to turn back.   So there are these cars with four sideways seats that don't stop moving for you to board.  You just have to sort of run and jump, then pull the shoulder harnesses down over you.  Another bad sign.  And for half an hour (or, you know, 4 minutes), you twist and spin and flip upside down and do other motion sickness causing things while the 3D ride whirls you through Hogwarts adventures with Harry, Ron, and Hermione.  I remember almost all of it, except for the parts when I was squeezing my eyes shut and praying for it to end.  Not a good move after the butterbeer.  Also not a good move before I had to get on a plane and fly home through a thunderstorm (when I pretty much did the same eyes/prayers thing).

But The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?  Pretty spectacular.  And the result of my four-day higher ed/student affairs conference is the realization that I want to work at Hogwarts...


  1. Jealous! I have told Jonathan to pass on the romantic couples trip to Mexico and just take me there instead :)

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