Kicking the bucket, Harry Potter style.
A few months ago, I accomplished a goal on my bucket list: I visited Hogwarts. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to be exact. I had been dying to go ever since it opened last summer, and on May 3, that day finally came!
HP is located in Universal Studios “Islands of Adventures” in Orlando, Florida. Along with HP, with your ticket price ($82) you get to go to other “lands” such as Dr. Seuss, Jurassic Park, & Marvel Comics. Stepping foot in, I knew I was headed straight towards Potter-land. (If I had a Nimbus 2000, I would have flown over the other lands to get there quicker.) I could hardly wait!
Halfway into the park, I could see the Hogwarts castle appearing in the distance. This is when it finally hit me. I WAS AT THE HARRY POTTER THEME PARK. I was with my friend Lisa, also a HP fan, who kept laughing at me because I was starting to make non-comprehensive words because I was so full of excitement.
Then, we turned a corner. “Oh my gosh. Are we here?” Lisa asked.
There, right in front of me, was the entrance. “Welcome to Hogsmeade” a sign read.
I am not ashamed to admit, that even though I am 26 years old, I cried.
Harry Potter was a huge part of my growing up years. I have been a fan for a decade of my life. I started reading the books when I was in high school, and continued reading until it ended, at age 22.
Now, years later, I still feel just as attached and mesmerized by them, as I was as a young teen. And here it was, something I had loved for so long, right in front of me.
I could LIVE it
TASTE it. Also a big fan of the movies, walking into the park is almost like stepping foot onto the set!
After gaining my composure, I nearly ran in. As soon as you step in, the Hogwarts Express is on your right in all of its glory. Zonko’s & Honeydukes greets you to your left, and as far as you can see (well, not really, HP is comparable to being the size of Toon Town in Disneyland) is the Hogsmeade village adorned in snow topped roofs.
Everything you could wish for in such a small space is there: Olivander’s Wand Shop, The Owl Post, Dervish & Banges, Hogs Heads Pub, The Three Broomsticks Tavern, (where you can order a glass of the famous butterbeer, frozen or regular: go for frozen!) And of course, probably the most important thing: Hogwarts Castle.
So, lets start with Hogwarts. Words cannot express how amazing it is. The ride inside the castle, “The Forbidden Journey” honestly makes you feel like a student on the grounds of the school. From Professor Sprout’s greenhouse, to The Dining Hall & the Sorting Hat, to Dumbledor’s office…walking through the line is an adventure itself. (Note: No cameras or bags are allowed on the ride, but you can take a “walking tour” of the castle if you want to take photos and not ride.)
The next ride I went on was “The Flight of the Hippogriff”. In line you walk through Hagrid’s garden (complete with his hut!) and there is a life-sized Hippogriff (you know, if Hippogriff’s were real…)
The ride is extrememly short (I feel like its a rollercoaster for the little-fans.) I still had fun.