I was the kid that stayed up all night with her flashlight under the covers reading books. I still do sometimes, though not with a flashlight under the covers anymore. It’s as the saying goes: “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” And there’s no book that took me to so many magical places like the Harry Potter series did.
You are reading the post of one true Harry Potter addict. The robes, the spells, the sorting hat, the animals, the set, the movies, I love it all. All the first prints of all the books are displayed in my book case at home and there are extra editions for reading (because the first ones have to remain undamaged) Basically, you can state that I suffer from HP obsessive – compulsive disorder 😉
That being said, you can imagine what was number one on my to-do list coming to Florida! I can tell you one thing, it sure wasn’t Disney World! Universal Studios topped the list once word got out that both Harry Potter Lands opened there last year. So, 150$ poorer, there we were roaming the streets of Diagon Alley and Hogsmead in the rain.
The Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes threestoryshop, Ollivanders wands, Quidditch supplies, butterbeer, the Leaky Cauldron, I couldn’t believe my eyes, but it was all there. They even had issues of the Daily Prophet lying around including the talking and moving images. And the paintings on the walls in Gringotts and Hogwarts castle also moved and talked just like in the books and movies. It was so absolutely awesome, I didn’t even care that it was raining cats and dogs!
To get from Hogsmead to Diagon Alley and back, you can actually take the Hogwarts Express from platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross station. As the train makes its way from one end to the other a film plays in the window showing you the exact scenery Harry and his friends used to see while making their way to Hogwarts. On the other side of the carriage door you can see the characters’ shadows and hear them talking to each other. Literally every little detail has been thought out. It’s as if you are one of the main charachters yourself. I absolutely loved every single thing (except the rain ofcourse 😉 ) and I could have just stayed in these two parts of the park all day if my husband weren’t with me.
Luckily there’s also fun stuff for the less obsessed visitors. The main attractions are the two rollercoasters in Gringotts bank and Hogwarts. Though you are traveling with Harry Potter and his friends who’re trying to flee dementors, HE who shall not be named and other scary death eaters, the rides themselves are fast and very cool. Definitely not meant for people who suffer from motion sickness, but ofcourse I still had to try it.
Now that I have seen all this, I can’t wait to go to the Warner Bros. Studio in London and experience the making of Harry Potter where it all began! Even though it will probably be raining then too! 😉